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BlackBerry Software Roundup for January 23rd, 2009!

A new week, new software, and a new president for all of my friends in the US of A. Pretty good week for most. Without further delay, here are the titles covered in this weeks' BlackBerry Software Roundup:

New BlackBerry Software: JokeJukeBox!, BB BattStat, Storm Level Pro, TalkLater, Polyglotz, Hunting for BlackBerry!

Updated BlackBerry Software: EasyTip 2.3.0, Handy Weather 1.0.17, EZ Timer 1.2

Free BlackBerry Software: Chess Puzzles

Cool Stuff: Fidelity.mobi, Sears Expands Sears2go

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Get Your T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900 Today?!!
 

Our BlackBerry Curve 8900 forums have been a buzz this week as some crafty CrackBerry Addicts and easily influencable T-Mobile reps have allowed for a few of our members to be among the first to take delivery of this next generation Curve. More pics of digital75's two 8900s after the jump. Could be we'll see this launch on all channels from T-Mobile sooner than previously rumored. What a refreshing change that would be for a BlackBerry roll out!

You'll want to start at the beginning and read through the whole thread. Congrats go to member clintonroche for winning the race! :-)

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Picture Magic Contest Winners Announced!

Remember the Picture Magic Contest? I knew you would! The 48 hour contest period is over which means it's time to announce 100 lucky winners. The good folks at Magilab were so blown away by the response that they've actually sweetened the deal... they've given us an extra 25 copies to give away (sweet!) and are offering a 25% off sale.

Special Offer: So if you're not one of the lucky winners listed below, simply visit CrackBerryAppStore.com on your BlackBerry and add Picture Magic to your cart. At checkout, use coupon code Picture Magic Promo and you'll save 25% ($2.00) on this $7.99 app! Please note that this offer is only valid via our Mobile App Store (CrackBerryAppStore.com) and will not work in our website software store. Offer expires January 31st.

Contest Winners: And the lucky winners are....

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Updated: President Obama Keeping his BlackBerry

*** Updated Yet Again: OK, so after CNN reported to everyone that it's probably a Sectera Edge Obama would switch to, it looks like it's actually a standard BlackBerry (his trusty old 8700?!) with a super encryption package added to it... a government agency that the Obama administration -- but that is probably the National Security Agency -- added to a standard blackberry a super-encryption package.... and Obama WILL be able to use it ... still for routine and personal messages. *

** Updated Again: Wow is this confusing. It seems that the mainstream media keeps using the term to mean "smartphone" and it's likely that even Robert Gibb's quote this morning referred to BlackBerry in a generic sense. I've now seen major media places (CNN, WSJ, etc.) now report conflicting stories. Even late in the day CNN continues to report he'll be getting the Sectera Edge (spy-roof device), which they still refer to as "getting to keep his BlackBerry". Hopefully it is a suped up Berry that Obama gets to use, as Engadget now reports (based on the White House annoucement quoted earlier). I wouldn't wish a Windows-mobile powered smarpthone upon my worst enemy! *

* Updated: January 22nd - Our CrackBerry tips email has been FLOODED with emails (thanks for sending in!) letting us know that President Obama will get to keep his BlackBerry for personal use. This word came through White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, who said on Thursday:

The president has a BlackBerry through a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends.

Good stuff. Now how is RIM going to work this into a marketing campaign?! For more details you can click here. Hopefully this concludes the will he get to keep it or does he have to give it up saga.

And to any of you who don't like these types of posts on CrackBerry - don't worry... there is no plan to post political stuff every day. But this is the CrackBerry Capital and this is news we need to report (or the emails would never stop coming in and we'd get drowned in em!). If you're not a fan, just scroll down to the next post. Thanks for the patience! *

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Smartphone Round Robin Winners Announcement!

As it did the year before, the Smartphone Round Robin needed to go into overtime again this time around -- but we're finished now! If you haven't been following along, here's what you missed: Each of the editors of our five Smartphone Experts sites swapped phones for a week or so, reviewing and learning what it's like to wear another smarphone user's shoes. The result is the entire series of articles you see linked on this handy page, the Smartphone Round Robin of 2008.

What will you learn there? You'll learn that there was no single smartphone that 'won' the Round Robin -- but that's by design. There's no perfect smartphone out there, but there just might be the perfect smartphone to fit your needs. If you're looking to get a new smartphone soon, think about what you need it do to and then hit up these articles -- you'll find that depending on what each of us care about, we'll give you a useful perspective on whether a given smartphone matches up.

Actually, we explain it all pretty well on this page. Oh, yeah, one more thing, we are giving away fabulous prizes:

Find out who the winners are, after the break!

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New Storm OS Brings Full Keyboard in Portrait

There's some Big News coming out of the latest BlackBerry Storm OS update. When in portrait mode, you can now "Enable Full Keyboard" which lets you go Full Qwerty instead of SureType!

