Review: Blueant Q1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset

While at CES, I had the opportunity to meet the great folks over at BlueAnt and have a chat with them about their Q1 headset. This sexy little piece of hardware had me smitten from the get-go, and I fell completely in love with it during the course of testing it out for this review. It seems like many people are tossing Bluetooth headsets to the curb lately, but the little guy is sure to stick by my side for a while. I haven't used a headset quite like the Q1 before, so lets get going and see how it holds up.

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Cincinnati Bell Launches Bold 9700; Alltel Launches Curve 8530

It looks like two more carriers have jumped in on the trackpad fun. Cincinnati Bell has released the Bold 9700, and Alltel Wireless has launched the Curve 8530. The 9700 will set you back $299.99 even after instant savings and a $100 rebate. A bit pricey with a 2-year contract, but some Cincinnati Bell users may have no other carrier options. Alltel users will have better luck since they can pickup a Curve 8530 for just $49.99 after $100 mail-in rebate. Some good options on both ends, but it looks like Alltel users get the win this time around.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for January 22nd, 2010!

BlackBerry App Roundup for January 22nd, 2010!

As per usual I've got a great batch of apps for you all to check out this week, many of them free. With that in mind, let's get right down to business. Covered this week in the App Roundup are the following titles:

Freebies of the Week: Golf Channel Mobile, Slacker Radio Canada, Binary Clock

In Case You Missed It: MyWeather Mobile, Blurts Updated to 1.1, eBay for BlackBerry Updated, SearchIt for BlackBerry Updated with Opera/BOLT Support and More

New This Week: Super Mario Brothers Animated Theme, BBScanner, Quick Call, SeaBattle - Battleship for the BlackBerry

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Mobiola Web Camera

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Official BlackBerry Bold 9700 OS 5.0.0.442 Released By Zain Jordan

We haven't seen any leaks for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 as of late, so here is an official release instead from Zain Jordan. OS 5.0.0.442 can be downloaded from their BlackBerry download site. We don't as of yet, have a record of what's new or what's fixed but I'm sure the CrackBerry forums will soon fill up with that information. Remember, when updating to this OS to remove the vendor.xml file from the install folder if Zain is not your carrier.

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Thwapr Launches Free Mobile to Mobile Video Sharing

Thawpr is a new mobile-to-mobile video sharing platform that allows users to capture and share video and photos on mobile phones without the need for any applications. The service is geared to work with any device and only requires a camera and web browser. Thawpr is totally free, and allows you to interact with recipents by sending ("Thwapping") media to their devices, and they are then able to reply with a "Thwapback". Thwapr can be used as a break from conventional text messaging, allowing users to send and receive videos for more enriched communication. The service detects the formats, screen size and browser on the receiving device, so there is no need to install any additional applications. Thwapr is currently still in beta and is available for the US and Canada only for now. Head over to Thwapr.com if you're interested in trying it out. Be sure to leave a comment and let us know if you'll be Thwapping from now on.

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TripIt for BlackBerry Now Available

TripIt for BlackBerry Now Available

TripIt has announced a free BlackBerry app allowing you to access your TripIt itineraries right from your device, with or without data service. The free app includes calendar integration, flight status, hotel & restaurant info and more. To use the app you'll need to register for a TripIt account, and you can then send your itineraries to TripIt where they'll be entered into your "master travel itinerary" so you can monitor your flights and hotel information. From the TripIt application, you can pull up maps and directions, quickly call hotels and airlines and view all of your travel details. To receive flight alerts and other "perks", you'll have to kick in $69/year for TripIt Pro, but you can test it out free for 30 days.

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Boost Mobile Shipping Curve 8330 with OS 5.0.0.438?

Boost Mobile Shipping Curve 8330 with OS 5.0.0.438?

Boost Mobile officially launched the Curve 8330 a few days ago, and the forums are blowing up with some great news. It looks like the device is being shipped with OS version 5.0.0.438. This is an added bonus for new Boost users, while 8330 holders on other carriers are clamming to get their hands on an official 5.0 OS. This pretty much came out of nowhere, but if you remember Kevin's OS 5.0 update, its really up to the carrier to choose what OS will be installed on the device. It makes sense since the 8330 is new to the Boost lineup that it would carry the latest OS. Drop a comment and let us know your thoughts, and check out the forums for more discussion. Thanks to Terry K for the screencap!

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FlightView - Recent Update Includes Support For More Devices

Just before the holidays we covered an application called FlightView. FlightView lets users track flights, manage their travel plans, and stay on top of national delays at major airports. The one problem for some with that release was that it was only available for the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 and BlackBerry Curve 8300 series devices.

