News

Smartphone Round Robin: Impressions of an iPhone Users First Few Days With the BlackBerry Curve 8310

BlackBerry 8310 CurveEver wonder what a hardcore Apple believer and iPhone user thinks of the BlackBerry? Mike Overbo, editor of PhoneDifferent.com has given up his iPhone for the next three weeks as part of the Smartphone Round Robin and lucky for him managed to get the best of the best as a replacement for Week #1 - the BlackBerry Curve 8310. At least we all know it's the best of the best... Mike's opinions may vary slightly.

Head on over to PhoneDifferent.com and take a read. Be sure to let Mike know where he's right and wrong! Comments posted count towards your entry in the Smartphone Round Robin!

Take me to Mike's Round Robin BlackBerry Curve Post >> 

LAST CHANCE!!! Enter NOW for Your Chance to Win a New BlackBerry in our Halloween BlackBerry Giveaway!

NO TRICKS, JUST TREATS Halloween BlackBerry Giveaway

If you haven't registered yet for your chance to win a new BlackBerry in CrackBerry.com's NO TRICKS, JUST TREATS BlackBerry Halloween Giveaway, it's time to get on it...the contest thread closes tomorrow, Oct. 31st, at 12 Noon CST.

The BlackBerry Giveaway will happen HALLOWEEN night and The Grand Prize Winner will receive their choice of a BlackBerry Curve, 8800, or Pearl Series BlackBerry smartphone plus a $100 coupon for use in the ShopCrackBerry.com store. There are also some great runner-up prizes to booooooot. :-)

Registration is open to New & Existing Members of CrackBerry.com. To enter for your chance to win, all you have to do is make a Post on our NO TRICKS, JUST TREATS Halloween Giveaway thread in the CrackBerry forums.

FOR FULL CONTEST DETAILS & TO REGISTER
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN CLICK HERE!

Smartphone Experts (SPE) Announces the First Annual Smartphone Round Robin... Bring It On!!!

Smartphone Round RobinI unoffically let the cat out of the bag Sunday night, but now it's official... the Smartphone Round Robin is on! To find out more information you can read the official Press Release and for all the event and contest details visit the dedicated Smartphone Experts Round Robin website. This event is all about community participation and there are some great prizes to be won.

For the next three weeks I'll be without my BlackBerry as I experience the competition in the form of the Windows Mobile AT&T Tilt, Palm Treo 680 and Applie iPhone. I'll have lots to say about my experiences (my initial impressions of the AT&T Tilt will be going up shortly) as will SPE's other community editors at our sibling sites TreoCentral, WMExperts and PhoneDifferent. Let the Round Robin BEGIN!

Paris Hilton's Halloween Costume

It looks like Paris Hilton's Halloween costume included a BlackBerry Curve too!

Paris Hilton Halloween BlackBerry

Thanks to mrme in the CrackBerry Forums for posting this! 

Thought Piece: The Danger of Facebook for BlackBerrys

The Dangers of Facebook for BlackBerry

BlackBerry + Facebook App + Partying = Trouble

That was the valuable lesson (err... equation) I learned this weekend. Friday night was Halloween party night for me and I dressed up as a BlackBerry-addicted Superman to take in all the festivities. Well, I guess the aim was just to be Superman, but as a full-fledged BlackBerry addict it was impossible to leave my phone at home.

I don't normally snap too many pics on my Curve, but with my newly installed Facebook for BlackBerry app offering the ability to instantly publish pictures to my Facebook, I couldn't help but snap photos and instantly publish them to my Facebook all night long (what a mouthful).

Suffice to say, when I rolled out of bed Saturday afternoon and logged into Facebook, I saw wayyy more pics than I remembered taking in my 'Mobile Uploads' album. The progression of the evening was clearly depicted, and I feverishly worked to clean up the mess of pics...deciding to only leave the 3 behind that were taken prior to 9pm. Thank goodness my mom isn't on Facebook yet. :-)

We all know to Don't Drink and Drive. Next step... Don't Drink and CrackBerry. I think I'm going to put that on a T-Shirt to start spreading the word.

BlackBerry Unite! Demo Launched

BlackBerry Unite!

A few weeks back we talked about RIM and Telefonica's launch of BlackBerry Unite!. It seems RIM has put more info about this new service online in the form of an interactive demo. Check it out for more details!

View BlackBerry Unite! Demo >>

[ via BBcool ]  

Sprint Allowing Customers to Unlock Their Phones

Sprint Chalk one up for the little guy! Sprint is going to provide unlock codes to customers who want to use their Sprint branded phone on another CDMA network.

