BlackBerry Torch 9800 review from the perspective of a BlackBerry Newbie

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Review - BlackBerry Newbie

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you're considering upgrading to a smartphone, you've undoubtedly come across the plethora of news articles and reviews for the iPhone and Android phones. What those news articles tend to gloss over is the fact that Research in Motion - BlackBerry's manufacturer - absolutely dominates the smartphone market. Nearly half of all smartphones sold are BlackBerrys. Combine that with a decade in the business; countless government, security, and business contracts; and a history of solid operating systems - you'd think RIM would get a little more love.

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We'll keep this short and sweet. With over 12,000 entries, the lucky winner in CrackBerry's Second Chance Win a BlackBerry Torch Contest is.....

Hosehead13

Dang I love that username! Congrats Hosehead13! We'll be shooting you an email shortly to get your details and get an unlocked AT&T BlackBerry Torch 9800 out your way. For everybody else, stay tuned. It's CrackBerry.com. You know another chance to win free stuff is just around the corner. We've already given away two Torches... maybe the next big contest we do will be for some BlackBerry Torch accessories or maybe we should move onto a new device and give away a BlackBerry Curve 3G. Whaddya think?! Any contest prize suggestions out there?

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Bell announces Sept. 24th release date for the BlackBerry Torch

We've known since the release of the BlackBerry Torch on AT&T that Bell was slated to release it in Canada aside all other Canadian carriers. The pre release sign up page is still active at this point but, we now have confirmation of the Bell date and pricing as well. In an email sent to us Bell confirms the following:

Just wanted to let you know Bell Mobility will launch the BlackBerry® Torch™ on September 24, and clients will be able to get the device for as low as $199.99 on a three year contract. 

So there you have it folks. While the US only has the BlackBerry Torch available to them on one network, Canadians will have the device available on any of the top 3 carriers come September 24th.
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BlackBerry 9670 clamshell to be branded the BlackBerry Style!

You heard it here first... the upcoming BB flip is the BlackBerry Style!

Been wondering what product family Research in Motion was going to slot the upcoming BlackBerry 9670 clamshell into? Could it be a Pearl? Maybe a member of the Curve family? Nope. We've confirmed with multiple sources now that the new BlackBerry 6 toting flip is getting a new product family name of its own. Enter the BlackBerry Style. I guess consumers who go for a flip phone these days do have a particular sense of style, so maybe the BlackBerry Style name is a fitting one. With a name like Style we may see a ton of consumer and fashion focused BlackBerry Style Cases and BlackBerry Style Accessories emerge too.

So what do you think of the name? Like it? Love it? Hate it? I always find when I first hear the name of a new BlackBerry I don't like it overly much... but then it grows on you, and it just sticks. I think that's likely to be the case here too. Let us know what you think in the comments!

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BlackBerry Torch 9800 available from Telus on September 24th

Following closely in the footsteps of Rogers, Telus announced via Twitter that they too will be offering the BlackBerry Torch 9800 on September 24th. Both Canadian carriers are set to release now on the same day making for lots of happy folks. Unlike Rogers however, Telus made no mention of the pricing in their release, but it's a pretty safe bet to say it will stick to the $199/3-year pricing scheme. No extra information has been posted up on Telus' site just yet. Hit the jump for the full release.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you've been holding off on purchasing Xobni for BlackBerry, now you can grab it directly from BlackBerry App World. If you haven't yet heard of Xobni, it creates a contact list based on addresses and information pulled from emails, giving you a big, fat contact list that is extremely easy to manage and convenient to use. Features of Xobni include:

  • Automatically created profiles for every person with whom you've ever communicated.
  • Ranked by importance - The people you email the most are at the top.
  • Lightning fast search by name or company name exposes each person's profile. Complete with photos, contact info, recent emails, calls, texts, info from LinkedIn/Facebook and more.
  • Instant access to all your Xobni Contacts in the BlackBerry compose screen.

