Official OS 5.0.0.1030 for the BlackBerry Curve 8530 now available from Sprint

Curve 8530 users get another official update, this time courtesy of Sprint. OS 5.0.0.1030 is now available for download. The builds just keep getting bigger on these OS 5 releases and it seems like there is an endless supply. Some reports are in the forums on this one so far, so if you install be sure to visit the thread or leave a comment with your findings. As always, use caution when installing any OS.

Download OS 5.0.0.1030 from Sprint 

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Xobni for BlackBerry drops to just $1.99 for the holiday season

If you've been putting off your purchase of Xobni for BlackBerry due to the price tag, now is your chance to get it cheaper than ever. For the holiday season the price of Xobni for BlackBerry has dropped to just $1.99. You can pick up the "super address book" at this price for a limited time, so get on it before the promotion ends.

"We're really excited by all the positive reviews we've received from our users and the BlackBerry blogging community on our mobile app." says Michael Albers, Head of Mobile Product Development at Xobni "So, we're doing a holiday promotion to get even more people using the product and spreading the good word about what we think is the world's best and most comprehensive address book." 

Xobni for BlackBerry is available for most devices and has recently been updated to work with OS6 and the BlackBerry Torch. You can pick it up from BlackBerry App World or the CrackBerry App Store from the links below. A free trial is also available.

More information/download of Xobni in BlackBerry App World
More information/download of Xobni in the CrackBerry App Store

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Package Tracking keeps you up to date on all of your incoming shipments

Package Tracking is an application that lets you track all of your important incoming shipments, perfect for the Holiday season. You can track up to 5 packages at once, and the app will display all updates to the shipment's status, and wherabouts. It will track packages shiped from multiple couriers including UPS, FedEx, USPS, Ontrac, DHL DE, DHL PL, and DHL/Airborne USA.

You can purchase Package Tracking for $3.99 at BlackBerry App World. The price may seem high, but if you want to track all of your packages, from multiple couriers, in one place -- this is the app. It is compatible with a variety of BlackBerry devices running OS 5 and higher. Although BlackBerry App World doesn't show some of these in the "Supported Device" section, I have tested it with the 9700, 9650, and 9800.

More information and download of Package Tracking

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CrackBerry Podcast 060: Verbal BlackBerry Bold 9780 review, BB6 debate, rumors & more!

Finally!! It's been just over six weeks since our last podcast (my bad - I blame CB Redesign as soaking up all my time), which means we cover a lot of good stuff in this show. While my written BlackBerry Bold 9780 review will be hitting the blogs soon (Monday Tuesday, don't miss it!), in the mean time you can listen to our verbal review.

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CrackBerry Holiday Gift Guide - Accessories & applications for music lovers

The Holiday Season is almost here and what better time to take out your wallet and open those piggy banks then by sharing your love of all things BlackBerry with family and friends. Need help finding just the right gift for those music loving BlackBerry addicts? Whether they are out and about, at home, or in the car, we've got your covered. These products will be sure to put a smile on any music lover's face.

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Untappd launches mobile site for BlackBerry OS 5 users

A few weeks back we checked out the beer lovers social network Untappd. Unfortunately until now, only those on newere devices with BlackBerry 6 could get in on the fun due to the design of the mobile site. Well today Untappd announced that they have made a BlackBerry OS 5 site that will work on older devices as well. So now anyone not running BlackBerry 6 can get in on the fun as well.

BlackBerry 5 user can now rejoice and raise a pint with their friends on Untappd! Today we are launching a BB5 optimized version of our mobile web site. This site has been tailored to operate smoothly on the BB5 browser and has been visually optimized for both 320px wide and 480px wide screens. We apologize to all of the BB5 users out there who have had to wait to join in. Our main mobile site uses several web technologies that aren't supported by the older browser software, but after some tweaking and re-tooling, we're all ready for you! To access the mobile site, simply head over to http://m.untappd.com and you will be sent to the BB5 compatible version! 

In case you missed it, Untappd is essentially a Foursquare for beer drinkers. Check-in with whatever brew you're enjoying, add your location and you're done. You'll earn badges along the way and be able to toast your friends in the virtual pub. If you're at all a beer drinker it is definitely worth checking out. Totally free and totally fun. Hit the link below to sign up, then head to m.untappd.com on your device to check-in.

