Rumor: BlackBerry Slider to be Released Next Month?! (We'd like to believe.. but...)

Some BlackBerry Slider excitement is going around the net this morning based on a quote given by the CEO of  Korean-based parts supplier used by Research in Motion. According to the translation, the CEO of Woojeon & Handan said:

"The Canadian company RIM famous for BlackBerry smartphones is releasing a new model next month. Known as the "T," The new model is an ambitious product aimed at competing against iPhone's storm of success. Rim will present it ("T") as its flagship model to compete in global markets such as the U.S. and Europe." 

We've said in the blogs and podcasts lots of times now that the BlackBerry originally codenamed "talledaga" or "mr. t" for short is RIM's vertical slider device, so there's no doubt in our minds here that the slider is the device here. As for getting released next month, well.... I'd love to believe it, but think that's a bit optimistic.  Though I guess it always depends on the definititions used in the smartphone game with words like released / announced / launched, etc., but I have my doubts you'll be able to walk into a store and buy a BlackBerry slider by the end of April. 

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Add to Contact 2

Add To Contact 2 is a handy little utility app for your BlackBerry that makes it easy to add new info (like a PIN, email address or phone number) to a contact that already exists in your address book. All you need to do is menu click on the info as you see it, like in the body of an email for example, and from there select Add to Existing Contact. It's simple and it's handy. Add to Contact 2 features include:

  • Add phone numbers from call log entries
  • Add phone numbers from SMS messages
  • Add E-Mail addresses from E-Mails
  • Add PINs from PIN messages
  • Ability to select a phone number type on adding or just use the first one
  • Replace already existing phone numbers
  • Phone number formatting
  • Add phone numbers or E-Mail addresses from any web page opened in browser
  • Add phone numbers or E-Mail addresses from body of any SMS, E-Mail or PIN message
  • Add E-mail addresses from E-mail's CC and BCC fields
  • Add phone numbers to existing or new contact just after incoming call finished 

If you jump over to the Add To Contact 2 product page in the CrackBerry App Store, you can see this app has maintained a 5 Star rating and has received some glowing reviews from users. It's definitely worth checking out (free trial available).  

Deal of the Day - Save 50%: As today's Deal of the Day, you can save 50% on Contact To Me 2 and get it for only $1.47 (normally $2.95).

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Official OS 5.0.0.517 For The BlackBerry Storm 2 (9550)  Released By SaskTel

BlackBerry Storm 2 (9550) owners can now get in on some update love. SaskTel has just release OS 5.0.0.517 for you all. We haven't got much feedback to offer on this release. So you guys know the drill, let us know in the comments what the deal is with the OS release. And remeber, back up your data and remove any vendor.xml files ya find if SaskTel is not your carrier. Enjoy!

[ BBOS ]
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Official BlackBerry Tumblr Application Now Available

Official BlackBerry Tumblr Application Now Available

As trentm in the forums posted, Tumblr has rolled out their own official BlackBerry application. Personally, I'm a Posterous fan myself but if you frequent using Tumblr you'll want to check the app out for sure. From what I can tell, all native Tumblr functions are in place within the app. For example text, audio and even video show as being supported features and this is only the first version. Give it shot if you are a Tumblr user and let us know how it works out for ya. 

Check Out Tumblr Staff Blog For More Information And Downloads

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If you remember back at Devcon, EA Mobile gave us a tease of the Open GL ES Support with the game Need for Speed Shift 3D. Well it looks like the time has finally come, and it is now available for purchase in BlackBerry App World. The game looked amazing when we first saw the demo, and I'm sure the full release won't disappoint. Highlights of Need for Speed Shift 3D include:

  • Take a Real Racer's Point of View - The dynamic camera angle gives you a hyper-realistic driving experience.
  • Get Precision Fingertip Control - Touch to break, swipe to activate boost, and activate drift with a quick tilt of your device. Finely tuned accelerometer steering and touch controls respond to you.
  • Choose Muscle or Performance or Both - Purchase, upgrade, and personalize cars in the Career Mode workshop.
  • Race to the Top - Get gold stars for winning events and bonus blue stars for driving with precision and aggression. Get enough, and unlock more thrilling and challenging events!

Check out the video about for a look at the version that was shown off at DevCon. Once we get it fired up we'll do a little video of our own. Also, as it stands it looks as if its currently only supported on the 9550. While the $9.99 price tag is a bit steep, if the game plays as good as it looks it may be well worth it. If you do purchase it, give it a ride and drop a comment with your thoughts.

