SmrtGuard Facebook Contest: 100 Six-Month SmrtGuard Subscriptions to be Won!

Our friends at SmrtGuard are running a contest that we figured the CrackBerry community would want to know about... so before you leave a comment to this post (that won't give you a chance to win on this contest) read through the details below straight from SmrtGuard:

In celebration of our revamp of the SmrtGuard.com website and new SmrtGuard Facebook page, SmrtGuard is giving away 100 Semi-annual subscription FREE. HERE IS HOW IT WORKS:

1. Visit www.SmrtGuard.com and click on the Facebook link on the bottom of the page.

2. Post a wall comment on SmrtGuard Facebook page about why you need smrtguard or if you have smrtguard already, why you like it.

3. 100 lucky winners will be picked by Oct 6th. If you are an existing user, your subscription will be automatically extended by 6 months. If you are a new user, you get a new 6 month subscription account.

No purchase necessary.

That's it! The contest ends tomorrow (October 6th) at midnight EST, so if you're a facebook user and want to get in on your chance to win you have to hurry.  Good luck!

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Vonage Mobile for BlackBerry Now Available

Vonage Mobile for BlackBerry Now Available

CrackBerry member jeginger127 let us know that Vonage Mobile for BlackBerry is now available.  The app allows you to easily make low-cost international calls using the Vonage service. You simply install the application, and any time you dial a long-distance number from your device, it will automatically run it through the Vonage service. It works on a pay as you go plan, so you just set up your refill amount and your account will automatically replenish when it runs low. The international rates vary, but seem to be fairly priced in comparison with other services.Check out more at vonagemobile.com.

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Best Buy BlackBerry Storm 9550 SKU Inventory Update; October 25th In Stock Date Still Looking Good

Last week BGR posted a capture showing that the SKU for the BlackBerry Storm 9550 mock-up device was already in Best Buy's inventory systems, and we followed up showing the SKU for the actual device. Both of SKUs showed at in stock date of October 25th.

However, soon after those posts went live we received emails from a few more Best Buy tipsters letting us know that the Best Buy's inventory systems were no longer showing anything related to the Storm 9550 under the item numbers which were referred to in the posted images. Were the originals photoshops? Or did Best Buy just change things up after seeing them hit the web?

The answer is that it was the latter, as we have new images for both the mock-up BlackBerry Storm 9550 and the actual device (class 317 and class 327) which once again show the info for the new BlackBerry Storm. This time the device model is listed as BBY7LD, but it's definitely the new Storm and is still showing an October 25th in stock date. So for all the Storm 2 chasers out there, things are looking good - the fact they're playing hiding games with the device is a great sign!

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Cellfservices.com Tweet for a Treat Free Unlock Code for AT&T, Rogers & T-Mobile - Today Only

Unlock company Cellfservices.com is giving away FREE unlock codes today until 11:59pm EST. All you have to do is send them a tweet, and they'll get back to you with an unlock code for your device. While I'm not sure they fully understand the "CrackBerry Effect" and most likely aren't prepared for the amount of tweets they will get from this post, they said they will get back to everyone that requests a code as soon as possible. Just send a tweet with your IMEI, device model and carrier (unfortunately this is only for AT&T, Rogers or T-Mobile customers) to @cellfservices in the format:

@cellfservices FREE BLACKBERRY UNLOCK CODES! IMEI: (15 digit imei no slashes no periods) Model: (ex. 8320) Carrier: (ex. Rogers) 

If you aren't on these carriers, you can't still snag a great discount on unlock codes from Cellfservices. That have specials on CDMA codes going on right now.

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RIM Onboard With The Open Screen Project To Bring Flash To BlackBerry Smartphones

We've been hearing it for a while now but this time around we can pretty much put that stamp of "it's official" on it. The above screenshot is what is commonly seen on BlackBerry Smartphones when trying to view Flash based content. Adobe and RIM (as well as many other smartphone manufacturers) have just announced they will be bringing full-fledged Flash integration to our beloved BlackBerry Smartphones in the near future.

“As an industry leader for innovative smartphones and wireless solutions, RIM delivers superior mobile user experiences to customers around the world,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Flash Platform Business Unit at Adobe. “It’s a natural fit for both companies to work together to bring Flash technology based video and Web content to BlackBerry smartphone users.”

With RIM not being the only one to join the Open Screen Project, the mobile browser market will be heating up for upcoming devices. Currently 19 out of 20 of the top mobile device manufacturers have signed on to assist with the advancement. 19 out of 20? Anyone wanna pose a guess as to who has not signed on?

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Learn How To Tie Your Own Ties Using Tie Master On Your BlackBerry!

Hey, let's face it, not every guy knows how to tie a tie. Recently I had to attend my Mother's wedding, which of course required me to have to dress up in a monkey suit and put on a tie. Yeah well, being able to put on the tie became an issue when I realized I had no idea how to actually tie it once around my neck. Knowing that my Mother would have shot me had I showed up not wearing my tie, I sought out a way to get it done up. Ask a friend, maybe the groom, or possibly even a bridesmaid? Nope, no one around as I was running late as it was.

