BlackBerry App World Money Back Offer - Get Up To $15 Back When You Buy Two Apps

From now until January 12, 2010 you can get $15 back from the purchase of any two apps from BlackBerry App World. The PayPal promotion simply requires you to register on this page. From there you need to buy two apps from BlackBerry App World using your PayPal account, and you will receive up to $15 (plus taxes and fees) back from PayPal. The only catch that I can see is that the refund may take a while as it states it may be 4-6 weeks or by February 23, 2010. So if you've been looking to pick up a few premium apps from BlackBerry App World, be sure to hit up this page first and take advantage of the sweet offer.

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BeDroid

The guys over at JMal and Ahaz Designs are in that holiday mood and having a sale on their popular theme BeDroid. This theme really brings that DROID look and feel to your BlackBerry with its replica meters, icons, lock screen and wallpaper. As an added bonus for Storm users, the application Stop Turning! ($1.99 app that locks your screen orientation) comes built right into this premium theme. This really is a gorgeous theme and is compatible with all devices OS 4.5 and higher. All 38 versions of this theme are on sale from today through Christmas for just $1, saving you 85%!

Contest: We have 25 free copies of BeDroid to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment - multiple entries won't count.

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Loopt Now Available for the BlackBerry Storm

Loopt Now Available for the BlackBerry Storm

Not too long ago Loopt dropped a big update and released for the Bold 9700 and Curve 85xx devices. We got word that the app is also now available for the BlackBerry Storm and Storm2 in BlackBerry App World. The free app has been updated to show off the capabilities of the touchscreen devices.

If you're a BlackBerry Storm owner, now you can take advantage of all of the features that Loopt has to offer. You can discover nearby places and events by perusing detailed information from Zagat, Citysearch and the Loopt community. Or you can see where your friends are on maps and view their latest updates listed in real-time. You can also Check In to instantly share updates with friends across your favorite social networks, like Facebook and Twitter. Best of all, Loopt on the BlackBerry Storm runs in the background, which allows you to update your location in real-time while you are on the move, even when the Loopt application is not running in the foreground.  

To download the latest version for any device, simply head over to loopt.com on your mobile browser.

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 20 Dec 2009

Week one of the Smartphone Round Robin is over and week two begins tomorrow. We've just scratched the surface here and already we've run the gamut from a Windows Mobile user examining webOS to a BlackBerry user having an encounter with the Droid. If you have a Smartphone need, we're pretty confident that the Round Robin will help you find out how to fill it.

We could go on, but there's egg nog to be spiked and presents to be wrapped, so hit up the updates page for a list of reviews by platform and hit this post up after the break for the best of Smartphone Experts this week.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

** OOOOPS.. My bad. Round Robin Week 2 actually has me using the WINDOWS MOBILE phones... not iPhone. Ahh well, always fun to poke fun of our frenemy anyways. **

Week #2 of the Smartphone Round Robin has me coming back to our 'ole pal... frenemy #1.... the Apple iPhone. The folks at Saturday Night Love must be following the event as they decided to give me a little extra ammo on last night's show to put to use this week. Too funny :)   

[ Engadget via TheiPhoneblog ]

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CrackBerry Reminder: What You May Have Missed This Week

Less than a week until Christmas - t'is the season to be jolly. Hopefully you have all of your shopping done and you're ready to enjoy a week away from work (for those that actually get a vacation). Lots of good stuff this week, and we'll still choose some big winners for our ongoing Colorware and Telenav contest in just a few more days. If you haven't entered any of the contests yet, head over to the original posts and get on it before its too late!

What You May Have Missed

Contests

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Want a Google Reader App for BlackBerry? Let Google Know!

Its not secret that I've been dying for a Google Reader application for BlackBerry. I have used nearly ever RSS reader under the sun on my device, and although many are awesome, they just don't bring it all like I feel a Reader app straight from Google would. I am honestly impressed for the most part with the Google apps for BlackBerry like GMail, calendar sync and the Google Voice app, so I think that a Reader app straight from the source would not disappoint. Having feeds all in once place, being able to sync feeds with the web, add feeds, mark read/unread etc. would be amazing. While there have been no rumors floating around that a Reader app is anywhere in sight, there is a page on Google's Product Ideas (http://productideas.appspot.com/#9/e=22493&t=blackberry) that has already been started for Google Reader. So as your Christmas gift to me CrackBerry Nation, I ask that if you too want a Google Reader app, you swing by the page and vote on the submitted ideas for Google Reader (or submit a new idea of your own). Maybe with the power of CrackBerry we can convince Google to crank out a Reader application for BlackBerry. 

