The Three Rounds of the App Store Battle

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The mobile app market is maturing fast and as a developer with a successful app in App World, I wanted to prompt some debate on what the next wave of app stores will be like and how we can work together to get there.

Round 1 was started by Handango, and quickly followed by Handmark and MobiHand among others. Their global presence enables developers to deploy once and see their app appear on the Internet and on multiple carrier and affiliate sites. However, download volumes, on-device discoverability and ease of payment were historically poor. Interestingly, none of them (apart from GetJar) focused on free apps. Meanwhile, the carriers were rolling out their own app stores where the majority of downloads were ringtones, screensavers and games, but that was valuable because it educated their customers that downloading apps was possible. In summary, round 1 was the “for profit” app stores. As developers, we have a lot to thank those pioneers for.
Continue reading Widality President Terry Hughe’s take on the App Store evolution

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Giveaway: Copy2Contact updates with SMS and calendar support

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Copy2Contact is a simple way to take contact information from emails and store them in your BlackBerry Address Book. In the latest version of the app, you can grab contact and calendar information from SMS, web and search results, and add them directly to your BlackBerry address book and/or calendar. The app will even update existing contacts if a match is found.

The most recent version of Copy2Contact features text recognition that grabs information as a stand-alone client, so you don’t need a wireless signal to grab contacts. Also, since the text recognition can grab info from any source, it can be used in mobile search and directory services like GOOG-411.

Copy2Contact is available on a yearly subscription for $9.95 in the BlackBerry Cool store.

Copy2Contact is also available for $9.99 in App World.

Click through to see a feature comparison with Gwabbit and a download link for 1 of 25 free copies

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BlackBerry Enterprise Server Service Pack 1 released

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RIM have released Service Pack 1 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 for Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino. While BES 5.0 was an exciting launch back at WES 2009, many of the enterprise users we spoke to said they would wait for SP1 before buying, because they wanted to make sure RIM had gone through the first wave of feedback and bugs.

New to BES 5.0 with Service Pack 1 includes:

  • BlackBerry device dashboard - Use the device dashboard to access the BlackBerry Monitoring Service which is now mobile friendly.
  • Enhancements to the BlackBerry Administration Service - You can better manage user accounts, navigate search results and you can view user account info when add and manage apps.
  • Enhancements to the BlackBerry Monitoring Service homepage - The homepage has been enhanced so you can view performance data and user statistics, graphs, messaging server mappings and overview info for BES components that are associated with all BES instances that the BMS monitors.
  • Enhancements to the calendar sync process - You can now run a calendar sync process on a BES instance to find and correct differences between the calendar entries on the device and the desktop.
  • More language support - BES is now available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.
  • Support for importing WiFi profiles and VPN profiles from a .CSV file - You can add, delete, or update the WiFi profiles and VPN prfiles that you assign to user accounts by importing a .csv file.
  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

Click here to download the full release notes for BES for Microsoft Exchange.

Click here to download the full release notes for BES for IBM Lotus Domino.

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SMobile Systems launch Net Nanny for BlackBerry

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SMobile Systems and Net Nanny have partnered to bring the Net Nanny solution to BlackBerry. Net Nanny Mobile gives parents the ability to protect their kids and family from misconduct, exploitation, unwanted communications, sexting, loss and theft, cyber bullying, malware and online predators.

Features include:

Monitoring

  • View the content of Email, SMS and MMS messages on the phone.
  • View all pictures taken, sent and received by the device.
  • View logs of all voice conversations.
  • View the complete address book and all applications installed on the phone.
  • View phone location 24/7.

Security

  • GPS tracking using Google Maps.
  • Remote device backup, lock, wipe and restore.
  • Anti-virus and Anti-Malware scanning.
  • Communication Control features for filtering of calls and text messages.
  • Net Nanny Mobile is available now on an annual subscription of $29.99 for the first phone and $14.99 for each additional phone. Existing Net Nanny users with a valid license can protect phones for $14.99 for each phone.

