BlackBerry App Roundup for August 28th, 2009!

BlackBerry App Roundup for August 28th, 2009!

Howdy folks, hope you've all had a great week. Lots to get talkin' about in this weeks' BlackBerry App Roundup, so let's get down to business. Covered in the Roundup this week are the following titles:

In Case You Missed It: V CAST Video Available for the Storm, LaunchPad Updated to v1.5, BerryScroll Flick Scrolling for the Storm, Poynt Adds Local Restaurant Search, BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife Updated

New This Week: UnlockIt, ControlBBanel, Squirrel Hunter, Call Blocker Pro

Apps on Sale: I Charge Cool, Empower SMS Viewer, LaunchPad, SlickTasks, MP3 Ringtone Creator

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09

Freebie of the Week: Blink Previous

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$1.00 Off All Bplay College Themes Through Sunday

$1.00 Off All Bplay College Themes Through Sunday

Its that time of year, students heading back to school and leaving the summer behind. If you're looking to show some love for your school, you can check out the great line of college themes from Bplay. They have many top schools like Arizon, Boston College, Colorado, Duke, Florida State and many more. Each theme has custom icons in school colors and is complete with a logo wallpaper. The themes normally sell for $5.99, but now through Sunday you can save $1.00 on all 40 college themes. Head over to CrackBerryBplay.com to check out the full lineup.

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BlackBerrius Maximus: Berrys at the Ballpark

BlackBerrius Maximus: Berrys at the Ballpark
 

There is nothing like summer in New England, if you live up here, you know what I mean. If you are a baseball fan - there is just no place like Fenway Park - the place to be - in the summer here in Boston.

Recently, I was able to score two tickets to Fenway (no easy feat in this town) and I took my BlackBerry toting 17 year old with me. Two red sox fans, two BlackBerry 8900s and two tickets to Fenway Park - what could be better.

Since my son Dan is just about as much of a techie as his old man, he affectionately has earned the title "Maximus Junior" around here. We decided to use both Berrys to the max that day.

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Contest: 100 Free Copies of Missed Call Alert

Missed Call Alert

If you're constantly on the go and find yourself missing calls, this app is for you. Missed Call Alert integrates with your device and provides you with recurring audible alerts for missed phone calls. You can choose to have it repeat every 30 seconds, 5 minutes or more. You simply set the options and pick an alert in your profiles and your done. Missed Call Alert even supports both vibrate and silent profiles. The app regularly sells for $4.99, but to celebrate the launch, we have 100 copies to give away free. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment - multiple entries won't count.

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Free SleekBerry Theme For BlackBerry Curve 8900!

[ This is a guest review written by Phishgirl3 Write your own review of a device, app or accessory and if we feature it in the blogs we'll give you a coupon for accessories or apps from ShopCrackBerry.com! Details here. ]

Perusing the 8900 theme forums late last night I came across a new hotness called SleekBerry, by the up-and-coming Yves. I installed right away and was immediately impressed with his choice of icons and clean layout for this theme. The gray, black, and white color scheme and high transparency of the icons and menus makes this theme a great candidate for all you wallpaper lovers out there.

Six user customizable icons plus weather slot round out the much sought after personalization we all crave for our home screens. Warning for you that like bigger fonts: Yves went with a small one on this theme. Personally I love it, as I look for small fonts in themes I download. But, since I see a lot of requests for bigger fonts on the forums, I figured it fair to warn any potential users.

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BlackBerry Storm II's Popping Up on Ebay

BlackBerry Storm II's Popping Up on Ebay

Itching to get your hands on Research in Motion's next touchscreen BlackBerry Smartphone? A couple of Storm 2's have popped up on ebay recently and as you can tell are generating some bids. Legit or scam? When it comes to pre-release devices on ebay we've seen both happen, but in this case the seller has a solid rating so the odds are good it's legit even though the image used on the auction is one that was previously posted on the web.

Should you try and pick one it up? Having been there and done that, I'd probably recommend waiting for the production units to hit stores if it's something you plan to actually try and use. Though for many the appeal of having that little something you really shouldn't have may justify the cost even if the hardware is wonky, the pin gets killed, and the unit won't take newer software updates (aka... is a paperweight). At the time of this post there is a little over 13 hours left to go on the auction - I'll be curious to see what it goes for. Any bets??

