Best of Smartphone Experts, 18 Oct 2009

Bla1ze's Picks - Free Media Roundup

Bla1ze's Picks - Free Media Roundup

That time again folks. Time for another media round up. Last week you all were upset at the loss of Click, that's understandable. This week though, with more time available I gathered up some goodies for ya. We got ringtones. We got wallpapers. We got themes and finally, we got videos. Dig in and enjoy.

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Reminder: Last Chance to Get Your I LOVE MY BLACKBERRY Videos Recorded and Submitted!

If you're reading this and somehow don't know what the I Love My CrackBerry Video Contest is all about, do yourself a favor and click the image above to jump to the contest page for full overview and details right now!

For everybody else, this is a friendly reminder that we're nearing the end of our video contest entry period. You have until Midnight PST tonight to get your I Love My BlackBerry videos up on youtube and send us the link. Great prizes are up for grabs, like a new Macbook (in honor of Desktop Manager for Mac being released!), a BlackBerry Bold 9700, a BlackBerry Storm2, Schlage Home LiNK system (thanks Schlage!) and more. 

So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends, grab some drinks, grab a video camera, whip out your BlackBerry and start recording! We're going to make sure everybody who submits an entry walks away with a prize, so there won't be any losers here. Just winners and more winners. Get it done! And Good luck!!

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BlackBerry Storm 2 Review Roundup

BlackBerry Storm 2 Review Roundup

When the clock struck 12:01am on Thursday, October 15th, a small herd of BlackBerry Storm2 Reviews took to the internet (well, one actually popped up a tad bit earlier). Unlike some BlackBerry device launches where you could spend the following two days reading through every word of every review and watching every second of video, the BlackBerry Storm2's official splash was a bit sparse (though I am liking the revamped look of BlackBerry.com's product pages).

For all the Storm2 chasers out there, you'll want to click through on the links below and take a read. It'll help kill at least a little time as you wait for the day when you can go to the store and buy one for yourself. There's still plenty of CrackBerry Storm2 coverage to come too, so keep it locked here. If we missed any review links, feel free to leave them in the comments and we'll update this post to include them (sifting through google news it's a bit tricky to tell announcements from actual hands-on opinion in some cases). And the odds are good another batch of in-depth Storm2 reviews will hit the web before it's available for sale, so we'll follow up with a Review Roundup Part Deux in a bit.

BlackBerry Storm2 Reviews

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Verizon's Intranet BlackBerry Storm2 Blog Post Updated: No Confirmed Launch Date At This Time?!

Remember that Verizon Intranet BlackBerry Storm2 blog post we told you about the other day? You know, the one that was also pointing to the rumored October 21st launch date? Well it turns out the post has now been updated, as shown by the photo snapped of it above, with some news that may not be received too favorably by those waiting on the new Storm.

Though Verizon does expect to launch the BlackBerry Storm2, the exact dates they are going to both announce it and release it are a little less clear than they were looking previously. As we pointed out earlier today, it's looking like the technical acceptance process was at the root (at least partially anyways) of the reason they didn't announce the Storm2 on the 15th at the same time RIM and Vodafone did.

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Where is the Verizon BlackBerry Storm 2 Announcement?

Since the BlackBerry Storm2 made is grand debut early Thursday morning via a handful of embargoed reviews, its appearance on BlackBerry.com and a joint RIM/Vodafone Press Release, I can't click into the forums, read a blog post comment or check my inbox or twitter without seeing the question Where's Verizon's BlackBerry Storm2 Announcement? I don't have an 'official answer' to this nagging question, but between logical reasoning, a bit of tipped info and putting the pieces together I do think we have a pretty clear picture of what's going on here...

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BlackBerry Storm 2 Arrives In Verizon Infomanager System

The CrackBerry forums have been a buzz with regards to the Storm 2. This time around that October 21st release has just a little bit more weight behind the possibility of it being correct though you might want to read this post before you get too excited. Tarheelace has stated that the Verizon Infomanager system was recently updated with the above documents, which again shows October 21st as being the release date for the BlackBerry Storm 2. Now I know it may still be a different date it launches, but that's alot of information stamped with the October 21st date we have seen in the past while.

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Facebook 1.7 Now Available for Download!

Facebook 1.7 Now Available for Download!

* Update: Facebook 1.7 is now live on the App World client as well! *

There were some rumors floating around the forums that Facebook 1.7 would make its debut today, and it looks like they panned out to be true! The update isn't live on App World just yet, but you can download it by visiting blackberry.com/facebook or m.facebook.com on your BlackBerry's web browser. So what's new?

