News

NetSuite Works With Developers to Expand Software Options

netsuiteNetSuite, Inc. the on-demand business management software providers has just announced that NetSuite product is now available wirelessly on mobiles such as the BlackBerry.

Now, busy sales reps and managers can run key business processes such as placing orders and closing transactions and sales from their BlackBerry. Support reps can immediately address customer service issues and other business users can have access to the business application in real-time and run their business as usual while away from the office.

NetSuite worked with third-party application developers such as Antenna Software, Explore Mobile and iEnterprises to extend NetSuite through the SuiteFlex development and integration platform, which is designed to enable the extension of NetSuite to third-party systems, the creation of third-party vertical applications within NetSuite, and the customization of end-to-end business processes for end-users.

Antenna Software’s AMPower for NetSuite mobile solution allows user to access and update essential customer and order information in real-time from the NetSuite system.

Explore Mobile’s Explore Order Entry allows sales reps to retrieve, update and take orders via their mobile device and have them uploaded into NetSuite.

iEnterprises’ Mobile Edge for NetSuite is a pre-built application that allows BlackBerry and Windows Mobile users to connect and extend NetSuite CRM and ERP capabilities to their handheld while away from the office.

JayZ Sports The New 8800

jayz

I’ve go the new Berry, eight-eight double-o, I wave it all around, there only for show, Keep it to my ear, so I don’t hear ‘em say, “How the hell is Jay-Z with smokin' Be-yon-ce.”

BlackBerry Sponsors John Mayer Tour

BlackBerry sponsors John Mayer Concert SeriesThis just in from Reuters/Billboard....

In a first for both sponsor and artist, BlackBerry will present musician John Mayer's upcoming North American tour, Billboard has learned.

Portable communication device BlackBerry will use the Mayer tour to help launch its upcoming AT&T-carried mobile phone, Curve.

The 40-date BlackBerry Presents John Mayer in Concert tour begins June 1 in Ridgefield, Wash., with Ben Folds supporting. Live Nation is promoting the majority of dates on the tour and reports that sales are strong in the early going.

Paul Kalbfleisch, senior director of corporate marketing for BlackBerry parent Research in Motion (RIM), said recent additions to the BlackBerry product line such as Pearl and the new Curve make live music a viable avenue to reach consumers in search of devices with plenty of capabilities.

"John Mayer's concert tour gives us that venue and that context to talk about BlackBerry to a group of people that maybe we haven't talked to before," Kalbfleisch said. "We're able to reach out to a new audience, maybe a slightly younger audience in their 20s, without at all alienating the existing BlackBerry audience," he added.
BlackBerry will launch a site highlighting the tour. Marketing in traditional and new media are part of the promotion, as is an on-site presence at concert venues. The details of consumer-interactive contests are being finalized, and BlackBerry will host VIP parties and backstage meet-and-greets at shows.

"On-site during every concert we'll have the ability to showcase and demonstrate BlackBerry Curve, along with our carrier partner AT&T, so that people coming to the concerts will see, touch and feel our product, learn what it has to offer them, take pictures with it, have a little bit of fun with it," Kalbfleisch said. "We will have the ability to interact with the audience without interfering with the concert itself."

"The product offering and our strategy had to be in line with reaching out to this type of audience," said Kalbfleisch, who noted that the BlackBerry brand is more mainstream than it was only a few years ago. "The entertainment world and more unique opportunities started to make sense to us now. Two years ago it probably wasn't time yet."

Both parties to the deal declined to cite financial specifics, but typically such extensive tour sponsorships are valued at more than $1 million in cash and more in marketing. Michael McDonald, Mayer's manager, said that upfront money from BlackBerry goes into upfront tour costs.

"Something we've really focused on is putting the check to good use," McDonald said, adding that marketing is also a big plus.

So what's this all mean to BlackBerry Addicts? Read between the lines and it looks like the BlackBerry Curve will be launched on AT&T June 1st! Talk about it in the CrackBerry.com forums...

Ahead of the Curve...Rogers BlackBerry Curve that is!

BlackBerry Curve 8300I couldn't take the waiting any longer!

