BlackBerry Curve 8520 talking points: trackpad, flash and keys

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The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is a turning point for RIM. They have clearly realized that they have parts on their devices that can still remain perfectly functional while reducing their replacement and repair costs, as well as those of their customers. The 8520 is also a lower end device as noted by the cheap battery panel that pulls off without requiring a slider or a button. Since you’ve likely experienced the Curve 8900 at some point, I’ll use it as a point of reference.

Lets go through the new features with the BlackBerry 8520, and get a discussion going about the device. We want to hear your thoughts!
Click though for a breakdown of the major talking points surrounding the BlackBerry 8520

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Announcement: Winners of the BlackBerry Cool Opera Mini Contest

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Grand Prize: The winner of the Grand Prize goes to Alex Lombardi. Alex’s review of Opera Mini will be tomorrow morning for everyone to read. The winning review was a close call between Alex, @coffeedaze and a review submitted by Dennis from WAPreview.com.

The Grand Prize is a 7-day all-inclusive trip to Scandinavia this summer. Congratulations Alex!

Dennis is in a tough situation for prizes because he’s using an iDen 7100, and therefore none of our cases and accessories really apply. If anyone wants to trade a CDMA Curve for an 8350i, we can make this happen. We’re giving him:

  • $100 for the BlackBerry Cool Store
  • Duracell PowerSource Mini
  • Freedom Keyboard
  • We’re giving @coffeedaze

  • $100 for the BlackBerry Cool Store
  • A Mobile Portable Power solution
  • X-Mini Speaker system
  • We’re also giving away:

  • BodyGuardz scratch protectors for the Curve 900 and Bold.
  • Otterbox cases for the Bold and 8900.
  • So if you entered and have a Bold or Curve 900, leave a comment with the same username/email.

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    BlackBerry takes another step towards replacing the wallet

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    Zoompass is a service specifically for Canadians that lets you send and receive money from your BlackBerry device. The service uses PayPal and, for now, is aimed at your average consumer and not retailers.

    While Zoompass has had a BlackBerry application for some time now, I haven’t heard about it and many of the major blogs haven’t written about them either. The service just recently came to my attention as they are now offering it for all mobile devices with Internet access, and not just BlackBerry.

    If you’ve read my bio, you know I spent a decent amount of time living in South Korea. There, your mobile phone is your wallet. A chip is inserted into your phone, much like a media card, and it is directly connected to your bank like a debit card. This is where mobility is heading and it’s incredible to see a company taking North Americans one step closer.

    “Our research shows people are looking for ways to simplify their payment experience,” said Robin Dua, president of En-Stream, the company that develops the application.

    The service is aimed at a college demographic, who are constantly in need of a simplified way to send small amounts of money; whether it be repaying a debt or getting some food money from parents.

    Canadian users can sign up for a free Zoompass account now and begin using the service. One caveat is the service charges. You will be charged 50¢ to make an instant money transfer each time. This price will hopefully come down as more users subscribe to the service and prove it works.

    In Quebec, Virgin Mobile and the wireless offering from Videotron Ltd. are excluded from the service.

    Sign up and start using Zoompass for BlackBerry today!

    [Via]

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    RIM remains interested in acquiring Nortel patents and assets

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    On Saturday, Nortel officially sold a portfolio of CDMA and next-generation LTE wireless assets to Swedish Ericsson. While RIM did not enter the Nortel bid officially, they’re still looking for ways to acquire some of Nortel’s technology.

    However, we’ve learned today that RIM and Nortel have been in negotiations over other key patents related to the next-generation wireless business “for months.”

    On Sunday, RIM reiterated that it “remains interested in acquiring certain Nortel assets,” without providing specifics.

    All of this information leads me to believe that RIM will find a way to acquire the CDMA and LTE technology, required to future proof BlackBerry devices and keep costs low but not having to pay royalties for the technology.

    The question is: what patents are left to be sold, and will they be enough for RIM’s long term strategy?

    [Via]

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    South Korea’s cutest character Pucca now a free BlackBerry theme

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    puccatheme

    If there is one thing South Korea has a lot of, it’s cute cartoon characters. It’s a common trend in Asia for absolutely everything to be branded with a cute character. Looking for oil for your car? There’s always a little PowerPuff-esque character there to help out.

    ShellBell67 over at Themes4BB posted a free Pucca theme for you to grab OTA. All you have to do is register.

    [Via]

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    Skyfire browser for BlackBerry leaked - OTA link available UPDATE

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    UPDATE: It seems most users are getting a blank checkered screen. I’m guessing Skyfire has shut down access. Sorry guys!

    Better hurry folks! The Skyfire browser for BlackBerry has been leaked and is available for download OTA.

    Go to http://www.theiexplorers.com/BBM/Skyfire/skyfire.jad from your BlackBerry browser to download now.

    Or here:

    http://www.blackberryos.com/forums/software/4461-skyfire-ota-coming-soon.html

    One of the downsides of being a site based in Canada is that we often get blocked from leaks requring service access in the US. I have tried this browser on both the TELUS and Rogers network with no success. Any other Canadians want to rule in on this?

    According to the @buzzedword (leaked to BBRocks), here are some features you’ll find with the browser:

    • Its dominantly web based, the “enter url” function has autocomplete which I’m assuming comes from Skyfire’s servers
    • You’re assigned a unique Skyfire ID, and you can create an account on the Skyfire homepage, presumably for bookmark and RSS sync– the homepage has a very Digg-like feel to it
    • Flash is supported as well as javascript, but flash functionality breaks down when you hit version 10
    • It appears that the browser has its own independent audio controller because of options in the menu, but i can’t confirm volume buttons, none of my shortcut keys work
    • It doesn’t work well with the storm at all but it does install
    • Its definitely optimized for trackball, the mouse has a kind of crosshair around it that if you click down will zoom to that portion of the page
    • Overall its pretty quick, they render the webpage on their servers and you download what they render

    Remember that the browser is in Alpha, so it’s prison rules when it comes to your device. Back everything up and don’t use this software if you aren’t prepared to encounter some bugs.

