E2 Today- Awesome Free Theme For Your BlackBerry Bold!

E2 Today-  Awesome Free Theme For Your BlackBerry Bold!

While looking through the BlackBerry Bold themes forum, I came across this free Bold theme from EThemes that really caught my eye due to its simplicity and sweet icons. It's a 15 icon vertical scroller that has hidden today and calendar integration, which in my opinion really adds to the theme. Awesome work as usual from EThemes. While this one is on the house, be sure to check out all the premium themes offered up as well in the Shop CrackBerry App Store from ETheme - they offer up many solid themes.

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Skyfire Web Browser for BlackBerry Smartphones Resumes Alpha Testing – Latest Version 3.5

SkyFire has resumed its testing of their Alpha version on BlackBerry devices after being forced to place things on hold due to some leakage of previous versions. At this time, SkyFire has sent out to its testers Alpha 3.5 Build Some stuff was added such as downloading files to your device from within SkyFire and some stuff was removed, such as streaming media for now until SkyFire can optimize it better. Overall, it's still slow and clearly Alpha but hey, it's getting there. Full release notes after the jump.

[ BGR ]

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BlackBerry to Have Native Web Browser as Good as iPhone's Safari by Next Summer? And other BB Browser Tid Bits...

I just finished watching a pretty comprehensive video evaluation put together by equity analyst Chris Umiastowski that was published earlier today. If you have 17 minutes to kill, you can jump on over and watch the video in full for yourself. The premise of this briefing was to demonstrate how BlackBerry is doing compared to Apple in the consumer smartphone space in terms of core features, and to point out some of RIM's strengths and shortcomings and highlight the things they'll need to hustle to improve quick in order to maintain their sales momentum moving forward.

Though it's not said in the video where the analyst's info is coming from, it's pretty obvious that some of the statements made must have come via RIM (during an interview with somebody higher up the chain would be my guess).  A few of the most interesting points made from a CrackBerry Addict's perspective were in regards to the web browser and include:

  • RIM acknowledges it needs to improve panning and zooming within the web browser and that the issue is an on-device one - it has nothing to do with connecting through the NOC. The key issue is memory management (not enough device RAM). RIM says it's a fixable problem and expects to have a browser on par with the iPhone's Safari browser by next summer.
  • Javascript support will be enabled by default within the web browser this fall. Currently it ships with the JS support setting disabled (enabling JS support tends to slow things down... remember my Bold's Buggered browsers post which was written nearly a year ago?).
  • And very interestingly, RIM gave a reason as to why WiFi on a BlackBerry can often be very slow (not any quicker than using Edge/3G). Apparently RIM has diagnosed the culprit and it has to do with being too conservative on BlackBerry battery management in that the device puts the WiFi radio to sleep too often. Not many details are given here (other than devices being released in upcoming launches should hopefully have much faster WiFi transfer rates) but it's quite possible that if you're using your WiFi browser at the same time that you're connected to Edge/3G but your device doesn't seem to be browsing any faster than if WiFi was turned off, that well, WiFi may actually be asleep and you are actually on Edge/3G.

The presentation goes beyond web browser talk, but the points above are what I found most interesting and newsworthy (news to me anyways!). For the full nitty gritty, be sure to check out the full video.

[ Source

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Calling all BES Admins...

Win a Free License of BoxTone Essentials 500 - Enter Here! >>

BoxTone has been hard at working creating some great user tools for all you BES Admins out there and have just unveiled, their latest product, BoxTone Essentials. BoxTone Essentials is everything you need for a full on monitoring system for your BES environment, targeted towards smaller oragnizations with modest budgets but still need to have the safety and security that is offered to larger organizations.

BoxTone Essentials -- part of the BoxTone mobile user management platform -- automates core monitoring and management activities, proactively alerting you to mobile service issues then helping you to find, fix and validate them in less than 3 minutes. Features include:

  • End-to-End Visibility - via a Dashboard that displays in real time the health of individual and groups of mobile users, BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, Exchange and Domino mail servers and wireless carriers, and, when needed, a drill-down for more detail and to take action.
  • Proactive Alerts - via SmartAlerting that warns you of pending issues and risks – such as high rescan rates, hung threads, carrier outages, SRP outages or VIP low memory -- so you can fix them before users call
  • The Right Answer - via a User Console that in plain language enables you to pinpoint and resolve an issue immediately with simple instructions (no hunting through logs or searching online forums)
  • Click to Fix - via 1-Click Fix-It for the most common service issues – such as reset password, send service books, wipe device -- right from the User Console without the need to jump to other tools.

