Best of Smartphone Experts, 6 Sept. 2009

Official 4.6.1.296 Released For BlackBerry Curve 8520

This one is for the 8520 owners out there. Carrier BASE has released the latest official OS for the 8520, although without a change log kind of hard to say what has changed within this release. I was able to download and upgrade my 8520 with no issues. Personally, I'd rather see a 5.0 leak but I'm sure that will come with time, besides the 8520 has a rock solid OS as it is.

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Free Precision Rotunda Theme For Tour And 8900

Free Precision Rotunda Theme For Tour And 8900

Trimax84 is back in theming action, you all may remember Trimax84 from his Classy Corners themes which were insanely popular. This time around Trimax84 has given us a free version of one of his upcoming premium themes as a taste of things to come. Precision Rotunda is now available for the BlackBerry Tour and Curve 8900 and looks great on em' both.

Since Precision Rotunda uses the original precision icons this is a light download and is well laid out, the side section for the applications is sweet as it spins around between 18 customizable icons and there is a hidden today feature as well for those who like to keep things organized. Be sure to check it out it's awesome, it's free what more can I say?

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With all the BlackBerry Bold 9700s and Storm 9550/9520's floating around out there, I hope over the next couple of weeks RIM just announces these devices so we know just exactly when all of us can get our hands on one.

This time around our pal salomondrin is backto show off just how fast typing on the next generation BlackBerry Storm will be. The video is short and sweet, but is guaranteed to get all the Storm 2 chasers out there excited. The typing action completely owns the original Storm. You can jump over to the CrackBerry forums for more info and ask sal any questions you may have about his new Storm.

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Sure it's the labor day long weekend and we're all relaxing, but that didn't stop @wongalex from doing up a great video walk through and comparison yesterday of the upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9700. If you have 7 minutes and 29 seconds to spare, hit play on the video above and take a watch.

Disclaimer: Don't blame us if you get drool on your keyboard. This is one NICE BlackBerry.

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Click's Picks! Free BlackBerry Media Roundup For Your Labor Day Weekend

Hey Everyone! We're back again with another exciting Click's Picks. Be sure to click through on the image above to see my favorite BlackBerry wallpapers, ringtones and *THEMES* picks for the week past.

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AT&T Pulls BlackBerry Software 4.6.0.297 Upgrade?

AT&T Pulls BlackBerry Software 4.6.0.297 Upgrade?

Seems AT&T is having some issues with their release of 4.6.0.297 for the BlackBerry Bold. Boy Genius posted the following information regarding the pulling of the handheld OS upgrade although the information seems to be lacking full reasoning as to why exactly it was removed.

AT&T customers are simply being asked to wait until another release becomes available in "the near future", which with AT&T could be forever. Hard to even guess at the real reasoning for it, but for those of you who have already upgraded AT&T isn't at this time issuing any notifications to downgrade so--enjoy your visual voicemail if you have it. If you didn't update already you may be left waiting.

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Air Canada Launches Web Signal To Assist With Electronic Boarding Of Flights

Inside BlackBerry has a great article posted today regarding a new service from Air Canada which uses the BlackBerry Web Signal feature. The process is rather simple and shows the advancements that some airline companies are making as they move towards a more electronic friendly time. These services of course are not entirely new, but the Air Canada launch of such services for consumers integrates nicely with BlackBerry devices. Plus, you get to see the cool integration of bar codes again happening before your eyes.

Anyone who has ever used Worldmate will be right at home using this web signal service, as it works similar with the exception of the fact you will not need to print off or see an agent to obtain your boarding pass. Your boarding pass will be issued to you right on your BlackBerry and scanned by an in house Air Canada rep right from your device so check in and boarding passes are all taken care of without the use of a PC or kiosk.

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Contest: 1,000 Free Copies of TetherBerry! $50k Value!!

Following up on our Win a Free Custom Painted BlackBerry Tour Contest, held in honor of passing the 1.5 million registered members to date milestone, Patrick from TetherBerry contacted us with a friendly email and a super nice offer:

I've been reading how CrackBerry.com has recently passed 1.5 million users. Truly amazing! Since the community has been the foundation of our product, we'd like to offer 1,000 free copies of TetherBerry to fellow CrackBerry users. Our product currently retails at $50, so the value is $50,000!

