BlackBerry Storm II's Popping Up on Ebay

BlackBerry Storm II's Popping Up on Ebay

Itching to get your hands on Research in Motion's next touchscreen BlackBerry Smartphone? A couple of Storm 2's have popped up on ebay recently and as you can tell are generating some bids. Legit or scam? When it comes to pre-release devices on ebay we've seen both happen, but in this case the seller has a solid rating so the odds are good it's legit even though the image used on the auction is one that was previously posted on the web.

Should you try and pick one it up? Having been there and done that, I'd probably recommend waiting for the production units to hit stores if it's something you plan to actually try and use. Though for many the appeal of having that little something you really shouldn't have may justify the cost even if the hardware is wonky, the pin gets killed, and the unit won't take newer software updates (aka... is a paperweight). At the time of this post there is a little over 13 hours left to go on the auction - I'll be curious to see what it goes for. Any bets??

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New Twitter Client TwiXtreme Now Available

New Twitter Client TwiXtreme Now Available

There is a new player in the Twitter client game, and it's making an entrance in grand fashion. TwiXtreme by Xtreme Labs gives BlackBerry users yet another option for their Twittering delight. I've played around with the app a bit, and I must say it is off to a great start. It has very cool animations, is ad-free and you can do all the usually Twitter actions like uploading pictures, retweets, mentions, trends and more. The app is has just been released, so I'm sure some updated will follow based on user feedback. If you're looking for a new client, or just something different, definitely check out TwiXtreme. A free OTA download is available here.

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Zeemote JS1 Mobile Gaming Controller Now Available
Would you want a bluetooth gaming controller for your BlackBerry?(online surveys)

A while back we talked about the Zeemote Gaming Controller coming to BlackBerry but had no definite release date. Well it looks like it is finally available for purchase at shopblackberry.com for $39.99. You can use the Zeemote to control many popular games on your device, and the purchase even includes a free download from Gameloft. You can also navigate applications like the web browser, media player and maps using the remote. Honestly I think you'd have to be a pretty hardcore gamer to even think about picking up this $40 accessory, but to each his own. Anybody out there going to grab one of these? 

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Podcast Episode 041: Worst CrackBerry Podcast Ever?!

Well, I'm not really sure that this is the worst CrackBerry Podcast ever, but if not it has to be pretty close. I think we must have jinxed ourselves when we called Episode 040 the Best CrackBerry Podcast Ever. We're a little more disorganized than usual (hard to believe I know!) and there wasn't a whole lot new to talk about since our last podcast was recorded only six days earlier.

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Pageonce Releases Cell Minute Tracker For BlackBerry

Pageonce has always been one of my favorite applications on my BlackBerry. This time around Pageonce has expanded on the ability to review your wireless account which was included in their personal assitant application previously. Pageonce Mobile Minute tracker is now available via Blackberry App World and for those amongst you who like to keep track of your wireless account with up to date information, this is the application for you. Features include:

  • View current minute balance, rollover minutes, data plan, SMS use, billing cycle,
    and previous payments on a single page
  • Receive alerts when you reach 90% of your limit or when your bill is due
  • Breakdown information by family member
  • View your phone bill
  • 128 bit SSL encryption, insured by a top 10 A+ rated insurance carrier

The list of carriers supported for this application is rather large, but is contained to the US, Canada and the UK with the UK only supporting 02, but within US and Canada all major carriers are supported. Also to point out -- the application does come in two different versions: one free, one paid. You can view the differences between the two here on the Pageone site, that way you can decide what version is best suited for you. This is a great application for monitoring usage on your accounts and those of family members. Preventative measures can be put in place and in the long term could save you some cash and avoid overage charges. Be sure to check it out and if you are already using it--let us know in the comments how ya feel about it.

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Thumbplay Music Store Launches On BlackBerry App World!

Thumbplay has been around for a while as a content provider for such things as ringtones, real tones and games and have now launched their music download service within BlackBerry App World. The application itsself is free to download to your device but costs associated from the use of the app come from downloading full length MP3 Quality, DRM Free music files to your device, all of which can be played on mp3 players, your PC and of course your BlackBerry.

All songs are downloaded via WiFi for faster delivery or over 3G, EDGE and with music starting at $0.69 and going up from there the service is a cost effective way to get your music on the go. Paypal and debit cards are accepted for the payment processing so that makes it just that much easier.

