BlackBerry Alert: BlackBerry Internet Service outage?

BlackBerry Alert: BlackBerry Internet Service outage?

The forums are filling up. The CrackBerry support email is getting lots of folks stating issues and we're led to believe we may have an outage on our hands. Some folks are reporting slow web browsing, email delays and general connectivity issues. Thus far, seems limited to North America but, if you're in another area and experiencing issues then please, let us know in the comments. I'm on Rogers and not seeing this yet, how about you all?

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Slacker Radio Plus Giveaway - 5 three-month subscriptions and 5 one-year subscriptions to be won

If you've snagged a new BlackBerry Torch you've surely seen that Slacker radio comes pre-installed and ready to rock on BlackBerry 6. But if you weren't quite sure about shelling out for a premium subscription, here's your chance to win one. Slacker is probably the best know streaming radio app for BlackBerry and with the great features and updates, it's no secret why. The app is 100% free, and lets you take your music with you on the go with a great UI, ability to cache stations and other great features.

Contest: We have some Slacker Radio Plus subscriptions up for grabs. There are 5 three-month and 5 one-year subscriptions that will go to a few lucky winners. Just leave a single comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PDT.

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BBRedux gives you everything you could ever need, right on your homescreen - 25 free copies to be won!

Ever wish you could do more without needing to navigate away from your homescreen to find what you're looking for? Love your wallpaper, but don't want to sacrifice function to rock it proudly? You may want to take a look at this theme, the latest by BerryMobi, which combines a great look with tons of function. For touch devices, the homscreen holds 19 icons on the homescreen, 11 of them user-defined, and includes a hidden today. If you aren't a fan of hidden today themes, you can opt for the non-today version, which amps the number of apps up to 24. Non-touch devices have the same setup, with a few more icons available, namely 19 (13 user-defined) in hidden today version and 23 (17 user-defined) in the non-today versions. The theme includes three fully hideable docks, a weather slot, and is chock full of shortcuts. Fully skinned, and including the OS 6 icon set, its also extremely appealing to the eye. Available in the CB store for multiple devices for $3.99.

Contest: I have 25 copies of BBRedux to give away! Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries wont count.

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Awesome free game from Tafasa - Finger Trap!

Awesome free game from Tafasa - Finger Trap!

From the developers that brought us PatternLock and such games as Word Search and Bubble Burst comes the latest time waster Finger Trap. The game operates on a simple premise, just put your finger on the red square and move it around to avoid the blue ones. You'll figure out pretty quickly though, that it isn't quite so simple playing the game. Fast reflexes and good eye-hand coordination is a must, and you'll easily find yourself wasting time getting lost in the game. With three difficulty settings, and options like randomizing the direction the blocks come from, you'll get plenty of play time on your touch device. Online leaderboards are filtered by difficulty, letting you see how you stack up against other players. Available as a free download from the CB store, it's supported on the 95xx series, and even the 9800.

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BlackBerry Torch Apps

Whenever a new BlackBerry device launches, we usually go back to the basics a little bit for all the first time BlackBerry owners in the audience. Of course, while the new app content here is catered towards the BlackBerry Torch, regardless of the BlackBerry device model you own you'll want to check out this list of 20 top BlackBerry apps. These 20 Torch app picks feature both free and paid titles, and all are available in our CrackBerry App Store (download the mobile client here). Lots of good titles are here, like BerryWeather, BerryBuzz, Tether, SmrtGuard, Google Maps and even the new Wallpaper Changer Pro with CrackBerry Wallpapers. Click the image above or follow the links below to discover some solid BlackBerry Torch apps, and if you have other recommendations of essential apps for new to BlackBerry Torch owners to check out, be sure to drop them in the comments! 

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Bell holding back BlackBerry 6 updates until 2011?

Bell holding back BlackBerry 6 updates until 2011?

Sure seems that way. Some leaked documents from Bell Mobility show that BlackBerry 6 isn't set for release on other capable devices until 2011. While Bell is set to release the BlackBerry Torch 9800 anytime now, the newly announced BlackBerry Curve 3G nor the BlackBerry Pearl 3G will get it right away, let alone the previously released BlackBerry Bold 9700.

