Free BBampd Theme for BlackBerry Tour

Free BBampd Theme for BlackBerry Tour

Forums member Natemz gave us a great Tour theme when he dropped his BlackBerry Pro v3, and he is back with his latest creation, BBampd. Available in six colors, BBampd has a great look with its unique design and custom icons. Featuring customizable icons, hidden dock, OCD icon slots and more. If you are a Tour owner you should definitely check this one out. With so many choices, there is a little something for everyone - and best of all its free. Check out the BBampd thread in the forums for both OTA and Desktop installs.

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Leave a comment on this forum post for your chance to win one of ten $50 coupon codes for accessories from ShopCrackBerry.com... enter here!

Ten years ago today, 9/9/99, our fearless leader Marcus Adolfsson launched VisorCentral.com - a community providing news, reviews and forums focused on a single product: the Handspring Visor.  The Visor, you may recall, was the PDA that was destined to start the smartphone revolution with the VisorPhone.

Ten years later, we have grown from that single small site to a network of seven different communities, each focused on a core brand of smartphone and dedicated to providing everything a user could need or want to know about their smartphone - from news to chat, reviews to ringtones, podcasts to apps, accessories to wallpapers. The Smartphone Experts Network has over 1.8 million members in our forums; on any given day there are thousands of users logged in: finding help, talking about the latest news, reviewing products, and more. We still have plenty of active members that signed up literally within days of our 9/9/99 launch. Millions of visitors every month come to us to find out the latest information for their smartphone.

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Lots of reports are coming in from BlackBerry BIS users reporting issues of delays in receiving emails. Verizon appeared to be the first carrier to experience the issues, but reports have come in from several carriers now. Check the latest CrackBerry Forum posts and use the comments below to stay on top of it!

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BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac

BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac

[ Note from Kevin: We know a lot of you were excited to see the Facebook note and tweet from @BlackBerry today that Desktop Manager for Mac was now available. While that didn't pan out and it's not officially available yet, we figured we'd bring you a little DM for Mac fix via a BlackBerry 101 article. Our pal Gary Mazo, VP and Partner of Made Simple Learning put this one together, which will actually be a chapter in their future BlackBerry books. But you're getting it here first for free! Thanks Gary!! ]

For years, Windows users have enjoyed the seamless Synchronization of their contacts, calendar, notes and tasks with their PC via the BlackBerry® Desktop Manager Software. Now, for the first time, this "piece of mind" that comes with knowing your data is fully "backed up" is available to the Mac® user.

If you are a Windows user, this will seem familiar, yet very much streamlined for the Mac. If you have never used BlackBerry Desktop Manager, you will now be able to not only synchronize your data, but you will be able to backup, restore, Sync your iTunes® playlists and more.

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SmrtGuard Updated To Version 1.98 With More New Features Coming Soon!

The folks at SmrtGuard have been collecting feedback from users for quite some time now. With all the feedback and support for SmrtGuard, they have been able to make some nice additions to the application while addressing a lot of user concerns at the same time. An update for SmrtGuard is now available for all users pushing it to version 1.98, all existing users are indeed recommended to grab the update and any new users, this is the version you will be delivered.

New changes include:

  • More Robust Remote Wiping that wipes out Password Word Keeper, Facebook, Phone Application
  • Backup and Restore secured by Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption
  • Easy and secured activation verification process with secure key exchange mechanism via HTTPS. They have a quick setup guide here
  • Added support for User1, User2, User4, User4, Birthday, Anniversary fields in Contact backup and restore.

Also on the horizon is version 2.01 which will bring with it some long awaited features such as selective photo back up, enhancements to the "Follow Me" service which allows hikers and travellers to track each other as well as support for Google Android device swapping. You can check SmrtGuard out today in either monthly, semi annual or annual service options.

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RIM Giveth Desktop Manager For Mac, Then Taketh Away!

* Update from Kevin: It was a boo-boo on somebody at RIM's part. Desktop Manager for Mac will not be launching today. However, we will bring you a little something special shortly though to get your Mac Desktop Manager fix for the day. *

We all got a glimpse of BlackBerry Desktop Manager by now, be it through the leaked versions that popped up online or through the reviews and walk throughs. It seems RIM may be getting prepared to finally launch the application in it's official capacity or someone just made a really BIG boo-boo.

Earlier today, as you can see from the Twitter status photo someone within RIM Tweeted the availablity of Desktop Manager For Mac and posted a link to the RIM FaceBook pages, all of which was removed in a hot second before anyone could even fully see what actually got posted. So was this all a mistake or shall we be expecting a Desktop Manager for Mac launch soon?

[ BGR ]

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Palm Unveils the Pixi Phone

It's a bit of a slow news day in the world of BlackBerry (other than @BlackBerry announcing Desktop Manager for Mac was available today, which was a mistake and in fact is not... d'oh!) and it has been a while since we've ran a post in our Berry-Free Talk blog post category, so I thought we'd bring you a look at the newest smartphone to be making a splash on the interwebs - the Palm Pixi Phone.

