Best of Smartphone Experts, 12 Sept 2010

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

OK, before you read any further, watch the video above. I'm typically not one to jump on using a theme that makes my BlackBerry look like a different smartphone altogether (even though the OS-clone themes tend to be some of our most popular theme sellers), but the WJD Designs promo video is so good I think may just have to rock the new XDroid theme this weekend on my 9700. Here's the overview of the theme from the developer:

Welcome to XDroid, not your average Android based theme. This theme is inspired by Motorola's Android device named "Droid X"... This was made to reflect everything from the icons to your unread messages to the function of the on screen widgets. Using the power of SVG code we provided a way to show the calendar and messages widget with a tap of the screen and still let the user hide it with one simple touch allowing them to see their wallpapers. Along with the widgets are the custom user defined Icon spaces with the text under them to give that Android feel. We also have the Droid X style bottom launch dock which allows the user get to the dial pad / contacts / and app screen with a quick tap.  

XDroid is currently available for the BlackBerry Storms, Bold 9700, 9650, 9000, Tour 9630 and Pearl 3G (os 5.0 required). I'm sure the minute Theme Builder 6 is available it'll be available for the Torch as well. Click on over to the XDroid product page below for full details and to buy. The price on this one is $3.99.

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IM+ Pro updated to support BlackBerry Torch 9800

IM+ Pro updated to support BlackBerry Torch 9800

A few days ago the folks from SHAPE Services let us know that they completed their most recent build of IM+ Pro for BlackBerry. This latest release adds in support for the BlackBerry Torch 9800 as well adds support for upcoming BlackBerry 6 devices and those capable of upgrading. Aside from the newly supported device, SHAPE services also added one new feature to the application. That feature, is the ability to integrate your chat history with IM+ for Web. Now, you can go back and review your chats that took place on your BlackBerry any time you do so wish.

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Congrats Dave!!! Welcome to the Team! Let's kick things off with a look back at your CrackBerry Idol Audition Video!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

After three months of CrackBerry Idol craziness here on the blogs, the competition is now officially over. The winner of the final community vote is none other than the CrackBerry-addicted Dave Peckens. The voting was close, but in the end Dave emerged the winner capturing 29.8% of the popular vote, in front of Kerri (23.18%), Brittany (22.95%), Joseph (12.79%) and Aloha Joe (11.29%). As winner of CrackBerry Idol 2010, Dave will be accompanying Adam, Bla1ze, Isaac and myself to the BlackBerry Developer Conference in San Francisco at the end of the month and you'll start seeing some posts from him here on the CrackBerry blogs in the near future. In his CrackBerry Q & A, Dave said if he won CrackBerry Idol he'd help us update and get our BlackBerry 101 section in tip top shape, which I'm definitely looking forward to (and going to hold him to that!).

Also, keep in mind that while Dave was voted CrackBerry Idol by the community, I've been watching all of the contestants throughout the competition and taking notes as to who else I'd like to start see contributing here on CrackBerry. We have some gaps to fill and things I'd like to see us do better. In the next few days I'll be reaching out to these contestants and I'm hoping they'll be interested in posting on CrackBerry too. We'll officially welcome them to the blogs when they make their first posts as CrackBerry writers. Exciting Stuff!

I hope everyone enjoyed CrackBerry Idol 2010. Yep, it was a long event, but over a quiet summer of BlackBerry news it gave us a lot of great content and introduced us to a lot of amazing people. I want to personally thank everybody who entered the competition -- I know how much time and effort goes into writing and doing video for these kinds of posts -- so really do appreciate it. That's it for CrackBerry Idol 2010! 

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BlackBerry App Roundup for September 10th, 2010! Win 1 of 10 copies of Fixmo Tools

Howdy and welcome to another app roundup. Hol-eee Toledo! CrackBerry Idol winds up today! It’s been a crazy summer as everyone was waiting to see who will be the latest member of the rootin’, tootin’ CrackBerry team! I reckon they’ve been nervous as heck throughout the entire contest. Just a shakin’ in their boots! We also have a whole herd of contests to enter in this week. Speaking of contests, we’ve also got 10 copies of Fixmo Tools to give away this week as well. Leave a comment and you are as good as entered. PLUS the winners of 10 one year subscriptions to Nobex Radio Companion are announced! Have a terrific weekend! Giddy up!