Xobni is $9.99 and a free-trial is available. While the price tag may seem a bit high, the app pays for itself in no time and is one of the most used apps by the entire Crack team. Hit the link below for more.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Those of you in the Great White North won't have to wait much longer to get your hands on the BlackBerry Torch 9800. We just got word that the device will be available starting September 24th for $199 on a 3-year contract. Rogers will be the first Canadian carrier to have the Torch, but we've seen pages from both Bell and Telus that suggest they won't be far behind.

As part of the Rogers RedBoard series, Miranda MacDonald talked with BlackBerry Director of Marketing, Michael McDowell about the Torch and what features it has to offer including hardware, BlackBerry 6 and more. Check out the full video above and then head over to Rogers for more information. 

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BlackBerry encryption, time to talk turkey

BlackBerry encryption, time to talk turkey

With all the news these days of about encryption on the BlackBerry solution there is a great amount of misunderstood reporting in the media on just what is at stake between RIM and governments of the world. I'm not going to pretend that this article will be the ultimate encryption thesis it's my hope to explain things plainly and clearly.

As global terrorism rages, governments are trying to keep up with the perpetrators and the BlackBerry has become the symbol of all that is secure. Many government agencies themselves use BlackBerry devices for their security, so it's understandable that they would be concerned with encrypted communications of terrorist BlackBerry devices. Various countries have been in the news lately demanding that RIM give them the keys to read all the BlackBerry traffic within their countries. Many have put down deadlines if RIM does not comply they will close down all BlackBerry traffic inside that country. That potentially wouldn't be a problem is these demand were being made by Madagascar but the countries are India and United Arab Emirates.

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2010 Yahoo! Fantasy Football launcher for BlackBerry Smartphones now available

It's that time once again when football geeks unite to take on fantasy teams everywhere. If you're like me, you want to be able to access you team 24/7 whether at home or on the go. Last year we had the benefit of a semi-decent app for Yahoo! fantasy teams, it has been replaced this year by a mobile site launcher that hopes to keep you in the loop. I was a pretty bug fan of the app as it let you make roster adjustments as well as view info on your league, but for some reason the app is no more this year. Instead the launcher takes you straight to the fantasy mobile site (active on September 1st) is all we have this time around. The mobile site gets the job done and really has all that needs to be there, but it's totally not as fun as having a dedicated app. In any case, you can still get your game on and download the Y! Fantasy Football launcher free from BlackBerry App World.

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BlackBerry Torch 9800 review from the perspective of a Power Mom

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Review - Power Mom

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

I am a BUSY person and by that statement I don't just mean the normal kind of busy. I'm talking about the I'm so insanely swamped with things to do or places to go that I actually repeat things I've said or doing things I've already done. As a military spouse, mother of three, consultant, assistant at an in-home daycare, association board member, neighborhood watch coordinator, welcome committee coordinator & CrackBerry Idol contestant you can imagine what my daily schedule looks like. Between work, meetings, playdates and my older children's activities, I barely have a moment to breathe. Now that I have the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and OS 6, my daily routine runs smoother.

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Top 10 Apps users would like to see on BlackBerry; Reminder to Devs: Super Apps Challenge Deadline Almost Here!

The other week we posed a question to readers of CrackBerry asking what apps they would like to see come to BlackBerry from other smartphone platforms. The post got a pretty solid response with a wide mix of apps and games suggested, so we combed through the comments to assemble a quick Top 10 list. Hopefully some of these developers out there are paying attention!

Top 10 Apps CrackBerry Readers Would Like to See Come to BlackBerry

  1. Angry Birds
  2. ESPN / Sportscenter App
  3. Mint.com
  4. Tweetdeck
  5. Weight Watchers
  6. Plants v. Zombies
  7. Dropbox (currently in beta for BlackBerry, so this one is coming soon!)
  8. a better Facebook app! (technically shouldn't be on the list, but we can't help but agree)
  9. Netflix (an official one)
  10. Words with Friends.

