BlackBerry App Roundup for October 22nd, 2010! Win 1 of 10 copies of VQ Mileage Tracker!

Howdy and welcome to the weekly app roundup! Yee-haw! This week, it seems to be all about the good, the bad and the ugly. The good? The BlackBerry Style was officially announced. The Bad? Mr. Jobs decides to take a swing at the PlayBook. I guess he didn’t think RIM would swing back. The ugly? The BlackBerry Style once again. Ok, I’m teasing. When the first images of the Torch appeared, I did say I would never get one (boy was I wrong). Today, we announce the winners of the BuzzOff giveaway and also give you the chance to win one of 10 copies of VQ Mileage Tracker! Have a rootin’ tootin’ weekend! Giddy up!

Freebies of the Week: Renewable Energy News, gsmExchange.com

In Case You Missed It: Hypoxia, KidsABC, Facebook Chat Pro

New This Week: beSmart, mProductive, GpsSpeedoMeter

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Boiling Frog

Contest: Enter to win 1 of 10 copies of VQ Mileage Tracker!

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Official OS: 6.0.0.284 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800 released by Bouygues

We've been hearing about this OS for the past few days and expected it to leak at some point. Well, it didn't but it did come in official form though from Bouygues. BlackBerry Torch owners can hit up the link below to grab the download. Be sure to let us know what's new and fixed, broken in this release in the comments or in the CrackBerry forums.

Source: ZonaBlackBerry
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BlackBerry App World storefront gets an official launch

We mentioned back on the 20th that Research In Motion had finally enabled online purchases of apps from BlackBerry App Word but, today was actually the official launch of the storefront. Within the official announcement Research In Motion gave us some of the feature list currently enabled on the site right now:

  • Purchase apps directly from the website
  • Edit My World accounts to sync app downloads directly to the BlackBerry smartphone
  • Read and write reviews and recommend items to peers
  • Access purchased or downloaded apps from a computer  via the My World page in the  BlackBerry App World storefront 

Since we first mentioned the update to the site, Research In Motion has put a lot of changes into effect as well. Better browser support has been impplemented and things seem a whole lot smoother know overall. How do you guys feel about it though? Will you use it more often now?

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WordRival for BlackBerry - play online with friends

WordRival for BlackBerry - play online with friends

WordRival is a newer game for BlackBerry devices. If you are familiar with Words with Friends or Scrabble then WordRival should be pretty a pretty fun, easy game for you. We held off on posting about it before because it had some bugs in it. But, with the latest update now available for download all the previous bugs have been addressed. Some features of WordRival include:

  • Play against friends anywhere in the world over the Internet
  • Find a random opponent to play against over the Internet with one click
  • Play in Pass'n'Play mode with just one BlackBerry phone
  • Get notified when the other played has moved so you can close the app
  • Vibration alerts when it's your go
  • Play as many games simultaneously as you like
  • Chat with your opponent using the in-built chat window

Right now, you can grab WordRival's latest version (1.0.8) from the CrackBerry App Store for only $3.99. You'll need a device that's running OS 5 and higher to get in on the action though. Keep in mind though, where there is no single player mode you'll reliant upon who is logged in and playing at the time to have someone to play with.

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Thumbplay wants to give you a free BlackBerry!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Thumbplay, has recently posted about a contest they are having where you can win yourself a BlackBerry smartphone. The catch? Well you have to be in the US for one and secondly, you gotta make them a really cool demo video for the Thumbplay application. If you can fit into that criteria then you are well on your way. The prize packs include:

  • First place: a new Android, iPhone or BlackBerry smartphone (max value $500) AND a free year of Thumbplay Music
  • 2nd Place: 6 months of Thumbplay, free
  • 3rd Place: 3 months of Thumbplay, free

You'll have to catch the full details and contest rules over at Thumbplay but, this could be a rather easy way to win yourself a new smartphone. Of course, we know you'll all pick a BlackBerry. You're CrackBerry readers, come on!

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Apress release of CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse now available online and at a bookstore near you!

Buy the printed book from Amazon | Buy in electronic format

WooHoo! Back in May we announced that Apress picked up our CrackBerry book and that a new version was on its way and would be available in time for the holiday season. Today I'm happy to announce the re-release of CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse is now available online and this time around will be coming to a bookstore near you (most Barnes & Noble locations should already have them)! 

CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse, by Martin Trautschold, Kevin Michaluk, and Gary Mazo covers the phenomenon of "BlackBerry Addiction," offering true-life accounts of BlackBerry dependence and mishaps. You'll find comfort and humor in the unbelievable tales of BlackBerry abuse and also learn some valuable information along the way. It's a must have if you own a BlackBerry, and the perfect gift for a friend who is showing signs of a BlackBerry addiction. What you'll learn:

  • "BlackBerry Confessions" from the authors and users from CrackBerry.com
  • Dozens of user stories that are just too funny or too sad to believe
  • A unique 12 Step approach to curb your BlackBerry dependence
  • Work BlackBerry etiquette tips to live by
  • The "BlackBerry Quiz" to test your level of addiction

Even though it's called CrackBerry and focuses mainly on BlackBerry, anybody who finds they are overusing their iPhone, iPad, Android phone or other mobile electronic gadget wlil be able to indentify and appreciate the stories and advice given in the book. With Christmas just around the corner, it definitely will be the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday season for the BlackBerry abuser in the family of office . Follow the links below to pick it up online, and you'll also be able to find CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse in most major bookstores soon! 

Purchase CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse

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Leaked: OS 6.0.0.294 for the BlackBerry Bold 9780

Leaked: OS 6.0.0.294 for the BlackBerry Bold 9780

There is no doubt the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is coming soon across multiple carriers, so while we never posted leaked OS' for it before, now is the time to start doing so since it's so close. Just yesterday, we caught wind that OS 6.0.0.294 was the OS shipping on the Vodefone UK 9780's and most likely all other carriers as well and now today, that OS has leaked online. Some of you all out there already have 9780's one way or another so be sure to grab this release and get up to date if you're not already.

Source: Driphter

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Pregnancy Pal for BlackBerry - Track weight, time contractions, and more

When you're pregnant, you just want everything to be as simple as possible. Pregnancy Pal from hayes.mobi is not only a useful tool to help track your pregnancy, it's also easy to use. With this app on your BlackBerry you can input your weight and it calculates your gain or loss and compiles the data in an easy to read log. If you enter your due date, Pregnancy Pal will place a countdown on your home screen in the message indicator area, as well as in the app itself. I think the coolest feature, and one I personally haven't seen before in a BlackBerry app, is the contraction timer function. It works like a stop watch in that you push start when the contraction begins and stop when it ends. Pregnancy Pal will not only time the contraction, but also the frequency and duration of each, and list all of them in a log. No more guessing at how long or far apart your contractions are. You can also customize the sort of both the contraction log and the weight tracker to suit your need.

Obviously this isn't an application for every BlackBerry owner out there. However, if you are expecting a baby, Pregnancy Pal would be very useful to have. Available for most devices, you can pick this one up for $2.99 in the CrackBerry app store.

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Research In Motion now showing off the BlackBerry Style before it hits stores

Now that the BlackBerry Style is all official, Research In Motion and Sprint have been taking the device on the road and showing it to folks even before it gets into stores. Probably something that should have been done at DevCon but, hey we're not judging here. The fine folks over at Engadget had a NYC meetup and had the chance to get a little close with the BlackBerry Style. Of course, we'll be giving the device a full run through shortly here on CrackBerry but the lighting in the above picture does show off the device rather nicely. Be sure to check out the full spec sheet, image gallery and press release we previously posted if the 9670 is your Style.

Source: Engadget

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Official OS 5.0.0.972 for The BlackBerry Pearl 3G released by Pelephone

BlackBerry Pearl 3G owners, if you're looking for a new OS to check out that's higher then any leak out there for your device then you'll want to grab the latest official OS from Pelephone. OS 5.0.0.972 has gone official and is now available for download. Of course, if Pelephone is not your carrier you'll want to delete your vendor.xml file but, after that you'll be good to go. Are any of you Pearl 3G owners out there just wishing BlackBerry 6 would drop for your device just as much as the BlackBerry Bold 9700 owners? Just curious, if so comment and let us know.