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New Twitter Client TwiXtreme Now Available

New Twitter Client TwiXtreme Now Available

There is a new player in the Twitter client game, and it's making an entrance in grand fashion. TwiXtreme by Xtreme Labs gives BlackBerry users yet another option for their Twittering delight. I've played around with the app a bit, and I must say it is off to a great start. It has very cool animations, is ad-free and you can do all the usually Twitter actions like uploading pictures, retweets, mentions, trends and more. The app is has just been released, so I'm sure some updated will follow based on user feedback. If you're looking for a new client, or just something different, definitely check out TwiXtreme. A free OTA download is available here.

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Zeemote JS1 Mobile Gaming Controller Now Available

Zeemote JS1 Mobile Gaming Controller Now Available
Would you want a bluetooth gaming controller for your BlackBerry?(online surveys)

A while back we talked about the Zeemote Gaming Controller coming to BlackBerry but had no definite release date. Well it looks like it is finally available for purchase at shopblackberry.com for $39.99. You can use the Zeemote to control many popular games on your device, and the purchase even includes a free download from Gameloft. You can also navigate applications like the web browser, media player and maps using the remote. Honestly I think you'd have to be a pretty hardcore gamer to even think about picking up this $40 accessory, but to each his own. Anybody out there going to grab one of these? 

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Podcast Episode 041: Worst CrackBerry Podcast Ever?!

Well, I'm not really sure that this is the worst CrackBerry Podcast ever, but if not it has to be pretty close. I think we must have jinxed ourselves when we called Episode 040 the Best CrackBerry Podcast Ever. We're a little more disorganized than usual (hard to believe I know!) and there wasn't a whole lot new to talk about since our last podcast was recorded only six days earlier.

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Pageonce Releases Cell Minute Tracker For BlackBerry

Pageonce Releases Cell Minute Tracker For BlackBerry

Pageonce has always been one of my favorite applications on my BlackBerry. This time around Pageonce has expanded on the ability to review your wireless account which was included in their personal assitant application previously. Pageonce Mobile Minute tracker is now available via Blackberry App World and for those amongst you who like to keep track of your wireless account with up to date information, this is the application for you. Features include:

  • View current minute balance, rollover minutes, data plan, SMS use, billing cycle,
    and previous payments on a single page
  • Receive alerts when you reach 90% of your limit or when your bill is due
  • Breakdown information by family member
  • View your phone bill
  • 128 bit SSL encryption, insured by a top 10 A+ rated insurance carrier

The list of carriers supported for this application is rather large, but is contained to the US, Canada and the UK with the UK only supporting 02, but within US and Canada all major carriers are supported. Also to point out -- the application does come in two different versions: one free, one paid. You can view the differences between the two here on the Pageone site, that way you can decide what version is best suited for you. This is a great application for monitoring usage on your accounts and those of family members. Preventative measures can be put in place and in the long term could save you some cash and avoid overage charges. Be sure to check it out and if you are already using it--let us know in the comments how ya feel about it.

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Thumbplay Music Store Launches On BlackBerry App World!

Thumbplay has been around for a while as a content provider for such things as ringtones, real tones and games and have now launched their music download service within BlackBerry App World. The application itsself is free to download to your device but costs associated from the use of the app come from downloading full length MP3 Quality, DRM Free music files to your device, all of which can be played on mp3 players, your PC and of course your BlackBerry.

All songs are downloaded via WiFi for faster delivery or over 3G, EDGE and with music starting at $0.69 and going up from there the service is a cost effective way to get your music on the go. Paypal and debit cards are accepted for the payment processing so that makes it just that much easier.

The application itself is nice. Once downloaded and installed to your BlackBerry you can preview songs directly from it which makes accidental purchases of bad music impossible. So there goes my excuse for having Taylor Swift on my BlackBerry. ;)

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CrackBerry Debate/Poll: Do You Want SurePress on Your Touchscreen BlackBerry?
  What would you like to see RIM do with their touchscreen SurePress technology?(online surveys)

This one is going to be interesting.... Ever since RIM introduced the notion of a touchscreen that "clicks" with the BlackBerry Storm it has been met with some degree of polarity. There are those who don't see the need for it, there are those who love the concept of getting real tactile feedback while typing on a flat piece of glass and there are those who would maybe like it some of the time (but not necessarily all of the time).