The Palm Pixi follows up the release of the Palm Pre, with the Pixi slotting in as the Centro of the new Palm and their line of next-gen devices that run the Palm Web OS. It's small, features a full front facing keyboard and is slated to come to Sprint (likely in time for the holidays). Dieter was on location to cover the event yesterday, and has a ton of info up at PreCentral.net if you're interested in learning more. The video above goes through the hardware, and you can follow the links below to see, read and learn more.

In terms of where this stacks up to BlackBerry smartphones, I'd think of this as the head to head phone with the BlackBerry Curve 8530, when that rolls out to CDMA carriers. A little more entry level that makes some comprises, but a nice tight package overall. So what do you think? Does Palm have something here with the Pixi that appeals to you, or is it a thanks but no thanks type offering?

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Lucky7Slots

Looking for a quick, easy game to play? Well check out Lucky7Slots. We all know how the game works, so you're ready to play as soon as you download. Lucky7Slots has amazing graphics, realistic slot machine sounds, the ability to bet multiple credits and more. You can "swipe to spin" on the Storm or use the animated handle - you can even save your credits so you don't have to worry about losing them when you exit the game. I'm a big fan of slot machine games for some reason, and this is one of the best to date. Lucky7Slots is available in the CrackBerry App Store for only $1.99 through September 18th.

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Get BBTran Pro for 50% Off Today Only!

BBTran Pro

On the heels of our contest last week, Sergey has decided to give away his BBTran Pro app for 50% off today. That means you can snag it for only $2.99 from the CrackBerry App Store (down from $5.99). BBTran Pro is a must have if you travel often or just find yourself needing a quick transaltion. It works for emails, sms, memos and more. The app supports over 50 languages and is one of the most feature-packed translators around. Head over to the link below and use the coupon code CBBBTRPHALF to get 50% off BBTran Pro (the coupon will ONLY work in the mobile app store from your device).

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Slacker Radio Updated To Version 2.0.49

Slacker Radio Updated To Version 2.0.49

Just a few days ago there was an update to Slacker Radio and apparently it's already that time again. Slacker Radio has been updated from version 2.0.45 to 2.0.49 this time around and while there is no mention of a change log on the Slacker forums as of yet, some users were indeed having issues with 2.0.45 on their 9630's so maybe this is the fix for those bugs. If we come across a changelog we'll update the information but as it stands now, check out the CrackBerry forums for what others are noticing with the update.

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T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700 Marketing Image!

Our pal Al Sacco scored a bank error in his favor this morning when T-Mobile sent him a marketing image of the upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9700 which was not accompanied by any embargo terms. I brought you live images of the T-Mobile branded Bold 9700 previously, but this marketing shot sure looks sweet. T-Mobile also sent along the following blurb, which still makes use of the "onyx" codename:

"The BlackBerry 'Onyx' sports a premium experience and design with a high-gloss black finish and leather grain detail on the back. Boasting features such as high-speed 3G Web browsing, Wi-Fi calling, visual voicemail and support for corporate and personal e-mail options, the 'Onyx' will satisfy all your on-the-go needs. Also the phone comes preloaded with mobile applications from BlackBerry App World, including Amazon MP3 store for quick and easy music downloads and TeleNav GPS Navigator for turn-by-turn directions." 

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Contest: 50 Free Copies of Empower SMS Viewer

Its no secret that BlackBerry users want threaded SMS, and back in July we got a great offering with Empower SMS Viewer. The application is totally customizable, and allows for threaded SMS that actually integrates with the native BlackBerry client. The features are endless, having the ability to change backgrounds, fonts, templates and more. SMS Viewer has been a big hit, and more features are in store for upcoming versions. The biggest update will include grouping of SMS messages under contact name, which will allow for true SMS chat. Empower SMS Viewer is available in the CrackBerry App Store for $9.99 through September 15th

Contest: We have 50 free copies of Empower SMS Viewer to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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What's Going On With Plazmic?

What's Going On With Plazmic?

*UPDATE* - Just got an email from Mike Kirkup, Director, Developer Relations at Research In Motion explaining the happenings with Plazmic and their site and it is as I had hoped, an effort to reorganize and provide better offerings for developers. Thanks to Mike for taking the time to explain it for us all.

This is one step among many to bring the Plazmic products inline with the other offerings from RIM to our developer community by bringing it in-house to ensure that it receives the same level of attention and focus that our other developer tools receive today.  This is most definitely a vote towards improved tooling and development of themes and content on the BlackBerry platform.  We are also phasing out the existing Plazmic discussion forums and moving that discussion over to the BlackBerry Developer Support Forums along with moving the existing posts on that board to the new board to ensure we don’t lose the great information accumulated over the years.

