Get More Out of Your Mobile Number with Google Voice

For years I stuck with the mobile number I was issued way back in 1996 when I purchased my first cell phone. I never thought of switching carriers, and I was happy to know that everyone that needed to contact me could do so easily. About a year ago after my BlackBerry addiction started to overtake me full-time, I realized that having a CDMA carrier number that wasn't easily portable wasn't the best thing. I thought about it for a while, and as the idea of carting around multiple devices all day didn't appeal to me, I decided to finally give up my roots and give Google Voice a shot. I had registered with the service ages ago, but left the number untouched for months. Now was the time to make it mine and spread my new number to the few people that actually call me.

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BerryWeather Updated to 2.0.63 - Add Your Own 'Weather Slot' to Any Theme

Just a few weeks back BerryWeather 2.0 was released with a ton of new features. Among them is my favorite of being able to have the weather info display on your homescreen backgound. My only gripe was that there was no way to disable all the excess text (conditions, location, etc) and show just the icon. Well in their latest update, Bellshare has given the option to completely customize this feature. Now you can create your own "weather slot" theme and tweak it to your liking. You can choose to show or hide the location, conditions, tempature, 'Feels Like' temperature, Hi/LO and observation time. You can choose where the icon is placed, as well as what wallpaper is displayed. I have to say I'm a huge fan of this update since I can now place the weather icon anywhere on my homescreen, ultimately making any theme on my device a "weather theme". BerryWeather is one of the higher priced apps at $9.95, but is well worth it in my opinion. 

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BlackBerry Pearl 9100 To Support 802.11n WiFi?

BlackBerry Pearl 9100 To Support 802.11n WiFi?

The other day Boy Genius posted that he heard from one of his solid connects that the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 has seen a little revision change since we last heard some specs on it. The change, was that of 802.11n WiFi capability being added to next gen Suretype BlackBerry smartphone.

We're going to toss some gas on that fire as well as I have done some digging around and found the above .rdf profile for the BlackBerry Pearl 9100. That's not to say it will show up in the final revision, but Research In Motion notes the files with the WiFi radio in the title and well, there is no 9100_802.11g/b to be found at this time. So does anyone actually need or want 802.11n on their BlackBerry smartphone to make this feature?

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 13 Dec 2009

Freddy Jump for BlackBerry Smartphones

Big fan of the oriiginal best-selling game for BlackBerry, Freddy Falling? If so, then then you'll love the next game in the Freddy Falling series called Freddy Jump. New from Lone Dwarf Games, this one is addictive! If you're rocking a touchscreen BlackBerry, Freddy Jump uses your Storm's accelerometer to control Freddy as he bounces his way up and up. During your climb you will encounter such things as spring pads, jet packs, and the umbrella which slows your descent, giving Freddy maximum maneuvering time. With Freddy Jump you can also save your current game, submit high score to the internet, and my favorite feature, select the background song straight from your BlackBerry's media. You can download Freddy Jump from the CrackBerry App Store for $3.99 and is available for all touchscreen and non-touchscreen devices with OS 4.5 or higher. And if you grab it today you can save 50 cents!

More information and download of Freddy Jump

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Mord

The latest offering from Calx Design, Mord is sure to clean up your Berry with a professional feel, while adding a little fun to the mix. With a weather icon in the top center of the homescreen flanked by two today docks, the balance of this theme makes it a hit for me right from the start.

Mord features a slot for your favorite weather app in the top center, below the clock, also 6 slots where you can select the icons of your choice and there's also a central "Today" section which conveniently summarizes your next 4 appointments and latest 4 unread messages. Next to the quite standardized (by Calx standards) metering there is also a icon for switching profiles directly from the homescreen.

Mord is available in the CrackBerry App Store for $4.99 for the Bold 9000, Bold 9700, Tour 9630 and Curve 8900. 

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CrackBerry Reminder: What You May Have Missed This Week

Time is flying faster this year for me. I feel like I'm busier than ever and I haven't even started shopping yet! We had some great contests this week to gear up for the holidays and spread some CrackBerry love. We're giving away a custom Bold 9700 in our CrackBerry Colorware contest as well as a great prize pack from TeleNav. If you still need some gifts for the BlackBerry user on your list, you'll want to check out our CrackBerry Holiday Gift Guides as well. Still a few hours lleft to get in on the contests, so after you catch up on the news, drop by the original contest posts and leave a comment.