Since the intital release, FlightView has been updated to work on newer model devices such as the Bold, Tour and all Curve devices, as well as 88xx series. At this time though the BlackBerry Storm series remains unsupported. FlightView is one of the only apps to be chosen by the FAA to recieve direct flight updates from them, allowing FlightView to offer the most up to date information possible. You can get the updated version of FlightView for only $4.99 in BlackBerry App World.

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Elecite- Ace And Halcyon Premium Themes

Elecite- Ace And Halcyon Premium Themes

The theme builders over at Elecite have been taking themes to a whole new level these days. Two themes were released almost side by side a little while ago. 

Ace has a "cover flow" app card design that works beautifully. While the apps are not customizable this way, Elecite has made the most common ones used, the ones that show up as cards. Thats not to say you can't customize the homescreen in any way though, Elecite also made the top half under the customize icon like a launcher, allowing you to input whatever apps you do so wish in that list.

Halcyon, was the next theme release. Including a bottom dock that houses 9 locked and ordered application icons: contacts, messages, calendar, tasks, memo, profiles, browser, facebook and twitter (ubertwitter). As well as a hidden today preview screen and visual effects such as over sized icons for easy navigation.

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First Live Images Of The BlackBerry Dakota (or is it an old Magnum Prototype?) Emerge

* Update from Kevin: This is DEFINITELY one of the older pre-dakota prototypes (ie. magnum). Don't expect to be buying this exact device anytime soon (errr.. never). But something nicer and updated is in the works! *

We've been hearing the codename "Dakota" for a while now. The Bold 9000 sized, 3G, Touchscreen device with a full QWERTY keyboard that is also rumored to be using a "Liquid Lens" designed for high quality images. And now the above pic appears on Twitter followed by a second, clearer shot. showing off it's trackball / trackpad-less form factor.

Is it a Dakota? Or is it more likely that this is a Magnum prototype? Or some other prototype that got left in the trash can? Magnum was the predecessor to the Dakota, whose design was scrapped and then transitioned into Dakota. No OS details were mentioned from @cellguru, so it remains unknown if there is even an OS loaded onto it, which makes it a little difficult to say with 100% certainty what device it actually is. We were under the impression that Magnum didn't have a trackpad while Dakota did, plus the actual look and styling of this device seems a tad bit older than that of the latest generation of BlackBerry Smartphones. If it is Magnum, then hopefully we'll see some Dakota soon and that'll clarify the situation. That's all we have for now. Feel free to speculate in the comments. Hopefully some more details will turn up soon. In the meantime, what do you all think of the concept? Liking the notion of a BlackBerry that's half touchscreen, half physical keyboard?

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

I know, I know... this is a BlackBerry site, so why are we posting a review of another platform's product? The answer is easy... the Smartphone Round Robin is still going on which dedicates six weeks to checking out the competition. I already reviewed the Sprint Palm Pre and Pixi, but tonight the embargoes have lifted and Dieter over at PreCentral.net has given the new Pre Plus and Pixi Plus the full work over. So while we're still waiting for the new BlackBerry Pearl 3G and Tour2 (and maybe a new touch-Berry) to get their announcements and reviews on, you can watch the video above and click over on the links below to learn what's going on from Palm. What do you think? Liking or disliking Palm's direction? Don't ya just love how they toss a mirror on the Pre?

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Foursquare for BlackBerry Now Available

Foursquare for BlackBerry Now Available

It seems like Foursquare has been taking off like mad as of late. Everyone is getting in on the fun, and its invading Twitter timelines everywhere. If you haven't heard of Foursquare, it is essentially a social network game. You enter your location or "check-in" whenever you venture out, and you can earn points and badges as rewards. Check in enough times at one location and you become Mayor, find certain places with tags to earn badges. It can be a ton of fun (and overly addicting) if you can con enough of your friend into using it, or if you travel somewhere (ie. CES) where a load of other users are floating around. The BlackBerry app is still in beta, but is now available for download. The site seems to be having a few issues, so load times may be a bit longer than normal, but head over to foursquare.com/blackberry/beta from your device browser to download. If the page doesn't load just keep at it, I had some trouble the first few tries.

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GMTaskSync - Sync Your Gmail and BlackBerry Tasks

GMTaskSync

Many BlackBerry users are also Gmail users, and are constantly trying to find a way to keep data organized. The Google Calendar Sync is a big help, allowing you to sync up both your calendar and contacts with Gmail. If you're also a fan of the Gmail tasks feature, GMTaskSync might be something to add to your BlackBerry arsenal. The app, currently in beta, easily syncs up your Gmail tasks with the native BlackBerry tasks app. It features two-way sync and resolves conflicts automatically. The features are slim since the app is still new, but it is free to try until March (when I assume a paid version will be released). Check it out and let us know how it works for you.

