Clarification: BlackBerry Storm2 and Curve 8530 Are the Only In-Market Devices to Take Advantage of New Open GL APIs

Following up on yesterday's announcement of Open GL ES support for BlackBerry Smartphones, we followed up with RIM today at the BlackBerry Developer Conference to clarify exactly which devices would be able to take advantage of the 3D graphics standard via the newly-released Open GL APIs. The original press release made note that it would be available to BlackBerry Smartphones running the OS 5.0 platform and higher, which is not totally the case. Not all in-market OS 5.0 devices will be able to run these new apps which incorporate 3D graphics.

Currently, the only devices that will be able to take advantage of the Open GL APIs are those devices running OS 5.0, the latest Qualcomm chipsets that also meet the minimum memory requirements needed to run the standard smoothly, specifically the BlackBerry Storm2 and yet-to-be released BlackBerry Curve 8530. Other existing devices, including the original Storm, and the new Bold 9700 will not be able to run apps and games that make use of the 3D standard even though they have OS 5.0 (am guessing Storm1 doesn't have the memory to do it, while the Bold's processor doesn't play friendly with it just yet). The Tour hasn't had 5.0 officially rolled out to it yet, but hopefully when it does it'll make the Open GL cut. Looking ahead, hopefully more devices (including GSM BlackBerry Smartphones that are not running on Qualcomm chips) will be able to run BlackBerry games and apps that feature Open GL 3D graphics.

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BlackBerry Curve 8530 Accessories Arriving at Verizon

It looks like some BlackBerry Curve 8530 accessories have already started to land in Verizon stores in the form of skins, privacy protectors and cases . The BlackBerry Curve 8530 will be available for purchase on November 20th, so it's no surprise that these are starting to float in. Surely there will be more in the upcoming week or so before the device is released, but you most likely won't be able to grab them until after the launch. If you're planning to pick up a Curve 8530 from Verizon or Sprint on launch day, you can check out the newest accessories for the BlackBerry Curve 8530 in stock at ShopCrackBerry.com and get ahead of the game.

And if you're interested in picking up the new Curve but haven't checked it out, be sure to read Kevin's BlackBerry Curve 8530 review.

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BlackBerry Technical Seminar 2009 Registration Now Open

Right in the middle of the BlackBerry Developers Conference, Research In Motion is already planning events ahead. December 3rd, Research In Motion will be holding the BlackBerry Technical Seminar 2009 and registration is now open. BlackBerry Technical Seminar 2009 features four seminar tracks, all new content, new product demos and new resources to expand access to BlackBerry solution information.

Who will be there? Administrators, Developers and CIOs.

  • Seminar content geared to all areas of interest, from high availability and new capabilities of BlackBerry® Enterprise Server v.5.0 for administrators, and working with BlackBerry® Widgets for developers to understanding the impacts of virtualization for the busy CIO.
  • Mix and match sessions to gain big picture learning.
  • View these agendas Now – Administrator, Developer and CIO.

The virtual seminar will be held Thursday, December 3rd, 2009, 9am ET – 5pm ET, no cost to participate and the information gained from the experts at hand is well worth the time.

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BB DevCon 2009- Day 1 Wrap Up Of Events

BB DevCon 2009- Day 1 Wrap Up Of Events

Yesterday was the opening day of the BlackBerry Developer Conference and a lot of big press releases and announcements came out of it. Some were expected while others certainly came out of no where and left many people pleasantly surprised. Here's a quick look back at the days events if you wanna catch up and check to see if you missed out on all the good stuff. Lots of information from the General session is in the live blog we did for which you can now replay and read through.

