Articles by Bla1Ze

WES 2009: LogMeIn - Ignition For BlackBerry Storm

  Get anytime, anywhere access to the programs and files
you need every day - whether you're in the office or on the go.

Does the above slogan seem like something you would be interested in? LogMeIn has announced a solution to help Windows and Mac users make this happen with their new Ignition remote desktop solution.

Announced this morning at WES 2009, LogMeIn has introduced Ignition for the BlackBerry Storm. Currently in Alpha stages at this point with a release to beta expected soon, Ignition looks to be well underway and even in its Alpha form I can see me replacing at least 2-3 applications with this all-in-one solution. Read on for the full press release.


WES 2009: Coming Soon... Gwabbit!

While venturing through parts of the BlackBerry showcase yesterday, I happened to come across this great application called Gwabbit! Gwabbit for those that don't know has been running a Microsoft Outlook plugin for a while now with great success and have now decided to bring the plugin to BlackBerry devices. Speaking with the representatives on hand and getting a better perspective on how Gwabbit works it is an application that will be added to my device as soon as it is available.

Gwabbit's main purpose is to scan your emails for signature links and add them directly to your address book. Awesome! Gwabbit will have a pricing model though as it will be considered a subscription based service when launched (server side processing makes it more than a simple on-device app). Personally I don't have anything against paying the requested $9.95/year for such a handy utility. Another thing to mention - Gwabbit utilizes their own servers to process information, so some users may not want to allow this type of access to the application for security purposes. You can read the Gwabbit privacy policy for more details. Gwabbit should be available on or before May 25th via App World.


New Urban Theme From Elecite

Here's a new style of theme coming from Elecite this time around for those who like simple, but still unique themes. Urban is a nice and not too flashy theme for the 89xx, 90xx and 95xx series devices that flows nicely. With 8 icons set in the corner of the device which allows for the wallpaper to be shown almost in its entirety, this is where Urban gets unique. The theme itself has 10 beautiful wallpapers built in that change up each and every hour with no ill affect on device memory nor does it cause laggyness. 

Urban is a really nice and really clean theme overall and with the customizable icons on the main screen and lots of room for high definition wallpapers this is a head turner for those who love simplicity but still want to move in style. You can pick up Urban for $5.99.


WES 2009: Issue Tracker For Developers Assists w/ Bugs

If you listened to the CrackBerry podcast last week you would have heard mention that there was going to be more of a presence for developers at WES 2009 this year and so far all the news has been great for upcoming services. So far we have heard of the push API's and this morning during the alliance member keynote Mike Kirkup, RIM's Manager of Developer Relations, unveiled even more developer tools. This time coming in the form of a real time updateable data base of application bugs and issues, this is a public database so all developers can utilize the new site and view items that have been set in priority to be addressed.

This is an industry first for mobile devices, allowing developers and users to see where applications stand in the way of bug fixes, as well as submit their own bugs and suggest possible fixes. Once fully underway this will be a game changing service for developers. The issue tracking site is located at: http://www.blackberry.com/developers/issuetracker


WES2009: AT&T Confirms 8900 Launch!

We knew it was coming for a long time now. But today AT&T gave us the official word through the news wire that a early summer release is now on. I guess that puts an end to all the statements of AT&T only wanting 3G devices on their network. AT&T's version will be just like any other such as Rogers and T-Mobile, no spec changes, and you can read the full press release after the jump for more details.


WES 2009: BlackBerry Extending Push API Services!

We have been hearing about enhancements coming for BlackBerry developers, specifically in the push API department, for a while now. The most recent news, before now that is, was at the Breaking New Ground With BlackBerry technical seminar with Mike Kirkup where it was revealed push services would be fully extended to BIS users devices and that developers would have many new options in the way of API's to assist them with making this happen.

The press release went out today and has quite a few details in it that end users will love and BlackBerry developers are already making great use of when it comes to creating new applications, some of which we will be seeing come to life at WES. Read on for the full press release and get a good overview of how the new services are being used.


WES 2009: BES 5.0 Goes Live!

In what has got to be the one of the most anticipated launches to come from RIM in the form of software, it's finally here and available for all! BES 5.0 has officially launched and is now available for purchase and also comes with the offering of a 60 day free trial.

