BlackBerry Accessory Roundup: Win a Free Blackerry Charging Pod!

This Week's Featured Item: BlackBerry Charging Pod for Bold 9700

Kevin tackled our inaugural accessory roundup last week so this week the honor is on me... One of the accessories I cannot live without is the BlackBerry Charging Pod. It has just one job, but it does that job amazingly well. It's not new to the accessory scene, but it has to be mentioned in an accessory roundup. Hit the jump for more on the charging pod and check out some of the newest BlackBerry accessories.

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Iconify v0.8.3 Public Beta Released - Quickly Access Your Contacts & Websites Via Homescreen Icons

A new application has just been made available for public beta. Iconify, comes to us from the same developer of FileScout, Matthias. The basic principle of Iconify is to allow you to create quick access links to all of your favorite contacts and websites, making you and your BlackBerry more efficient then ever.

With Iconify you can make homescreen icons for one of 3 methods of communication. IconifyDial, which allows you to pick and create icons for calling your contacts. IconifyMail, which allows for quick access emailing, SMS, pin messaging. And finally, IconifyWeb which allows you to create instant weblinks to your favorite websites. All of which are user customizable with pictures, web icons.

Since this is a free, public beta user feedback is greatly appreciated. At this time all devices with OS 4.3+ are supported and you can read the full break down of Iconify and it's options via the site or in the CrackBerry forums as well you can take a look at the user manual. After having used the app for a few days now, I can definitely say its made things a whole lot easier for me, so be sure to check it out.

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ROK TV UK Beta Now Available - Watch Free Mobile TV from Your Device

ROK TV UK has released a beta app that allows users to view free TV streams over a mobile device. The service currently offers BBC One, BBC Two, E4 and Rok Tube with more channels to come in the future. ROK TV is currently only available in the UK (US service is coming soon) and works with your standard data service and/or Wifi. The free viewer is available for download at www.rok.tv. If you try it out be sure to leave a comment and let us know how its working for you.

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Official OS 5.0.0.419 for the BlackBerry Tour 9630 from SaskTel

*Update: Telus has jumped in on the fun too - we just got word that they have also officially released 5.0.0.419 for the Tour 9630. You can grab it from this link. *

It looks like SaskTel is the latest to drop an official 5.0 for the Tour 9630. The guys at BerryScoop found this one, and 5.0.0.419 seems to be the way to go as its starting to pop up as an official release from multiple carriers. If you've been holding off on the update, this release seems to be reliable thus far. Still no word from Verizon, so if you're growing tired of waiting you may want to just give this a go to tide you over.

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

The Case-Mate Barely There case is one of my favorite accessories. It comes in a variety of colors, and gives a unique look to your device to set it apart from the others. It doesn't add a lot of bulk or weight to the device, and provides a good amount of protection for everyday use. This isn't a full-protection case and it really won't save you from bumps and bruises if you drop your BlackBerry, but it will keep it protected on the back and sides from everyday wear and tear. Take a look at the video for a good overview of the Barely There case.

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Verizon Launches VZ Navigator 5.0 with Updated Features

Verizon has updated VZ Navigator to version 5.0 and included some cool new features. The app has long been the easiest navigation solution for Verizon customers, and with the latest update they hope to stay in the running and other GPS apps like TeleNav grow stronger. The update to 5.0 includes options to update your Facebook status from within the application, as well as the ability to send your location to dispatchers when using Verizon's roadside assitance. Load times have also been decreased as well as some minor updates to enchance the VZ Navigator experience.  Currently the update is available for only for the Curve 8530, while support for other devices will follow in the coming weeks. VZ Navigator is $9.99 a month or $2.99 for a day pass.

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CrackBerry Poll: Do You Feel You're Actually Safer When Using Hands-Free Technology While Talking and Driving

While doing some house cleaning this weekend I had the television playing in the background and caught the tail end of a story in regards to bans on talking on cell phones while driving. I *think* the story I saw was referring to California, and essentially stated that despite the bans on talking on your cell phone while driving (while holding the phone in your hand) being in effect for a while now, there has been no decrease to the rate of car accidents involving cell phones. There are a few ways you can look at a statement like that: are people not using hands-free solutions still and just saying they were after an incident? are (some) hands-free solutions just as distracting as holding the phone in your hand and talking? maybe it's texting vs. talking that's the real culprit? You get the idea.