As we've seen in the past carriers are often terribly slow to update to new OS' which, for customers is never really a good practice to see happening. While this information only gives us a look at Bell, it could be rather indicative of other carrier plans as well. Just look how long it took AT&T to release OS 5.0 for the BlackBerry Bold 9000. As BlackBerry users we always want to have the latest updates and that often means relying upon leaked OS' or using OS' from other carriers that are more liberal with their updates. Truly hoping Bell decides to change this plan, in the long run it's not great for their customer base to be stuck on an older OS.

Source: MobileSyrup

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RIM patent shows new rotatable keyboard design

RIM patent shows new rotatable keyboard design

When it comes to patents, finding new ones is sometimes fun. Some turn out to be actual products down the road while others sit in the registry never used. The latest one, “Handheld Electronic Device with Rotatable Member” filed by Research In Motion looks rather odd but, the given description helps better understand it.

“In a first aspect, a handheld electronic device, such as a smartphone, has a first device member and a second device member that are connected via a connector. The second device member is rotatable about a rotation axis that is canted relative to an axis of the second device member. As a result, when the second device member is rotated between a first position and a second position, its orientation changes. This may facilitate, for example, switching the handheld electronic device between a text entry mode and a telephone mode."

Research In Motion has always been known for their BlackBerry keyboard design. Some folks choose BlackBerry over other devices strictly based on the keyboard alone. With the exception of SurePress, Research In Motion has never strayed far from their original keyboard design and one has to wonder if this patent here will be the start of that. Of course, it could just be something thats been filed and will never see the light of day but at the same time, it could be something they are already currently working on for an upcoming device.

Source: Slashgear

Via: USPTO

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Hypoxia - All in one media player - 25 copies to be won!

I refuse to use the native media players on my BlackBerry. They function well, but there are a few reasons I eschew them. One major gripe for me is having to use a different app for each type of media I want to play. I have tried a few different apps over the last while, trying to find a better fit for my needs, and have found Flipside to be a great music alternative, and I'm currently using Good Video Browser for my vids. The problem is the same though, I still need a different app for each type of media. Hypoxia aims to solve that problem, giving me a one-stop shop for all my media needs and putting all of the media on my device within easy reach. No more having to exit out of my music player to look at pics I have taken. The UI is simple and clean, and a fair number of options are available within the app, including the increasingly popular ability to tweet what I'm listening to. One very cool feature is the ability to stream my media to/from my PC (uses a separate server program, available from their website) allowing me to access my entire music and video library right on my device. The developer has also integrated notifications into the app, allowing you to preview incoming emails, SMS, etc without ever having to leave the application, so you can decide if you want to answer that text from your wife or wait until the song is done. The most exciting thing about this app for me is that it is fully skinnable. Those who want to can create their own skins for the app, allowing a huge customization option for those out there who feel the need to make everything unique to themselves. Available in the CB store for $7.99 for multiple devices.

Contest: I have 25 copies of Hypoxia to give away! Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries wont count.

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Could RIM and China Mobile be launching BIS?

Could RIM and China Mobile be launching BIS?

Word on the street is that China Mobile and RIM are currently piecing together plan rates for BIS. In other words, they are reportedly planning to expand BlackBerry service to individual users. In Guangdong, GoTone customers have had two plans made available to them, priced at 98 Yuan (Renminbi) and 108 Yuan (approximately $14.41 and $15.89 USD, respectively). Currently, enterprises act as BES wholesalers (unofficially) for individual users in some cities across the country. With BIS in place, customer will be able to pay for plans straight from China Mobile.

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Wordpress for BlackBerry updates to v1.4.1

Wordpress for BlackBerry updates to v1.4.1

Wordpress for BlackBerry got a slight bump in versions last night. The update, which is basically a bug squashing release addresses some minor issues within the previous release. The list is as follows:

  • Fixed empty title issue for those blogs with “Site Title” field set to empty value.
  • Fixed an issue on the comments screen that doesn’t permit editing of comments with weird characters within URL or e-mail field.
  • Introduced a better integration with the VideoPress service and the WordPress.com Space-Upgrade option.
  • Added support for blog shortcut icon.
  • Minor bug fixing.