Sign up for Untappd for free

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Calling all lab rats! SHAPE Services invites you to join in on Photo Translator beta testing

SHAPE Services has an impressive list of applications to stand behind. In the past, we’ve looked at Mobiola xPlayer, IM+: All-in-One Messenger and Business Card Reader; just to name a few. Recently, SHAPE Services contacted us to extend an invitation to the CrackBerry nation to join in on the beta testing for their newest creation called Photo Translator. Currently in version 0.9, Photo Translator helps break down language barrier by allowing you to capture a picture of text and then it translates it for you! The app uses Google OCR Engine and Google Translator. This is by far much easier than referring to a translation book or an actual translator (those guys are pretty heavy to carry around all of the time). Here’s a snapshot of the features available with Photo Translator:

  • Accurate Text Recognition - Reliable OCR (optical character recognition) technology allows grabbing the text from images in a few seconds.
  • Translation Management - Translated text can be saved to Memo, sent by email, or used in other apps.
  • Translations Gallery and Search - Save results for later reference and quickly search through them.
  • Multilingual Support - Photo Translator supports English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Czech, Dutch, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and many other languages.

While you’re at it, you should also check out the latest updates to their IM+ Talk and IM+ Messenger applications. In the newest beta of IM+ Talk, VoIP over 3G/EDGE is currently being tested; where in IM+ Messenger, they have added multichats to AIM and ICQ (previously, multichats could only be found for Skype and MSN). I, for one, have never been less than impressed with the applications that SHAPE Services have brought to the table, thus far. If you have a BlackBerry, with an autofocus camera (89xx, 95xx, 96xx, 97xx or 9800), I strongly suggest you try out Photo Translator. In fact, I think I’m going to give this one a thorough review in the near future.

For more information on Photo Translator, visit SHAPE Services
Check out other apps from SHAPE Services available from the CrackBerry App Store
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Colorware adds BlackBerry Bold 9780 to custom device lineup

The latest addition to the Colorware catalog is the BlackBerry Bold 9780. If you are a big fan of the already blacked-out 9780 design, you can take you pick of loads of custom colors and have your very own creation. Go all white, CrackBerry purple/orange or hot pink -- it's totally up to you. Colorware does great work and even drops a sweet prize for a CrackBerry contest here and there. A full paint job will run you $150 on your 9780, and if you don't want to part with the device you can order just the parts and install them yourself. Hit the link below to check out more.

Check out more on the Bold 9780 at Colorware

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CrackBerry Santa Contest: Win an IOU for a BlackBerry PlayBook this Christmas!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a BlackBerry PlayBook!

* December 24th Update: This is it folks, we're into the final hours of our Win an IOU for a BlackBerry PlayBook this Christmas contest. If you haven't left a comment yet for your chance to win, do it now! Good luck to everyone, and MERRY CHRISTMAS! *

We usually get pretty festive here around CrackBerry during the holiday season (I guess when the site's founder lives in Winterpeg that's bound to happen) which means every year we try and come up with an awesome contest to run in December. As deputized CrackBerry Santa I was chatting it over with my Little Helper (pictured above) the other night as to what would be the ultimate gift for a BlackBerry user and abuser to receive under the tree this year. We both decided it would be a BlackBerry PlayBook, but alas, it won't be on sale until 2011. So this year CB Santa is doing the next best thing and giving away an IOU for a BlackBerry PlayBook!

Enter to WIN an IOU for a BlackBerry PlayBook: You have until Midnight PST on Christmas Eve to leave a comment to this blog post to be entered for your chance to win an IOU from CrackBerry Santa for a BlackBerry PlayBook. If you're not a member, you can register for free. As soon as the BlackBerry PlayBook goes on sale in 2011, we'll pick one up from RIM's elves and get it out to out to you. The contest is open worldwide. Please just leave a single comment to this post. GOOD LUCK, and be sure to spread the CrackBerry Holiday Cheer this month!!

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Bring that Quantum of Solace feel to your BlackBerry with Quantum theme - 50 copies to be won!

Quantum is a new theme from BBThemes that is based loosely on the UI of the wall phone used in the Quantum of Solice Bond film. It features custom icons, meters, wallpaper today screen, and some very handy hotkeys. The theme also comes with a hotspot for BerryWeather and QuickLaunch, which in my opinion is a must for any theme.

You can pick up Quantum theme at the CrackBerry App Store on sale for just $0.99, for a limited time. It is available for most devices running OS 4.6 to 5.0.

Contest: We have 50 copies of Quantum 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 wont count.

More information and download of Quantum Theme

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PETCO launches new mobile-optimized site

PETCO logo

PETCO has launched a new mobile-optimized site for online shopping and pet care. The site can be accessed from any mobile device and features a store locator, product descriptions, customer reviews and more. The new site, powered by Digby, aims to help pet lovers keep in touch when on the go.

"With mobile shopping adoption increasing so rapidly, PETCO is expanding into the mobile channel at the right time," said Dave Sikora, President and CEO of Digby. "PETCO's new mobile site will help the company build even stronger personal connections with pet parents who seek and appreciate the convenience of mobile shopping and information. We're also pet lovers at Digby, so the partnership with PETCO is a special one for us. We look forward to helping PETCO ensure its long-term mobile strategy is a success."