Do you feel you're actually safer when using hands-free technology in the car while talking and driving?(poll)

Either way, I thought this would make a good poll to see where CrackBerry Nation currently weighs in on the subject. Obviously, not all hands-free accessories are created equal and not all people are at the same level of comfort in using them. I think vehicles that have Bluetooth built in are probably the optimal solution, but not every car on the road features it. In the vehicle I currently drive I don't have native BT, so typically use a Bluetooth speakerphone (currently using the BlackBerry Visor Mount) for calls now that it's law where I live to go hands-free. But is it actually safer? It's a little yes and no for me. Once you're connected and driving and talking I guess it feels safer, but at the same time it feels like there's more going on and more room for distractions (make sure the speakerphone is on, put the radio to the right station, BT turned on the phone and paired, etc.). It's more complex than just sticking the phone to your ear and talking.

Sound Off! What's your preferred hands-free solution? My guess is a lot of people out there are not yet comfortable with their in-car hands-free solution, so if you think you have like the solution you're using, be sure to share it in the comments. Let us know what accessories / method / etc. you use in your car to talk on the phone and remain focused on driving. And if you're looking for some in-car ideas, be sure to browse our Car Kits and Mounts and Bluetooth Accessories offerings. 

[ Image Source ]

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Contest Winners: Global Unlock, Eden Theme, Textender and More

Prizes galore this week! Some unlock codes from Global Unlock Code, a very cool theme, some cases from Speck, a Seidio Extended Battery and a few apps to round out the mix. A very well-rounded week with great prizes across the board. More to come this week, so be on the lookout. Thanks again to everyone that entered, and congrats to all the winners! If you're a developer or retailer and want to run a contest of your own, send an email to editorial(at)crackberry.com

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Review: Pocketday Professional & Personal for BlackBerry

Your BlackBerry provides rapid access to almost anything you can think of. Well for some people, that isn’t good enough! They demand instant access; they want knowledge and they want it now. Now, now, NOW! If you’re picturing adults throwing fits right about now, then we are on the same wavelength. That sort of behavior is kind of immature, if you ask me. On the other hand, there are benefits to being able to look at various types of information at a glance; to see if there is anything important. Yeah, having a grasp of your day from a momentary view of your BlackBerry is a good thing. That’s the kind of access I need - everything available to me now. Now, now, NOW!

Before I’m put in a time out, I wanted to have a look through an application called Pocketday. As you can probably tell from my so-called rant, Pocketday provides on-demand access to your content. For those who can’t fight the urge to look at their BlackBerrys, the application will at least keep your potentially inappropriate status check to a minimum. There are two versions of Pocketday available; Professional and Personal. Let’s see which one works best for you.

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BlackBerry Media Sync Updated To Version 3.0.0.39 For PC Users

It wasn't too long ago now that version 3.0 of BlackBerry Media Sync was released. Now we got an update which brings a newer, semi-revamped UI and improved picture synchronization for PC users. Bumped up to version 3.0.0.39, you can now auto update through media sync or just grab the latest version from the BlackBerry Media Sync download site.

Having checked out the latest version, I can see RIM actually worked out some of the kinks in this version. It not only looks better now but actually works much faster than previous versions. Not too sure as to why the Mac version isn't seeing any updates... I'm not a Mac user so those of you who are is the Mac version working fine as is? Or could it use an update as well?

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BlackBerry Pearl 9100 Spotted Running T-Mobile / WIND 3G?
*UPDATE*- More higher res pics found here from @CellGuru*

The BlackBerry Pearl 9100 is the furthest thing from a secret on the interwebs. The latest news is that it'll be rocking T-Mobile and WIND 3G bands. Up until now it's only ever been spotted touting the typical AT&T and Rogers 3G so if the above pic is to be believed some 1700mHz love is headed your way. Not that it wasn't expected but if you have been bummed about the possibility of not getting an AWS 3G version, chin up. If the pics are correct you should be able to grab one as soon as RIM acknowledges what the world already knows. The BlackBerry Pearl 9100 exists and is coming soon to multiple carriers.

[ @alphatectz / @CellGuru ]

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BlackBerry Theme Roundup for February 1st 2010

BlackBerry Theme Roundup for February 1st  2010

Contest: 30 Copies of ValentineBB to be won. Leave a comment!

Its time again to bring you, the valued readers of CrackBerry, more themes for your enjoyment. We have decided to add a little Valentines's Day flavor to this roundup, in honor of the fast approaching occasion (as well as a subtle reminder to all you guys (and girls) out there frantically checking your calendars and wallets, your valentine will love many of the accessories in our store :) ). Hit the jump and we will present our top free and paid picks of the week, and even give you a little something you could win in time to dress up your darling's BlackBerry for Valentine's Day.

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Blubber Blasting BlackBerry Apps

Blubber Blasting BlackBerry Apps

Well, if you have read a few of my previous posts, you know that I’m on the road to a leaner (but not meaner) me. It’s been going okay so far; the weight is coming off and my diet is much better. I do get cravings now and again, but I have my loving wife to keep me in check. Overall I’m happy with the change and definitely looking forward to reaching my goal. I’m experiencing more than just physical health, which is always a bonus.