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Google Maps for BlackBerry v4.5.1 released

Google Maps for BlackBerry v4.5.1 released

Google Maps is one of my favorite, free BlackBerry applications and I'm guessing a lot of you all out there use it as well. Google, notorious for not offering any change logs has now updated Google Maps to version 4.5.1. Current users can grab the download from Google Maps mobile link and get upgraded today. If you spot any changes within the app be sure to let us know in the comments. The only thing I noticed in a brief check was that it seemed to lock onto location faster but, that could just have been my area as well.

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Vodafone UK bringing BlackBerry Bold 9780 in black and white with OS 6.0.0.294 preloaded

The pricing for the BlackBerry Bold 9780 on Vodafone UK has been known for a while but, as a reminder for those who may have missed it. Vodafone UK will be giving away the BlackBerry Bold 9780 on tariffs starting at £35/pm (24 months) but if you want no contract pricing, you'll be looking at £400. One thing though that was only rumored, was that Vodafone may or may not be offering more than one color. We now know for sure that the device will come in white and black when it launches and that it will launch with OS 6.0.0.294 as that was the OS officially approved by Vodafone UK. Who has their pre order trigger finger ready?

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Hypoxia media player now BlackBerry 6 compatible

Hypoxia media player now BlackBerry 6 compatible

Fans of Hypoxia that are also BlackBerry 6 users will be glad to see this arrive. Hypoxia, the media player that not only plays music and videos from your network, but is also capable of streaming to devices has been updated for BlackBerry 6. Aside from being a great standalone media player, Hypoxias ability to stream that media to a wide array of devices is really the key feature. With Hypoxia you can:

  • Stream From: Your home, or work network using supported apps like Windows Media Player, TVersity and more with Hypoxia!
  • Stream To: All of your supported upnp devices like: Xbox 360, Windows Media Player, or another BlackBerry! 

With other features such as full skinning support, Twitter integration and custom playlists and more, Hypoxia is an all around awesome media player. The application does cost $7.99 but, if getting the most of the media on your device is what you need then Hypoxias fits that area nicely. Be sure to read the full list of features and information available in the CrackBerry App Store. Oh and if you do decide to pick it up, make sure you grab the CrackBerry skin that was designed for Hypoxia via their website download. The skin was designed by Mr. Mike Hepples, himself. :) 

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LinkedIn for Blackberry updated to version 1.5.0.8

LinkedIn for Blackberry updated to version 1.5.0.8

For business professionals, LinkedIn is a valuable tool and resource for communication, much like BlackBerry smartphones. Now, BlackBerry users using a BlackBerry 6 compatible device can download the latest release and get in on the action as LinkedIn has just updated to include support for BlackBerry 6. They have also included a new profile layout for users as well, as mentioned on the site:

  • Profile Design Refresh: Viewing member profiles is the #1 activity users do today in the application. We’ve re-designed the profile completely to make it easier to see and interact with all the information on it, while also adding two new features. We’ve been asked by many users for the ability to view the connections of the people they are connected to, as well as to see who they have in common with people on the site. Those new features are now available right at the top of the profile.

In addition to the BlackBerry 6 compatability and the new profile layout, LinkedIn has also acknowledged that some users are unhappy wih how the app actually closes. Rather, how it doesn't close as it's always running in the background. While it's not in this release, the fix for it will be coming in a later release. But, at least they have now acknowledged that it is an issue and will be addressing it as soon as possible. Thanks Dave Peckens for letting me know!

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Sccope - Price comparison app now available as a free download

We've covered Sccope a couple times now and we even gave them the Editors Choice Award at this years CrackBerry Awards. Now, just in time for the holiday shopping you can grab Sccope for absolutely no charge. Sccope has some great features built in to make shopping this holiday season a whole lot easier:

  • Identify the best possible deals from hundreds of top retailers with comprehensive product searches and barcode scanning – Enter the product name in the search bar or take a picture of the product’s barcode to compare 10 million different price points
  • Make wish lists, share deals with friends, and receive special offers
  • Track prices and get alerts for out-of-stock items
  • Purchase products directly from your BlackBerry smartphone
  • For a limited time, shoppers can also take advantage of special offers from Staples and GNC by becoming a fan of the SCCOPE Facebook page

If you've yet to explore Sccope now is the best time. Everyone likes to save money, especially during the holiday season.