These are just the highlights of yesterday's events and as we continue on with the BlackBerry Developer Conference coverage their will be even more to catch up on, just stay tuned folks.
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Task Manager

* Note from Kevin - Hey All, Adam/Bla1ze and I are swamped right now at DevCon, so obi blogged this baby up. I haven't personally run it on the device. Judging by the comments it seems like it may not be quite ready for primetime to everyone's satisfication just yet. And in case you don't know, as with all empower apps you need to have their empower central installed so keep that in mind. Give it a go if you want to try it or leave it for now... it's all good. Keep Crack'n *

Task Manager by Empower is a great free app that brings that familiar task manager feel from your PC to your BlackBerry smartphone. Its free version gives you 3 tabs; Applications, System Info, and Performance. The Applications tab allows you to view your applications file size and install date. The Systems Info tab gives you a very useful detailed description of your devices total and free flash memory as well as RAM. It also lists your devices OS, PIN, IMEI, signal strength and your battery's level, temperature, and voltage. The Performance tab gives you a graphical breakdown of your batteries performance over time. If your graph should suddenly have a steep downwards trend, then you know you haven't closed down a program and have just left it running in the background draining your battery. With the premium version, for $1.99 you will have access to the Processes tabs which shows you all of your running background processes including their ProcessID. This is a very useful app and a must have for any BlackBerry user.

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Press Release: 7digital Music Store Wins BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge

Last night we got to sit in and watch the 16 finalists in the BlackBerry Developers Challenge present their apps to a panel of judges (including CrackBerry Kevin) to see who would be crowned the winner and receive the grand prize of $100,000. It was a great night with some awesome apps, but when it came down to it, the 7digital Music Store walked away with the spoils. Runner up Nickel Buddy took away a $25,000 prize pack, and a new $5,000 prize was created on the spot for newcomer Kik. Press Release below.

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DevCon Podcast: Interview With Chris Smith, Senior Director of BlackBerry Development Platform

The first day of the BlackBerry Developer Conference had us going from early morning till late at night, but just before the evening reception kicked off we had a chance to sit down for an interiew with Chris Smith from Research in Motion. Chris' title is Sr. Director, BlackBerry Development Platform, which means a WHOLE BUNCH of major software responsibilities fall on his plate.

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So How About That Battery Life on the BlackBerry Bold 9700?

my battery life after exactly 24 hours of pretty active use - frak'n awesome!

So How About That Battery Life on the BlackBerry Bold 9700? I've been a broken record the past couple of days - everytime I run into a person with the new BlackBerry Bold 9700 (which happens frequently at BlackBerry Developer Conference) that's the question that comes from my mouth. I don't know exactly what RIM did to the BlackBery Bold 9700, but the battery life is freak'n amazing. Maybe they did some hocus pocus and waved their magic wands over it in the dev labs. Or maybe they stuck some moon isotopes under the battery cover. Or maybe they re-wrote and optimized the radio stack for the device (ding ding ding), but whatever they did, it worked. One of RIM's priorities has always been long battery life, but over the past couple of years as RIM has crammed more features into the device, it has taken its toll slightly on the lonnnnnng battery life old school BlackBerry users were used to (keep in mind poor battery life for a BlackBerry typically is still way better than the competition). The Bold 9700 changes that though - it reminds me of my old 7290. An easy 2 days baby!

Seriously. The screen capture above shows my Rogers BlackBerry Bold 9700 after exactly 24 hours of pretty steady use (roaming on AT&T). As you can see, this morning when I rolled out of bed I still had over half the juice left in the tank. With my original BlackBerry Bold 9000, I would have been down to yellow bars by 3pm yesterday and swapping in a spare battery by 4:30pm. Bla1ze has also been experiencing the same sort of awe-insipiring battery life on his Rogers Bold 9700. Speaking to other 9700 owners I've bumped into, I'm not sure that the T-Mobile 9700's life (running on T-Mo network) is quite as good as the AT&T/Rogers versions (still reallly solid though), but even our pal Ronen at BerryReview is getting the same sort of life out of his T-Mo 9700 that he used to get from his Bold 9000 that was tied to a Case-Mate Fuel Case. It's impressive.