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PrivacyStar for BlackBerry Blocks Unwanted Callers - 5 Subscriptions to Give Away

A few days ago we saw the release of PrivacyStar from First Orion. The application makes it easy for you to block unwanted callers, telemarketers, 800 numbers and more from getting through to your BlackBerry. Users can login to the web portal and add or remove numbers from their blocked list. PrivacyStar will run you $2.99 a month, but a free 30-day trial is available. Features include:

  • Report offenders to authorities directly using PrivacyStar
  • Block unwanted callers from your call log menu or enter numbers manually
  • Block private or unknown callers
  • Block Exchanges
  • On demand PrivacyStar caller identification
  • Fully integrated with your PrivacyStar.com portal
  • Keep track of how many PrivacyStar calls you're receiving

The response after the release was so great that First Orion gave us 5 free one-year subscriptions to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. 

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So What Was My Final Takeaway From CES 2010? That Sin City RUNS on BlackBerry Smartphones!

So we're finally done with our CES 2010 coverage. The show is long-since over and it took us a week and a half to get up on the blogs all of the content we flew away from Vegas with. In case you missed any of the news or hands-on videos, be sure to check out our CES 2010 posts and get caught up... I suggest you start with this Ed Hardy video I recorded - it was the first vid I captured at the event and despite trying my darndest, I don't think I topped it for the rest of the show.

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Official OS 5.0.0.436 for the BlackBerry Storm2 from Vodafone UK

We're seeing a trend of official 5.0 firmware popping up on carriers in the last few weeks and I'm loving it. One thing BlackBerry users crave is a solid carrier-released OS to play around with. Vodafone UK is the latest to offer up a release with OS 5.0.0.436 for the BlackBerry Storm2. This is a decent step up from their last offering, so give it a go and let us know what you find out. Although it's an official OS, always use caution when upgrading.

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Beejive Finally Lowers Pricing - Get It Now for $9.99

Beejive has long been a BlackBerry user favorite when it comes to all-in-one IM clients, but the high price tag was not. There is no denying that the app does what it does well, but many users chose to stay clear since the thought of shelling out $20+ for an IM app just wasn't cutting it. Well now you can grab Beejive at a much more reasonable price of $9.99 (for a device license, a user license will run you $14.99). This is definitely a better plan for Beejive, although some may still think its a bit high. Beejive incorporates AIM, Gtalk, Yahoo!, Facebook chat and more all into one easy to use IM client. If you've been waiting for what seems like forever for a price drop, then you're in luck. Finally.

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100 Free Unlock Codes from Express Unlock Code

Express Unlock Code

To kick off the week Express Unlock Code has once again offered up 100 free codes. This contest is for North America only since unfortunately they are limited to certain carriers. Only customers of AT&T, T-mobile USA, Rogers and Verizon will be able to receive a free code. As part of the promotion, CrackBerry readers can also grab unlock codes for AT&T, T-Mobile, Rogers and Verizon for just $5.99. Other carriers (Telus, Orange etc.) are available for $14.99. Head over to expressunlockcode.com to get in on the action. To enter for a free unlock code, simply leave a comment on this post and be sure to include your carrier. Contest ends Midnight PST Sunday.

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Podtrapper Podcast Manager Updated To v2.6.7

Podtrapper Podcast Manager Updated To v2.6.7

Getting the new year started right, Versatile Monkey have released the latest version of their CrackBerry Best of 2009 award-winning application, Podtrapper. Version 2.6.7 is now available as a free trial or for purchase and has plenty of bug fixes in it to address any previous issues. You'll want to check the changelog for the full list. A quick run down of the major additions included in this update:

  • Can now bookmark any folder to the main screen via the 'Add to Home Screen' menu item
  • Support for all media controls (wired and Bluetooth) on OS 5.0
  • Customizable download settings per-podcast 

While that may not seem to be a huge update for some, the minor feature changes in the application is where it really counts. Some of which was based on OS 5.0 bugs, that have since been cleared up with this release. If you've not used Podtrapper before, give it a shot and find out why it was a user favorite for 2009. And if you're looking for a good podcast to listen to, try giving a listen to CrackBerry Radio. Our 2009 year-end show and first show of 2010 were actually pretty decent!

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WES 2010: Early Bird Registration Now Open For The BlackBerry Event Of The Year

Registration for WES 2010 is now open. Orlando, Florida is where the BlackBerry event of the year will happen and you'll not want to miss it if you're involved in the business of BlackBerry. Right now, if you register before February 19th, you can get in on the early bird rate which saves you $400 off the registration price. If you've never attended WES before, it's a great time to get in on the action and save some money doing so. With over 5,000 people attending each year from over 100 countries, this is the BlackBerry event to attend. Keep in mind that with RIM now holding the BlackBerry Developer Conference each fall that WES will continue to be more enterprise focused than consumer or developer focused, but it's still a great place to network - a lot of deals get done at WES. We'll have more information leading up to WES 2010 but you can count on CrackBerry being in attendance for this show, so come on out and join us. 

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