CES 2010 - Introducing the Cignias NAO Symphony Music System



Cignias is a relatively new company in the sound system business, but they have made an outsanding product. The NAO Symphony is a small music system that allows users to stream music wirelessly via Wi-Fi or bluetooth. BlackBerry users can also control an iPod docked to the system via the MusicNAO and PodNAO apps currently available in BlackBerry App World. Here are some additional specs:
NAO Symphony and NAO Symphony Noir Features:
  • Plays music wirelessly from iPhone, iPod touch* and BlackBerry smartphones
  • Wi-Fi support via direct connection or through the home network
  • Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) support
  • Wirelessly control docked iPod with a BlackBerry smartphone
  • Full access to playlists, albums, artists, genres, etc from docked iPod
  • Intuitive color LEDs for navigation
  • Integrated performance equalizer
  • Auxiliary input
  • 50 watt speaker system
  • Smartphone battery conservation
  • 2 high performance 4" speakers and 2 1" tweeters
I'll have a full review posted in the coming days about the unit itself. Check out Cignias.com for more information
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SchlageLiNK Introduces New Features at CES 2010

SchlageLiNK Introduces New Features at CES 2010


Schlage is back this year at CES and has a few new offerings up their sleeves for the SchlageLiNK system. You may remember that we first learned of the SchlageLiNK system last year at CES, and then we posted a full review of the system just a few months later.

This year Schlage introduced a partnership with Alarm.com that will enable greater whole house control when integrated with a SchlageLiNK system. I spoke with Colin Murray from Alarm.com and he gave me a brief walk-through of the system. The system they will offer through one of their local distributors will tie in to the SchlageLiNK lock, and when you enter your door code, your alarm will arm or disarm depending on whether you are locking or unlocking your door. Like Schlage, they will have a web portal and a BlackBerry app that you can use to control your system. Fee's have not been set yet, and release is about 2-3 months away. We'll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Also new from Schlage is a Home Energy Management system. Many of us suffer from high energy bills, and wish we could lower them. This new solution from Schalge uses additional Z-Wave components at various parts of your home to monitor your energy consumption. A new web interface is being created, and will allow the user to see energy consumption and what that energy is costing them, and help create a budget to help lower your energy use. 

All in all, I think Schlage has some great things in store for us in 2010 and you can count on CrackBerry.com to keep you posted on the new developments. 

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SKU for Verizon BlackBerry Tour2 9650 Dummy Units Now Appearing in Big Red's Inventory
 

Nothing to really jump for joy over just yet, but it looks like the BlackBerry 9650, aka Tour2, dummy units are now showing in Verizon's computers. This is typically a sign of good things to come and we can only hope that it means the actual devices will pop up in the near future. We still have no solid release date for the 9650, but sometime in the next few months seems like a safe bet.

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Old School Arcade Shooter Zaxxon Now Available in BlackBerry App World
   

This one I totally could not resist. Aside from Spy Hunter, Zaxxon has to be one of my all-time favorite games. I remember playing this for hours on my old DOS PC back in the day. The simple premise lets you take your spacecraft into deep space in a quest to defeat the evil robot Zaxxon. Plenty of arcade goodness still packed into this one, and any gamer is sure to love it. Now I realize that $6.99 is quite a bit for a game like this, but hopefully die-hard fans won't mind shelling out the extra cash to snag a piece of their youth again. It looks like Zaxxon is supported on most devices. If you pick it up, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think!

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Engadget App For BlackBerry Now Available

Engadget App For BlackBerry Now Available

Other then waking up every morning (afternoon?) and hitting CrackBerry looking for my BlackBerry news I always enjoy checking out other technology based sites to see what is going on. One of those sites is of course Engadget, which always has a wide array of information be it the latest laptop, the hottest new TV, camera or whatever else you can imagine that revolves around technology.

Following up their iPhone and webOS launch of the Engadget mobile app, Engadget readers can now download the BlackBerry application as well to stay up to date on all things tech. The application itself allows access to all the Engadget sites be it the base site, Engadget mobile or even Engadget HD. If you have been looking for a better way to keep up to date on all things tech, you'll want to give it a look. Be sure to check compatability requirements before you download as Storm devices are not currently supported and OS 5.0 users may notice minor glitches.

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While walking through the BlackBerry booth at CES 2010 a short while ago I ran into the folks from Allerta. That's the start-up company out of Waterloo, Canada, that are working on the inPulse Smartwatch for BlackBerry Smartphones, or "BlackBerry Watch" as everybody undoubtedly refers to it as. The watch is still in development and they left their working prototypes back at home, but I tried on the shell quick to get a feel for it. Suffice to say, it looks and feels better than I expected. It's big, but not too big, and it's kind of funky. It fits with the look of today's sort of fashion watches. If it came with interchangeable straps or in a full metal strap version that could be pretty sweet. I'll be eager to get my hands on the real deal when they have it ready and put it through its paces. There's lots more to say but gotta keep this post short as I'm late for a meeting... stay tuned for more!