Freebies of the Week: TextWarrior, Visa Insider

In Case You Missed It: Feeds, Nimbuzz, ProOnGo Expense

New This Week: PC-Keypad, ThinkOfMe, Cycle Maps

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Truck Stop Coupons

Contest: Enter to win 1 of 10 copies of Fixmo Tools!

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Dropbox for BlackBerry updated to v1.0.30

Dropbox for BlackBerry updated to v1.0.30

For those of you all who happened to get in on the Dropbox for BlackBerry beta, you can now log in and download the latest release available which, should be showing as v1.0.30. At this time, I couldn't find any change log to report about what exactly has been updated but, I can say just from using it that it does appear to work better on the BlackBerry Torch now. If you still haven't gotten into the beta release, then you may want to keep your eye on Dropbox site as they often make unannounced slots available.

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Mastercard releases MoneySend application for BlackBerry
 

Mastercard has finally released a version of their MoneySend application for BlackBerry devices. The application, is designed to make sending and receiving money from debit, credit, and prepaid Mastercard cards easier. It's not without it's minor flaws though. First, the application only works for the US. Secondly, your bank has to be on board for it to be supported. However, those issues aside it does offer some great features which could make it quite useful to some folks out there.

Features include:

  • Accept credit or debit card payments from anyone for free.
  • Send money to family members Sending fees apply.
  • Pay for informal goods and services.
  • Request money from people who owe you money.
  • Simplify your business or non-profit collection effort using Request Funds feature
  • View your MoneySend transaction history from your mobile phone

All in all, useful to some but for others maybe not so much. You can grab the application from BlackBerry App World. If you're looking to learn more you can hit the link below and head on over to the MoneySend website. It has plenty of details on support and how to get your services all set up.

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DJ Hero drops on App World

DJ Hero drops on App World

At my house, Band Hero sits without being played; sometimes for weeks on end. Don’t get me wrong, I find it fun and addictive; I just don’t keep it hooked up all of the time. If I want to be entertained, I want to be entertained now! I don’t want to have to spend time setting everything up first. BlackBerry users had the chance to play with Guitar Hero in the past, but now we have a chance to switch from “1, 2 – 1, 2, 3, 4!” and focus more on the ones and twos with DJ Hero Mobile.

In a similar style to Guitar Hero, DJ Hero Mobile focuses on timing and skill. Step up to the turntable and try to keep the beat while you scratch and cross-fade. As the product description says: “the more beats you successfully rock, the more mixes you unlock!”

Features:

  • 13 full-length, original mixes of tracks by artists including: The Jackson 5 and Third Eye Blind, Marvin Gaye and David Bowie, and Weezer and Dilated Peoples.
  • 8 unlockable mixes (5 available to play from the start, 8 more to be unlocked)
  • 22 achievements including ""Scratchaphobia"" and ""Full Set"" (completing all the game's mixes at any difficulty setting)
  • Choose a DJ with unique and expressive animations and perform in 3 different venues
  • Controls faithfully re-create the console experience to include streams, scratches, cross-fades and EUPHORIA.

Just a word of caution: if you let the beat drop, don’t let your BlackBerry drop. It kind of, you know, voids the warranty. DJ Hero Mobile is available for $6.99 at BlackBerry App World. You know what? I think I might pull out Band Hero after all. Who wants to come over and jam?

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Live in or gonna be in the LA area on September 11th? Then we have a great contest for you. Some of you may remember the BBM lounge event that was held in LA back in August. Well, another is taking place on September 11th and we got a chance for you all to win 1 of 5 VIP passes to the event for you (and a guest) thanks to the fine folks at Xomad. That's right, you can gear up to head out to fun filled night in LA while sharing your love for BlackBerry and BlackBerry Messenger.

The rules are simple. Drop a comment here and tell us why you should be among those in attendance. ONLY LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU CAN ACTUALLY ATTEND THE EVENT. Is it your wit, your charm, your beauty or just your straight up love for all things BlackBerry? We'll pick 5 of you all to partake in some "BBM Tini' drinking plus, you'll get to enjoy an evening of entertainment provided by Ne-Yo. In addition to that, you'll also get a chance to hang out with some celebs, though you'll need to win to find out who. So get to it, leave your comment so we can start picking some winners. Good luck!