The decision comes as part of a class action lawsuit settlement against Sprint, where it was claimed the company locked the devices to make it difficult for customers to switch carriers and take their Sprint phone with them.

The settlement covers all customers who bought Sprint phones between Aug. 28, 1999, and July 16, 2007. It should allow those phones to be switched to competitors whose networks are compatible with Sprint’s, such as Verizon Wireless and Alltel Corp.

I hope we see all carriers take this step...and hopefully with no charge to the customer!

[ via RIMarkable ]

Get Your Spook On... Free Halloween BlackBerry Ringtones!!

Free Halloween Ringtones

With Halloween falling on a Wednesday this year, there's no doubt that many of us BlackBerry users will be attending Halloween Parties this weekend (I'll be dressing up as a BlackBerry-Using Superman tonight!).

And since I know none of you will leave your BlackBerrys at home or in the car, it's probably a good idea to get your Berry in on the Halloween theme too (you can disguise your BlackBerry Addiction as part of the costume!)! I came across these Halloweenish tunes in the CrackBerry.com Ringtone Gallery:

Happy Halloween Party Weekend! Be sure to Stay Tuned for the Real Halloween when a lucky CrackBerry.com member will win a new BlackBerry in our NO TRICKS, JUST TREATS Halloween BlackBerry Giveaway!

CrackBerry.com Siesta Contest Winner!

CrackBerry.com Siesta Contest WinnerThis week CrackBerry.com took an unplanned and unexpected 13 hour Siesta! No worries though, our bad has become super good for CrackBerry.com member MrVoodoo!

MrVoodoo has won himself a new Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth Headset. MrVoodoo's 'CrackBerry Outage' story was selected as the winner by CrackBerry.com's head programmer Tom Kaminski.  Tom was nominated 'official judge' since he was the one who got our server gears turning 100% again. Tom decided his criteria for picking a winner would be "drama, originality and believability" and Mr. Voodoo's story took the cake...er.. Headset!

Read MrVoodoo's Contest Winning Post >>

Timeline: Research in Motion's Rise to Success As Canada's Most Valuable Company

RIMResearch in Motion became Canada's Most Valuable Company this week, when during intraday trading on Tuesday RIM's market cap surpassed $68 Billion on the TSX, briefly eclipsing the reigning titleholder Royal Bank. This most recent surge in value came on the news that RIM has partnered with Alcatel-Lucent to sell BlackBerrys into China.

It takes the effort of thousands of people to run a successful company like RIM is today. But every story has a beginning, and in RIM's case its humble beginnings go back to 1984 and a couple of engineering students in Waterloo...

Read Research in Motion's Rise to Success  >>  

Facebook Troubles? It's not your Provider, It's your OS!

Facebook Installation Error Message on older BlackBerry OS

The new Facebook application released yesterday yielded much attention, and therefore many downloads. But a little 'error' in one of RIM's 'error message' screens has caused some confusion.

Many people have been receiving the message "Sorry, your wireless Service Provider does not Allow Access to Facebook for your Device". In reality, the problem is not with your Service Provider, rather it is with your BlackBerry Operating System. Facebook requires that you run OS 4.2 or greater (when downloading, the Terms and Conditions do state that). That means devices running an older OS version (like the BlackBerry 8700 shown above) cannot install the Facebook app.

Some research done with the folks at Research in Motion has confirmed that the error message being shown is incorrect/misleading. Hopefully they will fix that up! It's definitely caused a lot of aggrevation and Carrier Curs'n! If you fall into the older OS scenario, you can now stop blaming Bell, Verizon, AT&T, etc. For once, the Carriers aren't being evil. It just means time to upgrade your OS or your Berry! :-)

Talk About the Facebook for BlackBerry app in the CrackBerry Forums >>  

[ via Saunderslog

FaceBook App comes to BlackBerry!

FaceBook coming to BlackBerry

Did I say there would be no exciting announcements from RIM at CTIA this year? I was wrong! Mike Lazaridus, co-CEO of Research in Motion, and Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook, today announced the launch of Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones at the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment show in San Francisco. Our CTIA correspondents Dieter and Chris took in the announcement (and snapped a bunch of photos for your viewing pleasure) and were quick to get the news to me. Thanks guys!