The keys are a bit tight, but if you're not a fan of SureType this is huge news. It's great to see RIM working around the clock on getting this OS tightened up. For more info on this latest unofficial OS release and to download, follow the link below.

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Update: CDMA Pearl Flip and Curve 8350i Coming to Telus

Couple of quick BlackBerry updates for all our Canadian friends on Telus...

Telus BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 - Our pals over at BlackBerrySync are reporting that the CDMA version of the 8220, the Pearl Flip 8230 will be coming to Telus in February. BBSync is usually pretty spot on with their Telus info so let's hope this pans out. A Pink Pearl Flip for a Valentine's launch anyone??

Telus BlackBerry Curve 8350i - Not really talked about much to date, but Telus will soon be launching the BlackBerry Curve 8350i on their MiKE network. You can click on over to NoOrdinaryPhone.com for more info on this one!

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SPE Round Robin: Back in Black(Berry) and Loving It!!!

Forgot about the Smartphone Round Robin? No worries, I nearly did too. If you take note of the date/time on the photos and screencaps appearing in this review you'll see that I started working on this a couple weeks back, but between the holidays and CES and post-CES catch-up this final Round Robin write-up is coming at you a bit late. My bad! At least there's only one thing left to do in the Round Robin, which we'll do later today, and that is announce the grand prize winners! Read on for my BlackBerry Bold Review and Round Robin Concluding Thoughts >>

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Updated: Tiggit Mail 1.1 - A BlackBerry Email Alternative

One HUGE question that a lot of new BlackBerry users and soon to be BlackBerry users ask in the forums is "Can my BlackBerry function without a BlackBerry data plan". Now the most common answer one would come up with is a resounding No! No, it will not function without a BlackBerry data plan. Now, this is where things tend to get a little tricky, due to the fact the answer is not as straight forward as that. While it is indeed true for the most part your BlackBerry will not have many BlackBerry specific features to it, such as BlackBerry messenger, Push Email, RIM/carrier backed IM clients. .etc. etc., you can successfully install some applications such as Opera Mini, Gmail mobile and many others with just a regular "internet" data plan ie: MediaNet on AT&T or Mobile Internet on Rogers or any pay-as-you-go service. Albeit, it's not always easy and not always recommended by your carrier.

This is where Tiggit comes in. Tiggit was designed to utilize your carriers TCP/IP settings to allow access to major email service providers such as AOL, Google Mail, Mac and Yahoo! mail, from personal and corporate BlackBerry smartphones. With support for all devices including the Storm, it's not going to be push email to your device as you have to utilize a specific send/recieve button to bring in email (like WinMob) but it supports WiFi and cellular network connections as well as supporting storage to SD cards of emails and has built in HTML support for viewing your messages the way they were meant to be seen. With the economy being the way it is right now, I could see some users utilizing this option as a cost saving measure, but bare in mind your carrier may not like you doing this as most do *require* you to have a BlackBerry data plan. Tiggit comes at a cost as well. With a 7 day free trial to check out the services it's worth looking into if saving some money in the long run is what you need to be doing, but after the trial is expired the purchase cost is $30.

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Buntu Theme For Linux Lover In You!

Buntu Theme For Linux Lover In You!

A little while ago the folks at ThemeBerry got at me letting me know about a new theme they had released for all devices. Now I'm a fan of nice clean themes that just function really well and have nice icons that are easily discernible from one another. Buntu fills that spot quite nicely if I say so myself, movement is nice and smooth within the theme and stays true to it's namesake, so get your Linux on and grab this one for what seems to still be the BlackBerry theme standard price of $7.

More Themes From ThemeBerry Available In Shop CrackBerry Store >>   
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Best Yet: OS 4.7.0.90 Leaked for the Storm 9530 & 9500!

So long .86! Another week, another leaked OS for the BlackBerry Storm. Can I hear a w00t?! A helpful friend put OS 4.7.0.90 into the wild for the both the BlackBerry Storm 9530 and 9500 and the initial impressions from this unofficial release are that it is yet one more step in the right direction... as in probably worth installing. You'll want to check the CrackBerry forums threads on it for all the details. It sounds like it's mainly all good, minus some minor camera bugs, but every tid bit of what's good and bad is sure to pop up in the hours/days ahead so keep your eyes on the forums.

Keep in mind this is NOT an official release, so install at your own risk and only if you're comfortable with doing so. If you've never installed an OS beta before be sure to dive into the CrackBerry forums and read all of our tutorials. Keep in mind that these leaked OS's sometimes take a step backwards in one area while making a leap forward in another. If you're on the fence, you're best off waiting until the 9530 4.7.0.90 Discussion & Findings thread and 9500 4.7.0.90 Discussion & Findings thread fills up with some data. You can also visit these threads for links to more download sites in case you find the links below slow. Enjoy!!

