A Quick Look At BlackBerry Theme Builder 5.0 From The Experts!

With the launch of the new BlackBerry Theme Builder 5.0 and all its new options implemented, it should come as no surprise that Research In Motion is putting a lot of attention on its release. We have been hearing for months now that Theme Builder (formerly known as Plazmic Content Developers Kit) was being brought "in house" in an effort to get it up to par where users thought it should be.

The 5.0 release has brought us that much closer and while it's still not perfect, I cannot really think of any software that is. Perfection in the software industry is a myth. But at least some of the major bugs have been addressed, such as the Storm theme bug. With the new efforts in regards to Theme Builder 5.0 now in full force the Inside BlackBerry Blogs have started up a series of posts to assist users with learning just how to use it to the full potential. While it's just the first of many I'm sure we will see, it's well worth a look as a lot of effort has been put into it. If you have any interest in making your own themes I highly suggest reading up on it - the Inside BlackBerry team did a great job on it.

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The NBA season is in full swing, and what better to way to keep up than to follow along on your BlackBerry. With the NBA Game Time app from NBA Digital (built by those xtreme labs guys again - check out the Dev Con video above), you never have to miss a beat. The biggest feature is live scores, stats and standings for the entire league, but add in live radio broadcasts and you've got it all. Video clips, schedules, player cards and more. It's all packed in and ready to keep you up to date all season long. The app works on all devices and is available in BlackBerry App World for $9.99. There is also a slimmed-down free version available.

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Schlage LiNK Wins CES 2010 Design and Engineering Award

The Schlage LiNK system is one of the coolest BlackBerry accessories around, and they have been honored with the CES 2010 Design and Engineering Award. The award recognizes achievements in product design and is judged by a panel of independent judges in a variety of categories. The system features a wireless lock and deadbolt, wireless cameras and lighting and temperature controls that can all be used from anywhere via your BlackBerry. For more information on the Schlage LiNK system, check out our original review. The Schlage team will again be at CES in January to demonstrate the system, and we can only hope they add on more cool components. Read the full press release below.

And another HUGE THANK YOU goes out to Schlage for being a prize sponsor in our I Love My BlackBerry Video Contest. They're hooking up our grand prize winner Matt Galo with the LiNK system (still more iluvmybb video shoutouts to come, and if you participated in the contest we'll be emailing you next week re: prizes).

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Verizon Offering Early Upgrades to Current Customers?

It looks like some of you original BlackBerry Storm owners that are looking to upgrade to a new Storm2 may be in luck. It seems that Verizon is sending out emails to some customers letting them know that they can upgrade early at no extra cost to a shiny new Storm2 to or a even a DROID (if you want to defect to the dark side). No major details on the promo or who exactly can upgrade, but good news regardless. The new device will be subject to a 2-year contract and come with a $100 mail-in rebate. Thanks to everyone that sent this in.

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Someone’s in a giving mood! Sam from Fonware contacted me to let me know that their ShortcutMe application has been updated. To recap, ShortcutMe is an application that allows you to create multiple shortcuts on each convenience key. So click once for one app, click twice for another, click three times…you get the idea. If you want more info you can check out our full ShortCutMe Review here. Here’s what you can find in version 3.6.8.1:

  • Support for Storm 2, Bold 9700 and generally OS 5.0
  • New Bluetooth toggling feature that is faster and doesn’t require parameter settings
  • Toggle Bedside Mode using shortcuts. Set "BedsideModeToggle" to one of your multiple click shortcuts (i.e. click left conv. key 3 times before you sleep to save battery and stop messages from waking you up. Click conv. key 3 times again when you wake up), or set it as one of your main shortcuts (launch by for example clicking conv key + T B)
  • Toggle application using shortcuts. Set "ApplicationToggle" to one of your multiple click shortcuts (i..e. double click left conv key to toggle between last 2 apps you have been using), or set it as one of your main shortcuts
  • Faster response time

CONTEST: We have 10 free copies as well as 40 50% off copies to give away. To enter, please leave a comment on this post. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment - multiple submissions won't count.

ShortCutMe sells for $4.99. You can learn more about ShortCutMe and purchase it here.

