Articles by Bla1Ze

New Slacker Application version 2.0.2!

One of the CrackBerry nations favorite streaming radio applications got a nice update yesterday. Slacker is now sitting at version 2.0.2 and has included many bug fixes in the latest version the major changes outlined below.

The major enhancement of the application update is that we have optimized the application to perform faster and remove many of the "Gaps" when skipping or transitioning songs. When a song first starts, there's alot of activity going on, but after 10-15 seconds you should get near instant skips (Depending on your connection speed).

To upgrade to the new version, please start by uninstalling the current version by going to Options > Advanced Options > Applications on your BlackBerry phone. Then find the Slacker Application, highlight it and press the BB Menu button and choose Delete. Once completed restart your device and grab the latest version from Slacker.

Head On Over To The Slacker Website For More Info And Downloads>>>

Vivid Premium Storm Theme!

Long goes my battle to find the perfect BlackBerry Storm theme and luckily I was able to get my hands on the above hotness from WJD Designs. Vivid looks great at that lovely Storm display and while the included background is amazing, any other background you wish to use looks great as well due to the icons used as they are not really "invasive" of the overall look of the theme.

With 2 hidden homescreen buttons that allows you to hide your icons when not in use and the "must have" spots that support quick launch and your favorite weather application Vivid is a nice addition to my Storms theme selection, but really me describing the theme does not do this one justice. In order to get a feel for the speed in this theme checking out the video is a must, that way you can see for yourself lag is not an issue here. Vivid is on sale for $5 right now till the 31st.

Grab Vivid For Your Storm From The Shop CrackBerry Store>>>

Evernote Now Available For BlackBerry Curve 83XX Series

We covered the intial launch of Evernote on the Bold, Storm and 8900 series devices and Evernote left us with the promise that older devices would indeed, soon be supported. A few upgrades later,a few kinks worked out within BlackBerry App World and we now have a compatible version for ALL 83XX Series devices. Be sure to check it out via BlackBerry App World or direct from the Evernote website.

IM+ Beta Contest Winners!

A little while back now we had a look at Shape Services IM+ offerings and with that Shape Services was kind enough to give us 30 activation codes for some lucky CrackBerry Nation members to make use of. Read on for a list of our winners and don't forget if you are not among the winners IM+ is available in the Shop CrackBerry Store and does offer a free trial so you can give it a go before you buy. Winners after the jump and thanks to all who entered. 

Software Update For VZW Storm Owners May 31st?

With all the talk of the Storm 2 happening in the past few days, it's good to finally see some news for current Storm owners as well. The Crackberry tip line has been busy for the past few days with scattered reports of a new OS to be issued to Verizon customers. 

From the information in this image, it looks as if tommorrow the software will see technical acceptance, and then be issued to customers starting on May 31st.  This of course assuming it actually gets approved by Verizon, since we all know what happened last time.

Fabian Heuwieser BlackBerry Apps on Sale for 99 cents!

Let the sales on awesome applications keep rolling. Fabian Heuwieser (@FabianMH on Twitter) has also posted all of his great apps on sale for just $.99 cents up until May 31st. No coupon code required. There are lots of popular titles here, including VibAndRing, BlinkWhileCall and my personal favorite time waster TyperSpeed! Also, while your perusing the paid applications, Fabian also has some great free apps as well.

FriendplayIM For BlackBerry Links Yahoo, MSN, Gtalk & AIM

*UPDATE* - Site servers appear to be having an issue, this went up on numerous blogs today so that's understandable.

Ahh, I love choices. And in the area of IM applications BlackBerry devices have no shortage with as the list of IM applications continues to grow. The newest "contender" on the block is FriendplayIM and they bring some neat features to the table that I hope other instant messaging clients will take on in the BlackBerry space.

FriendplayIM integrates all your favorite IM services but where the uniqueness of it comes in is that FriendplayIM allows you to create chat rooms as opposed to just chat windows for each individual user. Other cool features include back up services for all your buddy lists and contacts in the case your device might be lost or stolen or damaged, this information is retrievable just by reloading the application back onto your new device.

RIM Comes Out On Top In Mobile Security Report

A report recently published by Maribel Lopez , formerly of Forrester Research that looks at mobile security options available in the mobile sector and which ones will provide you with the most security from unauthorized access has placed RIM BlackBerry devices at the top when compared to the offerings of other device manufacturers.

The report, which can be reviewed here, took specific items that are essential to security such as the device itself, the network it accesses and how it accesses said network. Is the transmission of data encrypted? Can control of the device be executed to the fullest extent? Is the removable media encrytable? All things considered to determine the effectiveness of security implementation built into mobile devices.

In a rating system which goes up to 4 divided into 4 sections, RIM BlackBerry devices scored a 4/4 in all sections where other devices such as the iPhone and Windows Mobile devices fell short with their offerings. Have a look at the report for a better look of where all devices were ranked.

Vision – A Nice Looking YouTube App!

