More "BESX" And BlackBerry Shield Details Emerge

More "BESX" And BlackBerry Shield Details Emerge
*UPDATE- Press release has hit. Some of the details were on par, others were not*

As Mobile World Congress is well under way already, many are waiting on Research In Motions big announcement tomorrow. As has been mentioned before we're looking at what could be a BlackBerry users hopes and dreams fulfilled as it's been rumored we're finally getting some better offerings for BIS users in the way of BES features such as Over the Air calendar and contact Backup/Restore capabilities. The folks over at BBLeaks have pushed a little more information our way today regarding BESX and BlackBerry Shield.

We've spoke of BESX as being the re-launch of BlackBerry Professional Services and the information today shows that's pretty on par. BESX will allow up to 30 users to be attached to the free download offering which allows connections to MS Exchange. You will still have carrier fees associated as to your data plan. More details will come later on this once the announcement arrives.

BlackBerry Shield is something compelling as well, we didn't mention it with the other rumors previously cause we were not 100% sure on how it would roll out to consumers but we now have a better look at it. Think of it as a personal protection application which, allows BIS users to wirelessly backup/restore information as well as offer remote kill services for data wiping. All in all, these offerings will fill in a huge gap BIS users have been seeking for a long time now. Makes me excited to hear the full information tomorrow. What do you all think now about these offerings? Let us know in the comments folks.

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BlackBerry Theme Roundup for February 15th  2010 - 25 Copies of SkyblueBB to be Won!

Contest: 25  Copies of SkyblueBB to be won. Leave a comment!

Well its time again for our weekly Theme Roundup, bringing you some of the best themes of the week. Developers are still being very generous and we have another contest this week for a very beautiful, very functional theme called SkyblueBB. Hit the jump to read on, and don't forget to send your theme suggestions to themeroundup@crackberry.com.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

On the first day of Mobile World Congress 2010, 7digital dropped an update to their popular 7digital Music Store for BlackBerry app. I caught up with James Shannon from DevelopIQ, makers of the app, to give us the run down of what's new and improved. You can catch the video above. If video isn't your cup of tea, then here's the Coles Notes on version 1.2:

  • New: Last.fm scrobbling support
  • New: Last.fm 'now playing' support
  • New: BlackBerry Curve 8350i support
  • New: Netherlands store & Dutch localisation
  • New: Rest of Europe store
  • New: 7digital store artist search
  • New: 7digital store playback from locker
  • New: My Music - Browse Purchased
  • New: My Music - Track search
  • New: My Music - Add Folder to manual playlist
  • New: My Music - Delete Artist/Album/Track
  • New: Media card encryption support
  • Improved: My Music browsing performance
  • Improved: My Locker refresh performance over WiFi
  • Improved: Carrier network download performance
  • Other minor fixes & improvements 

All in all it's a great upgrade and James says even more is coming in version 1.3. Good stuff, considering this is already one well-built BlackBerry application. If you don't haven't tried the 7digital app yet, be sure to give it a go by downloading it from App World.

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VZ Navigator was recently updated to version 5.0, bringing along some cool new features. You have the ability to not only navigate via the GPS, but also search locally for movies, gas and weather, update Facebook status and more. VZ Navigator is a great alternative to other GPS apps for Verizon users that need quick navigation on the go. The update is still being rolled out to Verizon devices, and will run your $9.99/month (or $2.99 for 24hrs). Check out the video above for a quick look at all the features, and head to the VZ Navigator page for more info.

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Valentine's Day Contest Winner - Schlage LiNK Starter Kit and 3-Months Free Service

We celebrated Valentine's Day in style with a load of great contests. Our biggest was for the chance to win a complete Schlage LiNK Starter Kit along with 3-months of service. The folks at Schlage were kind enough to help us out again by offering up a great product for one lucky CrackBerry reader. After looking through all of the 250+ comments, they got back to us with the grand-prize winner:

Winner of a Schlage LiNK Starter Kit and 3-months of service

ebedoun

Congratulations to ebedoun. If you missed out on this one, you can still check out the great line of Schlage LiNK products including deadbolts, keypad levers, thermostats, lighting modules and more on the Schlage LiNK page. Check out the winning entry after the jump.

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Gym Technik Premium Subscription Winners Announced

Gym Technik Premium Subscription Winners Announced

Our giveaway for the blackberry fitness app Gym Technik was a big hit. We originally offered up a 1-year subscription to one lucky member, but the guys at Gym Technik decided to throw in a few extra subscriptions since they were so impressed with the response. We have 2 winners of a 1-year premium account, and 1 winner of a 6-month subscription. As an added bonus, the first 10 users to sign up for a Gym Technik annual subscription can get 20% off using the code crackberryfeb (just ender the code when upgrading the account via gymtechnik.com/store). Hit the jump for the winners list and their entries. For more information visit gymtechnik.com or just point your BlackBerry browser to get.gymtechnik.com to download a free tria.