To access the PETCO mobile site just head to m.petco.com from your mobile browser. 

Check out the new PETCO mobile site

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Research In Motion quietly announced some BIG news this morning via a blog post by RIM's CTO, David Yach. They have acquired tat - The Astonishing Tribe - which as David says:

Today we are pleased to confirm plans for The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) team to join Research In Motion (RIM). We're excited that the TAT team will be joining RIM and bringing their talent to the BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone platforms. 

For those who don't know, TAT is renowned for their innovative mobile user interface (UI) designs and has a long history of working with mobile and embedded technology. TAT focuses on delivering great user experiences, from a design, technology, and usability perspective. Their design technology is used today in a variety of industries including the consumer electronics and automotive sectors. Examples of TAT's UI designs and concepts can be viewed on their web site at www.tat.se.  

Man oh man, you gotta love the way RIM goes about its acquisitions. With acquisitions like Torch, QNX, and now tat, RIM is really pulling in all the pieces it needs to ensure BlackBerry will be fighting for a long time to come in the smartphone space. I'm sure tat has already been working on some RIM projects (PlayBook) prior to becoming part of RIM, but lets hope they go to work quick so you can see and use a little of tat's kick ass UI talent on your next BlackBerry in the (hopefully) near future. 

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eBay for BlackBerry updated - Now includes Deal Finder to help you find the best offers

With the holiday shopping season well underway already, eBay and RIM have just updated eBay for BlackBerry to better help you out if you're shopping plan consists of online shopping. Updated to version 1.0.3.5, the eBay app for BlackBerry smartphones will now include great deals from Deal Finder, which will replace the Daily Deal feature in the application.

Deal Finder is a great way compare eBay.com with prices on retail websites such as Amazon and Best Buy. Also included with this update is some overall fixes for slow loading times and eBay for BlackBerry can now make use of BlackBerry Shortcut keys. The update hasn't gone live in BlackBerry App World as of yet but you can grab it from the direct download page. If you prefer to download from BlackBerry App World, try refreshing using ALT RSTR and it may show up.

Click Here To Learn More About eBay For BlackBerry Smartphones

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BlackBerry 6 earns FIPS Security Certification for U.S. Government Agencies

In a press release issued early this morning, Research In Motion confirmed what most folks out there already understood. When it comes to security on handheld devices Research In Motion, BlackBerry devices and now, their latest BlackBerry 6 OS rank as high as you can get when it comes to security. BlackBerry 6 is now FIPS 140-2 certified. In layman terms, it's ok to load BlackBerry 6 onto President Obamas BlackBerry Bold 9700 as it's been tested and approved to be secure. Although, by the time carriers approve it he may no longer be President.

"This FIPS certification will help extend the reach of BlackBerry 6 to users in a wide range of government agencies and other security-conscious organizations in the U.S.," said Scott Totzke, Vice President, BlackBerry Security Group at Research In Motion. "BlackBerry 6 offers an exceptional mobile experience for BlackBerry smartphone users on the most secure wireless platform in the industry."

Maybe now that it's been FIPS certified we'll see it roll out officially to more carriers and devices? Full press release is available after the break if you want to dig into the finer details.

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CrackBerry Holiday Gift Guide - Gifts for the BlackBerry Student

I always enjoy this time of year, getting together with family and friends. I especially love giving perfect gifts. To qualify as a Perfect Gift, it must meet three standards. A) The gift should be something the giftee has little or no knowledge of. B) The gift must be useful to the recipient. C) The gift must be something the receiver probably would not buy for him or herself. The reward is that look of surprise and delight upon their face. Ah, bliss!

Finding the perfect gift for the student in your life does not have to be a difficult chore. We’ve gathered several of the finest applications and accessories sure to please that deserving someone.

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Review: Where's My Phone

Review: Where's My Phone

Whether lost in the bedsheets or lost at the movie theatre, Where's My Phone has you covered.

Where did I put my phone? It was right here. Maybe over… no. Okay, how ‘bout… no. Not there either. Has anybody seen my phone? Anybody? It’s black…

If you’re like me, you’ve misplaced your phone a time or two. My BlackBerry is almost glued to my hand. If it’s not there or in my holster, something’s wrong. That’s why I need an application like Wheres My Phone.

Wheres My Phone helps you find your phone in the case where you’ve simply misplaced it within your home or workplace. Wheres My Phone also protects you in that dreadful situation when you’ve lost your phone, providing a number of features for you to call, locate, and disable your device.

Where’s My Phone is available in both a free and paid version. Essentially, the free version allows you to find your phone when you’ve lost it nearby; and the Pro version allows you to call, find, and disable your BlackBerry in the event that it is lost or stolen.

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Calling all developers: BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR beta 2 now available!