The application itself is nice. Once downloaded and installed to your BlackBerry you can preview songs directly from it which makes accidental purchases of bad music impossible. So there goes my excuse for having Taylor Swift on my BlackBerry. ;)

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CrackBerry Debate/Poll: Do You Want SurePress on Your Touchscreen BlackBerry?
  What would you like to see RIM do with their touchscreen SurePress technology?(online surveys)

This one is going to be interesting.... Ever since RIM introduced the notion of a touchscreen that "clicks" with the BlackBerry Storm it has been met with some degree of polarity. There are those who don't see the need for it, there are those who love the concept of getting real tactile feedback while typing on a flat piece of glass and there are those who would maybe like it some of the time (but not necessarily all of the time).

RIM's SurePress design theory does have its benefits. Separating navigation from confirmation allows you to minimize accidental presses/taps (selecting something you don't want) - when browsing the web this is really handy in allowing you to hone in and click the right link the first time or still allowing you to type with accuracy in a bumpy environment (back of a NYC taxi cab). Of course, the main intent behind SurePress was for the device to be great for everyday typing and messaging. I hate to re-hash Storm 1's less than smooth rollout, but between the hardware design and initial software issues, using SurePress tended to be more of a challenge than convenience (though there are many a Storm owner who invested the time into the device and can now hustle with it).

The good news is that with all that we have seen of Storm 2 so far, the hardware design behind this next evolution of SurePress looks to be a lot better and early hands-on reports (including my own) suggest the device will be much improved for typing/everyday use compared to Storm 1, and easier for the average person to pick up and get the hang of immediately out of the box (keep in mind we're referring to Storm 2's tech as SurePress for this post though RIM may rebrand it - TruePress, ClickThru, VirtualClick, who knows!). That said, on CrackBery Podcast 040 we got onto the topic of Storm 2 and SurePress and I posed a question that's definitely up for debate... With SurePress, is RIM giving people what they want or are they trying to tell people what they think they need?

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HoneyDew Is Your Synchronized Todo and Tasks List That Makes Paper Lists Obsolete!

Have you ever made a grocery list only to forget it at home? I know I have plenty of times. Enter HoneyDew: HoneyDew is a synchronized todo and task list that will get rid of wasting paper. I think it's pretty common for must of us when its time to go grocery shoping or need to remember to do things around the house we write them down on a piece of paper so we don't forget. Well something always happens and the paper is thrown away or lost and we have to start a new one. The BlackBerrys have something that can fix that already in the Task or Memo app. That really only solves one side of the issue, what if after making a big grocery list I wanna share it with my Wife? I then have to give her my BlackBerry and let her manually copy into her BlackBerry, yuck, what a pain!

Well lucky for us the great people over at VersatileMonkey (the creators of the popular PodTrapper)has solved this issue. Once you have HoneyDew installed on your berry, open HoneyDew up and start adding things to a grocery list or a todo list. 

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The iPhone Ad You'll Never See

If you're like me, you probably get tired of seeing endless iPhone ads on TV and hearing "There's an app for that". Well CrackBerry member kelsch1 sent in this video of The iPhone Ad You'll Never See. This one gave me a great laugh for a slow Wednesday morning, so I figured it was best to share it with all the other CrackBerry lovers. It does have a bit of explicit language, so hide the kids for a minute while you watch it.

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BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife Updated

BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife Updated

We took a quick look at JL_Cmdr replacement BBSAK a while back, and I just got word that it has been updated with even more new features. Already packed with BlackBerry-tweaking goodies, BBSAK now added some much needed updates, and it sure to have more in store. I actually had to use this over the weekend on my Tour, and I must say it couldn't be any easier to use. Some of the new updates include:

  • Kill Processes Button added (if your having trouble connecting click kill processes to close
  • (BBdevmgr.exe and RimDevManager.exe both started by desktop manager)
  • Full System Dump (Save ALL Cods on device) (Dump CODs)
  • Save button added to Read System (saves all the file names to a SystemRead.txt)
  • ACCURATE Progress Bar added to 3rd Party Backup
  • Files now displayed as they are being saved
  • Can now Save Multiple CODs at one time 
For the full update log and more information, check out the BBSAK thread at RIMGeeks.
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Preview: What's Coming in BIS 2.5 BlackBerry IM Clients!

We've all seen (or used!) the updated BlackBerry Messenger client that will roll out in OS 5.0, as well as the native threaded SMS client that popped up in OS 5.0.0.190. With big improvements shown in these native BlackBerry messenging apps, you have to ask the question what if else will be getting an update... the answer to which is the big third party BlackBerry Instant Messaging clients of course!! We're hearing it'll be mid/late September when the BlackBerry IM clients Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk and ICQ (does anybody actually still use that?) will see improvements via their BIS 2.5 update. New features include the ability to:

  • Add dedicated icons to the Home Screen for one-click access to conversation boxes of specific contacts. The icon appears as the contact's display picture or avatar
  • Add contacts and display pictures or avatars to the address book to easily send instant messages, email messages, SMS text messages, or place a call right from the address book or conversation box
  • Search through saved conversations
  • Add dedicated emoticon icons in the conversation box

For a detailed overview and look at what's coming, take a look below. I'm getting more and more excited for the rollout of OS 5.0 and these IM client updates by the minute. The already excellent BlackBerry communication experience is going to be even better. Excited much?