I think my non-stop talking about my 9700's battery life is driving everybody in the press room here at the BlackBerry Developer Conference a bit nuts, so hopefully now that this post is up and out there for all to read I'll finally STFU. But good job RIM. WICKED device. :)

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Contest Winners: RedFly Mobile Companion, StormSlider, Unlock Codes and More

Wow! What a crazy great start to DevCon we've had already with loads of news coming out of San Francisco. While we're going into overdrive to keep up with all the news, we didn't want to forget to drop the winners from all of last weeks contests. We have the winner of our RedFly Mobile Companion, some awesome apps, a few unlock codes and even a unlocked Bold 9700. The goodies just keep coming, and as always we thank all the developers and retailers that give us such great stuff. Hit the jump for the full winners list.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

One of the big announcements at the BlackBerry Developer Conference yesterday was the new partnership between Adobe and BlackBerry. When it comes to flash on a mobile device, RIM is going way beyond just being able to play an animation or flash movie on a BlackBerry but is working with Adobe to really BlackBerry-ize Adobe's creative tools to make it that much easier to make rich BlackBerry app experiences. Heck, I'm pretty sure that even with just my circa 1999 web skillz that I could build a BlackBerry widget with the new BB plugin coming in Adobe CS5.

You can check out the video above to get a first glimpse of some of the flash dev tools and experience. Great things coming to BlackBerry Smartphones soon!!

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Review: Woomby for BlackBerry

Review: Woomby for BlackBerry

Babies and BlackBerrys: two of the most precious things in the world. We joke about our addiction to our BlackBerrys; I can admit that changing batteries is far less hazardous than changing diapers. Hopefully we all know what is truly important (for those still contemplating, the answer is children). If you think about it, there are a few similarities between babies and BlackBerrys. Both are carried with caution, both are adorned with accessories, both draw attention and both consistently amaze you in new ways. If something doesn’t agree with them, you do everything in your power to console them. But what if you could use one to help the other?

I’m not talking about having your baby fix your BlackBerry. You’ll probably just end up with physical and drool/liquid damage. I’m talking about an application called Woomby. Your BlackBerry is turned into the ultimate baby buddy. From entertaining music and videos to soothing lights, your bundle of joy will get some much needed TLC from your BlackBerry. So instead of vying for your attention, you’ll be vying to capture the attention of both your baby and your BlackBerry. We cannot be held responsible for the impending “Mine! Mine!” argument you will have. Read on for more.

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100 Free Unlock Codes from Express Unlock Code

Express Unlock

The good folks at Express Unlock Code have another 100 codes give away. The codes are available for all North America GSM networks (AT&T, Rogers, Verizon, T-Mobile, Cellular One, Cincinnati Bell, Centennial Wireless and Dobson-Cellular). There is also a promotional price for Crackberry readers. All codes for AT&T, T-mobile, Verizon and Rogers are only $4.99. Just over to Express Unlock Code to receive the promo price. To enter to win 1 of 100 free codes, just leave a comment on this post. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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At the BlackBerry Developers Conference today RIM unveiled a new eBay Mobile app for BlackBerry that is "due by the end of the month". I'm very excited (as I'm sure many are) that a long overdue eBay app will finally be landing on BlackBerry. All of the features are there, search for items, view descriptions and gallery photos, bid, see your watched items list and more. The app will feature push notification sending you alerts when you are outbid on an item. You can even add auction end times to your calendar, and choose to receive reminders so you don't miss out on that limited edition Kevin Michaluk Bobblehead. No set date yet, but if the "end of the month" holds true we should see it sometime before January.  Check out the video above for a good walkthrough. 

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Update: So we're waiting for some further confirmation as to actually which existing device models will be able to take advantage of the new Open GL ES support. Storm2 for sure, and we think the 8530 (devices using the latest Qualcomm Chipsets), but we're not 100% sure what the scoop is here. Stay tuned!

