BlackBerry Kickstarts pop up on Expansys, featuring PTT!, Aug 19

Those fine folks who gave us the first quasi-official look at the BlackBerry 9500 are now showing the BlackBerry 8220 and BlackBerry 8210 for presale. No word on pricing (we’re holding out for $50 on contract), but they’re showing off red and black versions of the new flip BlackBerry Pearl, along with specs that mostly match up with what we’ve seen before. What’s new, however, is push-to-talk support! The upcoming iDEN BlackBerry 8350 is a solid nod towards the demand for the feature, and if the Kickstart has it too, it’ll be making a lot of people happy. As expected, the BlackBerry 8210 will be covering the GPS end of things and the BlackBerry 8220 will have Wi-Fi. The Rogers slip-up yesterday combined with this makes me think an announcement is going to happen soon - after all, if this new Pearl is due mid-September, the publicity train had better start chuggin’ along.

(via Cellpassion)

Full specifications for the BlackBerry 8220 and BlackBerry 8210 behind the jump!

Canadian Pricing and Developer Challenges (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 37), Aug 15

We take some time this week to bitch about Rogers, Bell and Telus, but also touch on some upcoming devices, like the BlackBerry 8350. Take a listen!

Kickstart madness and the Q3 lineup (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 36), Aug 08

Rogers gets a lot of news this week, what with its flip BlackBerry showing up along with a few other devices, but there’s plenty going on with the Thunder and Bold as well.

New Saltwater BlackBerry theme makes you swim with fishies, Aug 19

The latest magic out of Bplay is the Saltwater theme, complete swimming fish and rising bubbles! This isn’t the first time they’ve animated a background, but it’s still an impressive trick. Saltwater is packing a bottom-dock Precision style that will be coming on the BlackBerry Bold. This is the perfect theme to have on your BlackBerry’s home screen when you’re in the middle of a stressful meeting - just pretend it’s a real aquarium. Head on over to Bplay to grab the Saltwater theme for BlackBerry!

Video of the Saltwater BlackBerry theme after the jump!

BlackBerry Connect for Motorola Q9h updated, Aug 19

BlackBerry Connect is still kicking, doing its best to bring BlackBerry services like push e-mail and PIM synchronization to other devices. Although its future with Nokia looks grim, Windows Mobile just an updated version for the Motorola Q9h. Any Moto Q users in the house can grab the new software from the IM & Chat folder if they’re running Windows Mobile 6.1, or go to www.motorola.com/us/Q9h/BlackBerryConnect on their mobile browser if running WinMo 6.0. Find more info on the latest BlackBerry Connect software over here.

(BGR via Windows Mobile Cool)

Rogers giving away BlackBerry Bolds for launch contest, Aug 19

We just got word that Rogers will be running a promo to hype up the official BlackBerry Bold launch on August 21st., this Thursday. Today e-mails will be going out to anyone who signed up for notifications on the Rogers BlackBerry 9000 along with instructions on how to win one of ten free Bolds! Not too bad, but the contest is only eligible to those who were getting updates, so if you haven’t yet, hop-to! The contest will be wrapped up on September 30th., so you’ll have to be willing to wait just a little bit for a free BlackBerry. Hey, beats shelling out $400 and a three-year plan, eh?

Wall Street Journal news reader for BlackBerry, Aug 19

Wall Street Journal for BlackBerry

The Wall Street Journal recently launched a BlackBerry app which lets you peruse the headlines of WSJ.com, MarketWatch.com, Barrons.com and AllThingsD.com. Tabbed navigation lets you quickly switch between sections, address book and social bookmarking integration lets you share articles easily, RSS reading and keyword monitoring let you track the news you care about, and stock info is readily available. Not a bad little, app, but vaguely Viigo-esque, no? (Edit: That would be because it’s actually powered by Freerange.) To give it a go, head on over to the WSJ.com Mobile Reader.

(via CB)

HSBC sticking to BlackBerry, Aug 19

Word has it that HSBC won’t be making that jump to iPhone reported last week. Australian CIO Brenton Hush had made some commentary regarding the possibility of an iPhone rollout, which didn’t really say “no”, but a lot of people took as “maybe”. A few calls to HSBC revealed that “there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell” that the some 200,000-odd BlackBerrys currently deployed internationally would be ousted in favour of the iPhone 3G. Good thing for RIM, because that’s a pretty big contract to lose to the competition.

(Internetnews via Pinstack)

YouTube testing mobile ads, Aug 19

Both mobile advertising and video are both still picking up in popularity, but Google’s willing to put their eggs in that basket now that they’ve begun testing ads on YouTube’s mobile page. It’s tricky enough to get BlackBerry users to enjoy mobile video with so few 3G handsets out there, let alone convince them to click through on ads. Screen real estate is also at a premium, which might work out better for advertisers who can claim a bigger chunk of visibility, but end users may just see full-size banners as obnoxious. Many video providers integrate their ads right with videos, which might be a better way to go about things on mobile, since it they don’t impede the mobile browsing experience and provide richer advertising opportunities.