Youtube applications seem to be gaining popularity as of late. The newest one on the block is called Vision and is developed by Metova, who have helped design the upcoming Xobni application as well as Slacker.

After having seen this posted over at BerryReview I decided to give it a more detailed look because some of the functions built into the app rather interested me, specifically, the ability to choose what video format hosted by Youtube you are actually wanting to view. For the most part Youtube videos on BlackBerry devices look rather, well lets be honest, terrible. Youtube chose to use 3GP compression for the "mobile videos" and lets just say they are truly not optimized for quality. 3GP does have the ability to look good when it's done right, but to save on assumingly bandwidth costs Youtube converts the source video files very poorly.

One exception to the "mobile video" rule within Youtube is the iPhone, so for the most part you will often hear people say "does it look as good as the iPhone versions?" This application is a step toward being able to say "Yes it does." The application allows you to choose between the poorly encoded 3GP files or the somewhat higher quality MP4 versions hosted by Youtube and it does it all within a nice, functional UI that even works over WiFi. Vision has been tested working on my Storm, Bold and 8900 and claims to work on any device 4.3+ so if Youtube videos are your thing be sure to check this application out and share your thoughts on it in the comments. For now the application appears to be free, but screenshots on their site indicate it may eventually be a paid application.

FREE: Clean and Fresh Neu Theme for 8900, 9000 and 83xx

Looking for a nice and clean theme for your 8900, Bold or 83xx Series Curve? And you want it to be free? Ninja Please has just the theme you are looking for then. In what has got to be the most co-operative theme release I have ever seen between CrackBerry community members, Neu is available for download and I have to say the wait for the updates was well worth it.

From an idea lilhaloshaka had and designs and icons from Maxthemes, Ninja Please was able to take a concept image and make it a reality and bundle it all up in a number of theme variations for different devices. Be it a hidden today or just calendar and message options, Neu is a very nice theme over all that flows on the devices it was designed for. Be sure to check it out. The download is free but if you're in the giving spirit Ninja Please will take some donations to the SPCA.

RIM Expanding Into Atlanta Area: 200 New Jobs!

While most companies are busy laying people off these days RIM is looking to hire more. This time around Atlanta is the point of interest where a new data center will open up in the Alpharetta area on a 40 acre slot of land near the North Point Mall.

The data center will house around 200 employee's and RIM is seeking out individuals who want to make around $70,000/year and work on developing "next generation devices". Seriously, who among us wouldn't want to do that job? Now RIM can you take me off the email ignore list so I may apply... Please?

[ IntoMobile ]

Magnum, Onyx, Pearl 3G and Gemini Headed To ATT?

Let some of the speculation come to an end, the slew of new devices we have been seeing (and going hands on with) now has some carriers behind them and AT&T customers you should be pleased with the following images. While timeframes/release dates are still unknown at this point, it does give great insight as to what to expect in the coming months and from who.

Magnum, Onyx, Pearl 3G and Gemini are all slated for release on AT&T according to the images which also include some specifications while device images except for the Onyx which we know is not 100% correct are not present in the slides, if I was an AT&T customer I'd sure be excited just by the fact they are showing up at all, and the fact a new 3G Pearl which has been rumored for a while is once again showing up is big news for anyone who was not interested in the 82XX series devices.

This is not to say other carriers will not be picking up the devices as well, we all know how some devices get exclusive carrier deals for a while but this is the first time we have seen any carrier names associated with said devices.  Read on to get a look at the full specification sheets direct from AT&T courtesy of Engadget Mobile.

Premium Blossom Theme From Elecite

Ok. So maybe I'm not the best person to give their opinion on this theme but I can't lie - for the sake of CrackBerry Nation I downloaded and installed it just to find out how well it functions on my devices.

Elecite has released this very pink theme for all the BlackBerry lovin' ladies out there, and while it's not my pick of themes, Blossom does flow very nicely and shows no sign of causing lag on the supported devices which include the BlackBerry Bold, Storm and Curve 8900. Be sure to check out the screenshots over at Elecite for a better look at how it will look on each device model.

Facebook 1.6 Launching On May 28th?

* Update: See screen captures of Facebook version 1.6 in action. *

FaceBook 1.6 has been popping up lately, most recently over at BerryReview where Ronen has posted some information regarding the upcoming release date for it. May 28th is  being tossed around as the official launch date for it, but as we all are more then fully aware RIM could change this at any given time so we'll just have to wait it out and see what happens. There are some changes that are said to be coming with FaceBook 1.6 as well, as outlined below:

  • Feed support - view and comment on friends status updates and highlights
  • Profile and wall viewing- view and comment on friends’ profiles and wall updates
  • Improved photo viewing - view and comment on pictures
  • Additional language support 

I just hope this time around RIM has the kinks worked out before the actual launch. FaceBook 1.5 was delayed numerous times and then at launch people still had issues with it. It seems a little weird that they're even going to release a version 1.6, and not just roll back the upgrades and improved featureset into a bigger 2.0 launch. I guess they want to move on from 1.5 as soon as possible.