This native application goes way beyond the standard browser-based access previously available to mobile Facebookers. With the new Facebook app, all of the benefits of BlackBerry "push" technology are utilized - notificiations (emails, new wall posts, pokes) made on the site will immediately appear on the BlackBerry. Furthermore, the application also allows users to take a photo (assuming you're on a Pearl or Curve), upload it to the site with captions and tags, invite friends, manage events, manage albums, and even update status while on the go. The app is available for download by all BlackBerry users for free (go to www.blackberry.com/facebook/mobiledownload), and will also ship already installed on new BlackBerrys. T-Mobile will be the first carrier to deliver the goods.

“Facebook is one of the fastest growing web destinations among BlackBerry smartphone users and it has become an important element in the evolving fabric of personal communications,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “Facebook and RIM share a vision for enhanced mobile communications and social networking based on open, standards-based platforms and this has allowed us to produce a rich mobile application for Facebook users that leverages the push-based architecture, multimedia features and industry-leading usability of the BlackBerry solution.”

I'm off to download it and start playing. I'll be back with more once I get some good Facetime with Facebook. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the app!

* Updated: I just finished installing and playing with the App for an hour. I posted a quick review in the CrackBerry Forums. * 

Read RIM's Press Release for Full Details >>
See Photo Gallery of Facebook Launch >>
Discuss Facebook for BlackBerry in the Forums >> 

T-Mobile BlackBerry 8320 Curve Update Available

T-Mobile

T-Mobile has made available an upgrade for their new BlackBerry 8320 Curve that addresses some issues users were experiencing. The fix corrects the following:

  • Improved quality and reliability of the audio experience during phone calls
  • Improved retention of UMA parameters after performing a restore using Desktop Manage
Download the Update for the T-Mobile BlackBerry 8320 Curve >>

CTIA: Day 1 BlackBerry Review

WMExperts.com's Diether Bohn
For a Windows Mobile Guy, WMExperts.com's Dieter Bohn Looks
Like he can Play the Role of CrackBerry Addict Pretty Well!

** Update - 12:45pm CST: Just received a ton of notes, and pics from the gang at CTIA. Blog post will be up soon. Gotta work!! ** 

** Update - 12:00pm CST: Just got a phone call from an excited Dieter and Chris letting me know that FaceBook is going mobile and there is a SWEET SWEET application for the BlackBerry. Stay Tuned. We'll have more info and pics on this very soon! **

As promised, our leased BlackBerry correspondent Dieter Bohn (certified smartphone nut who runs WMExperts.com) reported to me last night from San Francisco with the BlackBerry highlights of Day 1 at CTIA.

Was there any big BlackBerry news from RIM to report? Nope. Nothing big from RIM, other than co-CEO Jim Balsillie dropped a line saying "Canada has the highest penetration of per capita BlackBerry Smartphones in the world today". It makes sense - Canada does have a major business hub (Toronto) and a population about a 1/10th the size of the United States. At least Dieter did send along some nice photos (including live shots of Sprint's new BlackBerry Pearl 8130) to keep all of us CrackBerrys satisfied (click here for BlackBerry image Gallery).

But while RIM may not have had any big BlackBerry news, there was a BIG announcement at CTIA that may just impact BlackBerry's relatively unchallenged dominance within the enterprise setting, and that is the coming of Microsoft's Mobile Device Manager 2008. Think BlackBerry BES capabilities for Windows Mobile devices.

It was announced during Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote address. Dieter did a Live Blog of the speech, so check it out for more details on Microsoft's Mobile Device Manager. For more details you can also read AT&T/Microsoft's Press Release which came out right after Ballmer's address.

CrackBerry.com Takes a Siesta!

CrackBerry.com takes a SiestaTalk about CrackBerry Withdrawal!! If you're a regular at CrackBerry.com, you will have noticed the site was down! It turns out our server maxed out its capabilities and had issues getting going again. We were down from about 1:15am CST and came back online at about 2:30pm. It was the longest 13 hours of my life! I must have clicked refresh about 1700 times.

Here's the Good News and the Bad News. Let's start with

The Bad News: The site will be going down for a few hours one evening later this week as we move the site over to Smartphone Experts' Data Centers.

The Good News: Once we're relocated we shouldn't run into problems like this again. We've been planning a move for a while now, but our recent outage has prompted us to get it done NOW!

More Good News: To Buy Back some CrackBerry.com Love, we have setup a 20% discount coupon in the CrackBerry.com Software Store. It's good until the end of this month. To take advantage of the savings, enter the code SIESTA when checking out.