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Android Review - Smartphone Round Robin

Android Review - Smartphone Round Robin

DROIIIIIIIID. Week 1 of the 2009 Smartphone Round Robin had me going hands-on with the Verizon Motorola Droid and the Sprint HTC Hero. Now that my time with these out of this world devices has come to an end and I've procrastinated all that I could, it's time to reflect on my Android experience from the perspective of the BlackBerry user that I am. Because we're looking at more than one device here and I want to throw out some thoughts on Android as a whole, I'm not going to dive into the little details on each device like I would in my normal BlackBerry device reviews. For that kind of stuff -- features and specs and anal observations -- click the two device links above and you'll jump over to AndroidCentral.com for their excellent in-depth reviews. That said, I know there are a huge number of you who want to know my thoughts on the Droid, so I'll be sure to give you what you want!

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Want to Get the Most From Your Curve? Order Craig Johnston's My BlackBerry Curve Book Today!

Order your copy today!!!

w00t! Craig's book is now available!!! A few months back we dropped word on the blogs here that our resident podcast co-host and enterprise expert Craig Johnston was working on a book, My BlackBerry Curve. Published by Que, it's now available for purchase. 

The BlackBerry Curve is the #1 selling smartphone in the United States and My BlackBerry Curve will help get you up to speed quickly and covers the Curve 83xx, 85xx and 8900 series devices. Full-color, step-by-step tasks walk you through getting and keeping your BlackBerry Curve working just the way you want. The tasks include:

  • How to get started fast with any BlackBerry Curve: 8300 Series, 8500 Series, or 8900 Series
  • How to make, receive, and manage calls and emails efficiently
  • How to use the BlackBerry Curve's powerful contact management and calendar software
  • How to listen to audio and watch video
  • How to connect to the Internet, Bluetooth devices, and your company's VPN
  • How to browse the Web from your BlackBerry Curve
  • How to use the BlackBerry Curve's messaging tools, including text, multimedia, PIN, and IM
  • How to find, choose, and install new BlackBerry Curve applications
  • How to connect with social networking sites and tools
  • How to use Airplane Mode to watch videos, read emails, and listen to music during flights
  • How to keep your BlackBerry Curve up-to-date, reliable, and running at top performance 
If you or a friend, colleague or family member that could use a hand getting a handle on your BlackBerry Curve (or if you just want to support Craig on this awesome endeavor!) then jump on over to MyBlackBerryCurve.info for more information and to purchase. Congrats Craig.. Awesome!
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CrackBerry Kevin's Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs

* Note: My Android review will be coming up later today (Saturday night..almost done!). Had to get this article done up so I can refer back to it in this year's Round Robin write-ups! *

Every year when the Smartphone Round Robin rolls into town I seem to unintentionally get off topic within one of my device reviews and spend a couple thousand words diving into smartphone philosophy. Since I've been a part of the mobile space, I've developed my fair share of theories (though these often happen while drinking and are forgotten the next day) that explain why things are the way they are and more importantly for an event like the Round Robin, help provide a clear framework that explains how I judge a new device when I pick it up.

There's a reason why we don't declare a winner in the Round Robin. It's because there is no one best smartphone. What there is though, is a best smartphone for a person based on their priorities and needs and how they intend to integrate the device into their life. I've been BlackBerry diehard since the moment I laid hands on 'ole blue (a BlackBerry 7290). That doesn't mean I don't get tempted from time to time by other platforms and devices that may offer better web browsers, more megapixels or more apps to choose from, but at the end of the day the things I personally value most in the smartphone experience tend to be what RIM excels in. In the 2007 Round Robin, I spent a lot of time talking about the BlackBerry advantage, which covered points like the BlackBerry's one-handed ease of use and the blinking red LED which keeps you coming back for more (the crack in CrackBerry). In the 2008 Round Robin I focused my attention on the differences between RIM's approach to the BlackBerry experience and Apple's approach to the iPhone, where RIM focuses on developing a device and software platform that is optimized for on-the-go use (use it 100x per day for a short period of time) while Apple wants you to stop what you're doing and really immerse yourself in using the device. This year, I'm going to take things up a notch with my latest theory, called Kevin's Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Car fanatic? You're gonna love the new theme, Speed from JC Designs. Speed was designed for the car enthusiasts out there specifically. High resolution graphics, custom designed icons and gauges and most importantly, a wallpaper friendly theme to show off your ride or one of the 5 rides available to choose from.

Speed has a ton of built in hidden screens including a today preview option, a hidden dock with 12 icons and even a pop out steering wheel that houses 6 icons it's self. You can choose from Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Lamborghini or Audi or make your own just by adding your wallpaper. More options are on the way as well. Supported devices for Speed are Storm 1&2, Bold 9000 and 9700, BlackBerry Curve 8900 and finally, BlackBerry Tour.

Right now and through December 26th, you can pick Speed up for only $4.45 each. As well, JC Designs has other themes discounted during this time that you can take advantage of. Also, we have 100 copies of Speed to give away for you all.

[ Leave your comments here for a chance to win. Duplicate entries will be excluded Good luck folks and thanks to JC Designs for the free copies. ]

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An Inside Look At The Workings Of The Trackpad

An Inside Look At The Workings Of The Trackpad

The trackpad. Sure it's not a new thing to have included on a device but it is however, the newest thing to have on a BlackBerry smartphone. After having used the track wheel and the track ball, it seemed to be the next common sense step for Research In Motion to take on their non touchscreen devices. Although, a good many people I know would still rather have a track wheel (aka Jog wheel) over anything.