Facebook Mobile for BlackBerry (version 1.7) provides the following feature enhancements:

  • News Feed Support - The ability to set the News Feed as the landing page
  • News Feed Filters - The ability to toggle between 'News Feed, Status Updates, Photos & Links'
  • Caching Improvements - The application uses the device memory more efficiently.
  • Feed Pre-fetching - The user will not be required to wait while their Facebook Feeds are updated
  • View Profile Menu Option - Clients may easily view their own profile by selecting 'View my Profile' from the menu. "
Give it a go and be sure to report your findings in the comments. Thanks to Jared for the tip! 
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When I headed out to San Diego last week for CTIA, I loaded up Fierce Towers onto my BlackBerry while waiting to board the plane. Good idea - the hours flew by. If you've never played a tower defense strategy game before, I highly suggest trying one out. It's a lot of fun, challenging and addicting.

And good news... this weekend you can grab Fierce Towers for BlackBerry for 50% off! That means you can grab it for $2.49 vs. its regular $4.99 price. The graphics are solid, the game play is smooth and at $2.49 it's definitely a must have game for your BlackBerry. It's available for both the BlackBerry Storm and non-touchscreen models running OS 4.6 or OS 4.7 (I have it installed on my Storm2 and it's running fine with OS 5.0 too).

You can jump over to the product page at the link below for more details and customer reviews. It has some pretty positive customer feedback, like Hands down the best game on the Storm. Loads of replayibility, would highly recommend it. Just don't blame us if you get hooked on it!

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BlackBerry Storm 2 Image Gallery

BlackBerry Storm 2 Image Gallery

Full Photo Gallery of BlackBerry Storm2 - Lots of BlackBerry Comparisons!

It was a mad dash to get our BlackBerry Storm2 Review up, which left me a short on time to put together the full BlackBerry Storm2 image gallery along with the initial post. Below you can find the complete gallery, which includes some more Storm2 pictures along with comparisons to other current BlackBerry smartphone devices model like the original Storm, Tour, Bold, Curve 8900, Curve 8520, and BlackBerry Pearl Flip. We even threw in an iPhone 3GS comparison just for measure. 

Be sure to click on the photos to zoom in for the larger view and captions. Enjoy the show!!

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BlackBerry App Roundup for October 16th, 2009!

BlackBerry App Roundup for October 16th, 2009!

Holy schmokers folks, what a great week. The Storm2 has hit the interwebs in full force, and Kevin put up a stellar review. There's also been quite a lot of Bold 9700 news, among all the other goodness on this week. As per usual, lots going on within the BlackBerry App scene, so lets get right down to it. Covered in the App Roundup this week are the following titles:

In Case You Missed It: Dictionary.com App for BlackBerry, AddContactX, Free Weather Channel App for BlackBerry, FlipOff for the Storm

New This Week: ChainReaction, WTF Insult Generator, Spooky StillScreens, Revival Deluxe

Apps on Sale: MP3 Ringtone Creator, Berry Wars, Call Blocker Pro, Card Pack Gold, Textender

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Prank Mobile

Freebie of the Week: Michael Jackson Theme

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BlackBerry Storm 2 Unboxing

I know, I know... smartphone unboxing videos are a little pointless/lame, but seriously, how could I first lay eyes on a new BlackBerry and not capture that first 90 seconds of pure joy on HD?! So for all the BlackBerry Storm2 chasers out there, here's a look at my Verizon BlackBerry Storm2 9550 getting unboxed when I first received it on October 15th! Keep in mind this is not the way it will come from Verizon (this is a review loaner unit), so you can expect a prettier box with more stuff in it when you pick yours up. I guess that means we'll have to do up a second unboxing video once this baby hits the market for real. And if you haven't read it yet, be sure to check out our in-depth BlackBerry Storm2 Review.

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All Hedone Design Themes 50% Through October 22nd

All Hedone Design Themes 50% Through October 22nd

As part of their ongoing birthday celebration (celebrating your birthday for more than one day is definitely our style) Hedone Designs is running a huge 50% off sale on all their themes. The sale runs now through October 22nd, and you can choose from any theme in the Hedone arsenal. You can pick from great themes like DigitalPro, Halloween, BussFast and more. Almost all of the themes sell regularly for $7.00, so you can get them for only $3.50. Just use the code HD50BDAY09 to receive the discount. The code will only work in our mobile app store or app store client from your device.

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BlackBerry Bold 9700 on Bell Mobility's HSPA Launch List

BGR got hold of Bell's action-packed HSPA handset launch list, and it sports some BlackBerry Bold 9700 goodness. There are no solid details, but a shipping date of October 30th and launch date of November are listed. It looks like the 9700 will go run you $399.95 on contract, or $599.95 retail. Not wanting to be outdone, the Bold 9000 makes an appearance on the list as well. It seems to me like the Storm2 and 9700 are fighting for the spotlight, and with all the hype about the Storm2, I think most would say the 9700 is the most anticipated.