The enhancements seen in BES 5.0 are all welcomed changes. Here's a short list of some of whats new:

  • Advanced manageability through a new administrative user interface
  • Enhancements to application management and deployment capabilities with the use of the BlackBerry Administration Service
  • Easily move BlackBerry smartphone users between separate BlackBerry Domains with the BlackBerry® Enterprise Transporter
  • High availability to maximize system uptime and minimize unplanned downtime
  • New end-user productivity features such as on device file exploration through network servers
  • Monitoring overall system health, including alerts, troubleshooting, and reporting
  • Seamless upgrade from earlier versions of BlackBerry Enterprise Server software to BlackBerry Enterprise Server software version 5.0 means reduced time frames for full implementation.

For more information, be sure to check out all of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server documentation that RIM has made available including complete details for Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino and much more.

Complete BES 5.0 Details At The BlackBerry Enterprise Server Homepage >>


Pandora 1.0.3 Released - WiFi Now Officially Supported

Pandora got a little update recently, while only really minor in version number changes going from 1.0.2 to 1.0.3 the changes implemented are rather larger and more then welcomed especially for those who have had issues with WiFi and Pandora, as it was previously not officially supported. Change log is as follows:

  • Support for Wi-Fi on devices that have it (using a high quality AAC-HE stereo audio stream)
  • Bluetooth support (you can now explicitly enable it and disable it rather than relying on the default audio routing in the device)
  • Options screen (accessible from Station List menu) to select preferences for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (on wi-fi capable devices)
  • Support for the Nextel 8350i (only over Wi-Fi)
  • Keyboard shortcuts, including pause/play functionality using the mute key (even when Pandora is running in the background)
  • Focus cursor on Now Playing screen should be easier to control on trackball devices

Overall nice changes to see come forward. Now Pandora can we get working on your licensing model so that Canadian BlackBerry users can reap the benefits, pretty please with a CrackBerry on top!


Xobni Mobile Client Caught On Camera

Back in March Xobni announced that after the initial investment into the development of its Outlook plugin by Cisco for $7 Million dollars it had also signed on with the BlackBerry Partners Fund to assist with funding as well to the tune of $10 Million dollars, which in turn would contribute extensively to the further development of Xonbi. Now you might not have heard of Xobni before so have a look at the description below.

Xobni, the word “inbox” spelled backwards, has created a new way to look at your email. Xobni takes the effort out of organizing, searching, and navigating your email.

The only thing that has changed with email in the last ten years is that everyone gets more of it. Email is overflowing with information. It’s hard to find what you need. It’s hard to know what you have.

Xobni creates an information profile for each person you interact with, and surfaces historical information that is relevant to what you are working on. Xobni displays contact information, threaded conversations, attachments, related people, email usage statistics, and information from the web. Xobni organizes your communication data and makes it available through intuitive navigation and super fast search.

Xobni currently integrates with the popular Microsoft Outlook email client and will extend to integrate with other email clients, instant messaging applications, and social networks. 

Until recently, nothing has been shown of the Xobni on device application, but over at TechCrunch the shot above was posted showing the actual search/Lookup functionality being utilized for contacts. The picture according to TechCrunch was taken at a Mobile Meetup where Xobni executives were on hand. Stay tuned for this application cause it's gonna be a nice one and if you are not already using Xobni, I have to ask why not?


Grow A Beard, Win Prizes From Telus And SportsNet!

Here is a cool contest from Telus And SportsNet. It's play off time for hockey and qualifying teams are all on their way to a long fight for Lord Stanleys cup and with that comes many, many traditions and superstitions. Some players may not change their socks, some may put their gear on in a specific order and others, well others grow big bushy beards and that is not limited to just the teams. Hockey fans get in on the action as well to show their support and growing a beard is just one of many things that goes on during playoffs. This year Telus and SportsNet have teamed up for a wicked contest for the fans that grow the bushiest beard. You and six of your friends could win big.

  • 47” HDTV
  • NHL tickets for next season to see either the Leafs, Senators, Flames, Oilers or Canucks
  • TELUS Mike handsets for their entire crew

As well Telus has set up even more fun for everyone at their site where you can try out the Text to Speech function on devices such as the Curve 8350i. Try it out and you can send friends and family members some funny messages you have personally created.