As I type, a BlackBerry 8300 Curve is making its away across the pond and to the CrackBerry.com offices in Winnipeg. It's a BlackBerry Curve out of the UK, and the Unlock code has already been ordered straight from O2. I should have both the phone and unlock code in my hands Tuesday by noon.

I'm curious to see how this goes. Will it be easy going in getting it up and running on Rogers? Or am I in for a massive headache in getting the phone unlocked? Any thoughts? Should I have waited?  BlackBerry.com says the Curve is coming to Roger's soon... will I beat the Canadian release by a day, a week, or a month?! Stay Tuned to CrackBerry.com to see how this plays out...

Update: LOST in transit. More like stolen. Never to be Found Again. I ended up waiting and getting it from AT&T when it was finally released. 

New App Turns Berry Into Tracker

mobile trackerI am actually not sure what to make of this new application. A great way for a courier company to see where its vehicles are going or unbelievably good news for insanely suspicious spouses and parents everywhere.

Skylab Mobilesystems have come out with an application that takes advantage of the built-in GPS receiver of the BlackBerry 8800 and is now able to record tracklogs. Those tracklogs are saved on the BlackBerry's internal micro SD-Card and can be viewed directly in Google Earth once you have the BlackBerry connected to your desktop and click on the tracklog file.

The company indicates all the benign uses for such a product such as “you can now easily embed a tracklog from your hiking, biking or running trip into your website. Imagine publishing your current and previous running logs on your website or blog to let people take part in your hobby.”

Riiiiight. People will use it for recording hiking trips. Parents will not secretly toss their BlackBerries into the car trunk to find out just where their teenagers are actually taking the Dodge Caravan until 2.00am.

According to the company, to provide more flexibility it is possible to configure the delay between position recordings. So if you are on a ship crossing the Atlantic you can also set the delay to five minutes. MobileTracker works everywhere on the world, even without network coverage.

To learn more visit MobileTracker or watch this demo from YouTube.

Balsillie Hops On The Wi-Fi Bandwagon

jim balsillieJim Balsillie, RIM co-CEO and potential owner of the Nashville Predators hockey team, was the keynote speaker at the 35th Annual JP Morgan Technology Conference, which opened in Boston, on Wednesday.

Balsillie’s speech focused on the arrival of Wi-Fi and the proposed introduction of a “converged Wi-Fi BlackBerry by the back end of this year.”

The reluctance of some companies, including RIM, to get fully behind Wi-Fi was, as Balsillie explains it, because it was over-hyped. RIM is behind its competitors in developing devices with both cellular and Wi-Fi. Motorola Inc. and Nokia Corp. are already selling phones with Wi-Fi and cellular aimed at business users.

"Wi-Fi was overhyped," Balsillie said. "I was not a big believer in it for the first two or three years because it was hyped as something that would subsume everything, that you would get rid of your cell phone. We feel it's complimentary of a cell phone."

But it has hung around and now RIM is ready to embrace the concept and catch up to the rest of the field the field.

You can listen to the entire speech via podcast here .

SpinVox Turns Voice Mail Into E-Mail

spin my vmail If you are like me, you occasionally want to see who left you a voice mail and what that person wanted. If you have ever wondered what would it be like if you could turn your voicemails into text then wonder no more. The Spin-my-Vmail application actually converts your voicemails into text messages and sends them to your mobile phone or e-mail inbox.

SpinVox the makers of Spin-my-Vmail have just announced BlackBerry support for their program. Now, there is no need to dial in to pick up your voicemail - just read your messages on-screen. The voicemail is dropped into your inbox as an e-mail or SMS, which is pretty convenient. It is also a great way to get voice mail when you can't actually use the phone like the movie theatre for example.

Unique to the BlackBerry version, the software syncs the caller’s name with your contacts to allow one click replies via e-mail or phone. RIM execs had a chance to trial the software and were so impressed with what they saw, the trial then became a product. SpinVox is offering a demo version, hit the link here .

Around The World In 80 Days On Your Berry

subway reader

Oscar Wilde once said “A classic is book everyone has heard about but nobody has read.” Well now there is no excuse for not reading your classics. If you have a BlackBerry and a few minutes to spare you can now enjoy a short snippet of some of the world’s great literary classics.