With the information on how BoxTone Essentials (view Press Release) can help you now out of the way, let's move onto the contest! CrackBerry and BoxTone have teamed up and are offering you (and your organization) the chance to win $10,000 worth of BoxTone software courtesy of BoxTone. Read on for full contest rules.

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Contest: 10 VQ CarFinder Bundles to Give Away!

Contest: Leave a comment to this post for your chance to win one of ten VQ CarFinder Bundles!

A few weeks back we checked out VQ CarFinder, a great application that helps you remember where you left your car. I got my hands on the Bluetooth Car Charger to use with this app and I've had a great time playing around with it. The app automatically remembers where you left your car based on the connection with the Bluetooth charger (if you have a vehicle with Bluetooth you can use that as well).

The good folks of VQ are currently running a "Where The %@&# Did I Park??!!" contest where users can submit videos or stories of parking nightmares and be entered to win a BlackBerry smartphone and a CarFinder license. Head over to 4carfinder.com for more details or check out the submissions on their YouTube page. VQ has also given us 10 CarFinder bundles to give away. The bundle includes a full VQ CarFinder software license as well as a Bluetooth Car Charger (retail value of $64.98). To be entered to win, just leave a comment on this post. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please leave only one comment - multiple submissions won't count.

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RIM Launches BlackBerry Developer Blog

RIM Launches BlackBerry Developer Blog

RIM has launched a new blog site for BlackBerry Developers today that will give the developer community informative content and be an integral part of the BlackBerry Zone experience. The blog, located at http://www.blackberry.com/developers/blog, will cover three main areas:

  • Technical Discussion and Insights - Including best practices for BlackBerry development, code snippets, and general technical information on how to make applications users will come back to time and again.
  • Market Insight - Discussions of trends and opportunities in mobile development and mobile applications that RIM sees from breathing the mobile industry every single day.
  • Developer Engagement - RIM wants to get more engaged with regional and local developer communities all around the world, from Australia to Argentina and everywhere in-between. The BlackBerry Developer's Blog will be used to communicate events in each region and opportunities to meet other BlackBerry developers.
Developers will be able to use the blog to interact with each other and should find it a great resource. This should help out a great deal those planning to attend the BlackBerry Developers Conference in November, allowing more developers to collaborate and get answers to questions that will help in their respective projects.

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Sprint BlackBerry Tour 9630 Review

Sprint BlackBerry Tour 9630 Review

The new BlackBerry Tour smartphone launched on the Sprint Network last month, and it was a highly anticipated device for many Sprint users. Up until the launch of the Tour, the only options for BlackBerry smartphones for Sprint users were the Curve 8330, 8830 World Phone, and the Pearl 8130. While these are all great devices, none of them could compare to the BlackBerry Bold that was launched on GSM carriers almost a year ago.

Sprint had some initial launch issues with device shortages, and even a little mix up with a Sperizon device being sent out. Seems things to have simmered down a bit, and now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty with a device review. So sit back and relax, and let the good times begin.

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New Game Mancala Features Multiplayer Mode Over BBM

Contest: Leave a comment to this post for your chance to win a free copy of Mancala. 50 Free Copies to be won!!

Jerome of BBerryGO dropped me an email yesterday to let me know he has released Mancala for BlackBerry. The game of Mancala is simple to play and is an amazing time killer. You move your "stones" around the board and try to caputre as more than your opponent. The clear graphics and vibrant colors make this game easy on the eyes. Perhaps the best feature of Mancala is that you can have a multiplayer game with a friend over BBM (Note - does not yet work properly with BBM 5.0). I tested this out with Bla1ze yesterday and it runs very well - much better than I had imagined. Mancala runs on almost all devices is available for $0.99 at ShopCrackBerry.com.

To kick off the release, we have 50 free copies of Mancala to give away! Just leave a comment on this post to be entered. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment - multiple submissions won't count.

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Member Story: Open Letter to BlackBerry Messenger - He's Just Not That Into Me

This post comes from forums member Anastasia Beaverhousen. The original post can be seen here in the CrackBerry Forums. If you have BlackBerry story of your own, send it in to editorial(at)crackberry.com

Dearest BBM,

It's time we had a talk.

I know you're just acting out. I know you see my relationship with SMS and email. I know you're jealous. I know you're hurting. But they're just friends - I swear. It's just work messages! They'll never mean as much to me as you do. So let's talk about why you keep toying with my heart.