And there were a LOT more suggestions than that. If you're curious to see them all, jump over to our original post and browse the comments. As for the #1 pick, while the popular Angry Birds iPhone/iPad game doesn't quite meet RIM's definition of a BlackBerry Super App, there's no denying it's one that the people want to see come to BlackBerry (myself included!). 

Reminder: Super Apps Challenge Sept 6th Deadline Approaching: While we're talking what apps we'd like to see come to BlackBerry, it's a good time to remind all the BlackBerry Developers out there that September 6th deadline for the BlackBerry Developer Fund's 2010 Super Apps Developer Challenge is almost here. This year the BlackBerry Partners Fund is looking for anyone who is building super apps. Be it an application which you feel is already a super app or a new app you are currently working on. At stake is over $1.5 Million worth of prizes and includes developer services from leading industry partners, featured placements on BlackBerry App World, marketing programs from Research In Motion and much more. If you are a BlackBerry developer who is delivering super apps, you'll want to take on the BlackBerry Developer Fund's 2010 Super Apps Developer Challenge. The full list of contest prizes, eligibility and requirements are available on the BlackBerry Partners Fund website, just click the link.

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BlackBerry Curve 8980 spotted heading for China Mobile

BlackBerry Curve 8980 spotted heading for China Mobile

Much like the BlackBerry Curve 8910, the BlackBerry Curve 8980 is not destined for North America. That said, it sure is an interesting device. It's basically a Bold 9700, put together with the keyboard from a BlackBery Curve. Research In Motion hasn't really been hiding this device either, the latest BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6.0 has a picture of it in the database of devices.

As you can see in the pic above, the device is headed for China Mobile and is a follow up to the BlackBerry Curve 8910 released there not all that long ago on Digital China. The specs for this one are EDGE, WiFi, 3.2MP Camera, 256MB of RAM with a display of 480x360 and GPS. Not sure about you all but, I'd rather have this device then say a BlackBerry Curve 3G. Although, releasing it here would likely cause some brand confusion. Still, be cool to get one of these just to have it. Wonder how one would cost to import? That is, once released.

Source: BerryCN.com

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Gowalla for BlackBerry updated to v1.0

Gowalla for BlackBerry updated to v1.0

Gowalla has been going head to head with Foursquare for a long while now in the race to be check in leader. Gowalla though, has announced their updated mobile application for BlackBerry. Previously, the Gowalla application wasn't exactly as robust as that of Foursquares but v1.0 changes a lot of that.

  • Trips
  • Items
  • Take and post photos
  • Ability to post threaded comments 

The above is a list of new items added to the application. As well. UI enhancements have been made. Since the application was previously beta, Gowall has now put the official stamp on this one and released it to everyone.

Source: Gowalla Blog
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Hands-On Review of the BlackBerry Charging Pod for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

* ShopCrackBerry Update: The demand for the BlackBerry Torch Charging Pod has been so high it's been tough to keep them in stock, but a fresh supply just arrived so if you've been wanting a Torch Charging Pod today is the day! *

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Hands down my all-time favorite BlackBerry accessory, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 Charging Pod is one that no Torch owner should be without. In addition to providing you with a simple way to charge your device, the charging pod also allows you to turn your device into an alarm clock and take advantage of BlackBerry's awesome bedside mode feature [see video on using bedside mode]. You can also hook the pod up to your PC or Mac and use it to sync your device as well. A truly invaluable accessory that should definitely be in your arsenal. The BlackBerry Charging Pod for the BlackBerry Torch is available at ShopCrackBerry.com. The BlackBerry Charging pod is avaiable for a lot of different device models, so if you don't have a Torch you should still grab a charging pod for your device [see all charging pods].