[ BGR ]

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Contest: m[i]Berry Theme - 50 Free Copies

miBerry

One "happy Friday" contest before everyone hits the road for the weekend. Tony at Cocky Culture themes has created a great new theme titled m[i]Berry. The theme is custom from head to toe, with great icons, a clean banner and custom meters. The homescreen is totally customizable and the theme is 100% wallpaper friendly. I'm sure you all see where the inspiration came from, but at least its not just another look-a-like theme. m[i]Berry is on sale in the CrackBerry App Store for $1.99 through October 18th. To enter to win one of 50 free copies just leave a comment on this post. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST.

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BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife (BBSAK) v1.6 Released

BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife (BBSAK) v1.6 Released

A few months back we first checked out JL_Cmdr replacement BBSAK. We got word today that RIMGeeks have released an update to include some new features. BBSAK is a windows app that allows experienced users to tweak their device by accessing COD files, loading OS' and more. The new updates include:

  • Brand New Tabbed Layout for better organization
  • Animated app expansion
  • Multiple COD install now available through the "Install COD(s)" button
  • Multiple COD removal now available through the "Remove COD(s)" button (Read system required to remove cods)
  • Install JAD files (ALL CODs referenced in JAD file must be in the SAME FOLDER as JAD)
  • JAD Maker now included! (Box is drag and drop for windows xp and vista users only)
I've been saved by this app many times now, so I highly recommend having it installed just in case. If you are a CrackBerry Abuser you will certainly need this at one time or another. 
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* If you haven't yet, be sure to first read BBM Stress Test Part 1 and BBM Stress Test Part II *

A week after embarking upon the mission of discovering the max number of contacts BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 can handle, I'm calling it quits on the experiment. It started off fun, grew a little difficult as my BlackBerry Bold began to bog down, and eventually the device just couldn't take it anymore and begged for mercy. The video above serves as evidence of this nutty/stupid/insane and I think somewhat historic event. Warning: It's a long video - I have over 90 minutes of recorded footage, but chopped it down to 15 minutes (cut out the cursing that occurred towards the end and made sure there were no clips where people's pins are shown). If you can make it to the end you're truly a BlackBerry addict. :)

So what what's the verdict? I still don't know the exact number! The total number of BlackBerry Messenger requests to come in was well over 10,000. I managed to get all the way up 2050 approved contacts, but started receiving the Max Number of Contacts Reached message long before that. But I found by closing chats, deleting some of the requests and leaving all joined BBM groups that even though I would get the max number message,  BlackBerry Messenger would still squeeze in a few more. At the end of the day, I'm not sure that RIM set an actual max number of approved contacts, but rather set a loose limit based on database size or total number of "things' going on in messenger at one time.

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Air Canada Releases Application for BlackBerry Smartphones

Air Canada announced the release of their new BlackBerry application today. Customers will be able to access numerous features from within the application, expediting their travel and making for a better overall experience. With the Air Canada application, you can easily check flights, receive notifications, check in, find flights, book flights and more. You can customize for various notifications for flights and other alerts as well. The application is a free download and should be extremely useful to travelers who fly Air Canada. Hopefully more airlines (and other agencies like rental cars and hotels) will put out apps of their own to make traveling that much easier. The Air Canada app is available free in BlackBerry App World, or by visiting mobile.aircanada.com.

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Cameraless BlackBerry Bold Available from AT&T This Friday

Following in the footsteps of Verzion's non-camera 8830WE and Tour, it looks like AT&T will be making a cameraless BlackBerry Bold available this Friday. From their @BizSoltions Twitter account, AT&T dropped this tweet earlier today:

"Starting Friday -- BlackBerry Bold will be available from AT&T in a model without a camera, for secure workplaces."

This could be a welcome relief for those who are not allowed to have camera phones in the workplace. I personally think having an option for a BlackBerry without a camera is a necessity given the high security of many industries. So will you be picking one up? Drop us a comment and let us know your thoughts. 

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Leaked: OS 5.0.0.273 for the BlackBerry Tour 9630

Leaked: OS 5.0.0.273 for the BlackBerry Tour 9630

If you didn't get in on the OS 5.0 action yet, you may want to give it a go this time around. It has been less than a month since we saw OS 5.0.0.230 leak for the Tour, and today OS 5.0.0.273 for the Tour 9630 surfaced on the web. Reports are mixed on this one, so be sure to let us know how it works out for you. As always, use caution when installing a leaked OS.

*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. *

[ BerryAddicted ]

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