Verizon Launches Developer Network Seeking RIM Compatible Application Designers
This is a rather strange move by Verizon but hey, it's not the strangest thing we have seen them do that's for sure. It appears as if Verizon is reaching out and starting their own application storefront and is offering big money (approx. $100,000+ total) to those who partake in the creation of these applications.

RIM devices have been targetted here as being the key device people should be developing for, which can be rather tricky. Maybe that's why this sort of event is even being held.

Registration for this all is set to begin on August 14th and closing for application submissions is on September 20th. So if building an application, winning some money and sharing revenue with Verizon for these apps sounds like a sweet deal to you, then check out the full details on their site.

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BlackBerry Night at the Movies - North Brunswick, NJ

Dante Sarigumba and I decided to attend the BlackBerry Night at the Movies event in North Brunswick, New Jersey. We bumped into Rob Kao (of SmrtGuard) who was also attending.

Bear in mind that this is not a public all-out splashy device launch, but rather an internal event for people who sell T-Mobile BlackBerrys. So the event was attended by T-Mobile employees and people from companies who sell T-Mobile BlackBerrys.

Still, the event was maybe a little on the cheap side. For example there was no food supplied, but rather snacks. And by snacks I mean cookies and soda. Dante, Rob, and I resorted to overpriced and stale movie theater hot dogs for dinner before heading back to the event and picking up our "snacks".

The event itself was held in one of the theaters and RIM/T-Mobile got up on stage to pump up the crowd of about 35 people. They called out ticket stub numbers and gave out some pretty cool prizes ranging from BlackBerry 8520's (well IOU's for them), to sweat shirts, to BlackBerry audio gateways.

Then they played a pretty cool extended commercial for the BlackBerry Curve with cool close-ups of the Curve, including shots of actually flying through the keys.

More pictures after the jump.

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New BlackBerry App World Features To Enable App Storage On SD Cards?!?

As we posted yesterday, RIM launched some new developer tools in the past few days. Digging through the documentation, Ronen over at BerryReview came across some further details pertaining to BlackBerry App World and a possible future version that will allow such things as storing (not running) applications on our beloved media cards.

This feature permits BlackBerry App World™ storefront users to remove applications from their BlackBerry® devices and reinstall the applications without paying for the application a second time. BlackBerry App World archives a record of the application to save memory and so that the user does not have to maintain the application on the BlackBerry device. BlackBerry App World users can also install or archive applications on expandable memory, such as a media card.

This is exactly what the documentation states. This information is of course coming from RIM directly and it is really great to see. Let's just hope they do not change their minds and pull this idea last minute. This appears to be slated for version 1.1 and many are expecting this to be rolled out on July 31st, when App world hits more global markets. So what do you all think? Good move by RIM?

[ BerryReview ]

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  <a href="http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1819520/" mce_href="http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1819520/">Which currently available or announced BlackBerry smartphone do you own or plan to buy?</a><span style="font-size:9px;">(<a href="http://answers.polldaddy.com" mce_href="http://answers.polldaddy.com">answers</a>)</span>

How is it that we've never run a poll here on the blogs at CrackBerry.com? That just seems soooo wrong. It's time to change that! I think we can have a lot of fun here by running both standalone polls and by tieing polls in at the end of blog posts. So get your polling thumbs ready....

It only makes sense for our first CrackBerry poll that we start with the basics... which BlackBerry do you currently own or plan to buy. Now..this IS CrackBerry.com, so I know a lot of you either own multiple BlackBerry smartphones or are using an upcoming device that you shouldn't really be using. So if you own multiple devices or are about to upgrade, pick the one you're using/plan to be using the most. And if you're lucky enough to be rocking a model that err.. doesn't exist yet (onyx anyone??) then just pick the Older or Other BlackBerry option...

I'm curious to see the results on this! And if you have any ideas for good polls for us to run here on the blogs, be sure to send them in to editorial @ crackberry.com.  

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Berry Popup Available for 50% Off

I received a couple of tweets yesterday asking when CrackBerry's next Deal of the Day would be... If it's daily, shouldn't it be every day?? The answer to that question is simple, it is daily! Though we won't blog about the Deal of the Day every single day, when visiting the CrackBerry.com website simply click on the App Store link on the site's main menu above and you will always be able to find the current DoD and the amount of time remaining on the deal. We've also set up CrackBerryDealoftheDay.com, which you can type directly into your browser to jump straight to the DoD. Keep in mind if a device model is not set yet in the device selector tool you will need to choose your device before you see the Deal of the Day title available.