(via Official Google Mobile Blog)

Rogers accidentally lists BlackBerry 8220 in game deck, Aug 18

If you’re still holding your breath for the new flip BlackBerry Pearl, it’s clear that Rogers is setting the stage for a launch real soon, now that the BlackBerry 8220 is listed on their game deck. The BlackBerry 8220 has been rumored to be out on Rogers sometime in mid-September, which would be backed up by this little slip-up. Whether or not the Kickstart will be subjected to a big push for gaming remains to be seen, but if that BlackBerry multiplayer platform comes to fruition, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

(via MobileSyrup)

Tellme updated for Pearl and Curve, Aug 18

Microsoft’s TellMe launched last April to meet Yahoo!’s OneSearch head-on for supremacy in voice-activated search. Today TellMe has expanded their device support to beyond the BlackBerry 8800, and now works on the full BlackBerry Curve and BlackBerry Pearl range (well, maybe not all BlackBerry Pearls, and the 8300 isn’t supported), so now more folks can enjoy the business search, traffic, driving directions, maps, weather and movies TellMe is offering. Want to give it a shot? Grab TellMe for free at m.tellme.com from your BlackBerry’s browser.

Kenyans tapped for BlackBerry Developer Challenge, Aug 18

The BlackBerry Developer Challenge was announced last week, and they really seem to be reaching out to folks all over the world (yes, even you, Australia). Charlene Maina, technical product manager at RIM, was particularly enthusiastic about Kenyan development.

“I have what some may call a naïve belief that Kenya is a haven of untapped potential,” Maina said. “Look around at Kenyans making it in the diaspora: I am a firm believer that restrictions of the mind result in restrictions in performance. I am hoping that my belief that a compelling idea can come from Kenya will fuel the right developer to see beyond themselves as a Kenyan developer and more as a developer who the world is demanding a service from.”

Application deadline is September 30th., and the winner will be announced at the BlackBerry Developer Conference on October 21st. and 22nd. There are five categories to compete in: most innovative game, most innovative multimedia application, most innovative personal productivity application, most innovative enterprise application and most innovative Web application. While the competition might be BlackBerry-only, the hosting BlackBerry Partners Fund still have $150 million of venture capital available for all platforms.

(via NetworkWorld)

Street Fighter II released on BlackBerry, Aug 18

As a long-time gamer, and a fan of Sagat’s freakish tallness, I’m happy to tell you guys about Street Fighter II: Championship Edition for BlackBerry. All of the bosses are playable, including M. Bison, Vega, and Balrog. I’d be interested in seeing how the controls work, considering how much easier doing a quarter-circle turn would be on a trackball rather than D-pad. Head on over to Handango to pick up Street Fighter II for $9.99.

(via BerryReview)

Live birth twittered by BlackBerry, Aug 18

Good luck trying to get a coherent sentence out of a mother giving birth, but surely the dad has a few interesting things running through his mind while he watches the whole thing go down. Kieran Hawe from MTV was pounding away on his BlackBerry while his wife was in labour with twins, followed shortly thereafter with mobile pictures uploaded right from the BlackBerry. Now, there’s two ways you can take something like this: either you see a great new way to share a happy experience with friends, family and the world, or as technology turning a new father into an obnoxious paparazzi who’s ruining what should be a private moment. It’s certainly a tough call, and one that will differ from person to person. Another couple had even video recorded the birth of their kids live from mobile. Is that something you would be okay with? How big of a role does BlackBerry play in growing this kind of web 2.0 awareness?

(via Silicon Alley Insider)

Full twittered transcript of child birth behind the jump…

Rogers BlackBerry Bold launch party this Thursday, Aug 18

If you’re in the Toronto area and feel like crashing the Rogers BlackBerry Bold launch party, it’s at, 333 Bloor Street East on August 21st, 10 AM - 12 noon. This pretty much seals the Canadian launch for this week, and a quick call to the local outlet confirmed that the BlackBerry 9000 will be available tomorrow. Anyone going to the party? Take some pictures and send ‘em our way!

(via MobileSyrup)

BlackBerry Bold on Rogers going for $649.99 w/o contract, Aug 18

If for some reason you wanted to spend more than the $399.99 asking price on a three-year contract with Rogers the BlackBerry 9000 (like to roam with an AT&T plan instead of going with Rogers), it looks like you’ll be able to grab the Bold for $649.99 without any strings attached. That’s the standard $250 that usually gets subsidied on BlackBerrys, but when you take a look at the BlackBerry 8220 getting knocked down to $50 from $599.99, you have to wonder how much more favourably Rogers wants the iPhone to look versus the Bold. The Rogers outlet here in Ottawa has the Bold on display, which makes me think that it’s ready for sale, but still nothing on an announcement, or any presence in the online store. Full release could be available as soon as tomorrow. The big question is are you getting one?