More information and purchase of Need for Speed Shift 3D

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Attention Developers: Win up to $10,000 in the BlackBerry Green Application Challenge

If you're a developer looking to put your skills to good use and maybe win some money while doing it, you're in luck. The Ryerson Entrepreneurship Green Team in association with Research In Motion and the BlackBerry Partners Fund are holding the first annual BlackBerry Green Application Challenge. They are looking for new applications that will be listed in App World. The basis of the contest is to create an app that solves a common environmental issue within a company. The challenge is open now and runs through April 14th. The winning app developer can receive up to $10,000 and a BlackBerry Storm 9530. Two runners up will receive $1,000 and a 9530. If you think you can make it happen, head over to bbappchallenge.com for more info and full contest details.

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CardStar App For BlackBerry Smartphones Coming May 1st

What is CardStar you say? Its a very cool little app that lets you store all of your "convenience cards" in one place. Instead of having loads of cards or keytags for the video store, gym, car rental agencies, pet store, library, hotels or supermarkets, you just need the CardStar app on your mobile device. You simply enter your card information, and the bardcode can be displayed right on the screen. No more carting around loads of plastic cards that get lost and worn out. There are loads of retailers in the CardStar database, and you can submit a request for addional retailers if yours isn't listed in the system.

The CardStar app is listed as coming soon, and a tweet by @mycardstard yesterday stated the app will be hitting BlackBerry on May 1st. Definitely something to look forward to. I know I'm excited to ditch all those worn out tags on my keychain in favor of this app. For more details, hit up mycardstar.com. Thanks to Ben for sending this in!

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RIM Offering BlackBerry Push Service To All BlackBerry Developers

Back during the BlackBerry Developers Conference last year, Research In Motion made the announcement that the BlackBerry Push APIs would be available to all developers for free within the first half of 2010. In keeping with their promise, Research In Motion has made available today two levels of push services. 

  • BlackBerry Push Essentials - is a free service that developers can incorporate into their applications and allows them to push content to their customers with unparalleled immediacy.
  • BlackBerry Push Plus - which has a free tier and paid tiers, provides developers with notification that their push has been delivered. If a content provider needs to get information to someone, they can tell if the target device has received the push. 

While this is great news for developers, it's also great news for end users. Many applications out there already make use of push services. But previously, those services cost quite a bit for developers to implement into applications. Now with two service offerings being available to developers for either free or on a paid basis we should see plenty more apps delivering content. With all this push goodness happening, makes me wonder how much more use it's going to see in later OS'.

[ BBDevBlog ]

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How Do You Use Your BlackBerry Series: Do You Use Voice Commands?
  Do you use voice commands on your BlackBerry?survey

We're back again for our second installment of our How Do You Use Your BlackBerry Series. Last weeks AutoDim results showed what I pretty much expected, almost 80% of the 10,000 that voted keep the Automatically Dim Backlight setting on. Some good comments as to just why you do or don't use it, my favorite being "Off because it does what it wants anyway".

Well this week we're back with another burning question. If you listened to our last CrackBerry Podcast, you'll remember we quickly discussed the voice dialing/commands feature. The Voice Activated Dialing is a pre-installed feature and is mapped to the side convenience key right out of the box. If can be useful for getting around the device using voice commands, and for making calls when in the car or on the go simply by speaking. So my question this week is, do you use voice commands on your BlackBerry? After you vote be sure to leave a comment telling us why you do or don't use this feature.

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Happy Saint Patrick's Day from CrackBerry.com (Yes, we're half Irish)


Everyone is speaking with a slight accent, has the corned beef stewing and is getting set to drink some green beer (or just Campari). The happiest Irish holiday of the year is here, and we've got some wallpapers and themes to dress up your Berry for the long night out. You'll want your device looking its best and matching your once-a-year green sweater. Our galleries are full of wallpapers for St. Patty's Day (you just have to do a little digging), be it Guinness, Ireland, something Irish or just something green. If you're looking to go all out, you can check out some great free and paid St. Patrick's Day themes for all devices as well. You can also take a look at our ringtone gallery and are sure to find something to get you in the holiday spirit. Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Remember the screen captures of that "personal concierge" app RIM put into a BlackBerry Developer presentation that had people wondering if by chance it could be a glimpse of what OS 6.0 is going to look like? It has been the cause of a lot of interesting conversation in the forums and must have struck a chord with theme developer WJD Designs too as demonstrated by their new theme SIX which emulates the app design in a theme and even makes room for two widget-styled apps. WJD Designs worked with Toysoft to put a working analog clock and calendar into the theme. Definitely cool to see some collaboration in the app/theme space.