So after realizing there was no way I was going to get this taken care of by another person, I sought out an application to assist me, as websites just did not help enough. In my search I found Tie Master 3.1, an application in the CrackBerry store. Perfect, just what I needed! After downloading the small app I was able to get my tie done up to a passable level (Yes, My mom did adjust it) and spared my own life from my Mother's wrath. Tie Master is far from a pretty application, but it does as stated: Helps you learn how to tie a tie. And as we all know, you are not a man until ya can do that. Be sure to check it out if you are among the many (admittedly or not) that are unable to tie your own ties.

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Storm 2 Video Shows WiFi Usage Speed Testing

As we roll closer to the Storm 2 launch date a lot more videos of the device in action should be popping up. This one was posted a couple of days ago to Youtube and while it's a great video of the Storm 2 in action, it's not really a great depiction of how the browser may work over WiFi due to the fact no full sites were visited.

Only mobile versions were used in this video and with that said, we all know mobile versions tend to load faster then the regular version of any given site. So, while we're glad the CrackBerry mobile site loaded nice and fast, we like to just speed based on the real deal. Now, does anyone out there still say the Storm 2 will not arrive with WiFi? This should clear the air once and for all folks. What do ya think, will the WiFi browsing be fast on the Storm 2?

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 4 Oct 2009

To be honest, it's a little tough to distinguish the BlackBerry 6710 from the 6750 or the 7730, 7750 or 7780 for that matter (check out past RIM devices here), but regardless of which device model it is, one unit met its untimely demise in last night's SNL Digital Short when Andy Samberg tossed it to the ground. Check out the video above.... it's good for a laugh. The BlackBerry action kicks in at 1m12s. Big thanks to our resident expert Craig Johnston for spotting this one!

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BlackBerry Essex Spotted; Dakota to Use Liquid Lens Tech?
 

Our pal sal is continuing his BB leak streak, this time bringing some photos of the BlackBerry "essex" and a little update on the BlackBerry codenamed "dakota" (formerly codenamed "magnum").

BlackBerry Essex: As you can see from the photos above (note - there's plastic covering over the display/trackpad... it is a standard trackpad), on the front side the BlackBerry essex is essentially a BlackBerry Tour with a trackpad (my previous essex quick photoshop job was actually spot on!). As a CDMA follow-up to the Tour, in addition to the trackpad replacing the trackball, the essex (Tour 2?!) will sport WiFi and by the sounds of it, an improved camera - though nobody seems to be quite sure on the megapixels just yet. As for release date, I've been hearing the essex could arrive as early as late January/February. Historically that would be really soon for RIM to release a follow-up device, but seeing as how everything is going trackpad now and that VZW mandated for all future BB's to pack WiFi, pushing this out asap makes sense.

BlackBerry Dakota: We've talked quite a bit about dakota in previous CrackBerry podcasts and a little bit in the blogs prior back when it was codenamed magnum. Surprisingly, no photos have ever dropped to date of magnum or dakota, but essentially it will be RIM's first hybrid device (GSM) that combines a front-facing full qwerty physical keyboard with both a touchscreen and a trackpad. The new news dropped by sal today is that it sounds like RIM may be going in a different direction with the camera lens technology on this one and utilizing a liquid lens

I'm as excited as all heck for the upcoming releases of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Storm 9550/9520, which are both going to be stellar BlackBerry devices, but can't help but get really excited for the new form factors it looks like RIM will be introducing next year (keyboard + touchscreen, vertical slider). It's funny... the stock may have recently taken a beating, but I'm feeling better than ever about the future of BlackBerry!

[ Salomondrin.net ]

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ClearView Premium Theme For Tour, Pearl, 8900 and 83xx Series Devices

Here is a nice new theme that just showed up earlier today. ClearView is a premium theme that has been designed for the BlackBerry Tour, Pearl, Curve 8900 and 83xx series devices that looks really sharp no matter which you own. The icons as shown above are more like tabs that pop up on the main screen and are all customizable to your liking when it comes to order.

ClearView is available with or without weather slot options so if you have no need for that icon slot just look at getting the basic version of this one. Overall it's a very minimalistic theme that is easy on the eyes and well priced as well as it rolls in at just $2.99 for any version you do choose. No Bold or Storm love as of yet for this one, but hopefully that'll be coming soon.

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BlackBerry Advertising Shows Up In Formula 1 at the Japanese Grand Prix

You can correct me if I'm wrong in the comments, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever seen BlackBerry advertising show up at a Formula 1 Grand Prix... The season may be winding down with only two races left to go (Brazil, Abu Dhabi), but this weekend at the Suzuka race track for the Japanese Grand Prix the BlackBerry billboard was hung proudly in pit row, strategically placed right below the podium.

