Take this survey for a chance to win a 1GB iPod Shuffle and help improve a cool BlackBerry application!, Aug 01

As you all know, BlackBerry Cool takes special care keep our readers informed of new BlackBerry software. We also love helping BlackBerry developers by providing feedback on their software, so they can tweak it just right for the BlackBerry Nation. We got an email today from our friends at vlingo that allows us to do both in one shot, so we had to post about it. Check it out:

A month ago we launched vlingo for BlackBerry, a free application that enables you to control BlackBerry phones with the power of your voice. All you need is just one button and a few spoken words to send emails and text messages, search the web, open applications and much more.

We are now asking for your help to improve vlingo and also reach a larger number of users. You don’t need to have tried our product to contribute; we will welcome and pay careful attention to the input of the BlackBerry Cool community. The survey is short (5 minutes) and we are entering respondents in for a chance to win a 1GB iPod Shuffle.

So what do you say, folks? Do you want to help our friends at vlingo and have the chance to win a 1GB iPod shuffle? Just hit the link below and fill out the survey!

Vlingo Mobile Phone Usage Survey

(Contest open to US residents only, ending August 8, 2008)

Blackberry Bold launch parties and musical Thunder (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 35), Aug 01

As usual, this week’s BlackBerry Cool Podcast features a few tidbits about the BlackBerry Thunder, BlackBerry Kickstart and BlackBerry Bold, but we’ve also got some fresh colours from Bell and T-Mobile on the way. We’re also giving you a snippet of Doug’s talk with Andy Brown of Strategy Analytics. Andy was at the UK Bold [...]

“Does RIM meet your software expectations?” (Weekly Contest), Jul 25

Is RIM meeting your expectations for what a smartphone should offer? Post the best comment and win some slick BlackBerry Decals and 6 months of SugarSync service!

Blackberry Bold launch parties and musical Thunder (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 35), Aug 01

As usual, this week’s BlackBerry Cool Podcast features a few tidbits about the BlackBerry Thunder, BlackBerry Kickstart and BlackBerry Bold, but we’ve also got some fresh colours from Bell and T-Mobile on the way. We’re also giving you a snippet of Doug’s talk with Andy Brown of Strategy Analytics. Andy was at the UK Bold launch and had the opportunity to interview RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.

Check out links to all the relevant news after the jump, as well as options for streaming and downloading the BlackBerry Cool Podcast.

Click here to listen to the BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 35

Free BlackBerry application pinpoints cell towers, Aug 01

The beta for Signal-Location Utilities just came out recently, and looks extremely useful for wireless professionals. By plugging into BlackBerry Maps, you can find tower locations, signal strength, available services, and tower IDs. Easily save tower locations and export them as CSV files or into Google Maps on your desktop. Handheld Google Maps integration is in the works, but everything is still in beta, so be warned. Although it’s a bit of a technical utility that might not be especially useful for most people, anyone working with carriers trying to map out their coverage area could definitely use this to get a good idea of what’s up. Customers in low-coverage areas might also find it helpful to figure out where to go for the best signal. Don’t worry if you don’t have internal GPS - Bluetooth-connected GPS is also supported. Go ahead and give Signal-Location Utilities a shot!

(via BlackBerry Forums)

US border guards seizing recordable media, Aug 01

Better double-check your BlackBerry before making that weekend trip across the border, as now Homeland Security can detain laptops, mobiles and recordable media of all types for an unspecified amount of time as part of routine inspections. Any information gleaned from the media can be shared around government agencies as needed for decryption and translation, although original copies must be destroyed when if the media is returned. Throw your BlackBerry into checked luggage, because otherwise you could be losing it for months on end, even if you’re a returning US citizen and you aren’t under any particular suspicion.

“They’re saying they can rifle through all the information in a traveler’s laptop without having a smidgen of evidence that the traveler is breaking the law,” said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology. Notably, he said, the policies “don’t establish any criteria for whose computer can be searched.”

As a Canadian who often has to fly through the US with my laptop, I don’t like sound of this one bit. Of course, there are some solid tips out there for deterring complete invasion of privacy, including using virtual private networks in order to keep data accessible but not on your person; looks like we’re all going to have to sign up with WICKSoft. To get the full details, you can read the whole report here.

(via WindowsMobile Cool)

Shoutout for crossword beta testers, Aug 01

Those fine folks at Magmic Games are working on a mobile crossword game for the New York Times and need some testers to make sure 5 across and 23 down actually work out. Just shoot an email to nytxbeta@magmic.com, with the subject line “Application”. Be sure to include your name, e-mail address, BlackBerry model number, location, and crossword experience. Although they didn’t mention it, I’m sure you could squeeze ‘em for a free game or two for participating.