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vPost Personal Beta Now Available For Download

vPost Personal Beta Now Available For Download

Vayyoo has been hard at work with getting the latest version of vPost ready for launch. While still in beta right now, the folks from Vayyoo have decided to take it to public beta and make it available for everyone. Lots of new features are to be found in the latest release including a lot more social media integration and support for OS 5.0 devices. Check out the full list of changes below:

  • Address book integration: 1)ability to add contacts into vPost; if a picture is present it will be the icon in vPost 2) Ability to vPost a contact from the contact listing.
  • Renaming of captured media is simple.
  • No size limitations.
  • Setup wizard to make getting started easy.
  • Inclusion of social networking destinations for one-click sharing.
  • Ability to create groups to make sharing amongst family and friends a click away.
  • A character counter in the note field.
  • New Background.
  • 4.5+OS supported (including 5.0 and storms).
  • Social Network support for TwitVid, TwitPic, Posterous and many more.
With the new subset of features and upgraded OS support vPost is a great application to capture the moments that are most important to you and share with others. The public beta includes a free 30 day trial account and any updates that come along during the beta, will re-trigger that 30 days until the full release is available.
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ShakeItUp is a brand new application just released by mblware, makers of such apps as BlackBook, mblVault, and mblStats. After install simply shake your Storm or Storm 2 to bring up the ShakeItUp main menu. From here you can choose to create a SMS, email or play a random song from your sd card. While the song is playing you can go ahead and use your device as normal and shake again at anytime to shuffle your songs. I really like this app but want to see better customization with your shake options. Having the ability to select your own apps to add to the shake list would be great, or at least add other messaging apps and the browser. ShakeItUp is compatible with OS 4.7 and 5.0 and is available for $3.99 via the CrackBerry App Store.

Contest: We have 100 free copies 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 5.0.0.348 for the BlackBerry Curve 8900

Leaked: OS 5.0.0.348 for the BlackBerry Curve 8900

It looks like Ronen has stuck again. Earlier we posted 5.0.0.348 for the Bold 9000, and now 5.0.0.348 for the Curve 8900 has popped up as well. Standards rules apply, so use caution when installing this leaked OS. Drop a comment and let us know your findings.

*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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These days security is a top concern for everyone out there. VeriSign has stepped into the BlackBerry world to further assist with the needs of users in helping protect their personal information. VeriSign Identity Protection is a security based application which extends the layer of protection beyond your simple username and password by creating a unique one time password for all your registered sites and services every 30 seconds.

When logging in to any of your registered services you no longer need to worry about someone obtaining your username and password. If at the chance it was obtained, the unique login would be changed every 30 seconds to something only you would know. This type of protection is used in many environments, be it business or consumer level for VeriSign to make this available for everyone is a great offering. If security is among your concerns, be sure to check it out. Currently VeriSign Identity Protection is available via BlackBerry App World and for those who prefer a direct download you may visit the VeriSign mobile site for the download (note - latest devices like Storm2 / 9700 are not showing in App World yet so us the direct download).

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Luny

Luny Theme is a very creative bright theme from ToneConcept. Its homescreen allows you to arrange 7 of your favorite apps, 2 on top and 5 on the bottom dock. It also features 8 hidden Today items, cartoon like icons, and 2 very unique meters for battery and signal strength. Overall this is a great theme, especially if your looking for something original and different. Luny Theme supports the Tour, Bold 9000, Curve 8900 and Storm 95xx and will be coming to more devices soon. It can be purchased for $4.99 in the CrackBerry App Store, but we have 100 free copies 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 5.0.0.348 for the BlackBerry Bold 9000

Leaked: OS 5.0.0.348 for the BlackBerry Bold 9000

Ronen at BerryReview got a hold of this one early this morning, and has posted OS 5.0.0.348 for the Bold 9000. This is a big jump from the last Bold leak, so if you're still rocking a 9000 (maybe even in white?) then you might want to check this one out. As always, use caution when installing a leaked OS. Be sure to report your findings in the comments.

*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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Twinkler Software Veterans Day Sale

Twinkler Software Veterans Day Sale

Rory let me know that Twinkler Software in running a Veterans Day sale through tomorrow night. All of their great apps are discounted, so if you haven't checked them out in the past now is your chance. You can choose from SendX, AddOnis, AddContactX or the SendX/AddContactX bundle (add both to your cart to get the bundle price). All of these apps work on OS 5.0 on all devices. Good discounts on some great apps but only through tomorrow. Jump on the links below to purchase.

