CES 2010: Case-Mate Announces go Bare Solution-Free Protective Skins for BlackBerry

Case-Mate announced today they will be adding a new line of protective skins to their lineup of BlackBerry cases. The new go Bare protective films will be solution-free "instant application" skins for all devices. The invisible film will protect the entire device, without the need of any sprays or solution for application. You will be able to apply, reapply and take off the film as many times as needed with no damage or residue on the device itself.

 "With go Bare, we're using cutting-edge technology to create a new category of solution-free mobile phone protection - an invisible film that completely shields against potential nicks and scratches without compromising the look of the device," said Shashi Reddy, founder and CEO, case-mate. "While many people like to adorn their device with colorful cases, there are just as many who want to preserve its beauty and go Bare is the ideal solution, as it's easy-to-use, offers maximum protection and maintains the integrity of the product's original design."

The go Bare line will be available in mid-February for most devices and cost $24.99 for full-body protection. For more information check out case-mate.com. Full press release after the jump.

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Ford Partners with OpenBeak, Pandora and Stitcher to Bring Twitter & Internet Radio Control to Vehicles

Ford announced today partnerships with Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak that will allow for voice control via SYNC enabled vehicles. The new system will allow users to control their internet radio and update Twitter with steering wheel controls and voice commands. The SYNC-enabled applications will be available "through the same app store interfaces consumers currently use" ie. BlackBerry App World.

"To use OpenBeak, Pandora or Stitcher in the car right now, drivers have to take their eyes off the road and manually control the device," explained VanDagens. "Recent research shows that activity that draws drivers' eyes off the road substantially increases the risk of accidents. By allowing drivers to control the app through SYNC's voice commands and steering wheel buttons, we can hopefully reduce distraction for millions of drivers wanting to enjoy these apps during their commutes." 

No exact date has been set for when the features will be available, but it should be sometime later this year. A SYNC SDK will be rolled out as well, allowing developers to modify and create mobile applications to work with the system. Check out the full press release after the jump.

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Since the entire SPE editor team is here at CES in Las Vegas, it made perfect sense to take some time away from ogling gadgets and chatting up our friends in the blogosphere to record a podcast. We talk up what we've seen so far, including the Nexus One, Motorola Backflip and BlackBerry Presenter; we also chatted a bit about what we're hoping to see at Palm's event today.

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CES 2010: Pong Research Offers Cases To Protect You From Cell Phone Radiation

For the past little while there has been a lot of information in the media regarding cell phone radiation and the possible effects it has on a cell phone user. The information has actually sparked conversation about the possibility of cell phones having to come with the issuance of a warning label attached to them in some states. Pong Research is looking to help calm the help everyone out with their recently announced protection cases which claim to stop up to 60% of all cell phone radiation. They have even got the FFC's backing with their claims through the laboratory tests the FCC has completed.

While using the protective cases signal levels remain unaffected which also effectively maintains battery life while offering radiation protection. At this point you can grab the case for iPhone, iPhone 3GS and more recently announced BlackBerry offerings coming compatible with 8300, 8310, 8320, and 8330 Curve series devices. Price is a little steep for me as each case will cost ya $49.99 but if radiation is a concern for you, price likely will not matter. 

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CES 2010: BlackBerry Presenter In Action

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

The results from our poll yesterday were mixed, but for the most part it looks like most of you think that the BlackBerry Presenter is a "Good Idea... But something I would never buy or use". Well if you're curious about just how it works and want to take a closer look, check out the video above from Inside BlackBerry. Ryan gives a quick look at the features and functions of RIM's newest accessory. Also, if you didn't already, don't forget to enter to win a BlackBerry Presenter of your own!

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Get e-GPS for Just $0.99 Until January 14th

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Back in October we checked out remote tracking software e-GPS. Felix let me know that the app is currently on sale for just $0.99 through January 14th (down from $4.99). The app lets you track and wipe your device remotely, all via email commands. You can locate the device by GPS, and even email your contacts list to youself should the device go missing. e-GPS is a great alternative to some subscription based trackers if you're willing to sacrifice for fewer options. Head over to the CrackBerry App Store to pick up e-GPS at a huge discount.