E-mails from www.dailylit.com offer up daily sections of novels like Jules Verne’s “Around the World in 80 Days,” which comes in 82 sections, or can access your inner Russian and take on all 430 sections of “Anna Karenina.” Just think, at 10-minutes a day on your daily commute you can have read the Tolstoy classic in just over a year. Sure beats another game of brickbat.

Currently, the company is offering public domain titles for free although plans are in the works to bring new titles on for a fee.” According to a story in Reuters today, the company has more than 370 titles with more added daily and apparently 50,000 people have registered for some 75,000 titles.

Other authors in the list include Jane Austen, Dostoyevsky and Charles Dickens (which is appropriate since Dickens wrote his novels in installments for magazines.)

Best of WES 2007 - PocketVPN

The next Crackie to be given out in the CrackBerry.com BEST of WES 2007 awards is the "NO BRAINER" AWARD. Why the No Brainer? Because having this application on your BlackBerry is a No Brainer - it just makes sense. The envelope please .... and the winner is ....

PocketVPN  

Best of WES 2007 - PocketVPNWICKSoft's PocketVPN client gives you the power to securely access, view, email, and fax files and documents located on your office network directly through your BlackBerry handheld device. With PocketVPN on your BlackBerry there is no reason to travel with a laptop anymore - you can literally be a continent away from your office and computer and still access any document you need at a moment's notice.

My Introduction to PocketVPN
I first became aware of the PocketVPN application a couple of months ago, but for whatever reason (too busy I guess!) I never gave the available demo a try. But on my first day of WES I met Will Hickie, President of WICKSoft, and after talking to him about the application for a few minutes we quickly hooked up the software on my 8700. WOW. Simple, Functional, and I'll never ever go back to the days of having to email myself files so that I would have them on my BlackBerry. 

PocketVPN is really easy to use. I simply open the application and login with my username and password. From there I am connected to my network drive, where I can see all of my folders and files. Browsing folders is intuitive and easy, and once I locate a file with one click I have the option to view it, see its properties, or email it (clicking email pops up an email window with the file already attached - I just enter in the email address and message and hit send). 

Viewing Folders and Files in Pocket VPN PocketVPN Menu Options Viewing an Image file through PocketVPN

The "No Brainer"
While I was impressed with PocketVPN when the President gave me a demo on the first day of WES, it was the phone call I received the next day from my friend Tyler that both gave name to the "No Brainer" award and allowed PocketVPN to clinch it. I wrote a blog post earlier that morning summing up the events of Day 1, and in it I mentioned Pocket VPN as an application that caught my eye. 

Tyler, who is the VP Operations at a big fresh-cut flowers brokerage company (they supply flowers to big chain grocery stores and retailers throughout North America) and happens to be a frequent bathroom reader of the mobile version of the CrackBerry.com blogs, saw the post and immediately phoned me up...

Tyler: How's Orlando?
Kevin: Good. Moving slow today, free alcohol last night, but Good.
Tyler: You mean I can access files on my network through my BlackBerry with that VPN program?
Kevin: Yeah, that's right.
Tyler: Darn (edited), I need that so bad! Last night I went straight from work to a dinner thing, so I left my laptop at the office. I was home in bed sleeping at 11:30pm and I got a call from from one of the farms in Bogota - they were missing a shipping order and needed it right away. So I had to drive back to the office and and email it to them. By the time I got home and fell back asleep it was almost 4am, and then I had to get up at 5:30am to get back to the warehouse for Mother's day shipping.
Kevin: Dude, that sucks.
Tyler: That should be on every BlackBerry, what a No Brainer. Would have totally saved my crappy (edited) night. When you get back from Orlando make sure you hook me up with it.

And just like that, though it wasn't announced until just now, PocketVPN became the winner of the Best of WES 2007 "No Brainer" Award. Congrats Guys!

More Information: Interview with Will Hickie, More Photos and Discuss PocketVPN in the CrackBerry.com Forums...

Europeans Happier This Morning

euro mobile ratesEuropean BlackBerry and mobile phone users have long complained about the phone fees they have to pay while traveling in other countries. That is about to change.