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MogoTalk has been available for the iPhone for a little while now and last night at ShowStoppers at CES 2010 they were showing off some pre-release versions of their MogoTalk accessory coming to BlackBerry Smartphones. MogoTalk offers a pretty elegant solution to an annoying problem - carrying around a bluetooth headset and ensuring it's actually charged. MogoTalk offers a case that surrounds your BlackBerry, offering protection, and on the back actually houses a bluetooth headset. On MogoTalk for BlackBerry, the cases feature a charging port that allow you to charge both your device and your headset at the same time. So with MogoTalk, you'll always have your bluetooth headset with you and always have it charged and ready to be put to use. Not a bad concept at all.

You can follow mogotalk.com for more information. Right now they're looking at a Q2 release. We'll be sure to review it as they hit the market to see how well it performs in everyday life. Definitely a unique and useful concept for those who use a bluetooth headset regularly.

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CES 2010 is rolling along and I've got a ton of video footage and hands-ons that'll be flowing through the blogs in the days to come. Last night at ShowStoppers, Duracell was on hand to show off their charging solutions for smartphones. They have portable batteries that'll push some juice into your device when your battery dies down and also have a wireless charging solution.

It seems wireless charging is all the rage right now.... the convenience is definitely a benefit I think most BlackBerry owners would enjoy. What I'd really like to see by CES 2011 though is not a third party solution, but for RIM to start building BlackBerry Smartphones that feature an inductive back and then sell a wireless charger/dock (like Palm has done with their Pre/Pixi and Touchstone). Though I guess when you use an accessory like the BlackBerry bedside charging pod nightly, whether its wireless or not doesn't really matter, since the device is serving dual purpose at that point (charging and an alarm clock). Ahh well... good to see there is lots of choice for consumers out there!

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CES 2010: Day One Roundup

CES 2010: Day One Roundup

We officially started CES yesterday, and after spending the whole day on the show floor I am officially on overload with all the things to see and do. We have plenty of videos and news on the way from our entire team here in Vegas, but I did come across a few things today that are worth mentioning, so I'm going to quickly touch on them here to give you a heads up on some exciting developments. Hit the jump for some notable announcements, and stay tuned for more BlackBerry news from CES 2010 in Las Vegas.

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Review: PowerMat Home/Office & Travel Charging Mats

Review: PowerMat Home/Office & Travel Charging Mats

[ Forums member Stiefler07 gave us a this great review of the PowerMat charging mats. This post comes from our Community Reviews forums. Post your review and if we promote it to the blogs you'll receive a coupon for free accessories or apps.]  

The Powermat design and build are stellar. Within the first moments of opening the box, the first thing that was noticed was it was solid. Not only is the build solid, the design is very appealing, one could set it anywhere and be happy with how it looks with the surroundings. The mat does not feel cheap nor does it look cheap. Around the outside of the mat, there is silver plastic to give a dull chrome look, and no this is not thin plastic, the build feels very solid. The mat itself feels great as well, it has a smooth texture and very durable feel.

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CES 2010: Technocel PowerPak - Portable Battery and Home Charger in One

One of the many cool and useful things I have discovered here at CES is the PowerPak by Technocel. One of the first booths I hit when I walked in, Technocel has their own line of cases and bluetooth headsets, but by far my favorite was the PowerPak. These days, packing 2 devices and a bluetooth, I find myself getting a little tired of keeping extra cables with me everywhere. Add on any other devices I might decide to take with me, and it becomes a nightmare mess of cables inside my bag - Enter the PowerPak. Lightweight and compact, the unit currently on display has a USB port built in, and comes with a wide array of charging attachments to accomodate multiple devices. At 1000mAH, it packs more than enough power to charge your device a couple of times over and is a great tool to have on hand for those on the go. It doubles as a wall charger and charges it's reserve power supply at the same time. Depending on your device, network, etc. the reserve power supply should power your device for up to an additional 3 hrs of talk time. A simple press of a button lights up the LEDs, indicating how much reserve power you have left. The Technocel exhibitors have also informed me that early this year, they will be releasing 2 new versions, including a 1600mAH version and an upgraded version which has 2 ports so its capable of simultaneously charging 2 devices at once, with a 2000+ mAH power supply.

Retailing for an extremely reasonable $49.99, I would highly recommend checking this out. For more details and to purchase head over to Technocel.com. The Powerpak is also available in most Sprint stores, so you can take a trip down and take a look for yourself before you buy.

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Sprint 8530 Available at RadioShack Today?

Sprint 8530 Available at RadioShack Today?
 

From the looks of it, RadioShack will start selling the Sprint Curve 8530 today (not Sunday as originally planned). Not the biggest news, but if you've been holding out on picking up a new 8530, now you can grab one fairly cheap. The device will only run you $29.99 on a new 2-year contract, or $49.99 for an upgrade, and both require a Sprint Everything plan with data. The device hasn't popped up on their website yet, but most stores should have them available already.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for January 8th, 2010!