ONE THOUSAND FREE COPIES... Suhhhhweeet! I know a lot of you out there are already TetherBerry owners, but hopefully 1,000 of you are not. And if you already are, spread the word to fellow BlackBerry users to come and enter this contest. Entering is easy. Just leave a comment to this blog post (just leave one - multiple entries won't count). Contest deadline is Sunday midnight PST on September 13th. 

For more information on TetherBerry, or if you want to skip the contest and just buy a copy for yourself today, you can visit the product page. Thanks TetherBerry! And good luck everyone!!

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Free BlackBerry Developers Webinar on September 10!

Calling all current and aspiring BlackBerry Developers! RIM is hosting their first ever live webinar on September 10, 2009 from 2pm to 3pm EST. Here's the overview:

In this live webinar, we will present an overview of web development for the BlackBerry platform. We'll share some tips and tricks for improving the quality of your web content and creating a great user experience for your mobile visitors. As well, we wish to share some of the features of the BlackBerry Plug-in for Eclipse and the BlackBerry Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio, and how you can use these toolkits to preview, debug and optimize your BlackBerry web applications.
At the end of our presentation, we look forward to answering any questions you might have regarding web development for the BlackBerry smartphone. All members of the BlackBerry web development community are invited to register for this free webinar. 
Speaking on behalf of the milllllions of BlackBerry users out there, we want to see more and even better apps become available for our beloved BlackBerry smartphones. So do us all a favor and follow the links below to learn more and register. In the meantime, we'll start saving our pennies so we can spend them on your future awesome apps.
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BlackBerry App Roundup for September 4th, 2009!

Happy September everyone! I hope you all once again had a great week (I know I did). Lots of BlackBerry App Goodness to talk about again this week. Covered in this weeks' edition of the Roundup are the following titles:

In Case You Missed It: Slacker Radio Updated for the Bold, Curve and Tour, IDrive Lite, AddresSave, Fancy Characters, Arr! SS - RSS Reader for BlackBerry

New This Week: Ringtone Expressions, ActionPad, Three Squared, It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

Apps on Sale: One Touch Emergency Info, THE Flashlight, STORM Today Plus, Flag Your Emails, Flood

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Brainwave Tuner

Freebie of the Week: BTSidekick

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Contest: 50 Free Copies of SlideBerry Zoom 2.0 for Storm

For a last minute Labor Day weekend giveaway, the folks at R&R Designs have given us 50 free copies of their newly updated SlideBerry Zoom 2.0 theme for the BlackBerry Storm. This updated version is available in six colors, and features a unique cycling bottom dock for more icons and quick access. There is a slot for weather and Meterberry, and this theme packs a crazy 21 icons on the home screen. R&R is also offering up a buy two get one free sale - if you buy two colors of the SlideBerry Zoon 2.0, R&R will give you a 3rd color free, just use the code Buy2Get1. Users of the original SlideBerry Zoom can also grab the newer version for only $3.00. SlideBerry Zoom 2.0 is available for $5.00 in the CrackBerry App Store. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered to win one of 50 free copies. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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Baltimore Police Officers Get BlackBerry's for Work

Baltimore will become one of the first agenices to issue patrol officers BlackBerry's for work purposes. The officers will be able to use the device to check warrants, criminal histories and suspect photos and become overall more efficent. The city will be using some of its $5.3 million of federal stimulus to purchase the 2,000 "Pocket Cops". Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefield II said:

"In the last 15 years in domestic law enforcement, we've trained cops around their vehicle. We've made their vehicle their mobile office. Except that now, they don't leave the office," Bealefeld said. "This Pocket Cop will help move them away from that car and break that tether." 

In early tests, officers using a BlackBerry have made twice as many arrests over a 3-month period than those equipped only with radios and laptops. No word of what exact devices the officers are using however. What are you throughts? Drop a comment and let us know. Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

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Contest: 50 Free Copies of BBTran Pro

BBTran Pro

BBTran Pro is a great app to have on your device if you travel a lot or find yourself needing to translate emails and memos often. The simple app allows you to translate over 50 languages including Chinese, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Spanish and more. It uses services like Google Translate, Systran and FreeTranslation to provide translations for email, SMS, PIN messages and memos. BBTran Pro is on sale in the CrackBerry App Store through Sunday for only $2.99, and we have 50 free copies of to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one entry - multiple submissions won't count.