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Review - LaterDude & LaterDude Pro for BlackBerry

You’d think that, with a BlackBerry smartphone at the ready, I’d have no problem getting back to people quickly and efficiently. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. If I had a loonie every time my wife asked me “Have you gotten a hold of so – and – so yet?” I would probably have enough money to get the entire world out of the red. For those who have been directly affected by this issue, I am truly sorry. I’m not sure what it is; perhaps I’m too busy and tend to forget. I do tend to start thinking of other projects when already working on one, and then move on. Maybe I’m easily distracted by the slightest- ooooo….shiny…

Luckily, being an avid BlackBerry abuser, there’s always an application or two out there that can help you out in almost every situation (who needs to fend for themselves anyway?!). In this case, I’m turning to LaterDude and LaterDude Pro to lend a hand. They offer to streamline the process of creating reminders, making it faster than doing it using your calendar or tasks applications. It’s either that, or stick Post-it notes on my BlackBerry’s screen.

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T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700 Glimpsed in the Wild!

Seriously, I need to travel more often. It wasn't so long ago that the 'javelin' (Curve 8900) was still unavailable that I spotted three in the same airport while flying to NYC. This time around while traveling home from vacation I was able to spot and get a few precious moments of hands-on time with the device above (single capture taken on my Verizon Tour) ... of a T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700.

Wow, what a device. I've already reviewed the BlackBerry "onyx" (9020 device model at the time, now the BlackBerry Bold 9700) and basically concluded it was the ultimate "traditional" BlackBerry. Compared to the unit in that initial review, this one has a trackpad (vs. trackball), more of a silver chrome vs. charcoal (could be that AT&T will get the charcoal version) and the leather back on the battery door that we've previously featured on the blogs. It also felt different in the hand compared to my early model - this unit felt very sturdy (production ready?!). Couple that feeling with the T-Mobile branding and let's hope this baby is due sooner than later.

So for all the T-Mobile customers out there who didn't rush out to buy the Curve 8520, how do you feel about the BlackBerry Bold 9700?? Finally visual proof of a 3G BlackBerry on T-Mobile!! Big thanks to the BlackBerry Gods for being so good!

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Leaked: BlackBerry Curve 8520 OS!

Leaked: BlackBerry Curve 8520 OS!

Here is a little bit of a treat for all you new 8520 Curve owners out there, a fresh new OS for ya's to load up. Having just gotten my 8520 today it was nice to see that the OS leaks were not gonna stop based on device. Best part about this leak--their is a full change log included for you all to have a peek at, enjoy folks!

*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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Contest: Shape Services IM+, RDM+, Mobiscope, IM+ for Skype and More. 100 Free Apps!!

Leave a Comment to this Post for Your Chance to Win a Free App from Shape Services! Details Below...

The folks at SHAPE Services have thrown us 100 free copies of their apps to give away. To start, we are giving away 50 free copies of the popular IM+ app, and on top of that we also will choose 50 winners to have their choice of RDM+, IM+ for Skype, Mobiscope, VR+ and xPlayer. This is a great chance to get some really cool apps. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only enter once - multiple submissions won't count.

To go along with this, Shape Services is offering 25% off all of their applications. You can head over to the CrackBerry App Store and use the coupon code SHAPECB25 at checkout to receive the discount (this code will only work in our mobile app store at crackberryappstore.com or through the Mobile App Store client).

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26 Advantages BlackBerry has over the iPhone

26 Advantages BlackBerry has over the iPhone

The iPhone gets a lot of love by both tech writers and owners of the device for a number reasons, most notably for its easy-to-learn/pretty user interface, the iPhone App Store (and the fact it runs apps/games well) and with its iPod heritage and iTunes integration is a solid media device. In the consumer space especially, these factors go a long way.

We like to take our shots at the iPhone from time to time here at CrackBerry.com (we're a BlackBerry enthusiast site, that's part of our gig, but we always strive to give it the respect it deserves too), but today it was actually Anton Walman over at SeekingAlpha.com who posted a story on BlackBerry's 26 Advantages over the iPhone. Anton makes the case that while the iPhone's advantages are compelling that they are "immediately visible," especially to the casual observer, and that the BlackBerry has a number of "behind the scenes" benefits that are equally compelling and should not be overlooked. Here's a quick sample from the top 26 list:

1. Blackberry can be used on almost every carrier in the world (over 475 of them). In the US, the iPhone is available on AT&T (T) only.
2. Blackberry is available in five form factors - small keyboard, large keyboard, no keyboard, flip phone, and candy-bar.
8. Blackberry has removable and expandable battery. iPhone is fixed.
9. Blackberry allows programs to multitask. iPhone has limited multitasking.
15. Blackberry can be synchronized to multiple computers simultaneously, if you have multiple computers. 