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BlackBerry Sponsoring Black Eyed Peas World Tour

BlackBerry Sponsoring Black Eyed Peas World Tour

The Black Eyed Peas have taken over the BlackBerry homepage. The homepage refresh is all part of the sponsorship Research In Motion has taken on to promote the BlackBerry brand alongside the Black Eyed Peas. Not really a surprise since Will.I.Am has been a big part of BlackBerry promotions in the past as well as appearing at WES 2009. Which our good friend @nanpalmero knows all about since he well ... crashed the stage.

The last time we saw a sponsorship agreement we ended up getting the U2 Live Album application which, was pretty cool as a first shot at promotion with an app on that scale. I'd like to see something like that happen here, only better. You can check out more details such as tour dates via the BlackBerry homepage as well as dig into some behind the scenes videos from DipDive.

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Leaked: OS 5.0.0.497 for the BlackBerry Storm2 9520

Leaked: OS 5.0.0.497 for the BlackBerry Storm2 9520

*UPDATE- Installer file now added for download - OS 5.0.0.497*

Its been forever since we've seen a leaked OS for the Storm2 9520. Almost every other device has had a leaked OS pop up lately, so now the 9520 gets to join in in the fun. BBLeaks posted this one, but keep in mind there is no installer and this is just the OS files. You'll have to put these in the proper folders on your PC before installing on your device, so if you don't know what you're doing, wait a few hours and I'm sure someone will release a version with an installer. As always, use extreme caution when installing a leaked OS. Hit up the link below to download. The password to the archive is 2mrotS.

*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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BOLT Browser 1.7 Available Now - Adds Widgets, Twitter Integration and More

Celebrating its first birthday, BOLT has been update to version 1.7 and brings alongs some new features. The third-party browser now supports wdigets, keyboard shortcuts for zooming on pages, Twitter integration (you can post updates to Twitter right from the browser) and more. BOLT has taken off since its initial release, and has surpassed 4 million users.

"Before we launched BOLT we knew that Bitstream engineers and developers built a remarkable foundation on which we could continue to evolve the BOLT mobile browser, and the positive support and constant feedback we received from a great many of our 4 million helped us prioritize the features and enhancements in each successive release. But as excited as we were for the first year of BOLT, the next year promises to be more dynamic as we plan to introduce features that took longer to engineer and we add more handset manufacturers to the roster of those preloading BOLT on mobile phones." 

BOLT's unique features include fast page loading, more accurate rendering, streaming videos, copy/paste text and six levels of magnification. The updates of BOLT seem to get better and better, so we can only expect more good things to come in the future. Check out boltbrowser.com from your device to download.

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It turns out RIM's presence at Mobile World Congress is even bigger than I first thought. Over at the App Planet pavillion in Hall 7, RIM has another exhibit setup where their focus is on BlackBerry app development. I caught up with Mike Kirkup, Director of Developer Relations for RIM, who filled us in on the details of what's going. Check out the video above and this link for more details.

New BlackBerry Developer Blog Launched: Mike also let us know that they just re-launched their BlackBerry Developer Blog over at http://devblog.blackberry.com. Anybody developing or thinking about developing apps for BlackBerry needs to add this site to their RSS reader and check it out on a regular basis.

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MWC10: Skype for BlackBerry Client Update...

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

I know a lot of BlackBerry users out there have been waiting for Skype to drop their official BlackBerry client. Thinking back, it was March 2009 when word surfaced that a client would be coming and at the time it was supposed to be available only a few months later. Here we are, now into 2010, and we're still waiting for it. As I walked passed the Skype booth I fired up the camera and grabbed a quick update. The word? Not what I was hoping for. I got the good 'ole It's in the works, it's an important platform for us, keep waiting answer.

But hey, at least we know it will show up one day. In the meantime, you can still check out IM+ for Skype by Shape Services. Bla1ze did an updated review of it recently - you can check it out to see his take on where they're at with it.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Leading up to the event I heard RIM would have a pretty big presence this year at Mobile World Congress and all I can say is yep, that is definitely the case. You can check out the quick video above to get a feel for the BlackBerry setup on the show floor. It's a solid setup. On the one side RIM has put the focus on their partners - with some 60 present showing off their apps and services. BlackBerry devices line the walls for people to play with. The other side of booth features meeting rooms for business to get done as well as a lounge and section dedicated to acccessories. If you're at the event, you can find it in Hall 8.

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CrackBerry @ Mobile World Congress 2010: Kick-Off Podcast!

CrackBerry coverage goes to Barcelona this week for Mobile World Congress 2010! MWC is the biggest mobile-dedicated conference in the world and this year BlackBerry is going to have a big presence there. On CrackBerry Podcast 047 last week I promised we'd try and bring you some special edition podcasts so we decided to kick things off early on the eve of the event with a quick Smartpone Experts MWC preview show.

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CrackBerry Reminder: What You May Have Missed This Week

A great week for CrackBerry lovers everywhere. Some huge things popped up this week (Twitter for BlackBerry!), our Podcast streak continued and we have some great contests for Valentine's Day. Kevin is off to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, so you can expect some great coverage and maybe even a live-blog this coming week. If you didn't check in with us this week, drop by the links below for all the latest and greatest. Still some time to get in on the contests as well, and you can be sure there are some you don't want to miss. Hit up the links below for more.