Over at Inside BlackBerry a new post went up today outlining the "science" behind the trackpad its self. After reading the article, I got a better understanding of how the trackpad it's self works, it's not simply just touch it and go. There is more to it then that really, so I suggest giving it a read. The best part of the write up is this is only part one of the series. I'm waiting for the write up where they go through the evolution of navigation on BlackBerry smartphones. Maybe we can start up a group to fight to bring the track wheel back? Who's with me? Viva La Track wheel!

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Mobile Checkbook 4.0: Review and Giveaway!

Mobile Checkbook 4.0: Review and Giveaway!

These days, you wonder where your paycheck has gone. I'm not only talking about monthly bills, but also special purchases, such as shopping for the holidays. Has everyone finished their holiday shopping? If you answered no, I have two things to say to you; Stop talking to yourself and stop reading so you can go out and buy something. No! Wait! Maybe you should have a read, as this application may help out. In December, you can always feel the energy in the air as the masses hit the malls and shops to stock up on supplies, food and presents. Receipts pile up or stuffed in pockets. You either use online or telephone banking to check your balances. You keep buying things for yourself, rather than for others. These are just added stresses for this time of year. 

Mobile Checkbook, which was updated just recently, allows you to easily record transactions on the go, as well as perform reconciliation of your balances. I've wanted to review this application for months, but was asked to hold off until the new version was released. I had the chance to try out this version for the past couple of weeks and I can say it was well worth the wait.

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Rogers Drops Pricing Of White BlackBerry Bold To $0.99 For The Holiday Season

Looking to pick up a brand new white BlackBerry Bold 9000? I know a lot of people out there actually love the look of this device and right now if you are a Rogers customer you can pick one up for a totally reasonable price of only $0.99 cents. Yes, you read that right. Standard 3 yr contract will still apply but that's a pretty good price for a new white Bold 9000 folks. Rumor has it the deal will last until January 4th and then will disappear and before you ask, it's the white one only. Guess Rogers wants it to be a white Christmas.

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The Complete Recap of WIND Mobile's Official Launch

The Complete Recap of WIND Mobile's Official Launch

[ Forums member AngryChineseDriver gave us a good look at the official launch of WIND Mobile's official launch event this week. He provided a good summary of features, as well as what to expect from the carrier. You can jump into the forums for more discussion, or check out his full article with images from the event. ]

I woke up at 5:45a.m. yesterday, December 16, to catch the official launch of Canada's newest national carrier, WINDmobile, at the Queen's Quay Headquarters location in Toronto, ON; all I can say is that it was absolutely worth it.

Earning the spot of WIND's second customer ever in its young history, I was able to live-tweet (with frozen fingers at one point while standing outside in the beautiful yet Winnipeg-like winter weather) all developments. However, it was all worth it as I got a personal shout-out from the WINDmobile CEO, Ken Campbell.

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BlackBerry Curve 8530 Now Available From Sprint

BlackBerry Curve 8530 Now Available From Sprint

The wait is over. If you're a Sprint customer and have been holding out for the new Curve 8530, the day has come. The device is now officially available on the Sprint website for just $49.99 after rebates (with 2-year contract). This beats out Verizons introductory price of $99, so Sprint customers are in luck. It looks like the only avaiable color is black, so if you're waiting on the insane all-over purple version, you may have to look around a bit. Head over to Sprint.com to get in on the fun.

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A Quick Look at BlackBerry Messenger Groups

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

When groups first popped up with the release of BlackBerry Messenger 5.0, there was no documention about them at all, and everyone pretty much had to figure it out on their own. Over time, those that chose to use groups got a pretty good handle on everything. I for one love the functionality of the BlackBerry Messenger Groups (although I didn't at first) and use them every day. The ability to easily share photos, calendars and lists makes some of my daily tasks as well as communicating with family and friends much easier. Take a look at thie video above to get a better idea of what groups can do, and see if you've been missing out on any of the cool integration.

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Official 5.0.0.405 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 Now Available from AT&T

We had OS leaks galore for the Bold 9700 in the last few weeks, and now AT&T has officially released OS 5.0.0.405. This is a pretty decent upgrade from the OS the device shipped with, so if you have some spare time today it may be worth an upgrade. This is an official OS, so you can install it worry free (more or less). Be sure to drop a comment and let us know your findings. I'm still searching for a 9700 OS with the "Show Recent Contacts When Composing Email Option", so maybe one will pop up one of these days.

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BlackBerry IM Clients Updated to v2.5.32

BlackBerry IM Clients Updated to v2.5.32

It looks like the BlackBerry native IM clients have been updated once again. Not too much of a leap here, but they've clicked up from 2.5.31 to 2.5.32. No word on the changes in this round, but who doesn't love updates? You can grab the new versions directly from their respective blackberry.com download sites, or head over to BlackBerry App World. Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

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