More More Good News: If you're one of our unlucky regulars who suffered from this CrackBerry.com outage like I did, we want to hear how you coped with your withdrawal. Respond to this post with your CrackBerry.com outage story. Did you hit refresh 1000+ times like I did? Did you play with your BlackBerry? Did you go outside for some fresh air? The best story will win a JAWBONE Bluetooth Headset. Make sure you are logged into the site when you post your comment (so I'll be able to email you) - the Best Story wins!

10 Days to Go! Enter for Your Chance to Win a BlackBerry in our NO TRICKS, JUST TREATS Halloween Giveaway!

NO TRICKS, JUST TREATS Halloween BlackBerry Giveaway

If you haven't registered yet for your chance to win a new BlackBerry in CrackBerry.com's NO TRICKS, JUST TREATS BlackBerry Halloween Giveaway, it's time to get on it...HALLOWEEN is just around the corner! And if you haven't thought about what you're dressing up as of yet for the big day, it's time to get on that too!

The BlackBerry Giveaway will happen on HALLOWEEN and The Grand Prize Winner will win their choice of a BlackBerry Curve, 8800, or Pearl Series BlackBerry smartphone plus a $100 coupon for use in the ShopCrackBerry.com store. There are also some great runner-up prizes to booooooot. :-)

Registration is open to New & Existing Members of CrackBerry.com. To enter for your chance to win, all you have to do is make a Post on our NO TRICKS, JUST TREATS Halloween Giveaway thread in the CrackBerry forums.

FOR FULL CONTEST DETAILS & TO REGISTER
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN CLICK HERE!

CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2007 Show THIS WEEK!

CTIA 2007

CTIA, the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry, will get its annual Wireless I.T. & Entertainment BIG SHOW on this week in San Francisco. It opens tomorrow and runs through Thursday (Oct. 23 - 25th). I won't be in attendance this year, but my pal Dieter who runs WMExperts.com has promised to report back to the CrackBerry community with any juicy BlackBerry news and info he comes across. I know what you're thinking... how can I be friends with a Windows Mobile guy, but trust me...he knows his smartphone schtuff (check out this Windows Mobile vs. iPhone Email Smackdown he recently just published)!

If you are attending the event, feel free to shoot me an email (kevin at crackberry.com) with photos, news, stories, impressions of the event, etc. and I'll get them up into the CrackBerry.com blogs and forums.

Funny thing - I haven't really heard much in the way of Rumors leading up to CTIA 2007. It's often a place where big product announcements are made. Have you heard anything? Any predictions? Stay tuned for more coverage.

See Highlights of CTIA 2006 >>  
Learn More About CTIA 2007 >>

Potential AT&T BlackBerry Curve 8310 Setup Difficulties?

One of our members (thanks Bla1ze!) had this to say in the CrackBerry Forums:

Just a note to all those who have/are purchasing a new Blackberry 8310 from AT&T, it may take a little bit longer to get your devices set up, as for some unknown as of yet reason, some of the device PINS are not being recognized by the AT&T database, this is NOT a HUGE problem as it just takes a call to RIM to fix the problem...but also as of now RIM has not sent out emails regarding this issue, but as today is when AT&T has seen the MOST activations of them, I'm sure the issue will be addressed sooner than later.

This was posted in the forums last night. I did some digging and talked to one of my inside AT&T guys this morning who confirmed he saw several devices over the course of yesterday experiencing this exact same issue. Hopefully the problem is already solved!

I figured I would put this in the Blogs to get some feedback from the community - did you pick up an 8310? Was it a flawless or flawed setup?

It's HEERREE! Get your AT&T BlackBerry Curve 8310 Today!

AT&T BlackBerry 8310 Curve**Update: Oct. 17th: The AT&T BlackBerry Curve 8310 is now available on AT&T's website! Read the Official Press Release.**

The wait is over. October 16th is here and it looks like the AT&T BlackBerry 8310 is now available for sale. It will likely be another day or two before the Titanium or Crimson colored GPS-enabled Curve is widely available everywhere, but you can already track it down if you just can't wait.

You can order it by calling AT&T directly and some astute CrackBerry.com members came across it for sale on Walmart's website ($0 after rebate!!). If you want to pick it up in person, the 8310 is also starting to show up in local AT&T outlet stores across the nation.

You can let the CrackBerry community know where you got your 8310 Curve by using the Post if you got your AT&T 8310 and Where thread in the CrackBerry forums or by responding to this post with a comment. Enjoy the New Toy!

Microsoft Releases New Live Search for BlackBerry Beta

Microsoft announced the latest version of their Live Search for BlackBerry application today (read press release) and Kunjal Raheja from the Live Search Team was even kind enough to send the Crack Team an email to tell us about it directly:

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