Again just big fixes but, if you're one who likes to make sure your apps are up to date you can grab this one from BlackBerry App World right now.

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ShortcutManager for your BlackBerry Torch 9800 - 25 copies to be won!

Development on applications for BlackBerry 6 seems to be a bit slow so far, but ToySoft has their first app finished, and available for download. ShortcutManager lets you add shortcuts directly to your homescreen (or any other folder), for items as email addresses, PIN, SMS, contacts, phone numbers, and websites. Simply choose your type of shortcut, add a name and description, set the destination of the shortcut, and save it to your homescreen. You can also set an icon for each shortcut you create, adding some nice personalization to your BlackBerry 6 device. ShortcutManager also features the backup and restore of your shortcuts, as well as the ability to even shortcut an entire message. Overall, ShortcutManager is a very nice application. It has really helped speed up my overall productivity on my 9800. You can pick it up on sale for $2.99 at the CrackBerry App Store. It does require the BlackBerry 6 OS.

Contest:  We have 25 copies of ShortcutManager to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to enter.  Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST.  Please only leave one comment, multiple entries wont count.
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BlackBerry Theme Studio for the BlackBerry Torch?!?

BlackBerry Theme Studio for the BlackBerry Torch?!?

The above pic was posted to Twitter last night of what is claimed to be BlackBerry Theme Studio which shows off support for the BlackBerry Torch, Now, I'm sure a lot of theme builders are dying to get their hands on this and, I'm just as sure a lot of BlackBerry Torch owners are dying to see what theme devs can do with it.

The pic is cool and all but, unless this either leaks or Research In Motion starts distributing it through BlackBerry Beta Zone I'm not so certain we will see it before the BlackBerry Developers Conference. BlackBerry Theme Studio 5 was released there last year so logical analysis dictates Research In Motion sees Theme Studio as a developer tool. As such, it's not likely to release it on it's own but rather as part of a series of developer related announcements at DevCon 2010

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CrackBerry Podcast 057: BlackBerry Torch, Tablet, Six and Juice Extravaganza!

Ok podcast fans, get ready for a humdinger of an episode. With all of the Crack Team podcast members now owning a Torch and having spent a good deal of time on it, we go round table style and discuss our loves, likes and dislikes (a couple of hates too) in regards to the BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6. There are definitely some good insights and interesting debates mixed into this discussion (a couple of laughable moments too).

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Give your BlackBerry a sense of style with Black Out or Belicious from Ahaz Designs - 30 free themes up for grabs!

A couple of weeks ago, I featured Belicious in the weekly Theme Roundup, and Alex from Ahaz tipped me off to another of his themes, Black Out. Both themes are clean and great-looking, chock full of custom work. If you want to read a little more on Belicious, catch my original write up here. Where Belicious is geared toward the female audience, Black Out is one for the boys, featuring a fully skinned "blacked-out" look that's easy on the eyes. I particularly love the message lists, which are fully black with a light focus. The theme includes a full set of custom white icons, which show extremely well against the dark background.Simple and straightforward, the main addition to the homescreen's function is a hideable weather slot that is controlled via hotkeys.Both are available in the CB store for $2.99 each for multiple devices including the Storm, Bold and Curve series.

Contest: We have 30 copies of these themes to give away, the winner gets their pick of which one they want! Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries wont count. 

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Some thoughts on BlackBerry 6 one week later

Some thoughts on BlackBerry 6 one week later

I've had over a week now to play with my new Torch 9800/BlackBerry 6 and simply put, I love it. I've always been a "BlackBerry Guy". I didn't set out to compare the device to other smartphones to see what better fit me. I know BlackBerry works for what I need, and RIM's latest creation fit the bill perfectly. I love the features that the Torch has to offer, as well as the great updates in BlackBerry 6. That being said, there are a few fairly big downsides with the software as well that leave me scratching my head. As you read this, keep in mind it's just a rant in hopes of getting some things fixed up. I encourage you to play around, see what you can find as well and leave a comment below.