Check Out Full Contest Details And More At No Ordinary Phone>>>


BlackBerry Ranks 16th on Brandz.com Top 100 Brands Report

This years Brandz.com Top 100 list is now out and BlackBerry has seen some nice growth within the rankings. This year, BlackBerry achieved the second highest percentage increase in brand value (100%) behind China Merchants Bank (168%) in 2009, after achieving the largest percentage increase on the list in 2008 (390%).

The BlackBerry brand moved up 35 points this year in the global ranking. BlackBerry and Amazon tied for the largest ranking increase in 2009. And at this point is now ranked 16th globally, 10th in North America and 6th in the technology category.

The BlackBerry brand is a main point to RIM's success so maintaining the brand image is of key importance. These rankings prove that RIM does that quite well. 

HTC Slide Theme For BlackBerry Storm!!

Now this is slick.  Typically I don't like themes that are mock ups of other devices such as Windows Mobile or Android.  I feel like if I wanted a Windows Mobile theme, I'd have bought a Windows Mobile device, right? But this one is different. This is like a splash of HTC's TouchFlo smacked with BlackBerry branding.  This theme has some serious looking animations, all compiled into a theme that flows much better then even the devices it's based on. HTC Touch Slide by CrackBerry.com forums member KDJayo is just simply beautiful.

With Quicklaunch integration, huge animated sliding icons and "hidden" buttons all over this place, all I can really say is I'm throughly impressed by this one. If not only by how slick it looks, but how it functions as well. If you want to see the theme in full action you can check out the Youtube posting of the video. As well, KDJayo has incuded some sexy custom wallpapers in the original forums post. Sadly, currently only available for the Storm at this point.  The cost is just right for this kind of theme and you can pick it up for only $5. I can only imagine the time it took for this one.


Track Your BlackBerry Data Usage With Mobile Data Alerter

Travelling abroad and worried about roaming data usage? On a limited data plan and need to know how much data usage you are incurring? Or maybe you're just curious how much data is being used by an application? Then eOffice has just the application for you, e Office Mobile Data Alerter allows you to keep a watchful eye on all your data usage be it local usage on your home carrier or WiFi network or when travelling abroad on another carrier's network.

It also allows you to set up specified alerts, so for example if you have only a 500MB data plan you can set up an alert to go off at 400MB letting you know you are 100MB away from owing your carrier some extra coin. Built in is an application viewer as well, so you can see what applications are currently running thus allowing you to shut down any that may not be in use but are sucking back data. Great Features, nice looking UI and extremely useful. For more information and pricing info, visit the link below.


RIM and Lenovo Release Constant Connect

RIM and Lenovo have finally released their "Constant Connect" solution. For those of you out there that are not aware of what Constant Connect is here is a brief description from the Information Week post regarding the launch:

Constant Connect, is focused on mobile professionals who seek to avoid paying for Wi-Fi connections for their laptops. The product plugs into the laptop and it can pull corporate e-mails from the smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. Users can then use the laptop to read, compose, and send e-mails that will be sent through the BlackBerry's connection.

I'm not quite to sure what to make of this. When watching the video (after the jump) of this in use, I see how some users may really find it useful but at the same time, I personally cannot see any real justification for the cost of this device. Currently available available through Lenovo.com and its business partners the Constant Connect option will set ya back $149. Would anyone (or any enterprise) out there pay for or even use this functionality? I guess if you need it you need it, but I'll be curious to see in the comments what everyone thinks about this one.


doubleTwist Updated to Version 2.0

The first time we posted on doubleTwist we emphasized the Mac OS integration options considering the lack of options for Mac users in the world of BlackBerry. This time doubleTwist is back and now running at a 2.0 Beta with better support for Windows and Mac OS users and have added some nice new features as outlined below:

  • Faster! Enjoy our completely revamped, snappier user interface. Play any video, Sync to any device and Send to any friend -- in seconds.
  • Easier! We redesigned doubleTwist to make it more intuitive. Syncing playlists, movies, and browsing through all your important and not-so-important photos and videos is now easier than ever.
  • More Devices! You can now sync to the iPhone, iPod, Sony PSP, Android G1, BlackBerry Bold, Storm and hundreds of other devices.

I downloaded the new 2.0 beta and played around for a while with it just to see if it lived up to the hype doubleTwist has been giving it. Overall I am thoroughly impressed with some of the new options and if you have used doubleTwist before or even if you are new to it, it's an essential item that no user should pass up at least trying out to see if it fits your needs.


I Love BlackBerry Helps Determine How Addicted You Are!