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CES 2010: Multiplied Media Rolls Out Latest Version Of Poynt

The good folks from Multiplied Media are on hand at CES 2010 showing off and answering questions about their awesome BlackBerry application, Poynt. The good news is that, just a few days after shutting down their beta testing of the version 1.5.2.25 release they now have available version 1.5.2.36 for download.

Poynt has taken a lot of feedback generated from the beta and put it to work in the latest version. Aside from UI changes such as the live updating weather backgrounds, you can now search local gas prices in addition to the many already great features like business lookup, reverse number lookup and viewing movie trailers. Be sure to grab the latest update which is available now in BlackBerry App World or via the Poynt website.

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CES 2010: Energizer Shows Off New Charging Solutions

CES 2010: Energizer Shows Off New Charging Solutions

Last night was the Digital Experience show in Las Vegas, which kicked off the "pre" CES celebrations. Energizer was on hand to show off some of their upcoming products some of which fit in the Energi To Go line. With everything from solar powered chargers to in pocket solutions being shown off Energizer looks as though they preparing for consumers to never have to worry about a dead battery ever again.

One such solution shown off was the EnergiStick that offers micro and mini USB connection options which can keep your individual device charged for an extra 30 minutes on the go. Perfect for those times you need that extra boost to get you through till you get home.

[ Engadget ]

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Official BlackBerry Curve 8900 OS 5.0.0.411 Released By Multiple Carriers

Was only a matter of time before we seen the release of OS 5.0.0.411 for the BlackBerry Curve 8900. Seeing how the Bold 9000 version was released just the other day, we can expect to see some others roll out as well. If you are already running the 5.0.0.411 leak, no need to upgrade from that since this is indeed the exact same release. Enjoy folks and keep your eyes open for more 5.0 releases. If you are for the first time upgrading to 5.0 remember to remove your vendor.xml file.

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Using Profiles on Your BlackBerry Smartphone

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Way back when (nearly two years ago) we posted a BlackBerry 101 article on creating and editing sound profiles on your BlackBerry. Well as the OS has progressed, so have the profile options and we figured it was time to take another look at just how to get your profiles setup. Seasoned BlackBerry vets will most likely already know all about using profiles, but new users still constantly have questions on just how to get all their notifications and alerts up and running. Take a look at the video above to get yourself on the right track.

For older OS versions (which vary slightly), you can still check out our original article on Creating and Editing Profiles and Notifications. If you're a Tour or Storm user on OS 4.7, you will be missing some of the newer options, but can take a look at this post to see how to get the most out of your profile settings.

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Clickfree SD Card Lets You Backup Your PC/Mac Through Your BlackBerry Smartphone

According to Venture Beat, this coming April Clickfree will release a micro-SD card that will allow for PC and Mac backups through your BlackBerry Smartphone. The 16GB Clickfree Traveler for BlackBerry will carry automatic backup software, allowing you to easily backup your computer data on the go. Simply plug your device into your PC or Mac via USB, and the data will be backed up without the need for an internet connection or another external device. This could be extremely handy for those who travel often and need a quick and painless backup method for their data. Granted some users will take up space on the card with pictures, videos or music, but 16GB is plenty to backup a good amount of data in addition to storing other media items. No word on price yet, but the card is set to ship April 5th. 

[VentureBeat]

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

A few weeks back we checked out Call Blocker Professional from Epic Applications. The response was overwhelming, and the app is topping the charts in both the CrackBerry App Store and BlackBerry App World. Call Blocker allows you to easily block numbers and better manage your incoming calls. You can block area codes, specific numbers, whitelist your contacts and even set "quiet times". Call Blocker Professional fully integrates with the Options screen and helps you take back control of all your calls. From now through January 12th, you can pick up Call Blocker Professional for $1.49 (regularly $5.99) in the CrackBerry App Store.