    [Via with updated link from BerryReview]

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    BlackBerry OS leaks: Storm OS 4.7.0.164, Bold and 8900 OS 5.0.0.130

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    This week is off to a great start with some OS leaks for your BlackBerry. The move coveted of the 2 leaks is for Bold and Curve 8900 users: OS 5.0.0.13. Don’t get too excited though, like all the OS 5.0 leaks we’ve seen, the build does not come with the latest BlackBerry Messenger, and it will make App World buggy.

    BlackBerry Storm 9500 users will appreciate the OS 4.7.0.164 update as it helps make the Storm experience a little smoother. While the Storm started off on a bad foot, RIM has done a great job of releasing OS updates to improve the experience. So if you’re frustrated with your device, at the very least you should be getting official updates the moment they’re available.

    Personally, I don’t recommend downloading these OS leaks, but I’m posting for the die-hards who absolutely must try them out. Make sure to back everything up!

    Download OS 4.7.0.164 for the BlackBerry Storm 9500.
    Download OS 5.0.0.130 for the BlackBerry Bold
    Download OS 5.0.0.130 for the BlackBerry Curve 8900

    [Via and Via]

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    Dear BlackBerry Cool: My thoughts on the BlackBerry Onyx

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    [ED NOTE: The following was submitted to tips [at] blackberrycool [dot] com. Send us info any time.]

    First of all, I just wanted to say sorry for the bad picture. I was allowed to play around with the device as much as I wanted but my “friend” wouldn’t let me take any pictures. Eventually he turned his back and this is the best I could do with my 8900’s camera.

    This is the BlackBerry Onyx but it doesn’t have the trackpad. This is a prerelease device and I’ve heard that the Onyx will ship with a trackpad, as per RIM’s latest initiative on nixing the trackball entirely. There are also rumors that the trackpad may just be carrier specific.

    I have to say, I LOVE this device. To put it simply, it’s the BlackBerry Curve 8900 (Javelin) with 3G and a Bold keyboard.

    This is the next device I’m going to buy. The Bold is, IMHO, the best BlackBerry that RIM has ever made. It is the flagship device and this model packs everything that the Bold has, but in a smaller form factor that fits nicely into your pocket.

    The battery is the same as the Bold, again this seems to be the Bold with a Curve 8900 form factor. The display is really nice and I believe it’s 480×360.

    Overall, this is going to be an amazing device for RIM. The hardware combines the best of both the Bold and 8900 worlds. There isn’t much else to say about the device, except that the battery cover has changed AGAIN! It seems RIM keeps changing the cover each time they launch a device. While I’m not sure if the battery cover I was looking at will ship with the device, it’s not nearly as good as the Bold. I’m begging you RIM, bring back my Bold cover! The custom jobs you can do with it are simply the best.

    -RogersDude69

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    ScreamingToaster’s Wicked WordPress app for BlackBerry launches

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    The Wicked WordPress app for BlackBerry by ScreamingToaster is developed for those who have a WordPress blog that’s 2.7.1 or higher, and a BlackBerry Bold, Javelin, Storm or Tour.

    With this app, you can do all the basic functions as well as some higher level functions. You can write and edit posts and comments, manage your blog with scheduling and To Do lists, and get everything synced in real time.

    Wicked is definitely at the higher end of the app pricing spectrum at $30 for a 12 month subscription.

    Download the Wicked WordPress app and you will automatically get a 14 day free trial when you run it.

    Click through for more videos detailing the features of Wicked WordPress App for BlackBerry

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    BlackBerry Curve 8520 announced in the UK and North America

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    The BlackBerry Curve 8520 has been announced in both the UK and North America today. The latest device in the Curve series is an evolutionary step for devices with a new trackpad and a rubber bezel.

    The device should be available for purchase in the UK at the beginning of August and T-Mobile has set a launch date at August 5th. Just over a week away!

    The BlackBerry 8520 features:

  • Full-QWERTY keyboard and touch-sensitive optical trackpad for reliable, responsive typing and navigation
  • 256MB Flash memory and a 512Mhz next generation processor for enhanced performance
  • Premium phone features including voice activated dialing, and Bluetooth (2.0) support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits, stereo headsets and other Bluetooth peripherals
  • 2 MP digital camera with zoom and video recording
  • Advanced media player for music, pictures and videos, with dedicated media keys and a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, plus BlackBerry Media Sync, which makes it easy to quickly sync music from iTunes or Windows Media Player with the smartphone
  • Access to BlackBerry App World™, featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones. Categories include games, entertainment, social networking and sharing, news and weather, productivity and much more
  • BlackBerry Internet Service support for access to up to 10 supported email accounts, including most popular ISP email accounts such as Yahoo!, Windows Live Hotmail, AOL and Gmail; and BlackBerry Enterprise Server support, which provides advanced security and IT administration features for corporate deployments
  • Expandable memory via hot swappable microSD/SDHC memory card slot, supporting cards of up to 16 GB today and expected to support next generation 32GB cards when available; a 1GB card is included
  • Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
  • Quad-band world phone: EGDE/GPRS/GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Personally, I thought the lack of a flash on the camera was strange. Why go all this way to build a consumer device, and leave out a key feature that consumers like?

    Will you be trading in your BlackBerry Curve 83xx for the 8520?

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