Happy 2010 to all! Hope you had an enjoyable holiday, and a safe (and fun) New Years... I know I did. With CES in full swing, let's get right down to business. Covered in the App Roundup this week are the following titles:

Freebies of the Week: Dictionary and Thesaurus App, Project Vegas

In Case You Missed It: CES Mobile for BlackBerry, UberTwitter Beta 6, SmartWiFi

New This Week: Massage for BlackBerry, GyPSii for BlackBerry Updated, Biodiesel Buddy, Gridiron Theme, Qdial, BerryJoose

Cool at BlackBerry App World: WeatherBug Elite

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Tether - TetherBerry Rebranded and Celebrating With 50% Off Sale

We've been following the good folks at TetherBerry for a long time now. So the latest news to come from those folks brings a smile to our faces as we have been able to watch the growth happen before our eyes. The newly rebranded Tether has been accepted into BlackBerry App World, been downloaded by more then 60,000 customers in 114 countries and is now expanding their horizons to other smartphone markets such as Android and iPhone.

In celebration of their new rebranding, acceptance to BlackBerry App World and launch of their new Android beta, you can now get Tether on sale for 50% off the original price which is a steal for such a great application. And just in case that's not enough of a push, free trial of Tether is available for you to check out. For more information on options and features, be sure to check out Tethers new website and read feedback from other users.

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CES 2010: LinkedIn For BlackBerry Hands On Video

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We've been hearing about the LinkedIn application for BlackBerry for a while now. While at the BlackBerry Developers Conference we got a few quick glimpses at it but as of yet, it still remains unavailable for users to download. Over at the Inside BlackBerry blog, Doug has caught up with the folks from LinkedIn for a hands on video so that we may now get a better look at what's headed our way in the next month or so. That's when the application will come out of beta and likely hit BlackBerry App World for us all to make use of.

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* Warning: If you don't like looking at scantily clad girls showing off cell phone cases, don't watch this video and just scroll down to our next post. *

However, if you like girls and BlackBerry Smartphones you'll want to hit play immediately (and ladies... I promise if I come across any buff guys in speedos showing off BlackBerry accessories here in Vegas, I'll record that up and post it here too just to keep the score even.) Ed Hardy is on hand at CES 2010 with their collection of cases for smartphones, including iPhone, Droid and BlackBerry. New for BlackBerry cases they have designs available for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8520/8530. If you like that Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier style, you'll want to check these out!

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BlackBerry Bold 9700 OS 5.0.0.400 Officially Released by AVEA
 

Not too long ago we got an official OS from Bell, and now AVEA has officially released OS 5.0.0.400 for the Bold 9700. While it may look like a step back from the 5.0.0.423 of Bell, anyone who was experiencing issues or just likes to load up a new OS may want to give this one a go. No word of the goods or bads, so be sure to drop a comment if you find out anything.

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CES 2010: Case-Mate Announces go Bare Solution-Free Protective Skins for BlackBerry

Case-Mate announced today they will be adding a new line of protective skins to their lineup of BlackBerry cases. The new go Bare protective films will be solution-free "instant application" skins for all devices. The invisible film will protect the entire device, without the need of any sprays or solution for application. You will be able to apply, reapply and take off the film as many times as needed with no damage or residue on the device itself.

 "With go Bare, we're using cutting-edge technology to create a new category of solution-free mobile phone protection - an invisible film that completely shields against potential nicks and scratches without compromising the look of the device," said Shashi Reddy, founder and CEO, case-mate. "While many people like to adorn their device with colorful cases, there are just as many who want to preserve its beauty and go Bare is the ideal solution, as it's easy-to-use, offers maximum protection and maintains the integrity of the product's original design."

The go Bare line will be available in mid-February for most devices and cost $24.99 for full-body protection. For more information check out case-mate.com. Full press release after the jump.

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Ford Partners with OpenBeak, Pandora and Stitcher to Bring Twitter & Internet Radio Control to Vehicles

Ford announced today partnerships with Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak that will allow for voice control via SYNC enabled vehicles. The new system will allow users to control their internet radio and update Twitter with steering wheel controls and voice commands. The SYNC-enabled applications will be available "through the same app store interfaces consumers currently use" ie. BlackBerry App World.

"To use OpenBeak, Pandora or Stitcher in the car right now, drivers have to take their eyes off the road and manually control the device," explained VanDagens. "Recent research shows that activity that draws drivers' eyes off the road substantially increases the risk of accidents. By allowing drivers to control the app through SYNC's voice commands and steering wheel buttons, we can hopefully reduce distraction for millions of drivers wanting to enjoy these apps during their commutes." 

No exact date has been set for when the features will be available, but it should be sometime later this year. A SYNC SDK will be rolled out as well, allowing developers to modify and create mobile applications to work with the system. Check out the full press release after the jump.

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