There is a LOT to SIX, so be sure to watch the video above and jump over to the product page for the full description. It's available for the BlackBerry Storm2/Storm, Bold 9700/9000, Tour 9630 and Curve 8900. The theme normally costs $4.99 but is on sale right now for $2.99 until March 20th. The Calendar and Clock applications are in 7-day trial mode and each sell for $1.99 normally, but are discounted to 99 cents each when purchased via the installed theme. 

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Has Your YouTube Video Playback Quality Increased On Your BlackBerry?

One gripe often heard about BlackBerry smartphones anytime, anyone mentions YouTube and BlackBerry together is that YouTube streaming on BlackBerry looks like crap. At some point, last week Youtube seemed to increase the quality on their mobile site for BlackBerry devices. Many others have noticed this as well, in the forums and even on Twitter. I've seen this mentioned on more than one occasion in my Twitter stream by different individuals.

Some are attributing it to some optimization made through their YouTube accounts as described in the forums. However, having not tried this method myself I'm quite certain that isn't all there is to the story. Especially since my videos are looking much better without having done anything. Let us know in the polls folks.

Has Your YouTube Video Quality Increased?polling
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Official OS 5.0.0.545 For The BlackBerry Bold 9700 Released By Vodafone UK

It's almost as if Research In Motion and Vodafone had this one scheduled huh? As we mentioned back when it leaked, OS 5.0.0.545 hit that "Gold" status we were expecting. The one time leaked OS gone official is now available for download from the Vodafone UK website. If you never made use of the leaked version maybe you'll wanna try the official on for size. As always, if Vodafone isn't your carrier make sure you delete the vendor.xml file. Shout out to cbaboy88 for finding it first.

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Opera Mini 5 No Longer Running Beta, Final Version Released

While we all sit and wait to see what Research In Motion is going to bring with its WebKit browser, the folks at Opera Software are going full steam ahead. Long the chosen alternative over the built in BlackBerry browser, Opera Software has finally taken Opera Mini 5 out of beta. As noted in the press release:

Today’s release puts the finishing touches on the Opera mobile-browsing duo. The focus is on delivering the best Internet experience on nearly any mobile phone, along with a unified look and feel and innovative favorite features, such as Speed Dial, password manager and tabbed browsing.

Keeping in mind the needs and wants of our 50+ million users, we have emphasized speed, desktop-like functionality and data savings in our mobile browsers. Today, we have made it even easier for everyone to surf, search and socialize on the Web,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software.

It may be quite some time yet before we see the WebKit browser from RIM. In the meantime, rather then suffering through the horrific browsing experience the BlackBerry offers, you can check out Opera Mini 5.

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BlackBerry Accessory Roundup: Automobile Edition - Chance to Win a Free Car Charger!

This Week's Featured Item: Micro/Mini USB Car Charger

 
BlackBerry MicroUSB Charger (see all car chargers)
  Do you own / would you buy a Car Charger for your BlackBerry?polls

Compared to the competition, BlackBerry Smartphones typically have pretty stellar battery life (especially that magical Bold 9700). That being the case, I'm sure every BlackBerry owner reading this can relate to a time when they ran out of juice before having a chance to get back home or to the office to plugin.

Just last week actually I was on day two of my battery and was driving out to my parents in the early evening (mom's bday) and my battery level dipped into the red. It wasn't a big deal for me as I just plugged my BlackBerry into the Car Charger I keep in my vehicle and recharged the phone. For me this is a no brainer - as long as I have owned a BlackBerry I have always made sure to have a car charger... just in case. This event prompted me to wonder if all BlackBerry owners are like me and have car charger? Had I not, I would have had a rough evening of being unconnected. 

Be sure to cast your vote on the poll above. I'm really curious to see the results of this one. From there, if you don't own one I suggest you pick one up. It's definitely a must-have BlackBerry accessory in my book.

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More Verizon Push to Talk Information Surfaces

More Verizon Push to Talk Information Surfaces

We got our hands on a PDF from Big Red today and it looks like Push to Talk will definitely be coming to the BlackBerry Tour. We had heard rumors as the last few leaked OS versions surfaced (PTT files and alerts were included in the OS), and a few days ago some additional info popped up in the forums. My question (as I'm sure many of you are already thinking) is if this new service will finally bring the long awaited Tour OS update. Highlights of the PTT service as outlined in the document include:

  • Connect with team members in the next room or across the country.
  • Make group calls with up to 50 participants.
  • Use Presence to see who's available for Push to Talk calls.
  • Manage Push to Talk contacts for your entire company online.
  • Access email and the Web while you're on Push to Talk calls.

Push to Talk will be available as a $5 add-on feature and should be official late this month or in early April. For more information, head to verizonwireless.com/ptt (although nothing noted about the Tour on that site just yet).

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