What You May Have Missed

Contest Reminders

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RIM Making Big Announcement At MWC? Enterprise Options For BIS Customers?

We've been hearing for the past week now that Research In Motion was cooking up something good for Mobile World Congress. Alot of information floating around about a BIS and BES "alternative" or something that mixes the both as a free option to users that are already on BIS but still want a BES infrastructure of sorts. Seems, Boy Genius has been hearing the same stuff as well.

Anyone remember BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express? Well, going by some of the info we've been hearing and putting that along with what Boy Genius has heard. It seems as though it may be re-launched as a free and unlimited BlackBerry Enterprise Server for BIS users. Which would of course offer OTA synching, back ups and more while no longer requiring a dedicated BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Research In Motion has long been thought to not want to offer this sort of thing to its users. Simply based on the fact it could eat into Enterprise sales but I think they simply need to look beyond that and come up with an in between solution now. And maybe, this will be it. Remember nothing about this is 100% confirmed and information surrounding it has been slightly fragmented but, I guess we'll find out soon enough. Good move by RIM? Let us know in the comments what ya think.

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Solitaire Buddy Gold for BlackBerry Smartphones Updated to v4.0.23 - On Sale Till February 14th

Solitaire Buddy Gold by Nickel Buddy is one of the best solitaire games out there, including much more than just your simple solitaire game. The application comes with Klondike, Freecell, Pyramid, Pyramid Golf, Spider Golf, Will o Wisp Poker, 3-Peaks Black Widow, Canfield, Beetle and Spiderette They have recently updated this game, improving upon many aspects of it such as better compression for graphics (reducing file size) and more readable/better looking font for the cards. Overall Solitaire Buddy Gold is a very nice game to have, ensuring entertainment at those boring times in your life. You can pick it up for $2.99 (40% off) until this Sunday, February 14. It is compatible with all BlackBerry's running OS 4.2 and up.

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Valentines Day Reminder - Win a Schlage LiNK; Valentines Day Apps, Media and More

Its just about time for the most romantic holiday of the year, and no matter if you're married, single, engaged or whatever - you know you'll want your first true love (ahem .. your BlackBerry) looking spiffy on Sunday. To help you out we have loads of wallpapers, themes and apps to get romantic with. You can jump into the free wallpaper gallery for an easy facelift, and check out what we have in the CrackBerry App Store if you want to get it on with a new theme.

Also don't forget to check out our Valentine's Day contests. You can win a complete Schalge LiNK starter kit, a Slacker Radio Premium subscription and some great apps from Twinkler Software and Toysoft. You only have a few more hours to get in on the action, so check out the original contest posts and leave a comment if you haven't already. Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day Media

Valentine's Day Contests
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I've been anxiously waiting for a few weeks now to get BerryBlab officially announced here on the blogs (I'm in a mad-rush right now packing to fly out to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, so we tag-teamed this one and Adam did up the video above). Until today BerryBlab was still in beta, but it has now gone version 1.0 and is ready for the spotlight. So what is BerryBlab?

BerryBlab is a new BlackBerry app that is a real must-have for those BlackBerry users out there who frequent web forums that are powered by vBulletin, such as our own CrackBerry forums. Rather than browsing the forums via the BlackBerry web browser on your device, you can now surf them via the BlackBery app which provides a smooth user experience. It works on both touchscreen and non-touchscreen BlackBerry Smartphones, and provides all of the basic functionality you'd expect in a mobile forum viewing experience: you can view forums and subforums, post and reply to threads, view images, get PMs, etc. The app allows you to access multiple forums as well, so you can jump back and forth between all your favorite forums.

One key point to make note of here is that the forum administrator MUST install the BerryBlab plugin into their forums in order for the app to work with that site. In the case of CrackBerry, we've had it up and running for weeks now as beta-testing progressed on the application. If you buy the app and the vBulletin forum you want to visit does not have the plugin installed, be sure to point them to BerryBlab's site so they can grab it for free.

BerryBlab sells for $2.99 and you can grab it at the link below. Keep in mind that though it's now out of beta, as it is a new app it's possible you could experience some glitches. The BerryBlab dev team has been very responsive, so if you find any bugs or have any ideas on how to further improve the app be sure to drop it in the comments and they'll get it tackled. 

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BlackBerry App Roundup for February 12th, 2010; Contest: 30 Copies of Piczzle to be Won!

Howdy folks... Another week, another great roundup full of apps + another giveaway. This week we've got 30 copies of 'Piczzle' to give away, courtesy of GrayMatter Software. As always, just leave your answer to the giveaway question in the comments for your chance to win. Covered in the roundup this week are the following titles:

Giveaway of the Week: Piczzle

Freebies of the Week: The Help Haiti App, Baby GO!, BlackBerry Quick Search (powered by Google)

In Case You Missed It: Unread Now Available for all 5.0 Devices, Grooveshark Updated to 1.0.7, Craigslist Mobile App for BlackBerry

New This Week: My Gadgets, Ski Jump 2010, Mobile Pickup Guide

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Winter Sports Live

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