That said, we'll be sure to make a blog post about the DoD on a fairly regular basis, especially when it's one of our favorite BlackBerry apps up for grabs at 50% off. Today the app is BellShare's BerryPopup. BerryPopup allows you to preview incoming emails and SMS messages the moment they arrive on your device, no matter what application you are in - very handy for those who spend a lot of time with their device in hand and don't want to quit what they're doing in order to see who just emailed/SMSed when the blinking red light appears. As today's DoD, you can get BerryPopup for $3.47 vs. it's regular $6.95 price. Definitely a solid app and a great deal.

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Leave a comment to for your chance to win. 50 FREE copies to be Won!

This is pretty cool. CrackBerry member hastings has followed up his popular AppleBerry Dark Spaces / Stacks / Classic theme suite with the release of an expansion pack theme that mimics "spaces" on a Mac and adds the touch of panoramic slding wallpapers. You'll definitely want to check out the video above on this one (it's kind of hard to explain). I love the panoramic sliding action - I can't help but wish RIM would include some funkier themes like this by default (less Appley and more Berry-like though of course!). Speaking to the developer, here's what he had to say:

As far as I know this is one of the first themes to feature extra-wide panoramic wallpapers that move to create the illusion of having three homescreens, or "Spaces" in the Mac world. Every icon is user customizable and even though the panoramic wallpapers aren't user customizable, they have the ability to hide the wallpaper at any point and rock their own personal one. (as shown in the demo)

It's $6, and the suite comes with six different themes (and wallpapers), and you can change them freely without reorganizing your icons. I'm adding more wallpapers in the future and bundling them in for free. The only disclaimer I have is that this theme can be resource intensive on older OS', but has proven to be perfectly stable with the newest OS, .151. The official Verizon OS, .148 also works, but not as well.

Contest: We have 50 free copies of the AppleBerry Dark Expansion Pack to give away. Just leave a comment to this post and you're entered to win. Contest entry ends Sunday at Midnight PST.

More Info & Purchase: For more information, be sure to check out the AppleBerry Dark thread in the CrackBerry Forums and visit the AppleBerry Dark product page for more info and download instructions (requires Desktop Manager install).

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NOW it's a BOLD - New Photo of a BlackBerry 9020 Shows Off a Leather Battery Door!

We've seen plenty of photos and videos of the BlackBerry 9020, aka "onyx" to date, but despite the 9020's overall awesomeness (3G / WiFi / GPS / sleek form factor / fast processor / etc.) there has been something missing about the device. With a model number like the 9020 it has to be part of the Bold line, yet all of the 9020's that have been caught glimpsed in the wild to date have featured a plastic door. For many a BlackBerry Bold owner, the leather bling is one of the coolest features of the device and is what makes it easy to spot.

Good news for the leather (err... faux leather) lovers out there... it seems the folks at feedberry got their hands on a 9020 that features an updated battery door cover, and this one shares the Bold 9000's leather stylings. AWESOME. This particular unit still has the trackball (vs. trackpad which you can see here) but couple a leather back, trackpad and everything else we showed you previously in this review and you have one hellluva a BlackBerry. I can't wait to get one of these and get it done up by Coveroo with a metallic CrackBerry logo. Click the image above to see more photos.

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Leave a comment to this post for your chance to win a free unlock code!

Win a Free Unlock Code from Express Unlock Code

The folks from Express Unlock Code had so much fun with the contest they ran here back in June that they have returned with 100 more free unlock codes for 100 lucky members of CrackBerry Nation.

Unlock Codes will be available to the winning members who have a BlackBerry currently locked to the following North American networks:

  • Rogers
  • AT&T
  • Verizon (only Storm, Tour and 8830)
  • T-Mobile
  • T-Mobile - Omnipoint
  • Cellular One
  • Cincinnati Bell
  • Suncom
  • Cingular
  • Centennial Wireless
  • Dobson-Cellular
Be sure to enter only if you're running your BlackBerry on one of the carriers above. Don't worry, if you're not, we're bound to have another contest soon and will more than likely have you covered! Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. You can visit Express Unlock Code for more info on their services.
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Eerie- New Dark Style Premium Theme From Elecite

Eerie- New Dark Style Premium Theme From Elecite

Elecite is back. It's been a while since we have seen a new theme come from Elecite but this time around they have dropped Eerie on us all. Eerie is a darker, grungier theme that really will not suit everyone but will appeal to those who like that darker style, myself included. One unique thing about this theme that works really well on the Storm is its dual screen option. Sadly dual screen will not work across all devices and is not available on 83/88XX devices.

Eerie is available for Bold, Storm, 8900, 83XX and 88XX devices but be sure to check out all the screenshots as theme appearance will differ from device to device. Eerie is available now from Elecite for $6.99.