Torch 9800 Pod
For Other Popular Devices


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StopMail Pro for BlackBerry

If you travel a lot to far off destinations where you want to cut all email ties, or sometimes just need a break from the daily grind, you know what its like to try and stop email from coming to your device. You can turn off data completely, totally remove the email address or simply just not use your device. All good options but they can still be a pain. StopMail Pro hopes to solve this problem but letting you disable emails to your device without actually removing them completely. The app stops emails and prevents the annoying "catch up" when they are re-enabled. StopMail Pro also allows you to schedule block times so you can choose when you want to stop your mail delivery (ie. weekends or holidays) so you don't have to worry about it. Overall a very cool option that can save much time and frustration. StopMail Pro is available in the CrackBerry App Store for $4.99 but is on sale for just $2.99 through the end of the day.

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Contest Winners - Schlage, Hypoxia, Slacker Radio, Internals and more!

Here are the winners from last weeks round of contests. If you won you will be receiving an email either directly from us or the retailer/developer directly in the next few days. If for some reason you don't receive an email within 7-14 days (be sure to check your spam/junk folder just in case, and verify your registered address associated with your CrackBerry account) you can email us at sitesupport(at)crackberry.com and we'll be sure to get you taken care of. Please be patient as some emails may take longer than others to arrive. Hit the jump for the full list - congrats to all the winners!

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Take control of your signature with SmartSig 2.0 - 25 free copies to be won!

There are some of us that have a need to add a signature to our email messages, and some (like me) that tend to be too lazy to change the "Sent from my BlackBerry" one set by BIS. Even editing that BIS signature isn't a perfect solution though, as it gets put smack at the bottom of the email you are sending, instead of at the end of your particular reply. SmartSig allows you to make a custom signature, and actually insert it where you normally would if using Outlook. A variety of options are available, with filters determining when the signature will be applied. You can even backup and restore your signatures using Desktop Manager, saving you time and effort when upgrading your OS. Available with support for OS 4.5 and up, including OS 6 in the CB store for $2.99.

Contest: We have 25 copies of SmartSig 2.0 to give away! Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.  

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Leaked: OS 5.0.0.912 for the BlackBerry Curve 3G

Leaked: OS 5.0.0.912 for the BlackBerry Curve 3G

If you are new BlackBerry Curve 3G owner you may want to look into installing this. No, it's not quite a BlackBerry 6 build that your device is destined to get eventually but, it is likely one of the last OS 5.0 build you will see for it. We've not gathered any feedback on this release so do yourself a favor and follow the usual tips. Back up your data before loading and of course, be sure to delete any vendor.xml files if one is indeed present.

*OS Disclaimer - Please Read: Keep in mind this is NOT an official release and as such is not supported by RIM or your Carrier. If you choose to install, do so at your own risk and only if you're comfortable in the process of upgrading and downgrading your device software. It is quite normal during operating system development for certain features to be crippled or disabled while others are tested, and these beta builds often reflect that. They are not always better. Depending on your BlackBerry comfort level, it may be best for you to wait for community feedback on a build before deciding to download and install for yourself or simply wait for the next official release. If you require support, you will find it in our CrackBerry forums via our extremely knowledgeable community base - do not contact your carrier or RIM for Beta OS technical support (their first course of action will be to advise you to downgrade to a supported OS). Follow the links below for more information and instructions. *

Source: BBLeaks
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    BlackBerry Torch 9800 Review from the perspective of a Power Businessman

    BlackBerry Torch 9800 Review - Power Businessman Perspective

    [ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

    So you’re on the go and want to stay connected to your business information and communications. Well what better choice for both security and ease of use than the new BlackBerry Torch? It’s a touch screen world phone featuring the new BlackBerry 6 operating system, minus SurePress, plus a slide-out qwerty keyboard.

    Whoa, that sure was a mouthful.

    In this review, I am looking at the Torch as an experienced business user might. I will be tapping a more corporate perspective and covering not only my first impressions, but also how the Torch holds up with messaging, phone use, and other industry applications all in the name of greater productivity. Or so we shall see ...

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