The BBC reports this morning that the cost of making mobile phone calls in Europe is set to fall substantially after lawmakers backed plans to cap roaming charges. The cost mobile customers are charged by providers for using their devices while abroad should now fall by as much as 75%.

More than 150 million people across Europe will be affected by the changes in the pricing regime.

However, consumers will not feel the benefits of lower prices until late July or early August at the earliest and text messaging will not be covered by the new proposals.

After finding huge differences in what people have to pay in different countries of the EU, it was decided to cap costs for all EU members. Under the plans, the cost of making a mobile call anywhere in the EU would be capped at 49 euro cents a minute in year one, while receiving a call would cost 24 cents at most. These costs will fall to 46 euro cents and 22 cents respectively in year two, and 43 cents and 19 cents in year three.

For example, British mobile users currently have to pay up to 5.92 euros for a four-minute call made while in Spain. Under the changes, this would fall to 1.96 euros.

Where is That Wascally Curve?

Elmer fuddResearch In Motion (RIM) announced the BlackBerry Curve weeks ago, so where are the little devices? People are getting anxious. And I have a few hundred bucks in my pocket burning a hole.

It has been speculated that the blogosphere forced RIM to announce the release earlier than the company had wanted. But that said, it has been a couple of weeks and no one except a few lucky individuals has seen the Curve yet.

AT&T reps are saying they will be receiving the Curve on the 24th of this month, while others think the Curve will be released to compete with the iPhone sometime in June. There are other reports that AT&T will hold a launch party with RIM on June 8th in New York City.

The T-Mobile is another operator who is slated to carry the curve although their people are much more circumspect. Again it is believed they will be releasing the Curve in June.

In Canada, Rogers has announced a release sometime in June.

The Curve, also known as the BlackBerry 8300 series, features a full keyboard instead of the smaller keypad/keyboard hybrid of the Pearl, a new intuitive trackball navigation system, a two megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom, built-in flash, self-portrait mirror and full screen viewfinder.

Sens Coach Murray Puts 'Pearl' Into Lineup for Game 5 Win

Sens Coach Brian Murray with his PearlWhat a hockey game we were treated to on Saturday! For those of you that are not interested in hockey, you can stop reading HERE. :)

The Senators clinched a birth into the Stanley Cup Finals with a 3-2 overtime win in Buffalo. What a thriller! Speaking on behalf of all Canadians (with the exception of Torontonians), GO SENS GO!

During post-game interviews on Saturday, Sens coach Bryan Murray admitted he slipped a new team member into the lineup without anyone noticing.

'Yes, it's true' Murray said. 'I was surprised no one noticed. I brought my BlackBerry Pearl onto the bench today and used it to reference game plans and strategy in my email. It came in handy for sure.'

Murray was also heard to say 'I can't wait to try the new 'curve'. Looks like cutting edge technology'.

While this interview was going on, Sens Captain Daniel Alfredsson was seen shaking his head and quickly left the room. 'No comment' was all we heard from the game winning goal scorer.

Register at CrackBerry.com to Win a BlackBerry Curve or 8830!

Win a BlackBerry Curve or 8830!It's Victoria Day up here in Canada and the CrackBerry Team is taking a well deserved rest.

While the team may be away, we still (as always) have some great deals and prizes for our members.

So if you're not already a member of CrackBerry.com (it's Free)... Register today and you'll be automatically entered in our drawing for a BlackBerry Curve or 8830! No catches, no gimmicks... This is a free givaway!

So what the heck are you waiting for? Become a member and you're automatically entered in our draw for your choice of a BlackBerry Curve or 8830 :)

Click here to become a member of CrackBerry.com

Where Is My Entourage?

adrien grenier blackberry

Where are you guys? I need my entourage here now. I'm lonely and needy and I don't know how to find my pin.

Adrian Grenier of HBO's Entourage is apparently a CrackBerry addict too. 

BlackBerry Desktop Software v4.2 SP2 Now Available!

BlackBerry Desktop Software v4.2 SP2 Now Available It's a mouthful, but BlackBerry Desktop Software v4.2 Service Pack 2 is now available for immediate download from the BlackBerry website.