[ BerryReview ]

RIM Instant Messaging Clients See An Update

That time again, for some what appears to be random IM client updates for BlackBerry devices. RIM and their track record of never issuing a change log for their own applications still stands strong this time around as well. The above RIM-built applications are all now sitting at version 2.1.45 after having recieved their 2.1.44 status not too long ago now. Be sure to grab the updates direct from your BlackBerry browser at the RIM download site. And for the love of all things BlackBerry, if you find something new in them please share it with the rest of us in the comments.

PS: Storm users, you all should find the updates as well although the version numbers will be slightly higher.


[ BerryReview ]

How One BlackBerry Survived A Dunk In The Water!

Acck! Every BlackBerry owner has had bad thoughts of this happening or maybe you even had it happen! Dropping your BlackBerry in the toilet is never a good thing to do. Actually forget the toilet, just simply liquid period is never a good thing but over at CNET writer Ina Fried tells us her tale of the brave little BlackBerry that just would not quit, even after a a dip in the proverbial pool.

I saw signs of life, but it was clearly not working properly. Sometimes the power light would go on and nothing else. Other times it would show the rotating hourglass, but the screen was not back-lit.

The time without my BlackBerry was unsettling. To be away from the computer is one thing, but to not check my e-mail every few minutes was unnatural.

On the bus ride home, I occupied myself with Yahtzee Adventure on my iPod Touch. As soon as I got home, I quickly logged into Outlook Web Access to see what vital messages I had missed on that 30-minute commute home.

I tried to pretend it was no big deal.

To get the full story you'll have to head on over to CNET and read it all, it's a touching story and shows that just when you think your BlackBerry is down and out, there's still hope it can come back kicking and screaming!

PhoneFace Updated - Now Better Search Integration!

One of my favorite apps for my BlackBerry was updated recently, PhoneFace, which now includes a more extensive search function where you can start typing a contact's name and it will start to automatically bring up the listing of all your contacts which allows for faster location of the contact you are trying to reach out to.

The feature, while integrated before, has been revamped and users should find it much more functional over previous versions. If you are a PhoneFace user, you are probably already aware of the upgrade. But for new users, this is a great time to to introduce yourself to the application. Be sure to check out our previous review of PhoneFace for a closer look. PhoneFace normally sells for $9.95 but is currently on sale for $7.95 until June 1st (no coupon code required). A free trial is available. For more info, screencaps and a video, follow the link below.

AT&T Launching BlackBerry Curve 8900 May 22nd

* Update: No more rumors... AT&T has announced the Curve 8900 will come to stores this Friday, May 22nd, for $199 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new agreement. Visit to watch for it. *

The boys over at BlackBerry News have gotten some information from a reliable source on the long awaited AT&T release of the BlackBerry Curve 8900. Chances are by now most of you have already gone ahead and gotten the device by other means and had it unlocked but those of you who were holding out for the subsidized price shouldn't have to wait THAT much longer.

The AT&T branded 8900 should start showing up for AT&T customers on May 21st. While I hope this is true for those of you out there who have been waiting a long time for this device it's probably still best if we stick a little rumor tag on it still as we all know while RIM may have issues with delays, AT&T is great at screwing delaying things such as device launches as well. At least May 21st isn't that far away! [ Note from Kevin - Yeah, the 8900 should definitely hit AT&T this week... ]

IM+ Beta / Contest!

Leave a comment to this post letting us know the Instant Messaging client(s) you use for your chance to win a FREE copy of IM+. 30 FREE Copies to be Won!!

During the first few days of WES 2009 the folks from Shape Services launched their latest version of IM+. IM+ for those who may not know is an all in one messaging client with some great features that extend well beyond just the instant messaging world offering not only discounts on long distance SMS but also including some great translation tools as well.

The list of IM clients supported by IM+ is ever growing from MSN and Yahoo all the way to MySpace, Facebook all of which include a service called "IM Push" so that your messages are pushed to your device much like you how your email is and even includes message list integration. Most recently IM+ has launced their new beta version 7.0.5 which has now included a extremely functional Twitter client as well as includes Skype chat and you all are invited to try it out and offer your feedback on how to make it better.

Having used the application for the past few days on both my Bold and my Storm I have to say I'm throughly pleased with all the included features that come from the current version and can't wait to see the final release with Twitter integration finalized, in the meantime Shape services has given us 30 registration codes to give away to the CrackBerry nation. To enter, just leave a comment and let us know which instant messaging client you use mostly for your chance to win. Contest entry closes this Sunday at Midnight PST.

Yahoo! Mobile Beta BlackBerry App Dead

Yahoo has made a weird decision regarding their mobile application, pretty much two and a half months after their big announcement of its existence. At this time Yahoo! Mobile (which is basically a revamped version of Yahoo! Go) will not be seeing a launch on BlackBerry devices or any other smartphone for that matter. The following email was sent to users who had signed up to be notified when it was set to be available.