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Feeling Patriotic? Presidential Coveroos are on the Way!

Gotta luv the timing on this one... the good folks over at Coveroo just emailed to let me know they have licensed both the Presidential Seal and Air Force One for use on their BlackBerry Coveroos.

So if Barack Obama has you feeling patriotic and you want to display your faith in the new President / Commander-in-Chief and pride in the country, keep your eyes peeled on the Coveroo website. They'll be adding these Presidential Coveroos to their catalogue shortly (in the next day or two). If you just have to have one of these now and can't wait, you can order early by emailing service@coveroo.com. And if you'd rather show off your pride in CrackBerry Nation, Coveroo also let us know that the CrackBerry.com Coveroos have been a big hit and are still available.

If you do pick up a new Coveroo, be sure to share a picture of it in the forums.

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RIM Spreads BlackBerry Love Globally!

RIM Spreads BlackBerry Love Globally!

Plenty of device launches have been been happening globally over the past two weeks, which is always great to see. A quick glance at January 2009 launches so far shows us just how far the CrackBerry addiction does extend.

Most of the recent launches have been for the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 and the BlackBerry Curve 8900, with the lone exception being that the BlackBerry Storm was launched in India by Vodafone. Let's have a quick rundown shall we?

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BlackBerry Services Returning To Nokia Devices?

BlackBerry Services Returning To Nokia Devices?

It's been several months now since Nokia announced their new new E71 and E66 devices, and while the announcement came as great news to S60 and Nokia fans, Nokia darkened their day by letting them all know that BlackBerry Connect was not going to be supported on Nokia devices any longer. Nokia's explanation of course was that their devices and new email system they were working on (Nokia Messaging) was a much better email solution as it catered to all users, not just business users. In a recent interview with Tom Furlong, Nokia's head of messaging,  he stated that Nokia's messaging service is up and running and people are using it but he also mentioned the following as well.

"We are in the interim period of time when we have dropped support ourselves, and BlackBerry is readying support for their service on Nokia devices,"

That basically indicates that RIM, aside from working on their Application Suite for Windows Mobile they are also working on a solution for Nokia device users and quite possibly S60 OS users in general. Let's just hope they don't take as long with this application as they are taking with the Windows Mobile application suite lol!

[ Reuters And Mobile Today ]

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No Rogers Storm 9520 or 3G Pearl Flip on Q1/Q2 Roadmap?!

Rewind to Christmas morning and the blogosphere was full of leaked images from a Rogers 2000 Guide which clearly showed that the BlackBerry Storm 9520 and a 3G BlackBerry Pearl Flip were on their way for early 2009. Heck, even another image of the Storm 9520 surfaced on Monday. All good evidence that a Storm is coming to Rogers sooner than later.

However, we've now heard word that gives cause for some uncertainity. Rogers is currently carrying out their 2009 Q1 cross-country propoganda show (they present to dealers/partners/managers/VIPs what's on the roadmap), and we've heard from some of our snoops in attendance that NO MENTION of a BlackBerry Storm 9520 or a 3G Pearl Flip has been made. In fact, there's been no mention of any new Rogers BlackBerry smartphones for at least the first half of 2009 (not even a new color for the Pearl or Curve or anything).

So there's only a couple of possibilities here. Either:

  • a) the Storm 9520 and/or 3G Pearl Flip are not coming to Rogers anytime soon... at least not in the first half of 2009 or ...
  • b) Rogers had the suspicion that whatever they presented during the roadshow would make its way onto the interwebs (as it has) and therefore took the more cautious route and decided to make no mention of them at all. 

So what do you think? Column A or B or a little of both? I sure am hoping it's the latter and we'll still see these new devices be released in the weeks ahead. My fingers are crossed. I hate waiting! :-)

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Updated: QuickText for the BlackBerry Storm

I received an email from David at Cannon Software letting me know that their popular QuickText application for the BlackBerry has been updated:

I just wanted to pass along that QuickText has been updated for the Storm. It's a free update for existing customers. They can just have QuickText check for updates (QuickText --> Menu --> About/Update --> Check for Updates) and it will update itself automatically. There's a fully functioning 14 day trial period for everyone else. Besides making text messaging much faster, this new version can also double as a speed dial list for placing calls... Simply select someone and press Send. This is especially useful for Storm users who are limited to only 9 speed-dial numbers and no labels to identify to whom they're assigned. 