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RIM Product Manager Discusses the BlackBerry Curve 8520

RIM Product Manager Discusses the BlackBerry Curve 8520

It's been a while now since RIM has launched their own blogs and so far it's mainly consisted of tips and tricks and tutorials posted on an infrequent basis -- always good, but readers such as myself were expecting a deeper look into things. The latest entry on the blogs is more of what I was looking for really... an interview with RIM's BlackBery Curve 8520 product manager. A rather interesting readb-- even despite its sales pitch feel ;)

Pankaj took the time to explain why WiFi was placed in the device as well as shares his feelings on the new trackpad since this is the first device out the door with it. It offers a different look at RIM, a much more personal one, although as our pal Ronen points out, some "hard hitting" questions were left out such as why no GPS was integrated or why no flash was put in place on the device.

Sure it's an "entry level" device (Wal-Mart will have it for $48.88 on qualified upgrades) and they are using some left over 83xx series parts (the 320 by 240 display), but I'm sure they could have worked in a flash - the original 83xx series had a flash with no impact on battery life.

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The above video is a recap of where BlackBerry came from. Now RIM needs to look toward where they are going. RIM has been promising lots and lots of new developer tools for the past while now which I assume is in hopes of getting more developers turned on to the BlackBerry platform. In the meantime, developers have been coping with the tools available and most have their tales of frustrations to share -- some, unfortunately, have even been frustrated enough to move on to different platforms. With the BlackBerry Developers Conference just around the bend in November, hopefully RIM will be able to attract some new talent to bring us great applications. In the mean time though RIM has launched new tools to help create web-based applications.

The BlackBerry Web Development Plug-in for Eclipse, will allow developers to create web applications and content more easily and in a familiar Eclipse 3.4 environment. This plug-in opens up more rich internet applications using AJAX, Silverlight, PHP, ASP, Ruby on Rails, JSP, and Python.
The BlackBerry Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio version 1.2, allows developers to create web apps and content whithin Visual Studio 2008. This is another tool that is going to bring more developers into the fold, allowing them to make apps running AJAX and ASP.Net.

This is a great start to more applications, hopefully more feature-rich ones. However, web apps? Is that really the way we need to be going at this point? I believe we have heard the term web apps before, can't quite place where... maybe I should ask the folks over at TheiPhoneBlog -- Hmm, I do remember though they did not fair well. So developers, what do you all think -- are these new tools going to help you all create great applications or is it just a stepping stone for RIM to offer you even more tools needed? Let us know in the comments.

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Even Puppies Love BlackBerry

Even Puppies Love BlackBerry

This is probably one of the biggest fears of the dog-loving BlackBerry owner. Leaving your precious device along during the night, only to have it destroyed by mans best friend. Forums member michaelbrandonw had this happen. Check out the pictures if you think you can handle them. If you have a story of your own, send it to editorial(at)crackberry.com. 

I know these stories can be a little bit of comedic relief and heartbreaking in the same respect, so naturally I felt the need to share.

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SkyFire Halts BlackBerry Beta Testing After Files Leaked

On Monday afternoon Skyfire made the announcement that some of us all were expecting. It was announced that all beta testing on the BlackBerry development of SkyFire was to be put on hold, reason being that the files had leaked onto the internet. Also during that time, BlackBerry users of all devices were acessing the files and from the SkyFire blog came this.

"During the time it was leaked, there were many BlackBerry users trying the alpha release on Curves, Storms, and other BlackBerry models--it was not intended for these devices."

The real story there is the fact the SkyFire beta was set up to allow a limited number of users to gain access and test the services at a time, if too many users were on --further connections would not be allowed. After the files were leaked legitimate users and testers were no longer able to access the files.

This folks is a prime example of why certain things just simply, should not be leaked. The development of SkyFire has just been set back and now it will be even longer before we see it launch on BlackBerry. Another fine reasoning, even mentioned by SkyFire is the fact the version leaked was not even the most recent version and this alone could have negative effects on users opinion now and even after launch.

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    SmrtGuard Your Smartphone Guardian

    SmrtGuard Your Smartphone Guardian

    Your BlackBerry; your life is literally in your hands. You’ve confided in it more information than you would ever dare to with your significant other or best friend. Private personal messages, embarrassing photos, delicate corporate information; your BlackBerry smartphone can store it all. But what happens if your BlackBerry loses it? Or worse yet - you lose your BlackBerry? Dun Dun Dunnnnnnn!!! You feel your body go cold and numb with fear, except for the incredibly sick feeling that’s building up in your stomach. Your lips fight to hold back the flurry of expletives demanding to be released.