Why upgrade? Installing v4.2 SP2 will allow you to take advantage of the new BlackBerry Desktop Media Manager (by Roxio) that allows for quick CD ripping, converting and transferring music and video files to your device. Version 4.2 SP2 is available for the BlackBerry Pearl, BlackBerry 8800 Series, and BlackBerry Curve phones.

Download BlackBerry Desktop Software v4.2 SP2

Learn more about the BlackBerry Desktop Media Manager

Talk about v4.2 SP2 in the CrackBerry.com Forums

Best of WES 2007 - OtterBOX 8700

The next winner in the CrackBerry.com BEST of WES 2007 awards has pulled in THREE accolades, winning the  "BEST ACCESSORY AWARD", "BEST FREEBIE GIVEN OUT AT WES AWARD" and "BUSIEST BOOTH AT THE SOLUTIONS SHOWCASE AWARD".  The envelope please .... and the winner is ....

the OtterBOX BlackBerry 8700 Series Case  

The OtterBox BlackBerry 8700 Series Case is a heavy-duty case that makes it possible to take your BlackBerry virtually anywhere. The case features a polycarbonate/ABS shell for maximum strength and rugged durability as well as an innovative rubber overmolding for grip and drop protection. It also provides seaOtterBox BEST of WES 2007led access to keypad, scroll wheel, escape button, power button, mute button and programmable side button. It's the Hummer of BlackBerry cases.

Going into WES I had never personally seen or held an OtterBox Case, though I was already a bit of a fan based on the OtterBox review we published at CrackBerry.com a few weeks ago (it was posted by our occassional guest contributor Robert Loblaw).

The Busiest Booth
Just getting to the OtterBox booth at WES proved to be difficult as a big crowd was always gathered around. You have to remember, WES is primarily geared toward Enterprise solutions, and I think as a result the majority of exhibitors who attend are there to show off their enterprise applications. And while there were many really cool apps at WES, software just doesn't draw in a crowd to the same extent that a near military-grade case for your BlackBerry can. So congrats to the OtterBox team for taking a leap in faith in attending their first WES. The Otterbox crew told me attending the show was a great idea and that it turned out to be a great success for them. I have a feeling at WES 2008 there are going to be a lot more Accessory manufacturers present.

The Best Freebie
This was a toss-up! I was told by a few people at WES that the CrackBerry.com t-shirt was the best schwag given out at the event, but since I only came with 20 of them (I know better for next year!), I'm going to have to give this award to OtterBox for the case the crew was nice enough to give me (afterall, it does have a retail cost of $129.95)! I'm not sure if every visitor to the booth was as lucky as me, but either way I say thanks!

The Best Accessory
Since receiving my OtterBox case I have been using it daily. There's just something about it that I love. It's big, It's bulky... it's cool! It's very easy to use. The case is in two halves - you insert your 8700 face down on top of the keyboard, slide the back of the OtterBox over the phone, and then latch the two halves together. It's nice to hold in your hand - it's big. I've been hounding my dad to get a BlackBerry for a while now, but he's not into slim electronic gadgets that have tiny buttons and are slippery and easy to drop. However, I now think I could sell him addicted to a BlackBerry so long as it's in an OtterBox case! It's definitely has that Old School feel. The operation of the BlackBerry within the Otterbox case is very smooth. Typing on the keyboard is actually really easy and the trackwheel works flawlessly.

OtterBox BlackBerry 8700 Side by Side Comparison

The Great Plural BlackBerry Debate

berries So what do we call our little devices if we find we have more than one of them? BlackBerries or BlackBerrys?

The stress of it all. This debate has caused some considerable uproar in the office. In fact, an office-wide schism has opened up pitting the cult of “ies” against the “ys” and it threatens to rip asunder the whole CrackBerry.com organization. OK that’s a bit of hyperbole, but we grammar nerds can get a little hot under the collar about such things. So I shall, once and for all, lay to rest the great plural Berry debate.

First up, BlackBerries. Using this form of plural would make sense, because that is what used when describing more than one of the fruit and there is the convention of using ‘ies’ when describing the plural of things ending in ‘y’ that are not preceded by a vowel—strawberries, stories, hobbies, companies. I should also point out that the CBC uses BlackBerries in its text stories. Ditto the BBC and a number of tech websites. 