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Addictive Tower Defense

Legally Addictive Games has released their first offering, Addictive Tower Defense. Tower defense games are some of the most fun to play and keep you busy for hours on end. With crisp graphics, addictive gameplay, and intuitive controls, this game is sure to be a hit for anyone who enjoys a good timewaster.  The online leaderboard, statistics tracking, multiple save points and the ability to download new maps as they become available keeps the game fresh for a long while. It is available for all devices running OS 4.3+ (including touchscreen) in the CrackBerry App Store for $4.99.

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Official Craigslist App Coming To BlackBerry App World

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you are a Craigslist user in search of a better method of accessing the site, the good folks from Movela and Pyxis mobile have just the application for you. Craigslist mobile is a new application set to launch in BlackBerry App World any day now as it's just waiting approval.

Craigslist mobile is a full featured client application which allows users to browse and search all of Craigslist as well as bookmark, and reply to posts and much more. Users need not worry about being limited to where they may be able to search as all countries and even categories are supported by the app. We'll keep ya updated on availability, but pricing is going to be a one time payment of $4.99.

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Press Release: Grabba Launched for BlackBerry Smartphones

Grabba announced today that they have released their line of data collection attachments for BlackBerry Smartphones. With Grabba, users can collect various forms of data including scanning barcodes, verifying access cards, magnetic strip cards and more. The attachments are available for the BlackBerry Curve 83xx, 85xx and Bold series.

Press Release

Grabba launched for BlackBerry Smartphones in San Francisco

November 10, 2009 - San Francisco - 2009 BlackBerry Developer Conference - Now you can Grabba® BlackBerry® smartphone and start scanning 1D and 2D barcodes, verifying Common Access Cards, recording loyalty card member transactions, collecting information over an IR transceiver, downloading vending machine usage data over a DX connection and much, much more.

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Following up on yesterday's Open GL support announcement by Research in Motion, we've now seen a few examples at DevCon of BlackBerry apps and games showing off 3D graphics in live working apps.

Xtreme Labs gave us a demo of the picture viewing / album app they have been working on with BumpTop.com that features oodles of 3D graphics love. Check out the video above to see it in action. It's still an early beta, but it's an encouraging sign for BlackBerry developers as the Xtreme Labs guys only had access to the new APIs for a short period of time leading up to the conference (less than two weeks). 

Cool stuff. We'll let you know when the BumpTop app becomes available for download.

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Super Monkey Ball Coming To BlackBerry Smartphones!


[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

With the announcement of Open GL ES comes the announcement of new games that will be showing up on the BlackBerry platform. One of the announcements that was brought to light during the Game On: Building high quality games for BlackBerry Smartphones session came to us from SEGA and while the game is not ready as of yet, Super Monkey Ball is headed to BlackBerry. Target time frame for the games release is first half of 2010 with it launching in BlackBerry App World.

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OpenGL seems to be all the rage now that its out in the open (pun intended), and we got a quick look at Concrete Software's doings with one of their most popular games. PBA Bowling has been around for a while, but with this new technology it will be better than ever. Excelerated graphics and lighting make this game look amazing. It is currently in development with no word of when it will be available. Check out the video for a short (and we do mean short) preview of the game, as well as some technical details that went into the design. You can also pick up the original 2D PBA Bowling for $4.99 in the CrackBerry App Store.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

The guys at Xtreme Labs, developers extraordinaire, let us get the first look at the upcoming urbanspoon app for BlackBerry last night at the Dev Con opening reception. With this app, you can easily locate restaurants in your area by spinning the "tumbler". Let urbanspoon choose a restaurant at random, or specifiy the type of cuisine you're looking for. The tumbler rolls, and you are presented with information including phone number, map and restaurant reviews. The Storm version even allows you to spin the tumbler by shaking the device.

Get urbanspoon for BlackBerry: The app should be landing in BlackBerry App World over the next few days, but you don't have to wait to download it. Visit urbanspoon.com/blackberry from your BlackBerry's web browser to download it. 

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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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