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CrackBerry App Awards 2010 to be presented LIVE at DevCon in San Francisco Next Month - RSVP Now!

The third annual BlackBerry Developer Conference is coming up September 27th to 30th in San Francisco, and I'm happy to announce CrackBerry is going to be making a bigger splash than ever this year. In partnership with the BlackBerry Partners Fund and hosted by xobni, we're going to be handing out the 2010 Crackies in person at a fun-filled CrackBerry App Awards party. 

The event will take place on Wednesday, September 29th at xobni's headquarters, which are actually Twitter's old offices (wicked sweet setup - get a preview here). Shuttle buses will run from the Marriott Marquis hotel starting at 6:30pm for the 5 minute ride to the party. There'll be free booze, good times and once we're all merry we'll take to the stage for a few minutes to hand out the CrackBerry Awards to the winning developers in attendance. So if you're attending DevCon or will be in San Fran at that time and want to attend, be sure to RSVP.

As for picking the CrackBerry App Awards 2010 winners, the format will be similar to our 2009 CrackBerry App Awards. We'll announce the award categories at the beginning of September and allow the community to nominate deserving apps/developers. From there the community will place their votes and we'll announce the winners at the party. Stay tuned for that, and in the meantime, check out the link below for more info and to RSVP if you plan on attending. Hope to see you there!

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Bell prepares for launch of BlackBerry Torch 9800 by putting up sign up page

While folks in the US have had the BlackBerry Torch 9800 available to them since August 14th, folks in Canada are still on the waiting list. Just about every Canadian carrier has stepped to the plate in letting us know they will be carrying the device but alas, none have given customers a date or even pricing. Bell is the latest to get a little bit closer to launch. Today, the sign up page has gone live for those interested in being notified when the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is available. It's no closer to a release date or pricing but any movement in this area is progress. If you're still on the fence about the BlackBerry Torch be sure to check out our extensive review and go from there.

Source: MobileSyrup

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Trillian for BlackBerry now out of beta - Available In BlackBerry App World

It wasn't all that long ago we found out that Trillian was coming to BlackBerry. We made sure folks knew about the release and even did up a review of the beta for you all. Now, a few short months later we have the officially released version available for download through BlackBerry App World. As noted on the Trillian blogs, Trillian is available for $4.99 as an introductory offer so if you're interested you might want to grab it up as soon as possible in case the price increases at some point. Sadly though, no free trial of the instant messaging application is currently available. For $4.99 we certainly hope Cerulean Studios reconsiders the possibility of putting in say a "light" version for users to at least try out.

Hat Tip: @ASacco
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Official OS 5.0.0.822 for the BlackBerry Bold 9000 now available from Rogers

If you're a Bold 9000 owner and didn't get in on the fun yesterday, today Rogers also released OS 5.0.0.822 for download. This is the newest official 5.0 for the Bold 9000 so hopefully it will run smooth. It's the same version AT&T popped out yesterday, so if you've still got old faithful on your hip then you might want to give it a shot. Hit the link below to download.

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Neelam, strange name, super-powered calculator! - 50 free copies up for grabs!

I use my native calulator application on my BlackBerry on a daily basis with work, calculating wights, and charges for customers. What is provided works very well for me, but there are those, like scientists, enginerrs, or students that require a lot more function than the native calculator provides. A few developers have taken on the task of creating scientific calculators for BB, giving us such apps as  the Pocket 10C SE Scientific Calculator or the yoMotion Advanced Calculator, but the offerings currently out there lacksome functions that get covered by this app. None of the apps currently available are able to handle complex numbers, until Neelam. This app doesn't stop there, incorporating many other advanced functions like RPN notation, over 20 embedded physical constants, and many more. If the jargon I just included confuses you, you may not need something quite this powerful for your daily needs, but if you understood it completely, this may very well olve you a lot of frustration in your usage. Having this many functions close to hand saves valuable time and the app is available for $5.99 in the CB store.

Contest: We have 50 copies of Neelam to give away! Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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