Digg goes mobile, Aug 01

The biggest social bookmarking website out there, Digg, is now mobile, and accessible at m.digg.com. From there you can scope out the top stories, digg ‘em, access your account and check out the profiles of other commenters. A pretty solid start, but it’s weird that you can’t comment from the mobile site, or digg comments. What would be really nice is if a mobile app were made that added the digg option from your BlackBerry Browser menu, but that’s just crazy-talk. Still cool, and don’t forget, you can check out Diggnation and other awesome Revision3 shows on your BlackBerry at m.revision3.com.

(via BerryReview)

Screenshots behind the jump!

Mobile video to push data revenues, Aug 01

The latest projections from SNL Kagan are predicting some solid growth for wireless data, particularly surround mobile e-mail. Growing adoption of mobile data services, forecasted to increase revenues by 16% annually to $100 billion by 2017, will partially be thanks to the likes of mobile e-mail which will reach 62% penetration (good news for BlackBerry, obviously), but the bigger driver will be mobile video. It will be seeing 22% growth year-on-year, and with screens like the BlackBerry Bold and iPhone becoming prevalent, it’s easy to see how people could be getting more excited about mobile TV and movies. We’re still waiting on Slingbox to get something out there for BlackBerry, but with forecasts like this one, you’ll likely be seeing a lot of other venues for mobile entertainment.

(via cellular-news)

RIM employees prefer Javelin to BlackBerry Bold, slaving away at Thunder, Jul 31

There’s some interesting chatter coming out of RIM HQ in Waterloo recently about the myriad BlackBerry devices they have in development. First off, it seems as though the internal preference is not for RIM’s flagship device, the BlackBerry Bold, but for BlackBerry Curve successor Javelin. The reason? RIM employees care not a rot for the Bold’s 3G because they spend the majority of their day on the company Wi-Fi, giving them leeway to choose the Javelin’s better battery life and slimmer design. It will be interesting to see if this internal trend will continue in the enterprise space once both devices are released.

Secondly, it appears as though our friends in Waterloo are feeling the crunch to get the BlackBerry Thunder (referred to internally as the Storm, or as we like to call it: the HalleBerry - zing!) up to RIM standards. With little time to submit the device to Verizon/Voda for review, our boys in the ‘loo seem cautiously optimistic they can improve the Thunder’s haptic touchscreen from iSuck to iPhone-level quality.

As always, we’ll keep you informed of any more RIM chatter that comes our way.

Sprint gets nailed for $73 million in illegal ETFs, Jul 31

Phoenix Wright dude j\'accuse-ing

The latest in Sprint’s downward spiral to oblivion is the conclusion of a class-action lawsuit which ruled that contract early termination fees did not count as rates, and therefor fell under federal, rather than California state law. Using such ETFs as a means to discourage jumping ship is illegal under federal law, and so $18.23 million was rewarded to those who were forced to pay up. On top of that, they’ve got $54.75 million in unpaid ETFs that will be recredited. Ow. Tough break there, Sprint. Some appeals are likely to happen, but things aren’t looking so hot right now.

(via Kansas City Business Journal)

W3C releases new mobile web standards, Jul 31

W3C publications can be downloaded in either .PDF or stone tablet.

Let’s face it, unless you’re rocking the BlackBerry Bold, browsing the web on your BlackBerry is usually a frightening experience: things don’t work, page formatting is often weird and some pages are just too damn big to download. Thankfully, the W3C, which develops guidelines for website standards, has published the details of new standards that will make it easier for people to browse the Web on mobile devices, hopefully ensuring that even low-end BlackBerry users won’t be left in the lurch.

Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 provides steps for content authors to face the challenges of hardware and software diversity, device constraints and bandwidth limitations. In addition, the W3C has also released a XHTML Basic 1.1 Recommendation, providing a convergence in mobile markup languages, including those developed by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA).

To view both new mobile web standards, head to the World Wide Web Consortium website.

(via Cellular-News)

T-Mobile 3G rollout confirmed for October 1st., Jul 31

Those rumours about 3G coming to T-Mobile are getting a little more traction with this poster announcing October 1st. as the date the switch is thrown. The major American launch cities include New York, Chicago, Orlando, Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angelas, Washington DC and plenty more. While the only new BlackBerry on T-Mobile’s radar in the near future is the 3G-less BlackBerry Kickstart, it does open the door for the next 3G BlackBerry to come along. Maybe the BlackBerry Bold sooner or later…?