Formula 1 doesn't have that big of a following in North America (though there are definitely some hardcore fans there), but on a worldwide stage is the biggest racing series there is. Whether this is a one-off just to get some additional advertising exposure for BlackBerry in Japan or is the beginning of a larger F1 campaign, I'm not sure, but personally would love to see more of BlackBerry in the sport. Telecommunications carriers  are no strangers to F1 and BlackBerry has received some benefit from that before -- remember Lewis Hamilton driving his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 car remotely from a BlackBerry Storm -- but actual advertising or even sponsorship of a team would take it to the next level.

Hmm... now that's a good question... If RIM were to sponsor a Formula 1 team, which team should they sponsor? Ferrari (see this post)? Red Bull? McLaren? Brawn GP?? Toss your opinion in the comments!

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I'll never stop being amazed by the things people send in to us on the CrackBerry Tips line... 

Ever wonder what happens when a hockey loving, BlackBerry-using family gets together on a Saturday evening to celebrate a birthday? Apparently after the cake is eaten they gather around the pool table to leave Research in Motion's co-CEO Jim Balsillie a little motivational message.

Don't worry Jim. Your attempt to buy the Phoenix Coyotes may not have gone down as planned, but we all know you'll get your hockey team sooner than later. Stick with it. Want my advice? Offer the NHL that you'll buy two teams. I'm sure if you told Gary Bettman you'll stick one of the teams back in Winnipeg (Bring Back the Jets!) they'll let you put your second team wherever you want it. Hell, I'll even manage the Jets for you!

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BlackBerry Storm 9550 Emulator Arrives In Verizon Systems

Just in case there was any doubt regarding the launch of the 9550 coming soon, you can clearly see that the emulator Verizon support reps use has been loaded into the Verizon systems and is now available for employee's to review. Not much else to say about this other then it's coming and soon the wait will indeed be over. Huzzah! Thanks to briankeith513 for posting the pics for us all.

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BIS 2.8 Launched For All North American Carriers

In the wee hours of the morning, RIM was hard at work upgrading all North America BIS systems to the latest version being 2.8. BIS 2.8 brings with it some long awaited changes for BIS users but still leaves some room for improvement  for a later time. A quick look at what's new is listed below:

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If you check out the paid games category of BlackBerry App World, you'll see that Next Dual Pack is one of the top five best sellers. Regularly priced at $4.99, this weekend you can grab it from the CrackBerry App Store for just $2.49 - that's 50% off! Available for the BlackBerry Storm and all non-touchscreen device models, it offers 128 levels of addictive and challenging entertainment. You can check out the video above to get a good look at it and grab it from the link below. Enjoy!

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Contest Reminder: Mapper Pro, Sticky Notes & Plantronics Discovery 975

Not too many contests to enter this week, but we snuck in a couple for good measure. You still have time to get in on the action, so if you didn't already, be sure to leave a comment on the original contest posts. All contests end Sunday at Midnight PST - so don't miss out! Oh, and this week we'll be announcing yet another crazy CrackBerry contest. You won't want to miss out on this one!

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Dress Up Your BlackBerry For Halloween With Themes, Wallpapers And Ringtones From CrackBerry!

Halloween is creeping up on us rather fast and what better time than now to get in the spirit of things and dress up your BlackBerry to have a little fun. If themes are what you are looking for the CrackBerry App Store and forums are full of free and premium themes for all devices. Wanna scary or just festive wallpaper for your device? Be sure to check out the Crackberry wallpaper gallery and pick something you like. And finally, we cannot forget Halloween ringtones to give your BlackBerry a ghoulish ring. Check out all the things for Halloween and happy haunting!

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Will.i.am On Hand In Australia To Help Launch the BlackBerry Curve 8520

Will.i.am has long been a supporter of the BlackBerry platform and his recent events are indeed no exception to the rule. Will.i.am was on hand in Australia as part of the Black Eyes Peas' The E.N.D. World Tour which coincided with the launch of the BlackBerry Curve 8520. While being interviewed Will had a few things to say about the iPhone, which sound all too familiar:

"I prefer buttons as a touch screen is confusing," he said. "I can't text on the iPhone. I like this phone [the BlackBerry], it's like it was made for me. If I was to design a phone I'd have designed it like this one."

Clearly Will likes the BlackBerry technology and shows no sign of giving it up anytime soon for some other device. However, I can't see him switching from his Bold to an 8520 at this point, he needs to be rocking 3G for his dipdive application.

[ Good Gear Guide ]

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Out With The Old, In With The New?

Out With The Old, In With The New?

After waking up this morning and checking my Tour (as I always do when I roll out of bed) I had NO emails! None! I immediately jumped on my PC to look into things, and sure enough, my emails had come in and just had not made it to my Berry. I know there was a scheduled BIS outage, so I logged on to my BIS and tried to resend my service books - but wait - where is the Service Book tab? A quick cry for help on Twitter and I found that it has been moved from the main screen to the Help section. A sigh of relief and I was on my way. I'm still only receiving less than sparatic emails, but its a good start. Is BIS 2.8 upon us? Drop us a line in the comments and let us know whats going on with your BIS. 

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