Not to leave my trusty BlackBerry behind in my journey, I present to you a selection of the many BlackBerry applications that will hopefully provide some assistance to you as well. Whether you want to slim down, tone up or even toss out the junk food, this type of change is always good. So if you use your fat fingers to click on Continue Reading Article, you’re more than welcome to join me. I’m kidding! (well about the fat finger part, I still want you to read)

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Pack Light with BlackBerry Travel Accessories

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

When traveling with your BlackBerry you want to pack as light as possible. Trying to remember all those chargers, cases and cords can be a real pain. To get the most out of your device and still pack light, there are some key accessories you can take along. A spare battery charger can come in very handy, especially when paired up with an extended battery. You may also want to check out some retractable USB cables to cut down on the cord tangles. Check out the video above for a quick look at some of my favorite travel accessories.

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Contest: Win 1 Of 100 Free Unlock Codes For Your BlackBerry

It's Monday again, we all love Mondays don't we? Hope you all had a great weekend. We want to get this week started off right for everyone, so what better way to do that then have a contest, right? Cellunlock, has given us 100 BlackBerry unlock codes to give away. Any BlackBerry on any carrier this time around. Just drop a comment on this post, letting us know what day of the week is your favorite and why, and we'll pick out 100 winners to get a free unlock code for your BlackBerry. As always, big shout out to Cellunlock for offering this up for you all out there and good luck! Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST - please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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Verizon Offers slotRadio+ microSD Cards Loaded with 1,000 Songs and 4GB of Storage

Verizon seems to think that BlackBerry users are looking for a better way to get songs on their device. Transfering media to a microSD card for playback on your BlackBerry is far from difficult, but with slotRadio+ you can cut out all the hard steps. The $49.99 microSD card comes pre-loaded with 1,000 MP3s and boasts an additional 4GB of storage. The Billboard HITS and Billboard DECADES cards are loaded up with 8 preset "handcrafted playlists" and make it easy as can be for you to listen to music on your device. Just pop in the slotRadio+ card, fire up your media player and you're done. The catch seems to be that you can't play the songs in any order you want -- you have to use the preset playlists, and cannot shuffle or rearrange anything. Still, you'll have some cheap tunes and an extra 4GB of storage to do with what you please. Both cards are available from Verizon for $49.99, which seems like about $30 more than you need to spend on a 4GB card for your device. Regardless, if you're feeling lazy and want to pick up the HITS or DECADES card, head over to Verizon Wireless for more info.

[BBGeeks]
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BlackBerry Developer? Learn How To Plug Those Memory Leaks In Your Applications

As a BlackBerry user, we've all seen some applications here and there that leak memory and it can be quite a pain. As a BlackBerry developer this can be an extremely frustrating thing to have to deal with, especially if you have a amazing application you wish to release but just cannot find the memory leak. While checking out the BlackBerry developers blog the other day I began reading the two part series "How to find that memory leak" that was written up to assist BlackBerry developers with not only finding memory leaks but also plugging them.

Whether you are a BlackBerry developer or a BlackBerry user, you may wish to give them a read through. While most of the terms are outlined for developers, a user can get the basis of why memory leaks happen. And for all you developers out there, you can learn some best methods to help prevent those memory leaks in your apps and save yourself some hassle.

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16 Year Old Creates Communications Link for Underground Workers and Scientists

Its long been an issue of concern for deep underground workers but has never really had an answer. How to communicate underground when cell phones and walkie talkies no longer work? Well, turns out that question has been solved by a Los Alamos, New Mexico 16 yr old partaking in the 2009 International Science Fair, which he ended up winning.

Alex Kendrick, has managed to create a system that transmits data using low-frequency radio waves that can penetrate rock more easily than that of high-frequency transmissions. The utilization of this method could mean many things to cave rescue workers and scientists abound. A life saving tool, a method of communicating research studies and much more lay ahead for this system to which Alex has been praised for creating. Impressive if you ask me. What were you doing in highschool? I know I wasn't thinking of this kind of stuff. Congrats, Alex.

[ Engadget / NPR ]

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Fido Releases OS 4.6.1.320 For The BlackBerry Curve 8520

The official release of OS 4.6.1.320 on Fido really isn't that big of a deal. The real news here is in the fact the Fido posted OS 4.6.1.320 without actually having yet put the device on sale- Ooops. You might remember a week or two back now we posted that Fido was set to get the BlackBerry Curve 8520, SKUS were loaded into the system yet, no official release date was available. So all this really means is the Fido BlackBerry Curve 8520 is that much closer to release, thanks for the confirmation!

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 31 Jan 2010

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