(via TmoNews)

Full list of launch cities for T-Mobile’s 3G rollout behind the jump…

Rogers stock down despite solid Q2 earnings, Jul 31

Sad faceChalk it up to poor forecasts, issues with iPhone pricing, or less than stellar subscriber numbers, but Rogers’ 12% earnings increase last quarter did little to assuage stockholders. Stock price is down to around $34 from $39 last week despite making $CAN 364 million last quarter versus $CAN 299 million last year. Unfortunately, wireless additions were down to 92,000 versus 133,000 last year, but this doesn’t take into account the full punch of the iPhone, and you can bet that the BlackBerry Bold will be pushing Q3 numbers in a good direction as well.

(via cellular-news)

Bell rolling out new colours for BlackBerry Curve and Pearl, Jul 30

I’m pretty sure this is the first BlackBerry 8330 we’ve seen in red, and it’s due to hit Bell on August 8th alongside a white and titanium BlackBerry 8130. Fresh paint jobs seem like sloppy seconds when compared to the BlackBerry Bold and eventually the BlackBerry Kickstart coming out on GSM carriers in the near future, but if Bell actually makes the GSM switch, maybe they won’t have to settle for less. Still, new paint jobs are always cool, and it’s hard to argue with that colour on the Curve. Keep an eye on the Bell online store for the fresh offers… Right now the Pearl is going for free on a three year contract, and the Curve is $149.95.

(via MobileInCanada)

RIM considering Chinese factory, Jul 30

ChinaDuring the Hong Kong BlackBerry Bold launch party, RIM’s Pacific-Asia VP Norm Lo made a fairly hefty insinuation that a Chinese BlackBerry factory was in the works. Rollouts in China have experienced their fair share of difficulties in the past, and the advent of their TD-SCDMA standard could further compound issues, but RIM remains optimistic about their future in the country. And hey, why shouldn’t they be? There is a lot of opportunity to be had in China despite all the technological, bureaucratic and cultural challenges.

(via cellular-news)

Flowberry theme makes you wish your BlackBerry was a Mac, Jul 30

The latest trick coming out of the new Plazmic developer’s kit is Flowberry. Pretty shiny, huh? Too bad they took out the bottom bar that earlier version was showing. Still, a pretty slick design for those Mac-users in the house who just can’t get enough of the coverflow-style interface. Not bad, but I think I’m going to stick with Crossbar. If Mac is your bag though, go ahead and get your Flowberry on, or if you miss that bottom bar, try out Finder.

RIM COO wants to take Apple out for a drink, Jul 30

In a recent interview regarding the BlackBerry Bold’s launch versus the iPhone 3G, RIM’s Chief Operating Officer Dennis Kavelman is still in line with the attitude that Apple’s just giving BlackBerry more press.

“‘I want to buy them a drink,’ he said, adding he hoped people would walk into shops looking to buy a competing phone but walk out with a Bold. … ‘It’s great to do the glitz; anybody can build toys and just focus solely on the multimedia stuff - and lots of people want to buy toys - but I think what we’re trying to do is say here’s everything that makes a BlackBerry a BlackBerry, and we’ve packaged it in something that looks really fashionable … and you don’t have to give up all the multimedia stuff.’”

This has been the long-standing angle RIM has taken when it comes to Apple, and it’s either stupid or admirable that they continue to shrug off the iPhone as not a big deal, especially when they’re making a full-blown wannabe.

(via Stuff.co.nz)

BlackBerry Kickstart video walkthrough, Jul 30

The unreleased flip BlackBerry Kickstart (aka the BlackBerry 8220) just got a nice video tour, showing off all the things to come this September from T-Mobile (hopefully for around $49): a 2 megapixel camera, WiFi, EDGE (sorry, no 3G), and an external LCD screen.

The big frame is striking, and not necessarily cumbersome according to Kevin - more room for the screen and keys makes for a better experience, on the whole. The notification light is in a new spot beside the camera, which is a surprising departure from the slim LED we’re used to seeing on the top-right of BlackBerrys for quite some time. The external display of incoming messages isn’t really new, but it’s cool to see the function in action. As for the the trackball, the previously mentioned recess makes navigation just a little bit trickier. Although many diehard BlackBerry fans have yet to really appreciate the new form factor, is anyone changing their minds on it yet?

Hardware aside, it looks like the Kickstart will be launching with OS 4.6 (same as the BlackBerry Bold) with about 75 megs of internal memory. New accessibility options make navigating a little bit easier on the eyes with high contrast and large icon modes available. The expanded Alarm app, now Clock, is also working like a charm on both internal and external screens.