It wasn't that long ago that RIM released the "update patch" for their Content Developers Kit that enabled the ability to create themes for the 9630 Tour and the BlackBerry Curve 8520. Theme developers across the board were happy to see it's release but soon found out it was obviously not the most ideal update to have, and more likely should have been marked as a beta then anything else. Plazmic has long been a tool that theme developers love to hate, it's buggy and has some issues to say the least.

The past week some interesting stuff has happened with the Plazmic.com website as Daniel Black pointed out in the CrackBerry Forums. Plazmic.com, the domain used for all things Plazmic, has mysteriously been redirected to a general BlackBerry page with all the download links for the tools in one spot. Maybe RIM is revamping the site? Maybe the site was no longer useful? Seems rather odd to me that they would pull it considering it housed their community forums.

Either way, the redirect and removal of Plazmic.com as a site seems rather odd. With the BlackBerry Developers Conference coming up, hopefully this is a sign of better things to come from Plazmic but I'm not going to hold my breath (and I'm sure some theme developers out there won't either).

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Contest Winners: TrainSchedule, Fancy Characters, AppleBerry, BBTran Pro & SlideBerry Zoom

Another great week of contests has come and gone, and more happy winners this week. We had some great new apps to give away with Fancy Characters, TrainSchedule and BBTran Pro, and some more SlideBerry Zoom and AppleBerry love. In case you missed it (though I'm not sure how) we have two HUGE contests still running through Sunday. Check out our Win a Custom Painted ColorWare BlackBerry Tour!!! and our insane 1,000 Free Copies of TetherBerry! $50k Value!! contests - these are two you definitely don't want to miss! 

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Free BlackHole Game for BlackBerry Storm

Free BlackHole Game for BlackBerry Storm

S4BB Limited has released their first free game for the BlackBerry Storm called BlackHole. Its a cool little game where you simply navigate objects into a ... you guessed it ... black hole. Nothing revolutionary, but it is a great time killer and a ton of fun to play. There are 9 levels with varying theme and difficulty, as well as user and high score management. The game is currently only available for the Storm, and both OTA and desktop download links are available. Head over to s4bb.com/free-software/#blackhole to download.

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Yahoo! Fantasy Football '09 Now Available for BlackBerry

It's that season - everyone is getting their last minute fantasy football drafts in and getting ready for kickoff. Yahoo! is lending a helping hand with their Fantasy Football '09 app. If you are in a Yahoo! league, this is one app you don't want to be without. It gives you the ability to manage your roster, check live scores, add/drop players and check stats. This can give you that little edge by always being able to manage your team and check in no matter where you are. Yahoo! Fantasy Football '09 is totally free and you can grab it from BlackBerry App World.

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I got a note from David at BigTinCan (makers of BuzzMe Pro & FaceCall) that they have hit 1,000,000 users across their BlackBerry apps, and to celebrate the milestone, they are giving away five unlocked Curve 8520s. To get in on the action, you just need to submit a video showing how you use one of their products. The catch? You have to do it with some disco flair. For full details, check out their contest page at bigtincan.com/september. The contest runs through September 20th, so get your video on and don't miss out.

Contest: Since we also love contests, we figured we'd throw a contest with a contest. BigTinCan was kind enough to give us 100 free copies of BuzzMe Pro v2.0 to give away along with thier promotion. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one entry - multiple submissions won't count.

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Leaked: OS 4.7.1.42 for BlackBerry Tour 9630

It looks like OS 4.7.1.42 for the Tour 9630 has popped up on the web today. This OS isn't a huge step forward for Tour owners, but at least its something new. No word if this is actually an improvement over the stock OS, but drop a comment and let us know your findings.

*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. *

[Source]
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txtForward: SMS to Email Forwarding

txtForward: SMS to Email Forwarding

This may not be the case for everybody but for me, I used to rarely use SMS to communicate. There has only been a slight increase of SMS activity on my BlackBerry smartphone. What’s the reason? There isn’t actually any real reason that I can think of. Most of my wireless communication typically happens via email, phone calls, BlackBerry Messenger or through third party apps. After thinking about it, I may not use SMS that often due to the fact that once it’s deleted, it’s gone. Unless I choose to delete an email from my mailbox and handheld, I will still have the message backed up somewhere. If I’m at work, I’m usually managing my email and such from my desktop. Some departments in my company are actually banning cellphones, due to SMS abuse. Tsk tsk fellow employees - even without your BlackBerry on your desks, you can still use txtForward.

Actually, txtForward, if used with good intentions, could be very beneficial. The application lets you forward received and/or sent messages to an email address of your choice. With txtForward on my BlackBerry, I should text those who may have thought I died a long time ago. If you’re still curious what this application could do for you, read on.

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 6 Sept. 2009

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