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BlackBerry Desktop Manager updated to version 6.0.0.47

RIM quietly rolled out an update to BlackBerry Desktop Manager for PC today. The latest version available is now 6.0 B47. This is the first update since the original release, and as is the standard there is no change log available -- most likely just the usual bug fixes in this one. Sadly Mac users get no love yet again. If you're still rocking an older (pre DM6) verison of Desktop Manager you should definitely get on this one and see what the buzz is all about. Head over to the BlackBerry page to download. If you find anything new drop a comment and let us know.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

PrivacyStar, one of the top privacy apps for BlackBerry devices, has been updated to version 2.0 and includes some great new features. First off is the revamped UI. The app has a totally new interface making things much easier to navigate. Other updates include comprehensive call blocking, Do Not Disturb, reverse caller lookup and the ability to report telemarketing violators. If you are searching for the best way to block callers to your device PrivacyStar is definitely the way to go. Plans start at $2.99/month and the app can be downloaded from BlackBerry App World.

Contest: In conjunction with the new release, PrivacyStar (not CrackBerry) is holding an insane contest for a VIP getaway. The contest requires you to either shoot a 30 second commercial about your favorite PrivacyStar feature or purchase a 6-month subscription to the app. BUT - we have 5 "Golden Tickets" up for grabs. This means you just need to leave a single comment on this post to be entered for a chance to win. Now, this doesn't guarantee a winner from our comments, yet gives 5 people a chance to win without having to enter via one of the above methods. For more information, other ways to enter or to see full contest rules, check out privacystar.com/contest. Good luck!

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Salesforce.com announces Chatter Mobile app for smartphones

Salesforce.com is a leading provider of sales and field service automation software and has an amazing track record with these CRM (customer Relationship Management) tools, as well as Cloud computing. Over the past few months, they have adopted a new means of communication and collaboration that behaves very similar to Facebook. Salesforce.com calls it Chatter. This tool makes use of status updates, profiles, groups, feeds, document sharing and so on. This gives employees real time communication, which may be necessary in time critical situations.

During Cloudforce 2010 in London, speaker Kraig Swensrud talked about their Sales Cloud 2 product (with Chatter) and introduced the Chatter mobile application. Chatter mobile is available for the iPhone, iPad and, of course, BlackBerry (they showed it working on the BlackBerry Torch). Android support is coming soon. During the announcement, they focused mostly on the iPhone application so I'm hoping that the experience on a BlackBerry is quite similar. Users can check out feeds, chatter, groups, profiles, capture/share images all in real-time. Push alerts can also be set up as well. During the announcement, Salesforce.com stated that nearly 25% of their current customer base has adopted Chatter within the past few months; so they should see most of those integrate Chatter Mobile into their teams as well. Both Chatter and Chatter mobile are free of charge to customers that subscribe to the services provided by SalesForce.com

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BlackBerry Torch Leather Holster Review

BlackBerry Torch Leather Holster Review
[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you follow me on twitter (@crackberrykevin), you'll know that last week I broke my Torch. I had in my front right jeans pocket, and somehow on the car ride between my home and office it died. It won't power up, swapping batteries doesn't help, it won't take a charge (the red light won't even come on when plugged in) and it won't connect to USB. The thing is D E A D. 

Now, this shouldn't have happened - AT&T doesn't include any kind of case in the box so you know the sturdy-built Torch should be able to take at least some abuse, but I do know that if I had been using a case or holster with my Torch it would still be working right now. And if you're looking for an all-business carrying solution for the Torch, I'd recommend the BlackBerry Torch 9800 Leather Holster

As far as OEM BlackBerry holsters go, the Torch holster is definitely among the best I have seen. The leather is nice, the look is nice, and the ratcheting locking holster seems pretty strong and durable. Of course it features a built-in magnet, so it works with In / Out of Holster profile settings. It retails for $29.99, but you can get it for less at ShopCrackBerry.com. The user reviews on this one have been nothing but positive as well, so if you want a straight up quality holster for your BlackBerry Torch this is definitely one to check out. Watch the video above for a good look at and you can check out more photos below. For more info and to purchase, click here.

This Case
More BlackBerry Torch Skins & Cases


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White BlackBerry Bold 9780 spotted on eBay!

White BlackBerry Bold 9780 spotted on eBay!