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Griddler Game from Tafasa - 50 Copies to Give Away

Griddler

I got word from Tafasa that they have released another cool game for BlackBerry called Griddler. Griddlers (aka Nonograms) are logic puzzles that are very similar to Sudoku, where the goal is to fill in the boxes based on numbers along the sides. The game may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it Griddler is definitely a good way to kill time and occupy your mind.

Griddler offers three different board sizes providing fun for all ages. Your goal is to try to get the fastest time for each board. The game provides an infinite number of randomly generated puzzles, which means the fun will never end! If you don't have enough time to finish the puzzle in one sitting, Griddler will save the puzzle state when you exit the game so you can finish later. A detailed How To Play section will help answer any other gameplay questions. 

Griddler sells for $2.99 in the CrackBerry App Store but is on sale for just $0.99 through January 31st.  We have 50 copies of Griddler to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST.

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We've heard before that Chevy was working alongside OnStar to come up with a mobile application that would interact with the much talked about electric Chevy Volt. The official announcement actually arrived back in December. Engadget got an up close and personal look at the interaction the application has with the Volt in their hands on video posted above.

Working between your device (BlackBerry, iPhone or Android) and the OnStar backend you can monitor and manage quite a few aspects of the Volt all from your mobile device. Things such as checking the charging status, reviewing driving statistics and of course locking or unlocking the doors, beeping the horn and finally, starting the car up. Pretty cool connectivity with your car, the only bad thing about it is that you likely have to wait until the end of 2010 or 2011 in order to make use of the application as that's when Chevy expects the Volt to roll out to consumers.

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Introducing the BlackBerry Presenter - New Bluetooth Accessory from RIM Delivers Presentations Wirelessly

NICE. CES 2010 hasn't even kicked off yet and already RIM is throwing a little suprise at us with the announcement of their latest accessory for BlackBerry Smartphones, the BlackBerry Presenter! The BlackBerry Presenter connects to your BlackBerry Smartphone wirelessly via Bluetooth and from there the BlackBerry Presenter can be connected to a monitor or projector via VGA or S-Video connections. Once connected, you can present your Microsoft Powerpoint presentation to the monitor/projector straight from your BlackBerry - no more need for a laptop!

An accessory like this to me seems pretty useful and pretty logical. The concept is obviously very similar to the BlackBerry Music Gateway, which allows you to stream music from your device to your stereo. While not as mass market as something like the Music Gateway, I'm sure there are a lot of road warriors and mobile professionals out there who will find great value in this and pick one up. You can let us know what you think about in the poll below. You can learn more at blackberry.com/presenter.

What do you think of RIM's new BlackBerry Presenter Accessory?(surveys)

Contest: Win a Free BlackBerry Presenter! - We don't have the BlackBerry Presenter available for purchase just yet, but when it hits ShopCrackBerry.com inventory we'll send one out to the winner of this contest. Just leave a comment to this blog post letting us know how you'd make use of the BlackBerry Presenter in your life if you were to buy / own one. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Good luck!

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

What a nice present to wake up to - a new video of the hopefully soon to be announced BlackBerry Pearl 9100. It's 4:45am as I'm typing this... I just woke up from a short winter's nap and am about to head to the airport to catch my flight to Vegas for CES 2010. The event officially kicks off tomorrow and in last night's Leaving for CES 2010 post I made note that maybe, just maybe RIM would announce the new BlackBerry Pearl this week. Could this be an omen then that it'll happen? The video was recorded fresh (it's blurry on the zoom-ins, but you can still tell the top post on the CrackBerry mobile site is from yesterday). I guess we'll know soon enough.

Hopefully RIM will announce the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 this week and will have some units on-hand at their booth for me to play with. If so, I'll be reporting back soon with a BlackBerry Pearl 9100 review (and some video that's in better focus!). Big thanks to our friend of CrackBerry for sending this in!

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CrackBerry Goes to Las Vegas This Week for CES 2010

The Consumer Electronics Show is pretty much the biggest gadget show of the year and it goes down this week in Las Vegas. Per usual when it comes to live conferences that involve BlackBerry Smartphones, CrackBerry will be bringing back tons of coverage. Adam and Bla1ze are staying home for this one, so they'll be on top of the press releases as soon as they hit the wire, while I'll be roaming the show floors to get the hands-on look at everything and will report back to the blogs with lots of photos and vids. As for the stuff going down between blog posts, you'll want to follow @crackberry and @crackberrykevin on twitter. I'll be firing up lots of photos via twitpic.