Every now and then an application comes along that makes you stop and think, what took so long for this to be made? I Love BlackBerry is one of those applications. We all suffer from some level of BlackBerry addiction, ranging from moderate to extremely cracked out on BlackBerry. I Love BlackBerry finally helps you with determining where it is you stand with the seriousness of your addiction. The free application allows you to track the usage of your BlackBerry down to the second, weekly, monthly or overall average basis. Spend more time on your BlackBerry then actually working? Now you can track that as well with the built in timers.

Compatible with all devices running 4.3 OS and higher, I can't wait to see my usage for a month. Be sure to check it out and all I can say is it's a good thing my job REQUIRES BlackBerry usage. Check out more screenshots and information at EarlySail.

[ BerryReview ]


RIM Pulls the Plug on BlackBerry Unite!

Ahhh poor BlackBerry Unite! It burst onto the scene with big promise of new features such as sharing calendars, assisting with user control over devices and implementing desktop to BlackBerry file transfers. But with a rough start for some users having issues with an IT Policy being unknowingly installed on their devices and causing all kinds of chaos, BlackBerry Unite had many people disliking it even before it got off the ground. A couple of revisions later, some of the issues were resolved many still remained and while we heard that the cancellation of Unite was well on its way a post on the official BlackBerry support forums drove the final nail in the coffin.

Please be aware that BlackBerry® Unite! is no longer available for download. RIM plans to continue support for current BlackBerry Unite! customers until July 2, 2010. For more information about other BlackBerry solutions for small business, visit the BlackBerry Solution Wizard.

And with the blow that Unite! is done, in walks a glimpse of BlackBerry Groups which seems to be a better implementation of what RIM's original vision of Unite! was to be from the beginning, just but more refined and in an on-device only app form. Time will tell on that but hopefully that will turn out to be the case. R.I.P Unite!

TwitterBerry 0.9 Beta 6 Available!

Ahh, there once was a time when I questioned how come there were not more applications for Twitter available on BlackBerry? Such is not the case any more as it seems applications for Twitter keep popping up, each one trying to better the other in functionality and now everyone has their favorites.

One of the first Twitter applications I tried out was indeed TwitterBerry and in the world of Twitter apps while I do have other clients installed, I keep TwitterBerry updated just incase one of those other applications all of a sudden stops working (it happens, no one can say it doesn't) and recently TwitterBerry got some nice updates to its beta stages which included some new features and bug fixes. Read on for the changelog!


ExSafe Launches For BlackBerry!

Here is something for all you business focused BlackBerry users out there. ExSafe, software that allows individuals and companies to securely store and manage Microsoft Office spreadsheets and documents in the "cloud" has finally come to BlackBerry devices after long only being available on Windows Mobile devices. With a good reputation backing its usage and the promise to help cut IT costs, ExSafe may be something you wish to invest in for your organization or if you just simply need a safe and secure environment for your documents.

From the press release:

ExSafe brings a consistent experience for accessing externally hosted documents from a desktop, laptop or smartphone whenever and wherever you are.  It reduces the cost of managing Microsoft® Office content (Word documents, Excel spreadsheets) and PDFs, yet at the same time increases the efficiency of an organisation and its workforce. ExSafe assists in ensuring that regulatory compliance requirements are met with full audit trail and versioning of user activity. A further benefit is online backup and disaster recovery. All of this is available by subscription for just $6.99 a month for a single user account.

You can read more about ExSafe and find out how it may be valuable to you as a user or to your oranization at their website or have a look at the press release via RIM.


Co-Founder of Apple Steve Wozniak Uses A BlackBerry?!

Lifehacker posted an article recently where they interviewed Steve Wozniak, the shall we say ecentric Co-Founder of Apple, asking him how he gets through his day. What tools does he use? What applications are a must for the Woz? Reasonable questions for a busy man.

Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly for some?), aside from the assumed/mandatory iPhone usage Steve Wozniak is also a BlackBerry user. No details were given as to what type of device the Woz is using, but the fact he uses a BlackBerry alone is quite an interesting fact considering his stature within Apple and the technology world as a whole. Be sure to read more about Steve on his Wikipedia page - it has a lot of good links and information about the man behind a lot of today's technology. Maybe RIM should try and poach Steve to work for them... I'm sure he would bring lots to the table if that were the case :-)

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