You can click the image above to jump over to SeekingAlpha for the full article and 26 BlackBerry advantages. Be sure to report back with your thoughts. If you think any were missed, leave them in the comments!

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Eye Candy: Storm 2 Shows Off WiFi in Photo

Eye Candy: Storm 2 Shows Off WiFi in Photo

A few weeks back when I posted a hands-on video of the Storm 2 (codename odin; model 9550/9520/9900?) in action I made note that the software running on that particular unit was early, early, early stage and that changes would be coming and we shouldn't start making too many judgements based on that video just yet. One point made during the video was that while that unit was not showing the presence of WiFi, that in fact the next-generation Storm would have it (something that's been reported frequently for a long, long time now). In case there were still any doubters, you can click the image above for some more photos posted by benezblog of a Storm 9520 (Vodafone's version) with a newer OS build proudly showing off WiFi. Sweetness.

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Pink Curve 8520 Shows Up in The Phone House Flyer

Pink Curve 8520 Shows Up in The Phone House Flyer

Update: Looks like the color is called Violet, and is already available from Orange in the UK. Looks like we need to brush up on our international coverage a little bit! So based on the photo in the original post it seems the violet color will be heading to Germany too. *

CrackBerry member Sebastian R. sent in this sighting from Germany's The Phone House flyer. It looks like they will be offering a pink Curve 8520 in the near future. Sebastian said he spoke with some reps there but wasn't able to get a solid date. The device in the flyer doesn't look to be branded, so its hard to say when or where it will hit. This would add some variety to the already offered frost and black 8520 lineup from T-Mobile. You can check out The Phone House flyer here (in PDF format) and see the Pink 8520 on page 26. Or maybe it's just a really bad image of the frost 8520 and looks pink?!

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Contest Winners - New BlackBerry Curve 8520, SlideBerry Zoom & Brain Teaser

A fairly light week for contests (for CrackBerry anyway) as we only had three going. Our biggest was obviously our Win a BlackBerry Curve 8520 from CrackBerry.com contest, and we followed up with a free SlideBerry Zoom theme and some copies of Brain Teaser. We've already started the action for this week with some giveaways for the Candi theme and ShortcutMe. There are plenty more on the way for this week too so don't fret. If you didn't win this time around, don't get discouraged. Congrats to all the winners!

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Our pal Wayne D. of WJD Designs has dropped another great theme for BlackBerry Storm users. Candi is a sweet (pun intended) new theme that has tons of color and a real crisp look. It features a hidden today screen, hidden dual docks, customizable icons, weather slot, custom icons and more. Candi is a Storm specific theme for both 9500 and 9530 devices. To celebrate the release, Wayne has given us 50 free copies to give away. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Only leave one comment - multiple submissions won't count.

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Get Ready To Hit The Books With the Student Starter Pack

School; that dreaded word that sends shivers down the spine of some students. It's not the best word to say while you are still trying to cling on to summer fun, but it's always best to be prepared. I was notified about the new Student Starter Pack, available online to BlackBerry Smartphone users. I did mention it very briefly back in December, but this time its offering is bigger and better. Here's what you'll find inside the pack:

  • Student Docket - the ultimate student organizer. Manage your assignments, class schedules, teacher details and more.
  • Cram - create, import, share and study for tests, all from your Blackberry. Utilize its multiple choice or flash card styles of studying.
  • Podtrapper - a powerful download manager and podcast player.

PLUS a theme from Cool BlackBerry Themes for FREE! The value of all of these would typically cost over $40, but the Student Starter Pack is available for $29.99. For more information, check out studentstarterpack.com.

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Contest: 25 Free Copies of ShortcutMe

Contest: 25 Free Copies of ShortcutMe

If you haven't heard already, ShortcutMe is an application that boosts the power of shortcuts and allows you to access more daily tasks in a much easier way. Imagine having access to multiple applications with each convenience key (What? More than one?!), or easily accessing your favorite contacts in a fast and simple manner. The folks at Fonware have been working hard to keep up with the demand for more bells and whistles. Here's what you can find in version of ShortcutMe:

  • Create shortcuts for SMS and MMS accounts
  • Launch IM applications (including BB messenger 5.0)
  • Fast Stock Portfolio Monitoring
  • Check for updates and easier to upgrade

Once again, they are offering up some copies of ShortcutMe to give away - 25 to be precise. Your job is to leave a comment on this post to be entered into the draw. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment - multiple submissions won't count.

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