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BlackBerry Tip: Hold Down on the Alt Key While Scrolling To Jump Cursor Across the Screen. Does it Work for you?
 

I received an email the other day from one of our readers/podcast listeners (thanks Chris!) that brought up a good tip that some of you may not be aware of and also raised a valid question/concern:

Have you noticed that on the Curve 8900 and Curve 8520 holding alt + scrolling left or right scrolls all the way the left or right of the text. Example: when your typing a email or text, once you get a few lines down hold alt and scroll left to right or up and down. I've noticed this doesn't work on the Bold, but I've tried it on the 8900 and 8520. 

Being able to fast scroll when reading/composing by holding Alt is definitely a great feature for trackball/trackpad BlackBerry smartphones, but as Chris points out there does seem to be at least some inconsistency as to what devices/os versions offer this feature. For example, it's working flawlessly on my Tour, on some older devices doesn't appear to want to work at all, and on my Curve 8900 (which I just upgraded to 5.0.0.190), I can fast scroll when composing but not while reading emails. So the question is, does it work for you?! I'd assume it's a gimme of a function and should always work, so I'm not quite sure why it wouldn't in some situations. Try holding down alt while scrolling on a message with a lot of text to see if your cursor makes the big jump.

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Images: Native Threaded SMS Client for BlackBerry

With OS 5.0.0.190 surfacing for the BlackBerry Bold and Curve 8900, we finally have visual proof that RIM will be bringing threaded SMS to BlackBerry. Why it took so long who knows, but when OS 5.0 officially rolls out in the weeks/months ahead (it's all unofficial looks so far) that this long-standing pain will be no more. Below you can see some more screen captures of it in action. This one of those things I really hope RIM can find a way to make backwards compatible to older OS platforms. So far we've only seen OS 5.0 love for devices that originally shipped with OS 4.6 or 4.7, but I have a feeling there a ton of BlackBerry Curve 83xx and Pearl users out there that would kill for this. Sure, BlackBerry Messenger is where it's at.... but if you have friends that for some reason don't own a BlackBerry, then threaded SMS is a must.

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iVista2, BlueBerry Pie, StrawBerry Cake by Z ManDesigns Now avaliable on the Tour!

I recently got word from Zack over at ZManDesigns that he has updated his top 3 selling themes so they are Tour ready! iVista2 was a HUGE success right out of the gate, and is still the best selling theme to date. Next up are his BlueBerry Pie and StrawBerry Cake, which are both the same just in different flavors. All of them are very user customizable and wallpaper friendly. All three have today built into them. BlurBerry Pie and StrawBerry Cake have 10 user customizable icons with a drop down, while iVista2 has 9 user customizable icons. Over all these themes are perfect for any Tour out there and can be picked up in the CrackBerry App Store.

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BB OS Leaks: 5.0.0.190 for Bold and 8900 w/ threaded SMS; 5.0.0.154 for Storm 9530; OS 5.0.0.140 for Tour!

Holy Geebus. Talk about leaky leaky. After OS 5.0.0.154 showed up in the forums for the BlackBerry Storm 9530 late last night, our pal TimBuk2 sent in some BlackBerry OS download links for the Tour, Bold and Curve 8900. For the Tour, version 5.0.0.140 is pretty old now and kinda buggy, but OS 5.0.0.190 is hot off the press for the Bold and 8900 and makes some jumps forward with OS 5.0 including the appearance of threaded SMS (as pictured above)!! Finally - a native threaded SMS client on BlackBerry! Tabbed browsing is gone (for now at least) in .190 but there's some other cool features too, like theme previews upon downloading and a few other tweaks (just installed an am playing with it now)! Be sure to visit the Storm OS forum and Beta OS forum (for all other devices) for the details on all of these versions.

*OS Disclaimer - This is an unofficial release. 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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BlackBerry Trackball Replacement Tip

BlackBerry Trackball Replacement Tip
 

I'm always a bit surprised whenever I click into the ShopCrackBerry.com accessory store to see that the replacement BlackBerry trackball continues to top the best sellers list. It's been #1 since the first week it went on sale and has yet to drop down even a single notch, though between touchscreen BlackBerrys and the introduction of the touch-sensitive trackpad at some point that may just happen. I guess I shouldn't be that suprised though - there are literally millions of BlackBerry Curves, Pearls and 8800 series smartphones in use out there with the older-style white trackball and housing and from time to time they can wear out and need to be replaced.