But what of the idea that BlackBerry is a trademarked name and a proper noun and is thus not subject to the usual ‘ies’ convention? That argument has some supporters such as eWeek and the Guardian newspaper. 

Bill Walsh is the Copy Editor at the Washington Post and author of books like ‘Lapsing into a Comma’ and ‘The Elephants of Style,’ and he suggests that proper nouns are not changed when made into a plural, for example he says “it’s Grammys, not Grammies.”

The Canadian Press’s own stylebook also makes that point, but then goes onto say there are exceptions like “Rockies” and “Tommies.” How Canadian.

RIM is no help either. Nowhere do they refer to their devices in the plural, except to call them BlackBerry Wireless Devices or BlackBerry Smartphones. I see the hands of lawyers all over that. Employees of RIM actually refer to them as ‘BBs.’ Grrrrrr.

In Scotland, members of the Scottish Parliament from the Scottish National Party apparently call their BlackBerry devices “Brambles,” which is a British word for a blackberry bush. Perhaps we should all adopt that convention.

And what of CrackBerry? Is that a proper noun now? One assumes it should follow the same convention as BlackBerry.

Finally, I decided on democracy. Yes that great tool of democratic thought, Google, would seal my choice. But, alas, a Google search for both choices showed the world split evenly. BBC, CBC, Mobile Gazette and Computer Weekly on one side eWeek, The Guardian and MSNBC on the other. A little judicious searching also shows that USA Today apparently doesn’t have a copy editor as it has stories featuring both BlackBerrys and BlackBerries. Nice.

So it is decision time. While I have been a champion of ‘BlackBerries’ for purely esthetic reasons, I must cast my lot with Bill Walsh. While technically they are BlackBerry Wireless Devices, the Grammys are also, technically, the Gramophone Awards. So with that, the choice is clear. BlackBerrys it is.

Disagree? Have arguments to the contrary? Go to the CrackBerry forums to vote and have your say.

Interview with Michael Hughes, Ring2s Co-Founder/Co-CEO

Ring2 Conference Controller for BlackBerry
Ring2 Conference Controller for BlackBerry

After pounding the conference floor at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium and hiding out in the demo theatres reviewing the myriad solutions on display at this year’s impressive show, we just had to consider the cunningly simple Ring2 Conference Controller to be one of the Best Ideas of WES 2007. The application allows call leaders to take remote control of their conference calls to see and control who’s on the call, solving those every day conferencing nightmares that we all face. We sat down with Michael Hughes, Ring2’s Co-Founder and Co-CEO, to learn more… 

My 43 Minutes with Jim Balsillie, CEO of RIM

The CEO of BlackBerry meets the CEO of CrackBerry

The CEO of CrackBerry Meets the CEO of BlackBerry

The 2007 Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) is now a part of history. For those who don’t know, WES is an annual event hosted by Research in Motion that brings together more than 3,000 IT professionals and business executives from around the globe and presents the latest information to help organizations define and implement wireless strategies. The majority of the 10 million + BlackBerry devices in use throughout corporations worldwide are represented at WES. Over the three-day event I walked up to countless attendees and posed the question “How many Blackberrys on your BES (BlackBerry Exchange Server)?” to the typical response of either, 800, 8,000, or 18,000+.

I attended the Orlando, Florida, event in my role as CEO (CrackBerry Executive Officer) of CrackBerry.com, which I co-founded less than three months ago and aims to be a one-stop shop for all things BlackBerry. I’m a loyal user (some would argue “abuser”) of the BlackBerry device and thought there just had to be a CrackBerry.com and took the initiative to start it. The site offers something for every BlackBerry user -- from a store that offers the latest in blackberry accessories and software, to BlackBerry news and reviews, community forums, and even a “Rehab” section for those BlackBerry users who need to get their BlackBerry use under control. The term “CrackBerry” was inspired by the addictive nature of the BlackBerry handheld device, and has become so ubiquitous that Webster’s dictionary named “CrackBerry” the 2006 “New Word of the Year”.