Leading up to their fourth webcast on developing for the BlackBerry PlayBook, today RIM has made available the beta 2 release of the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR. Highlights in version 0.9.1 include:

  • BlackBerry OS UI Component bug fixes: Some tweaks were made to the API to make it better for you, and some beta bugs were fixed as well.
  • Windows 64-bit support: The installers now work in Windows 64-bit.
  • Linux support: Simulator and BlackBerry OS SDK for Adobe AIR now supported on Linux.
  • Flash Builder 4.5 (Burrito / Flex Mobile ‘Hero') Support: The plug-in installers will work with either Flash Builder 4.0 or the pre-release version of Flash Builder Burrito from Adobe's website.

Developers can jump over to the RIM DevBlog for additional details and to blackberry.com/developers/tabletos to download the SDK and user guides. Let's get on it devs... we want to see a crack load of apps at launch!

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Contest: Win 1 of 100 free copies of !Aspire by AG Designs & Graphics!

In this week's Theme Roundup we included a brand new theme from AG Designs & Graphics called !Aspire. This theme is really well put together, and has a ton of great features that I'm sure you're going to love.

All graphics were meticulously created and specifically optimized for BlackBerry. Each device's Home Screen was custom-coded separately to achieve the "best of both worlds:" a simple, clean interface and innovative, user-friendly functionality that is second to none. Designed with speed in mind, they have minimized coding and animations to make Aspire fast and effective for the casual to active Blackberry user.

    • 100% Custom Graphics
    • Skinned Everything
    • Device-Specific Custom HomeScreen
    • User Controllable Today Box
    • 12-15 Sliding dock for Non-Touch Devices
    • Hidden Shortcut Dock Non-Touch Devices
    • 3 Docks, 5 Icons each - all controlled by one button for Touch devices

    Head on over and check out all of the screenshots and the full description for !Aspire at the link below. Available on sale right now for $3.99, !Aspire is compatible with BlackBerry 85xx, 89xx/96xx/9700, 9000, 9100, 9300, 95xx, and the 9800.

    For more information/screenshots and to purchase !Aspire

    Contest: AG Designs & Graphics was kind enough to offer us 100 free copies of !Aspire to pass on to our readers. Just leave a comment below to be entered in the contest. As usual, one entry per person please. Winners will be drawn this Sunday at midnight PST. Good luck!

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    (Updated) Oh SNAP! Research In Motion suing Kik for patent infringement

    * Update: Statement of Claims are publicly viewable documents, so if you want the details on RIM vs. Kik you can click here to download the pdf and check them out for yourself. In addition to the claims of infringing on three patents, another issue at play here is that Kik's founder Ted Livingston used to work for RIM... wait for it... on the BlackBerry Messenger team. Ouch. You can check out Kik's latest blog post on the subject here too. Maybe RIM should just buy Kik. That would solve everybody's problems ;) *

    Research In Motion isn't buying into Kik's tag line of "play nice." Filed yesterday in Canada's Federal Court in Toronto, RIM filed a statement of claim against Kik Interactive Inc for patent infringement (see court filing T-1996-10). Odds are a US suit will follow shortly as well. We recently posted RIM's official statement regarding the removal of Kik Messenger from App World, which stated:

    RIM became aware of a number of issues and customer concerns regarding the Kik app and service. Following discussions with Kik, the app was removed from BlackBerry App World on November 12. Upon further investigation, RIM concluded that Kik had breached contractual obligations. Based on the broad scope and seriousness of the issues and concerns, RIM terminated its agreements with Kik and withdrew RIM's support for Kik's service.

    For those not familiar with Kik, it's a cross-platform (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry) instant messenger application that resembles a very basic version of BlackBerry Messenger in that it features Sent and Read confirmations (and is pretty quick to use!). Kik has also been getting a lot of attention, growing from 0 to over 2 million users in its first month after relaunching. I guess we now know what one of those "issues" is that RIM has with Kik. I'm also guessing Kik downloads for BlackBerry won't be resuming anytime soon....

    Source: David Lam's law blog

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    BlackBerry PlayBook webcast continues tomorrow

    BlackBerry PlayBook webcast continues tomorrow

    The fourth in the five part series of the BlackBerry PlayBook developer webcast continues tomorrow. The session is entitled "User Interface Guidelines for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet" and will deal with UI for applications on the PlayBook. RIM will provide information on icons, screen layouts and more. The series has been an overwhelming success so far.

    Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010
    Time: 2:00 PM EST / 11:00 AM PST

    Presenters: Prosanta Bhattacherjee, Application Development Consultant, Research In Motion Limited; Renaun Erickson, Adobe Developer Evangelist, Adobe Systems Incorporated

    Register for the BlackBerry PlayBook developer webcast

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