What You May Have Missed:

Contests:

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BlackBerry App World Launches In Australia & New Zealand

It's been long awaited by many that I know who live in Australia and New Zealand but finally, Research In Motion has delivered BlackBerry App World. Folks in Australia and New Zealand can now download and install BlackBerry App World to their BlackBerry smartphones which of course, brings with it many other applications. No having to look for work arounds once things are fully up and running. Content currently is based on free applications but more and more apps will be loaded over the next little while to make it as robust as other countries offerings.

From The Press Release:

“BlackBerry App World makes it very easy for our customers to discover and download a wide variety of applications for their BlackBerry smartphone,” said Adele Beachley, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Research In Motion. “BlackBerry App World provides a fantastic new resource and enhanced experience for customers and an equally exciting business opportunity for RIM’s partners.”

Another milestone down in making BlackBerry App World a global offering as Research In Motion envisioned. Anyone from Australia or New Zealand out there currently using BlackBerry App World? Let us know in the comments folks.

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Leaked: OS 5.0.0.303 For The BlackBerry Tour 9630

Leaked: OS 5.0.0.303 For The BlackBerry Tour 9630

Well, it's been a while since the BlackBerry Tour 9630 had a leak so here it is. This has been floating around for a while now and let me just say when other devices are well into the .4xx it's probably best you skip over this one. It took this long to show up for a reason, the reports are the radio is bad in this one meaning you likely will have connection problems if loaded. Either way, I'm sure some of you will still check it out, worst case just downgrade again. Don't forget to back up your device.

*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. *

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Leaked: OS 5.0.0.421 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700!
Geeez.. the leaks for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 just don't stop coming. It's hard to believe my 9700 shipped with 5.0.0.321, as with this latest leak via bbleaks we're up to OS 5.0.0.421. I haven't had a chance to give it a go yet, so be sure to check our forums for feedback on it. Also, if the download link goes down, be sure to watch the comments and OS forum for mirror download locations. Have a great weekend!

*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. *

[ BBLeaks ]

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Leaked: BlackBerry Messenger 5.0.0.54

Leaked: BlackBerry Messenger 5.0.0.54
Well, that didn't take long. Just the other day BlackBerry Messenger 5.0.0.52 was leaked to the interwebs and now we have .53 floating around and most importantly .54 is now up for OTA download. Word of caution of course it's NOT official by any means so if you decide to download make sure you at least make a back up first. Also note, only 4.7 + and higher plus the servers are likely being crushed with requests so if you are not able to download it the first time, look in the comments for a mirror of the file or just sit tight till the rush passes. (Thanks for the pic, @Sloth26) [ BBHybrids ]
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Relax and Catch Some ZZzzz's with Calmbiance for BlackBerry

A few years ago when on an airport layover I picked up one of those noise making machines from a Brookestone store for $50. I actually put it to good use for a while, but somewhere along the line I misplaced it (buried in a box in my basement somewhere I'm guessing). Earlier this week I woke up at 3am one night and couldn't get back to sleep, so logically I popped open the CrackBerry App Store to see what I could find to fill the relaxing noise making void on my BlackBerry. Lo and behold I discovered the newly released Calmbiance from Mobilisk.

For $3.99, Calmbiance offers 12 soothing and relaxing sounds, ranging from light rain and ocean to whales and white noise. You can set simple options like how long you want it to play for and what action to take once the playtime is over. And you can of course adjust the volume with your device volume up/down buttons.

Suffice to say, it worked. I went with light rain and was asleep again before I knew it. Combined with a BlackBerry charging pod on your night stand, it's a simple and effective solution. And unlike my Brookestone noise machine, I know I'll never pack my BlackBerry away during spring cleaning!

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Our pal Ewan over at MobileDeveloper.tv keeps pumping out the BlackBerry Alliance Summit video interviews on a daily basis. We're going to do a little roundup soon, but in the meantime I wanted to bring you this one asap that he posted interviewing Mike Kirkup.