After playing around with the Torch for a few weeks now and really getting a feel for BlackBerry 6, I can honestly say I'm super excited to get a hold of the BlackBerry Bold 9780. Having BlackBerry 6 running on an updated version of what is possibly my favorite device (Bold 9700) will be killer. Today a white BlackBerry Bold 9780 was spotted on eBay and I'm almost tempted to bid on it -- you know how much I love white BB's. This one even has the factory stickers on the back and is oh so tempting (it's taunting me). As we know, the Bold 9780 is a 9700 refresh and will ship with BlackBerry 6 (w/ WebKit browser), a 5MP camera and boosted 512MB of memory. No official word on when/where this one will land but we're all hoping it's not too far down the road. You can check out more on the BlackBerry Bold 9780 on our rumored device page or swing by eBay if you're feeling bold and want to bid (it's already over $1000 US!). The seller is actually in our CrackBerry forums too, so you can also check out this forum thread for more details.

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Feeds - Google Reader client for BlackBerry now available in BlackBerry App World

Always in pursuit of the perfect RSS app to integrate with Google Reader, I can't help but get excited when a new application pops up. Feeds is the latest and I have to say it does not disappoint. It is in fact one of the best RSS apps for BlackBerry I have used to date. The simple interface provides only 4 options (download limit, image display, clear cahce and logout) and has a super clean interface. Enter your Google credentials and Feeds grabs your RSS items in a few seconds -- it even tells you how long it took to get them. Everything is spread out in an easy to read manner and all of your folders can be quickly accessed. In only the few short hours I've been using Feeds it has easily become my favorite RSS reader as it has a very low footprint, doesn't eat much memory and is dead simple to use. Check out more at the link below.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

A new BlackBerry Torch commercial has hit the airwaves. This one focuses on the media capabilities as it features DJ Cassidy. As well, it highlights the newly introduced WebKit browser by showing off how the tabs feature works. Considering this was posted to the BlackBerry Youtube account, I'm taking that as a sure sign that Research In Motion is still going to be hitting hard when it comes to advertising over the next little while. What do you all think of the new commerical? And most importantly, RIMs efforts these days with their marketing?

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Official OS 5.0.0.886 now available for the BlackBerry Curve 8530 from Verizon Wireless

The latest official OS comes from Verizon for the BlackBerry Curve 8530. OS 5.0.0.886 was made available yesterday and is ready to roll. Hopefully some new fixes to tweak up the remaining bugs and get things running smooth. As usual, use caution when installing even though this is an official OS. If you get it up and running, be sure to leave a comment letting us know how it is. Verizon users can head to the link below to download.

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CrackBerry guide to CrackBerry apps

CrackBerry guide to CrackBerry apps

Keep on Crackin' with these CrackBerry apps!

Hello. Welcome to CrackBerry.com and thanks for stopping by. We may not say it often, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t care. If you’re reading this, chances are you have finally checked “get a BlackBerry’ off of your bucket list. Let me guess, you begged and pleaded with your parents to get one? No wait, you cashed in enough brownie points and convinced your significant other that you do need it. Ah, who am I kidding? It doesn’t matter how you got your BlackBerry (unless you stole it), I’m just happy you have one…took you long enough.

I want you to take some time and have a look around CrackBerry.com. The moment you wonder what kind of CrackBerry goodness you can load your BlackBerry up on, come back to this article. Don’t dawdle! Why you ask? This so happens to be the CrackBerry Guide to CrackBerry Apps. You can show off your love for all things BlackBerry AND CrackBerry; stopping short of giving your smartphone a CrackBerry orange colorware treatment. Jeez, how many more times can I say CrackBerry? CrackBerry, CrackBerry, CrackBerr…

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Wrath, one of the favorite games of the Crack Team has just been updated with support for more devices. The game now runs on everything except the good ol' Pearl and Pearl Flip (it works on the Pearl 3G). Wrath is a flashback shooter game that plain and simple lets you fly around and shoot stuff up. There are power-ups, bombs, multiple fire modes and much more. Wrath is super easy to play and gives you 6 different enemies, 3 bosses and 7 types of power-ups to rock your way through fantasy battles and feel like you're wasting the day in the arcade. You can even add your own soundtrack with music stored on your device. Check out Wrath for just $2.99 in the CrackBerry App Store.

More information/download of Wrath

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