Have you ever had to replace the trackball on your BlackBerry?(online surveys)

In fact, just yesterday evening while out doing some shopping, the ball on my girlfriend's Curve 8320 went completely wonky to the point of being unusable. Luckily, I had a spare in my car's glove box so was able to do a parking lot fix up job and get it up and running like new in under a minute (yes, I keep some spare trackballs handy - I highly recommend it especially if/when you're traveling as if it your ball is going to give out on you it will always do so at the most inconvenient time. I always keep a spare charged battery handy too). The experience prompted me to write this up... because what I want to know is, have you ever changed the trackball on your BlackBerry? Be sure to cast your vote above (Storm owners can skip this one). And accessory tip of the week - it never hurts to have a spare trackball on hand. Trust me... you'll thank me one day. You can watch the video above to learn how to replace it yourself.

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BlackBerry Storm 2 Really Gets Completely Dissected. Doesn't Have a Heart But Shows Off Some Cool Sensors!

Wow. What a fun few days for all the BlackBerry Storm 2 chasers out there. Since our CrackBerry Podcast last Thursday where we first dropped the notion that some Piezo technology potentially may be implemented within the device, the forums and blogs and youtube have been working overtime to pump out theories of what's actually in there and how it works. Over the weekend, Salomondrin posted up his hands-on video of the Storm where he fully touted the device's use of piezo tech, though the sponge analogy he gave (while easy to grasp) didn't seem quite accurate in terms of actual device usage observations (the glass is still hard). On Sunday I made a post in the forums to try and go back and clarify/layout all of the things that were for sure known/still unknown about the Storm 2's display and yesterday an image popped up to verify that under display are what appear to look like four "buttons" upon which the LCD is attached. Very cool stuff, but we were still at a point of not really knowing what kind of technology was being used (was it actually piezo, something more basic like Storm 1 just executed better, or something altogether different?).

That brings us to today where the fine folks at Engadget just posted several images of a completely ripped apart BlackBerry Storm 9550 to unveil everything that's inside. Their take on it:

... we've got a handful of new pictures showing off that piezoelectronic technology doing its thing. Basically, as we understand it, those four "buttons" which are pictured are more like sensors than buttons. When the device is on, they communicate with the screen and presses on the screen can simulate that familiar "click" that Storm users know all too well. However, when the device is powered off, the screen stays put, as there isn't an actual mechanism to move the screen like there was in the original Storm. 

It'll be interesting to get the official low-down on how all this is working one day, but one thing is for sure, it definitely looks to be taking RIM's SurePress technology to a whole new level. Be sure to jump over to Engadget to see plenty more pics and then continue the Storm 2 display discussion in the CrackBerry Forums.

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AT&T Official Bold 9000 OS 4.6.0.297 Now Available!

We knew it was coming, and today is the day. AT&T has officially released OS 4.6.0.297 for the BlackBerry Bold 9000. Head on over to the BlackBerry download page and get on it - Visual Voice Mail is waiting for you. You should also be able to run the wireless upgrade via Settings > Advanced Options > Upgrade. This is an official carrier OS, but if you're not on AT&T you'll have to delete the vendor.xml file before installing. Check out the links below for more information. Thanks to Morganizer for the screen cap.

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Express Unlock

The good folks at Express Unlock Code have been generous enough to give us another 100 free unlock codes for CrackBerry members. Only customers of AT&T, T-mobile USA, Rogers, Verizon, Cincinnati Bell, Suncom, Centennial and Cellular One will be able to receive a free code. Standard services for Express Unlock Code regularly start at $9.99. If you missed out on the many chances for an unlock code before, why not give it another go? Just leave a comment on this post to enter for your chance to win! Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment - additional entries won't count.

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Epic Applications released a new puzzle game yesterday that's simple in concept, yet addicting as all hell to play. i installed Flood on my BlackBerry Tour before going to bed last night and found myself up for an hour longer than I should have been trying to score under par. The goal of Flood is to turn the entire board the same color in as few moves as possible. Your starting position is at the top left of the screen, and selecting a color (clicked on from below the game area). Once you select a color, every neighboring square with that color will be filled. As you continue to choose colors, you eventually flood out the screen. It's confusing to explain... so watch the video above or better yet download the free trial and give it a go. There are over 25 levels, which get challenging quick, and each level has a par that you'll want to try and beat. 

Flood sells for $2.99, but is available for $1.99 today only in the CrackBerry App Store. Be sure to check out the product listing page for more details and the CrackBerry forum thread for discussion. Flood is available for the BlackBerry Storm, Tour, Bold and Curve 8900.

Get Addicted to Flood for your BlackBerry

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