I missed the deadline for applying to get a WES press pass, so I went to the event as a “regular attendee”. While I did report back to CrackBerry.com with breaking news from WES, I decided to spend the majority of the time getting to meet and know as many people in the BlackBerry world as possible. I came back to Winnipeg with many new friends and acquaintances in the BlackBerry world (it was well worth the trip!).

Between the conference and parties WES offered 3-days of non-stop action, but the highlight of the event for me had to be the 43 minutes I got to spend with Research in Motion’s Co-CEO Jim Balsillie. RIM’s other Co-CEO is Mike Lazaridis and these two men were the stars of the show. At WES they are the celebrities –Jim and/or Mike could often be seen running between meetings and appointments, always accompanied by a small entourage of dark suits. This is probably to be expected considering they do head a multi-billion dollar company. Unless you have an appointment, trying to get their time and attention would be difficult to say the least.

James Bond at the WES 2007 Verizon Wireless Party But I lucked in. On the second night of WES, after the breakout sessions and vendor showcase had wound down for the day, I attended a WES party sponsored by Verizon Wireless. The party had a cool James Bond “BlackBerry Royale” theme, and it was a few hours into the night when I almost bumped right into Jim (I had my head down checking my e-mails on my Berry as I walked - hence how I took note of the time I began talking to Jim).

I of course recognized Mr. Balsillie -- I stuck out my hand and while we shook I said, “Hi, I’m the guy who started CrackBerry.com”. In retrospect it wasn’t the most eloquent thing I could have said, but it probably was fitting considering I was wearing a bright green t-shirt that was stamped with a bright orange CrackBerry.com logo.

Jim wore a big smile, said “Hello” right back at me and seemed open for conversation. After all, it was a party and we were each holding a drink.

Forty three minutes later I walked away from Jim with him getting in the last words, “It was good to meet you!”

While it wasn’t an interview I garnered lots of information and advice from the RIM CEO. I wasn’t taking notes, but what he said is permanently engrained in my memory. Initially, I talked to Jim about our successes in launching CrackBerry.com and gave him my overview of what we had accomplished so far and what we are working towards achieving. I never asked him if he had heard of the site or if he had visited it, but my two days spent at WES so far had indicated to me that most people in the business of BlackBerrys had heard of us (with a domain name like CrackBerry.com word travels fast!). 

Best of WES 2007 - SimulSays

And the winner of the CrackBerry.com BEST of WES 2007 "MUST HAVE APPLICATION AWARD"  is.... the envelope please ....

SimulSays

SimulScribe Best of WES 2007 "MUST HAVE APPLICATION" winnerSimulSays is the kind of application that will actually change your life - you will never login to your voicemail ever again.  SimulSays uses cutting edge voice recognition technology to convert your voicemail messages into text (voicemail messages are converted to text using the proprietary SimulScribe service). From there, SimulSays automatically downloads the transcribed message to your phone, along with the original audio. You have the option to either read your voicemail (as you would any email) or you can choose to listen to the audio via the SimulScribe app.

Another Major benefit to SimulSays? If you have multiple messages (let's say 7 of them), you can go through the messages on your phone in any order you choose. There's no need to read/listen to the first message before going onto the second or third. So if Message five is the important one, you can go straight to it. Think back a few months and you will remember Steve Jobs talking about the iPhone having this type of technology. Well, SimulSays beat Apple to the punch and brings it to your BlackBerry! Visual Voicemail is already here!

I spent a lot of time at WES playing with the SimulSays application, as at first glance the demo I saw almost seemed to good to be true (it worked that unbelievably well). But I stress tested the application - I left voice messages, I had other people leave voice messages, and in every instance within a few minutes of leaving a voicemail the messages appeared on the phone, with the text translations being spot on.

Drawbacks? Right now SimulSays only works on the BlackBerry Pearl, BlackBerry 8800 and BlackBerry Curve. If you're running an older Berry then you are out of luck! So right now I personally have a bit of a love/hate relationship with SimulSays. I LOVE the application, but HATE the fact I'm running a BlackBerry 8700r. But that's ok - I was looking for a reason to upgrade and this application is IT.

Visit SimulSays' website for more details... Congrats SimulScribe! 

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