Mike Kirkup is no stranger to the CrackBerry blogs, though this is his first time being here in video. As Director of Developer Relations for Research in Motion, we've now had the honor of having Mike join us on three CrackBerry podcasts (one, two, three), including our most recent one recorded at the same event this video was recorded. In this clip Mike talks a little bit about the recent BlackBerry Developer Conference and the big announcements made. Check it out!

[ video source ]

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

The PowerMat sets out to solve your charging dilemas. If you have multiple devices and chargers running rampant, you can hook up the PowerMat and "cut the cord". The wireless charging solution charges up to 3 devices at a time, all without the need for conventional wired chargers. You simply place down the PowerMat, plug it in (ironic right?), choose your weapon (aka wireless receiver or "PowerCube") and charge away. The PowerMat feature and array of wireless receivers (battery doors) for various devices that you simply snap on and you're done. Place the device on the PowerMat and it charges. Included is a PowerCube with multiple adapters for devices such as iPods, Nintendo DS and mirco USB. The PowerMat Portable Mat folds up into a neat travel case allowing you to take it anywhere, while the cleaner Home and Office Mat looks a bit nicer but isn't built for portability.

After playing around with the PowerMat for a few weeks, I honestly think it is more of a novelty for BlackBerry users than anything. Using a BlackBerry Charging Pod (at 1/4 of the cost) is a much easier solution with no additional accessories involved. The PowerMat requires either the PowerCube and adapter (which ultimately is the same as just plugging in your device) or a wireless receiver that will run you another $30 on top of the PowerMat price. That said, it is pretty cool. :)

Contest: We have one PowerMat Portable Mat bundle to give away. The bundle includes the portable mat, wireless receivers for the Bold 9000, Curve 8900 and Curve 83xx and the PowerCube with adapters. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. This contest will run through Sunday December 20th. Please only leave one comment - multiple entries won't count.

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Tis the time of year to be in the giving and helping mood. I know all of our friends here in the CrackBerry Nation would like to do their part in one way or another. 

Our friends at TeleNav have teamed up with Toys For Tots this holiday season for a great cause. Owners of certain BlackBerry devices with TeleNav GPS can now download Santa's voice for your device. The cost is a very reasonable 99 cents, and all proceeds are forwarded directly to the Toys For Tots program. 

The following BlackBerry devices are compatible with the Santa voice:

AT&T:
BlackBerry Bold 9000

Sprint:
BlackBerry Pearl 8130
BlackBerry Curve 8330
BlackBerry 8830
BlackBerry Tour 9630

T-Mobile:
BlackBerry Bold 9700

Verizon:
BlackBerry Storm 9550
BlackBerry Tour 9630 

While you're at it, make sure you register for the CrackBerry / TeleNav contest, where you could win a one-year subscrition to TeleNav, a $100 ShopCrackBerry.com gift certificate, and a $100 donation in your name to Toys For Tots. 

**  Safety Note - CrackBerry.com does not endorse or support Ghost Riding **

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GelaSkins Custom Protective Skins for Your Device - 50 To Give Away!

GelaSkins dropped me an email to let me know that they are offering up 50 free skins for the CrackBerry Nation. Their skins are customizable protection for your device, featuring stunning graphics from artists around the world. The skins offer a totally unique way to customize your device, and offer all-around protection that is easy to install. The skins will provide you will scratch protection and can be cleanly removed when you want to try out a new design. There is a huge line of skins to choose from, and BlackBerry skins even come with a matching wallpaper. GelaSkins also offers custom options for you to promote your brand or to get your design on. The skins range in price, but most devices can be covered for about $14.95. Check out GelaSkins.com for more info.

Contest: We have 50 $25 GelaSkins Gift Certificates to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest will end this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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Did You Know Your BlackBerry Memory Card Could Repair Itself?
 

A few weeks back I was playing around with my Bold 9700, and I saw an error pop up telling me my media card needed to be repaired. I had never seen this before, and wasn't sure what to do. I don't have much stored on my memory card, so I figured it was worth a shot. I clicked Ok and a few seconds later I received a confirmation message that my media card was good to go. I was happily on my way with a working card and that was that. It did leave me wondering a few things however, such as how exactly did I "damage" my media card and what exactly goes on when it gets "repaired"? This seems to be another feature that many users don't even realize exists. Drop a comment and let us know what you think.

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