RIM's SurePress design theory does have its benefits. Separating navigation from confirmation allows you to minimize accidental presses/taps (selecting something you don't want) - when browsing the web this is really handy in allowing you to hone in and click the right link the first time or still allowing you to type with accuracy in a bumpy environment (back of a NYC taxi cab). Of course, the main intent behind SurePress was for the device to be great for everyday typing and messaging. I hate to re-hash Storm 1's less than smooth rollout, but between the hardware design and initial software issues, using SurePress tended to be more of a challenge than convenience (though there are many a Storm owner who invested the time into the device and can now hustle with it).

The good news is that with all that we have seen of Storm 2 so far, the hardware design behind this next evolution of SurePress looks to be a lot better and early hands-on reports (including my own) suggest the device will be much improved for typing/everyday use compared to Storm 1, and easier for the average person to pick up and get the hang of immediately out of the box (keep in mind we're referring to Storm 2's tech as SurePress for this post though RIM may rebrand it - TruePress, ClickThru, VirtualClick, who knows!). That said, on CrackBery Podcast 040 we got onto the topic of Storm 2 and SurePress and I posed a question that's definitely up for debate... With SurePress, is RIM giving people what they want or are they trying to tell people what they think they need?

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HoneyDew Is Your Synchronized Todo and Tasks List That Makes Paper Lists Obsolete!

Have you ever made a grocery list only to forget it at home? I know I have plenty of times. Enter HoneyDew: HoneyDew is a synchronized todo and task list that will get rid of wasting paper. I think it's pretty common for must of us when its time to go grocery shoping or need to remember to do things around the house we write them down on a piece of paper so we don't forget. Well something always happens and the paper is thrown away or lost and we have to start a new one. The BlackBerrys have something that can fix that already in the Task or Memo app. That really only solves one side of the issue, what if after making a big grocery list I wanna share it with my Wife? I then have to give her my BlackBerry and let her manually copy into her BlackBerry, yuck, what a pain!

Well lucky for us the great people over at VersatileMonkey (the creators of the popular PodTrapper)has solved this issue. Once you have HoneyDew installed on your berry, open HoneyDew up and start adding things to a grocery list or a todo list. 

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The iPhone Ad You'll Never See

If you're like me, you probably get tired of seeing endless iPhone ads on TV and hearing "There's an app for that". Well CrackBerry member kelsch1 sent in this video of The iPhone Ad You'll Never See. This one gave me a great laugh for a slow Wednesday morning, so I figured it was best to share it with all the other CrackBerry lovers. It does have a bit of explicit language, so hide the kids for a minute while you watch it.

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BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife Updated

BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife Updated

We took a quick look at JL_Cmdr replacement BBSAK a while back, and I just got word that it has been updated with even more new features. Already packed with BlackBerry-tweaking goodies, BBSAK now added some much needed updates, and it sure to have more in store. I actually had to use this over the weekend on my Tour, and I must say it couldn't be any easier to use. Some of the new updates include:

  • Kill Processes Button added (if your having trouble connecting click kill processes to close
  • (BBdevmgr.exe and RimDevManager.exe both started by desktop manager)
  • Full System Dump (Save ALL Cods on device) (Dump CODs)
  • Save button added to Read System (saves all the file names to a SystemRead.txt)
  • ACCURATE Progress Bar added to 3rd Party Backup
  • Files now displayed as they are being saved
  • Can now Save Multiple CODs at one time 
For the full update log and more information, check out the BBSAK thread at RIMGeeks.
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Preview: What's Coming in BIS 2.5 BlackBerry IM Clients!

We've all seen (or used!) the updated BlackBerry Messenger client that will roll out in OS 5.0, as well as the native threaded SMS client that popped up in OS 5.0.0.190. With big improvements shown in these native BlackBerry messenging apps, you have to ask the question what if else will be getting an update... the answer to which is the big third party BlackBerry Instant Messaging clients of course!! We're hearing it'll be mid/late September when the BlackBerry IM clients Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk and ICQ (does anybody actually still use that?) will see improvements via their BIS 2.5 update. New features include the ability to:

  • Add dedicated icons to the Home Screen for one-click access to conversation boxes of specific contacts. The icon appears as the contact's display picture or avatar
  • Add contacts and display pictures or avatars to the address book to easily send instant messages, email messages, SMS text messages, or place a call right from the address book or conversation box
  • Search through saved conversations
  • Add dedicated emoticon icons in the conversation box

For a detailed overview and look at what's coming, take a look below. I'm getting more and more excited for the rollout of OS 5.0 and these IM client updates by the minute. The already excellent BlackBerry communication experience is going to be even better. Excited much?