One of the most frequently asked questions by both BlackBerry developers and owners over the past couple of years is When is 3D graphic support coming to BlackBerry? That question need not be asked anymore as today Research in Motion announced Open GL ES Support for BlackBerry. Furthermore, they showed it in action via a live demo at the opening keynote of the second annual BlackBerry Developer Conference.

Be sure to watch the video above of a BlackBerry Storm2 running EA Mobile's Need for Speed Shift. We were on location in San Francisco to catch this BlackBerry milestone live. Pure Wicked. Let's hope we see a TON of awesome new games take advantage of this and roll out soon. The Open GL ES support won't just be for the Storm2, but for devices running the 5.0 platform (not necessarily all). Read the press release for more details! Excited much?! I know I am!!

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Loopt: Biggest Update Yet Launched At BlackBerry Developer Conference

Loopt, the location aware application which allows you to stay updated, keep in touch and find out what's going on around you in an instant, got a nice update today. Loopt which has seen some small changes over time calls this the biggest update to hit Loopt since it's launch as it brings many new services and features to it's users.  Some of the features are listed below:

  • Discover the best places and events, including those rated highly by your friends on Pulse
  • See where your friends are on maps view their latest updates listed in real-time and comment on them
  • Check-in to instantly share your updates with friends, easily update Facebook and Twitter with your photos and places in one Loopt check-in
  • Browse and rate local places and events. Peruse detailed information from Zagat, Citysearch, and the Loopt community
  • Save money through special offers from nearby retailers with local coupons
If you have never checked out Loopt before, today is a great day to have a look with all the new features released. At this time though Loopt is only available in the United States through BlackBerry App World. Current devices supported are BlackBerry Bold 9000, BlackBerry Curve 8900 and the BlackBerry Tour 9630.

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Press Release: Open GL ES Support, Java GUI Builder and Theme Studio to Help BB Developers Generate Dynamic User Experiences

This is likely one of the announcements everyone has been waiting to hear. The question has come up lots in the past while. "When or will BlackBerry ever support OpenGL graphics?" Let us wonder no more. Today as the BlackBerry Developers Conference starts off it's full steam ahead for OpenGL graphics acceleration from here on out.

The information didn't stop there when it came to creating rich content for BlackBerry devices. Research In Motion announced the availability of the all new BlackBerry Theme Studio 5.0, which replaces the previously available Plazmic Content Developer’s Kit and features the ability to import Adobe Photoshop files to BlackBerry Theme Builder, add ringtones and build screen transitions such as zooming, sliding, wiping and fading within themes. Ringtones and screen transitions are supported for BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 5.0 and higher. Also, with the new theme builder came the announcement of themes being added to BlackBerry App World, full details on that later.

In addition to all this graphical goodness, one more announcement came in the way of interfacing with our BlackBerry smartphones. RIM announced an upcoming GUI builder that integrates into the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse will make it faster and easier for Java developers to build user interfaces for BlackBerry applications. Developers will be able to rapidly create and localize complex user interfaces with a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) view and drag and drop capabilities. The Java GUI builder will also allow developers to easily preview their user interface design on different BlackBerry smartphones. Read on for the full press release, this is some great stuff to see right here folks.

Press Release

RIM Announces BlackBerry Application Platform Enhancements to Foster Rich Content Development

Open GL ES Support, Java GUI Builder and Theme Studio to Help Developers Generate Dynamic User Experiences

2009 BlackBerry Developer Conference – San Francisco – Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced enhancements to the BlackBerry® Application Platform that will further enable developers to rapidly develop rich content and applications. The enhancements include support for OpenGL® ES for the development of 3D games and graphics; an upcoming Java® GUI builder for the rapid development of user interfaces for BlackBerry applications; and BlackBerry® Theme Studio for the creation of themes for BlackBerry® smartphones.