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    Congratulations winners of the BlackBerry Alliance EMEA Innovation Awards

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    Over the Thanksgiving holidays RIM held the BlackBerry Alliance Program’s EMEA Innovations Awards. The awards are in their 2nd year and showcase companies innovating in the BlackBerry space. Congratulations to all the companies who won, and those participated.

    Life On BlackBerry

    Poynt took the award for Life On BlackBerry with their all-in-one local search service. If you’re looking for a good restaurant, movie to watch or just see what’s in your local area, Poynt is your app. Coming soon to Poynt are gas and weather updates.

    Entertainment On BlackBerry

    The 7Digital app took home the Entertainment On BlackBerry category with their DRM-free music service.

    Click through to see the rest of the winners

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    More Cyber Monday deals including themes and Ringtone Expressions

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    I know, it’s getting a little overwhelming the number of posts about Cyber Monday deals, but you’re bound to find something great and grab it at a bargain price. Here are some more deals you might want to take advantage of:

    50% off Ringtone Expressions - The ultimate Ringtone maker for BlackBerry.
    Coupon Code: cybermonday-rte (Sale price $12.48- Regularly $24.95)

    20 free copies of Snowman Theme by TemasBlackBerry.
    Coupon Code: SNOWCOOL

    All JLDesigns themes are 30% off including Dimension Series, VerizonBerry Series, AT&T Berry Series, Zune HD Series, and more.
    No coupon code required.

    Happy shopping!

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    Bplay 7 Days of Deals now offering 25% off all games and themes

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    Bplay has been running their 7 Days of Deals campaign and they’re on Day 6 which means 25% off all games and themes. To get advantage of this deal, use the coupon code HOLIDAY.

    Head on over to Bplay and see if any game or theme picks your fancy.

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    Cyber Monday: 50% off 10 top-selling BlackBerry Apps

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    The Mobile Heist is back and for Cyber Monday we have 10 of the best-selling apps on sale for 50% off. There are no coupon codes required and the deal will run until 10PM PST tonight. What a week of deals this has been.

    TetherBerry - Access the Internet on your laptop through your BlackBerry’s data plan anywhere.
    Sale price $24.98 (regularly $49.95)

    BerryBuzz 2.1 - Customize your BlackBerry alert system to your hearts desire.
    Sale price $2.98 (regularly $5.95)

    Empower HTML Email Viewer Pro - View HTML emails on your Blackberry with images, colors, Smilies and more.
    Sale price $15.00 (regularly $29.99)
    Click through for more great deals from the Mobile Heist

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    Xsights launch popular free app for BlackBerry Bold and Curve

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    Xsights have launched their BlackBerry Light App which scans printed objects and activates links, much like a barcode. The app works by going to the Xsights homepage, uploading an image such as a greeting card, and attaching a link to it such as a funny YouTube clip. When you print the image, or scan it right off the monitor, you can follow the link from your BlackBerry.

    Download Xsights’ BlackBerry Light App for free for your BlackBerry Bold.

    Download the BlackBerry Light App for free for the BlackBerry Curve.

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    Verizon BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review

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    The BlackBerry Curve 8530 is the latest update to the Curve series. It’s just like the BlackBerry Curve 8520, only with WiFi and GPS, plus a few other minor improvements.

    First off, lets talk about the major improvements: 3G and WiFi. While the 8520, the GSM version of the 8530, also has WiFi, this is new for Verizon customers. We have the Storm2 with WiFi but that’s about it when it comes to BlackBerry devices on Verizon with WiFi. We’ve heard rumors that all future BlackBerrys going to Verizon will ship with WiFi, so we’re hoping the 8530 is proof that this is true.

    One of the major downsides to the 8520 was that it did not have 3G and instead ran on EDGE. As we have all seen from the countless AT&T ads attacking Verizon, the network isn’t known for having voice and data at the same time, but this isn’t the case with the 8530. Personally, I don’t use this feature often, as my calls don’t last long and most of my business is done over email. It’s also not obvious to me why you would keep your friend on the phone while you navigate the web in search for whatever information you need. In any case, when you connect your device to WiFi, it establishes a new connection to RIM’s NOC, allowing you to make calls and browse the web.
    Click through for more details, pics and opinion about the BlackBerry Curve 8530

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