(via CB)

BlackBerry Thunder due October 8th. with Rhapsody?, Jul 30

BlackBerry Thunder with Rhapsody

The mid-October ballpark release for the Verizon BlackBerry Thunder has been narrowed down to the 8th., but as with any rumour, take it with a grain of salt… What’s true now might not be in two months. The same sources are also claiming that the Thunder will be packing a 3.2 megapixel camera and over-the-air Rhapsody downloads. We had heard about carrier music stores integrated with the BlackBerry 9500’s music player, and now we’ve got a name to look forward to. Rhapsody is pretty popular, second to iTunes and maybe Amazon… how many more online music outlets will plug into the BlackBerry Thunder? As for the camera, I expressed plenty of concern about its quality in last week’s podcast, so colour me relieved.

(via Fudzilla)

New treatment can totally waterproof your BlackBerry, Jul 29

What would you pay to have the inside and outside of your device coated in a nonconductive polymer to make it impervious to water, oil, dirt and pretty much any other synthetic liquids? $50-$75? Yeah that sounds about right. Meet the Golden Shellback. While it might not be ready for another 4-6 months until distribution methods are in place, I am rip-rearing to give this a shot. Go figure a bunch of maritimers sponsored a project like this - totally awesome, and combined with an OtterBox, it could easily turn your BlackBerry into one helluva rugged handheld.

(via QuicklyBored)

New BlackBerry app tests, demoralizes students, Jul 29

The aptly-named Cram launched recently, offering customizable, shareable tests on your BlackBerry. Cram allows for students to keep on studying on the go, even when feverishly going over last-minute notes outside the exam room. Studying on your BlackBerry would be especially handy for the bus, when having a bunch of books out isn’t exactly practical. Cram can import text files which are then translated into multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank tests, and using some web functions those tests can be easily shared with fellow crammers. For the BlackBerry-packing academic, Cram would pair up nicely with StudentDocket (previously known as StudentBerry).

Sunset BlackBerry Curve from T-Mobile due August 4th?, Jul 29

T-Mobile Sunset BlackBerry 8320

Pink BlackBerrys have been increasingly popular these days, but we haven’t seen much of the elusive Sunset colour. Well, here’s a live shot of the T-Mobile BlackBerry 8320 packing the newest paint job, and it’s pretty dashing. Not quite as somber a sanguine as AT&T’s crimson Curve. If the BlackBerry Bold is a bit too rich for your blood, keep your eye out for this beauty on August 4th.

(via Cellphone Signal)

BlackBerry Bold coming soon to Austria, Jul 29

BlackBerry Bold from A1

While Austria usually tends to get stuff shortly after Germany, it looks like they’ll be getting it right on time with everyone else when it comes to the BlackBerry Bold. A1 will shortly be offering the BlackBerry 9000 for € 249,00 ($US 399), presumably with a contract considering the T-Mobile Germany price was clocking in at €550 ($US 880). T-Mobile will also be offering the BlackBerry Bold in Austra, if this Ebay auction is any indication. While we’ve heard about a lot of the larger countries (Australia, Canada, United States, Germany, etc.) getting the BlackBerry Bold lovin’, it’s good to see that the launch is reaching as far and wide as possible.

Cheers, Greez!

Preorder BlackBerry Bold available for $649.99, Jul 29

BlackBerry Bold from Tiger Direct

The Bold hype is truly coming to a boil, what with launch parties, enterprise offers, rumored release dates, and now that Tiger Direct is offering the BlackBerry 9000 for preorder with a reasonably chunky $649.99 pricetag. Unlocked and unbranded, of course, so the price isn’t exactly uncalled for. The real downer here is that Tiger Direct’s ETA for the BlackBerry Bold is September. Aw, c’mon. Hopefully carriers will have better luck offering it sooner, but Tiger Direct is a solid option for folks who haven’t heard anything about a release in their area.

(via IntoMobile)

Austrlian business customers getting the BlackBerry Bold free, Jul 28

BlackBerry Bold

Both Telstra and Vodafone will be offering the BlackBerry Bold to Australian enterprise customers for $0 up front. That in and of itself is a bold statement, and definitely a bargain for enterprises still packing older models. It’ll be hard for CIOs to turn down a deal like that, regardless of any growing enterprise interest in the iPhone. Maybe companies here in North America and elsewhere can look forward to equally aggressive moves from carriers, especially if they think they can coast on plans alone.

(via Australian IT)

BlackBerry Bold browser in action (video), Jul 28

One of the bigger upgrades with the BlackBerry Bold is the browsing experience, which you can see clearly in this video from Boy Genius. You get a look at the general rendering capability of OS 4.6, as well as speed differences between EDGE and Wi-Fi. I’d be curious to see how 3G compares… On the whole this is a much needed update - the poor BlackBerry browser has been a point of contention for plenty of users for a good long time. You guys happy to see the problem fixed? What’s the next biggest issue RIM needs to tackle?

(via BGR)

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