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Press Release: RIM Unveils New Services Platform for BlackBerry Developers

With the BlackBerry Developers Conference in full swing now, it's Research In Motions time to shine and show what exactly they have in store for developers to assist with getting their applications working and into the hands of the millions of BlackBerry Smartphone users out there.

New API's and new services are aplenty this time around and today Research In Motion announced some tools that will help developers with creating new revenue streams for their offerings, while keeping things easy and effective for the users. Advertising, Payment, Content Push and New Location Services are just a glimpse of what developers and users alike will be able to take advantage of in the coming months. Read on for the full press release.

Press Release

Advertising, Payment, Content Push and New Location Services Will Present New Opportunities for Monetization and Innovation on the BlackBerry Application Platform

2009 BlackBerry Developer Conference – San Francisco – Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today unveiled a new services platform for developers that will enable them to streamline business processes and build highly responsive, location-aware, revenue-generating applications for BlackBerry® smartphones. The new services platform will offer advertising, payment, content push and new location services.

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Press Release: RIM and Adobe to Simplify Delivery Of Rich Content and Applications for BlackBerry Smartphones

In a further advancement in the news we reported about earlier regarding "Flash On BlackBerry" and RIM's joining of the Open Screen Project. RIM and Adobe today have announced at the BlackBerry Developers Conference, the tools in which developers will be able to work withwhen designing content for BlackBerry smartphones. Flash has been a long time request for many BlackBerry users and with RIM and Adobe working together to make this happen, it'll finally be making it's way to market. But the partnership with Adobe does not stop at flash. Read on for the full press release and more information.

Press Release

RIM and Adobe to Simplify Delivery of Rich Content and Applications for BlackBerry Smartphones

Adobe to Deliver Support for BlackBerry Smartphones within Adobe Creative Suite; RIM to Incorporate Flash Platform into BlackBerry Platform

San Francisco, CA – At the 2009 BlackBerry® Developer Conference, Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) and Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) today expanded their collaboration and announced that creative professionals and application developers will be able to use the Adobe® Flash® Platform technology and Adobe Creative Suite® content development and authoring tools to easily create rich content and application experiences for BlackBerry® smartphones.

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Press Release: RIM Announces BlackBerry Academic Program

RIM announced today that they will be providing colleges and universitites with content that will allow them to offer courses to students to develop on the BlackBerry platform. The ciriculum is available for mobile application development, administration of BlackBerry Enterprise Server and support for BlackBerry smartphones. The program includes:

  • Mobile Application Development Courses - Students can learn about the tools and techniques for developing applications for BlackBerry smartphones.
  • Administration Courses - Mobile communication and collaboration tools continue to play a large role in boosting the productivity of enterprise workforces, and the need for trained professionals to administer and support mobile solutions has grown with it.
  • Support Courses - Students are trained to work in technical call centers or IT support environments in support of the BlackBerry solution. The Support courses also include information that can help prepare students for the corresponding BlackBerry Certification exam.

Over 500 students have aleady taken courses in this program, and the rollout is going to be continued for schools in both the US and Canada. Check out the full press release after the jump.

Press Release

RIM Announces BlackBerry Academic Program

Program Provides Colleges and Universities with Curriculum and Course Content

BlackBerry Developer Conference 2009 - San Francisco, CA - Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM, TSX: RIM) today announced the BlackBerry® Academic Program to provide colleges and universities around the world with a curriculum and course content to offer courses in administering and supporting the BlackBerry® solution and developing for the BlackBerry platform.

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DevCon 2009: General Session Live Blog!

Live Blog Now Over... You can watch the Replay Above!

The BlackBerry Developer Conference kicks off this morning at 9am PST with the General Session. We're live blogging the keynote - you can watch all the action above.

* Note - Comments made are not automatically published. Before and after the keynote we'll try and publish pretty much everything, but while the live blog is going on we'll publish less and try to stick to the content at hand. Enjoy the show! *

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