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Crackberry guide to weather apps

Crackberry guide to weather apps

Become a mobile Weather Personality with these weather apps!

Your Mom always said to dress for the weather. Of course that occasionally meant that you were forced to dress for -40 Celsius weather, even if others were out in their bathing suits. At least you’re prepared for a sudden snowfall…in the dog days of Summer. Despite all of our technological advances, our daily plans (for the most part) are still dependent upon the forecast. Out here, in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, we typically expect the cold, rainy season soon. This year, we are expecting a colder, snowier time…sigh.

So how do you weather the weather? Do you leave it to chance? Stick your head out of the window? Devote your eyes and ears to the cheesy local TV weather personality? Oh, of course, you use your BlackBerry! But now you have to decide to make use of an app or the internet. Well you know where I stand. Welcome to the CrackBerry Guide to Weather Apps! We take a look at some of the most popular applications available that help you choose between flip flops or rain boots. Let’s see which apps fellow BlackBerry Users and Abusers have chosen.

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Bubble Burst - An entertaining game for your BlackBerry

Tafasa is back again with another entertaining game for your BlackBerry. Bubble Burst is a color matching game where you try to score big by popping the largest set of the same color bubbles. The more bubbles in your set, the more points you earn. Bubble Burst has four different modes to choose from: Standard, Shift, Continuous, and Megashift. While each mode has the same basic gameplay, each has a variation to keep things interesting. You also have the option to turn the colored bubbles into white shapes on a black background which is ideal if you are color blind. You can save statistics such as high score, average score and number of games played for each mode.

Bubble Burst has a paid and a free (advertisement supported) version, and supports most all devices. I tried out the free version on my BlackBerry Torch, and while the ad is there at the bottom of the game screen, I really didn't even notice it. I know some of you out there can't stand ads at all, so if you prefer your game without, you can pick up the full version of Bubble Burst on sale for $0.99 in the CrackBerry store.

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Contest: MegaHorn by ToySoft - Win one of 30 free copies!

Sometimes you just need to make some noise. Whether you like to play jokes on your friends, or just need to get someone's attention, MegaHorn from ToySoft is sure to help you. With 20 air horn sound effects to choose from, you are sure to find just the right one for whatever your needs are. Included sounds are:

  • Long Horn, Short Horn, Train Whistle, Tug Boat, Fire Truck, Police Siren, Police Siren2, Intruder Alert. Tornado Siren, Warning Siren, Alarm Clock, Smoke Alarm, Phone Ringing, Buzz, Heart Monitor, Pager Beep, Dog Whistle, Car Honk, Temple Bell Fox NFL Theme

You can adjust the volume and/or stop the selected sound while it's playing, and navigation is very simple. MegaHorn works on all BlackBerry smartphones running OS 4.3 and above, including BB6 and touchscreen. MegaHorn is just $.99 in the CrackBerry store, and there is a free trial available also.

Contest: ToySoft has been kind enough to give us 30 free copies of MegaHorn to pass on to our readers. Leave us a comment below to be entered. Multiple entries won't be counted, and winners will be chosen randomly at midnight PST. Good luck! 

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BlackBerry Messenger 5.0.1.41 now available for download

Research In Motion has quietly rolled out another release of BlackBerry Messenger. Previously seen in some leaked OS 5.0.1.41 is now available in BlackBerry App World and via direct download. No change log has been issued for the release which, is really getting kind of annoying since Research In Motion used to be one of the few to actually issue change logs. So that said, we're sure it's just bug fixes and overall a maintenance release but, let us know in the comments if you spot anything different.

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In a world of proprietary and open source software, where does BlackBerry fit?

As I was crawling the Web for BlackBerry news, I ended up at our sister site, Android Central. I stumbled on this interesting article called ”What does 'open' mean to us?”, which discusses the state of open source and its relation to the Android platform. Being a loyal Linux hacker, I simply could not let this slip away – someone going by the name eric6052 commented on the article at Android Central saying, and I quote, ”I would like to see a similar article on all the SPE sites”. I shall make the first step for CrackBerry. So, what does 'open' mean to us?

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