Not familiar with QuickText for BlackBerry smartphones? Here's the official verbage:

Tired of jumping through hoops just to send a quick SMS text message? Then QuickText is for you. It's like speed dial for text messaging. QuickText Features:

  • Add John to your QuickText list, then simply press "Q" for QuickText and "J" for John. That's it!
  • Storm users, just tap their name!
  • Access QuickText by pressing the Q key, a Convenience Key, or simply clicking the QuickText icon. (The Q key requires a full QWERTY keypad, and the "Dial From Home Screen" option set to "No".)
  • Assign a contact to any character on your keypad, including letters, numbers, or symbols.
  • Assign any contact from your Address Book with the press of a key.
  • Not on your QuickText list? Simply press the SPACE key to choose anyone from your Address Book, or ALT+SPACE to enter the number for a one-time use. (aka. Use Once)
  • Need to call instead of text? Just select them and press the Send key. Great for Storm users!
  • If you text people daily, then QuickText is a must! Try it for yourself and see!
  • Fully Operational 14 Day Trial Period
  • Now updated for the BlackBerry Storm!

You can download the QuickText free trial and/or purchase QuickText for $7.50.

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Pro Gloss Theme for 81xx, 83xx, 9000, 87xx, 88xx

We got word from Zach over at Z Man Designs this weekend that his new theme Pro Gloss was ready to rock.  I quickly installed it on my Curve and have been using it the last few days.  All I can say is I love this theme.  I'm always in pursuit of new and unique themes - and this one of the best yet.  Its crazy clean and has cool colors, but the best part is the extra "icon box" that shows up on the main screen.  You have options for messages & calendar - and when you scroll past both you get a cool box which is totally customizable!  This is the first time I've seen anything like this - and I can only hope more cool feature like this are to follow.  You can also click into the application screen as usual.  This is a must have if you are a theme junkie like I am.  Check out some more in the forums, or head straight to ShopCrackBerry.com to download or visit CrackBerryAppStore.com on your device. The Pro Gloss theme sells for $6.

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I'm pretty sure you're looking at the first of what will become a trend in BlackBerry themes... themes that automatically rotate wallpapers!

Bplay has just released their new Solar Slideshow theme for the BlackBerry and it is pretty cool. In this theme, 10 images combined of the sun and nine planets in the solar system rotate on your screen's background. The image changes once per 30 minutes, so your device will continually look fresh with stunning celestial imagery.

Solar Slideshow is available from Bplay for $5.99. Still no theme love from RIM yet for the Storm or Curve 8900. Have patience... hopefully the new Plazmic CDK will be released to developers soon! They better... I'd hate to see a "WE WANT STORM THEMES" rally outside RIM's headquarters in Waterloo take life! But if it does, I'll be there holding one of the picket signs!

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Have Fun With Your BlackBerry Photos with Picture Magic!

Time for a CrackBerry Contest! This one is for the fun little app called Picture Magic. Here's the official word...

Picture Magic is a photo editor that lets you to add some fun into your photos. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and that's why we created Picture Magic, so you can share funny and entertaining photos with friends, family and co-workers. Did your co-worker do something funny at the bar last night and you just happened to snap a photo of it on your Blackberry? Add some funny captions or put a funny hat on them and pass it around the office or your school. Have a laugh and share a memory.

Picture Magic lets you add the following to your photos: Text bubbles, Balloons, Hats, Hair, Mouths, Arrows and Text!

    PICTURE MAGIC CONTEST - 100 FREE COPIES TO BE WON!
    Guaranteed there were a ton of pictures being taken by BlackBerry smartphones today within the crowds at the Inauguration of Barack Obama, so we figured it's the perfect time to pay tribute via this contest. To enter, simply login to CrackBerry.com and post a comment to this blog post. Need something to comment on? Why not tell us why you want this app, wish President Obama good luck in keeping his BlackBerry or anything else that tickles your fancy. 

    Download Free Trial
    Picture Magic sells for $7.99 in the ShopCrackBerry.com software store, but a 48 hour free trial is available. Be sure to give it a download. This contest will end in 48 hours from this post going live, so the 100 lucky winners won't have to skip a beat in getting their full free copy.

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    Worldbook: World Encyclopedia for BlackBerry

    Beyond our BlackBerrys, a world lays before us. This multi-coloured ball sits third in line from our sun. Our solar system can be found with countless others in the Milky Way Galaxy, which in turn, is found along with an unknown number of other galaxies within our universe. Wow, we seem pretty small don't we? Almost the size of a trackball. Despite our technological advances, which allow us to communicate with people over vast distances, the world is still a pretty big place.

    With the world becoming more mobile, having information right at your fingertips is a must. You may talk to someone on the other side of the planet, but how much do you know about their country? Do you want a broader view of the world besides your city?

    Check out Worldbook, the World Encyclopedia for BlackBerry. With Worldbook, you can view a location's economy, government, map view, flags and more. If you're ready for a world adventure, pack your suitcase and follow me after the jump.

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