    At this point, you’re frantically searching for it, calling it, desperately hoping to hear it ring or vibrate. Some are lucky and are reunited, others have to come to terms with their loss. Despair quickly shifts back to fear as you realize another reality – Whose hands are my BlackBerry in now?!? Unless they’re a good Samaritan, they now have access to everything, reveling in what was once your property. If only you had backed up your information. If only you could track its location. If only you could wipe it remotely. If only…you had SmrtGuard!

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    Reversi for the BlackBerry StormReversi for the BlackBerry Storm

    Looking for an addicting and challenging game to play that runs smooth on your BlackBerry Storm? If so, you may want to check out Reversi for the BlackBerry Storm. Released just yesterday by Tafasa, who's done up many Storm games in the past, you'll get tons of play out of this mindbender of a game. The description:

    Reversi, also known as Othello, is the fun and famous strategy board game that is easy to play, but hard to truly master. Now the game is available on your BlackBerry so you can play everywhere! The game provides 5 different computer difficulty levels to challenge all people regardless of experience or skill. You can also challenge your friends in a 2-player match to see who is the real champion. This fun, animated and graphical game is easy to use and will keep you entertained for hours.

    The rules of the game are simple. The goal is to try to have more of your color pieces on the board by the end of the game. You place a piece on the board so that your pieces surround one or more of your opponent's pieces. In doing so, you will conquer your opponent's pieces and they will change to your color. You alternate back and forth until the board is full or no one can make a move. The winner is the person with the most pieces on the board.

    Reversi sells for $2.99 but is on sale until the end of this month (July 31st) for only 99 cents in the CrackBerry App Store. Keep in mind it will only work on the BlackBerry Storm. Follow the links below for more information.

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    CarFinder Application Remembers Where You Parked

    CarFinder

    VQ CarFinder, now available in BlackBerry App World, automatically remembers where you parked your car. The application, which works on all GPS enabled devices, remembers where you parked so you only need to launch the application to find your vehicle, unlike other applications that require you to note where the vehicle was parked. CarFinder works off Bluetooth in your vehicle. When the Bluetooth signal is iniated upon starting your car, the application activates the GPS. When you park and turn off the vehicle, thus turning off Bluetooth, CarFinder notes where the vehilce is located. If you don't have Bluetooth in your car, you can purchase a Bluetooth car charger from within the application for $19.99. A pretty cool app if you find you can remember where you left your car often, but most probably won't find the need to spend the money. CarFinder is available as a free trial, and a full license is available for $9.99. Check out http://www.4carfinder.com/ for more information, or head to BlackBerry App World to download.

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    Slacker Radio Now Pushed To Verizon Tour?

    Slacker Radio Now Pushed To Verizon Tour?

    Just a week or so back we found out that Slacker Radio was being pushed to the Verizon Storm, and today it looks like the Tour may be following. A quick reboot of my device after updating an application, and there was a lonely Slacker Radio icon sitting on my homescreen. I clicked it and sure enough it dragged me along to the download page. If you are a Verizon Tour owner and don't seen the icon, try rebooting or sending your service books. Could this be a sign of things to come? And is it only happening on Verizon for now? Leave a comment and let us know you thoughts and findings.

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    Leaked: OS 4.7.0.164 for 9500 Storm!

    Leaked: OS 4.7.0.164 for 9500 Storm!

    Seems like this week is the week of leaks all around. This one folks is for all you 9500 owners out there, especially if you are not interested in any of the other buildS that are floating around such as the 5.0 iterations which of course suffer from some applications not working. Give this one a shot and share your impressions in the forum.

    *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. *

    [ Berry Review ]
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    WHERE Available For BlackBerry Tour; Top Download from App World!

    WHERE launched for the Tour shortly after the device's release, and the folks from WHERE happily et us know this morning that they're the Number 1 BlackBerry Tour Top Download in App World so we definitely thought it deserved a plug! Although, at the time of this post, my Tour is actually showing Metova's Vision for YouTube app at #1 and WHERE at #2. Ahh well. In any event, about 22,000 Tour owners are rocking WHERE each day. If you haven't given it a go yet, you should give it a try and see if it's for you.

    Using your GPS or a location you set manually WHERE can help you find just about anything you need, be it phone numbers, the nearest Starbucks or if you just simply want to check on traffic. WHERE is there to help!

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    Contest Winners - Wallpaper Shuffle, Media Fly and Cocky Culture Themes

    Some more great contests last week. We had 500 copies of Fabian's Wallpaper Shuffle to give away, as well as two great themes from Cocky Culture. We also have one winner of $200 towards a new device from Media Fly. If you didn't win this time don't fret, we have plenty more contests on the way. You can also pick up Wallpaper Shuffle for 50% off using the coupon code cool in our mobile app store or mobile client.

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