Our CrackBerry Twitter Twelpers @obigeorge and @michaelwpg are also making the trip to Vegas as are our forums moderators @kasperapd and @garz76. Click there names to visit their twitter pages and follow them. I'm sure there'll be a lot of interesting tweets going on there (especially the ones late at night).

So what can we expect for BlackBerry at CES 2010?

I don't want to make any prediction predictions, but hopefully before this week comes to an end we'll have a new officially-announced BlackBerry to talk about, some cool new accessories to drool over and some new apps to download. On the device front, I think it's about time the new BlackBerry Pearl get announced. It's not a revolutionary device, but it's a needed one and CES 2010 makes a good place to unveil it. It's almost surprising that we haven't seen all that much of it just yet. On the accessory front, though it's not made by RIM, my fingers are crossed I'll get to put on that inPulse SmartWatch for BlackBerry Smartphones to see how it feels, and I'm sure we'll see lots of third party developers make app announcements this week. And I'm sure there'll be a surprise or two we didn't expect at all. It should be a great start to the BlackBerry new year, so stay tuned!!

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You may have heard that we're taking a short break from the 3rd annual Smartphone Round Robin for CES this year (and for our own sanity, truth be told.) Lucky for you, we have just the thing to tide you over this week: two podcasts with your favorite editors from the Smartphone Experts Network.

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OS 5.0 Update: Official Statement from Research in Motion Regarding Availability of OS 5.0

With 2009 a memory and 2010 now upon us, I have been seeing a ton of forum posts, tweets and emails from BlackBerry owners wondering when handheld device software version 5.0 will become officially available for their device. While the newest BlackBerry Smartphones to hit the market are shipping with 5.0 (think Storm2, Bold 9700, Curve 8530) and a couple already-on-the-market devices have received the update (VZW Storm 9530), there are still literally millions of devices in the hands of users waiiting to receive some five point oh love. With holidays over, I reached out to RIM for an update on the situation, since our previous 5.0 update pegged it to be out before the end of 2009.  Here's the statement:

RIM began rolling out BlackBerry OS 5.0 late last year through our carrier partners for supported devices, including the BlackBerry Bold 9700, BlackBerry Storm and BlackBerry Storm2. We continue to work with our carrier partners to make BlackBerry OS 5.0 available to users on new and other supportable in-market BlackBerry smartphones. 

So what's this mean? It comes down to this... RIM held up their end of the bargain per their word. They made OS 5.0 available through their partner portal to their carrier partners prior to the end of 2009. After that, it's really up to the carriers to sign-off (pass technical acceptance) on the updated firmware and push it out their subscribers. The 5.0 software is there.

Going forward, the forum threads and tweets and emails shouldn't say When is RIM going to make OS 5.0 officially available for my device? but rather When is insert carrier name going to make 5.0 available for insert device name? I know. It's not the update you were maybe hoping to hear, but that's where it's at.

Feel free to leave a comment to this post begging your carrier to push out 5.0 for your BlackBerry. It might not help, but certainly won't hurt! And you'll feel better. :)

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Pandora App for BlackBerry A to Z

Pandora App for BlackBerry A to Z
[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Pandora for BlackBerry was picked as the top streaming media app for BlackBerry in our Best of 2009 Awards, so we figured it would be worth giving it a quick A to Z for those of you who haven't tried it out. Pandora is totally free, and lets you stream custom radio stations to your device. You can create stations right from the app, and tweak them to your liking with Pandora's "thumbs-up" and "thumbs-down" buttons. The app syncs up with any stations you've created through the web or another device, and gives you a quick and easy way to stream music on the go. This is really a "no frills" app - its does what it needs to with no excessive options or erroneous features. Check out the video above for a look at what Pandora has to offer.

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