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BlackBerry Tip: Hold Down on the Alt Key While Scrolling To Jump Cursor Across the Screen. Does it Work for you?
 

I received an email the other day from one of our readers/podcast listeners (thanks Chris!) that brought up a good tip that some of you may not be aware of and also raised a valid question/concern:

Have you noticed that on the Curve 8900 and Curve 8520 holding alt + scrolling left or right scrolls all the way the left or right of the text. Example: when your typing a email or text, once you get a few lines down hold alt and scroll left to right or up and down. I've noticed this doesn't work on the Bold, but I've tried it on the 8900 and 8520. 

Being able to fast scroll when reading/composing by holding Alt is definitely a great feature for trackball/trackpad BlackBerry smartphones, but as Chris points out there does seem to be at least some inconsistency as to what devices/os versions offer this feature. For example, it's working flawlessly on my Tour, on some older devices doesn't appear to want to work at all, and on my Curve 8900 (which I just upgraded to 5.0.0.190), I can fast scroll when composing but not while reading emails. So the question is, does it work for you?! I'd assume it's a gimme of a function and should always work, so I'm not quite sure why it wouldn't in some situations. Try holding down alt while scrolling on a message with a lot of text to see if your cursor makes the big jump.

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Images: Native Threaded SMS Client for BlackBerry

With OS 5.0.0.190 surfacing for the BlackBerry Bold and Curve 8900, we finally have visual proof that RIM will be bringing threaded SMS to BlackBerry. Why it took so long who knows, but when OS 5.0 officially rolls out in the weeks/months ahead (it's all unofficial looks so far) that this long-standing pain will be no more. Below you can see some more screen captures of it in action. This one of those things I really hope RIM can find a way to make backwards compatible to older OS platforms. So far we've only seen OS 5.0 love for devices that originally shipped with OS 4.6 or 4.7, but I have a feeling there a ton of BlackBerry Curve 83xx and Pearl users out there that would kill for this. Sure, BlackBerry Messenger is where it's at.... but if you have friends that for some reason don't own a BlackBerry, then threaded SMS is a must.

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iVista2, BlueBerry Pie, StrawBerry Cake by Z ManDesigns Now avaliable on the Tour!

I recently got word from Zack over at ZManDesigns that he has updated his top 3 selling themes so they are Tour ready! iVista2 was a HUGE success right out of the gate, and is still the best selling theme to date. Next up are his BlueBerry Pie and StrawBerry Cake, which are both the same just in different flavors. All of them are very user customizable and wallpaper friendly. All three have today built into them. BlurBerry Pie and StrawBerry Cake have 10 user customizable icons with a drop down, while iVista2 has 9 user customizable icons. Over all these themes are perfect for any Tour out there and can be picked up in the CrackBerry App Store.

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BB OS Leaks: 5.0.0.190 for Bold and 8900 w/ threaded SMS; 5.0.0.154 for Storm 9530; OS 5.0.0.140 for Tour!

Holy Geebus. Talk about leaky leaky. After OS 5.0.0.154 showed up in the forums for the BlackBerry Storm 9530 late last night, our pal TimBuk2 sent in some BlackBerry OS download links for the Tour, Bold and Curve 8900. For the Tour, version 5.0.0.140 is pretty old now and kinda buggy, but OS 5.0.0.190 is hot off the press for the Bold and 8900 and makes some jumps forward with OS 5.0 including the appearance of threaded SMS (as pictured above)!! Finally - a native threaded SMS client on BlackBerry! Tabbed browsing is gone (for now at least) in .190 but there's some other cool features too, like theme previews upon downloading and a few other tweaks (just installed an am playing with it now)! Be sure to visit the Storm OS forum and Beta OS forum (for all other devices) for the details on all of these versions.

*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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