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BlackBerry Storm 9520 Accessories SKUs Beginning to Show up on Vodafone's Inventory Systems

For all the Storm 2 chasers out there, this is a good sign. Think back to the recent launch of the BlackBerry Tour, and it was only a matter of weeks after we began to see Tour (accessory) related SKUs show up on Telus, Bell and Verizon's inventory systems that the device itself became available. If the same pattern holds true for the launch of the BlackBerry Storm 9520/9550 it may just be weeks and not months before you can pick up a Storm II for yourself.

Looking for another positive sign? A high-resolution marketing image of the new Storm popped up in the forums. Click here to take a peek!

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As we roll into the long weekend, we're finishing up the week with another heck of a CrackBerry Deal of the Day... Mobiscope for BlackBerry! From Shape Services, Mobiscope normally sells for $29.95 but until midnight CST tonight you can grab it for half price - $14.97! Not familiar with Mobiscope? You can view the video above for a walk through, and read on for the details:

Mobiscope allows you to view video from webcams directly on your BlackBerry - for home surveillance or just for fun! Enjoy real time webcam video and audio streams on your mobile; get motion detection alerts over email; any web/IP cam support. Complete video surveillance at a reasonable price! Features include:

  • Watch real time webcam video stream on your mobile. Keep an eye on your children even when away from home; See your loved one at any time when separated by distance or observe your work place and employees in the office during trips.
  • New! Audio streaming. Enjoy greatly improved video and audio streams!
  • Get motion detection alerts over email. Be notified of all motion detections and instantly watch a video stream from a place you observe. Start recording when motion is detected.
  • Any webcam / IP cam support. You can watch up to 4 web/IP cameras simultaneously or watch public webcams streaming remarkable places of interest worldwide. If you connect to wireless cameras, the desktop service of Mobiscope is optional.
  • No special equipment required. All you need is a webcam connected to computer (or network camera) and your mobile.
  • User interface in English, German, French, Flemish and Russian.

For more information and customer reviews, be sure to visit the product page at the link below. A free trial of Mobiscope for BlackBerry is also available, so you can give it a go and make sure it's worth the investment for you before buying.

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Google Mobile App Updated To 3.4.16  Improvements For BlackBerry Tour Users!
It's a small version bump going from 3.4.14 to 3.4.16 with no change log from Google but everyone is used to that by now. Forum users are now reporting that the voice lookup function does indeed now work on the BlackBerry Tour. So if you are a Tour owner this may interest you the most, all other users not exactly sure what else (if anything) has changed but if you are an avid user might wanna grab the download just to be up to date. Visit m.google.com/search on your BlackBerry's web browser to grab it!
[ BerryReview / CB Forums ]
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Cleric Software $0.99 App Sale Now Through Friday

Cleric Software $0.99 App Sale Now Through Friday

I got a quick note today letting me know that all Cleric software is only $0.99 now through Friday. This is a huge discount on a ton of great apps. You can choose from greats like Bonus Yachtzee, Bubble Bust and more. Most of these apps are priced down from $2.99, so you get some great savings and don't want to miss out. Check out the full offering below.

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Hedone Design Summer Spirit Premium Theme

Hedone Design Summer Spirit Premium Theme

Hedone Design has a new designer working for them, one who will be concentrating on the female inspired themes, and Summer Spirit is her first go at it. This one is surely for the ladies out there as it includes nice pink icons, a moving butterfly as the signal meter as well as a flower battery meter. All of this is nicely integrated and just seems to fit the feeling of the theme. As a special offer if you are using the CrackBerry App Store from your device, when you enter the coupon code SummerS40 you will get 40% off the cost of the theme bringing the price to $4.19. Summer Spirit is available for all devices so be sure to check it out.

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Leaked: OS 4.7.0.173 for 9500 and 4.7.0.167 for 9530
 

More OS love floating around early this morning. Storm users get all the glory today, as OS 4.7.0.173 for the 9500 and 4.7.0.167 for the 9530 popped up on the interwebs overnight. Not the newest OS versions, but still some fun to play around with for Storm users. Check out the links below to download.

*Be sure to go to Control Panel > Add/Remove after installing and remove RIM Internal Tool if the application is present*

*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. *
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