(via BlackBerry News)

Student Starter Pack for back-to-schoolers, Aug 18

StudentDocket and Cram have cleverly paired up to offer a great package to those heading back to school in a few short weeks. After taking a good look at StudentDocket and having been amply impressed by Cram, I can say these two apps are must-haves for any academic that means business. StudentDocket helps you organize classes, assignments, and larger projects in an easily-navigable and clean interface, while Cram lets you create your own quizzes for on-the-go testing. Sharpen your pencils, charge your BlackBerry, and head on over here to grab the Student Starter Pack for a mere $25. Just remember, the you only have until August 31st. to enjoy the deal.

(via Metroberry)

WorldMate Live updated with hotel booking, Aug 18

Version 2.0.13 of WorldMate Live has been released, now letting you book hotels right from your BlackBerry. If you haven’t tried it, WorldMate Live is a great travel app that helps you sort out all of your arrangements, such as flights, accommodation, rentals, maps, weather, and itineraries all under one roof. A free version is available, but for the real sweet stuff, you’ll want to look into their Gold subscription service, which unlocks flight status-checking, travel directory, and flight alerts. This new hotel-booking feature sounds great, but it would be really nice if they could plug into Google’s recent transit search so you could figure out bus times in foreign cities. The last update included a feature which let you know if your plans overlapped with any contacts, which was certainly a cool change of pace. If you’re interested in giving the free version of WorldMate Live a shot, head on over to WorldMateLive.com.

(via Pinstack)

Telstra BlackBerry Bold launches for business customers, Aug 18

The previously-mentioned $0-down BlackBerry Bold for Australian business customers has now gone live, along with word of a $999 suggested retail price for customers once it goes public. Two-year plans will be in the neighbourhood of $89.95 monthly for e-mail, plus the standard $80 for voice and data. To sweeten the deal, Telstra’s throwing in 200MB free for the first two months. Not too shabby, eh? Vodafone, Optus and 3 Mobile were also slated to be offering the BlackBerry 9000, so keep your eyes open for more info on their offerings.

(via iTWire)

“Will you buy the Rogers BlackBerry Bold?” (Weekly Contest), Aug 15

So the news has finally broken on Rogers’ pricing for the BlackBerry Bold, due out next week on the 19th: $399 on a three year plan. I’d like to say it’s a surprise, but honestly at this point, we should be expecting this from Big Red, right? Andy Brown of Strategy Analytics already told us that enterprises won’t be taking the Bold, except as perhaps executive candy. And after the dirt-cheap Pearl and the mid-ranged iPhone 3G, Rogers has a gap in their “high-end prestige” demographic, which the Bold fills nicely.

The question then becomes: what do the rest of us do? Are we really willing to shell out $400 on a three year contract for the BlackBerry Bold? Has the wait been so unbearable that we’re willing to do anything for BlackBerry goodness at this point? Or do we have the guts to hold out until Christmas, hoping they drop the price a little? Maybe we should follow the advice of reader Jack Frost:

The trick is for people to complain and hold-out on buying the Bold. If demand is low, then they will lower their prices. Soon it will be cheaper to get a plan in the USA and pay roaming in Canada rather than sign a 3 year deal with Rogers.

Post a comment and let us know if you’re still planning to buy the BlackBerry Bold or if $50 for the Pearl 8220 sounds a lot more enticing. The person with the best comment will win THREE FREE GAMES FROM MAGMIC.

Canadian Pricing and Developer Challenges (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 37), Aug 15

BlackBerry Cool Podcast

This week we have fun taking it to the Canadian wireless industry not only for overpricing the BlackBerry Bold on Rogers, but also for the unopposed text message charges by Telus and Bell. A lot of different upcoming devices are touched on, including the flip BlackBerry 8220 (a.k.a the Kickstart), the newly-scoped iDEN BlackBerry 8350, as well as a new feature in the BlackBerry Javelin. There’s plenty more where that came from - just hit the jump!

Click here to listen to the BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 37

Rogers BlackBerry Bold officially priced at $399.99 on 3 year plan, Aug 15

Once again, Canadian subscribers get the extra-short end of the stick. The BlackBerry 9000 should be launching on August 19th for $399.99 on a three-year contract. So much for $275. Just to hammer the point home, T-Mobile is offering the Bold in Austria for the essentially the same price, but on a two-year contract. Oh yeah, and that new iPhone everyone is talking about? $299 on a three-year contract for the 16GB model.

Ugh. Well, Canadians? Is it worth that much to you? I guess we could always take Jim Prentice’s advice and choose another carrier. Oh wait, we can’t.

(via CB)

BlackBerry Partners Fund issues challenge to developers, Aug 15

BlackBerry Partners Fund

The BlackBerry Partners Fund has announced a competition to be settled at the upcoming BlackBerry Developer Conference in October, where contestants will be vying for prizes including “RIM devices, cash, company spotlights and more.” Categories include:

Most Innovative Game
Most Innovative Multimedia Application
Most Innovative Personal Productivity and Lifestyle Application
Most Innovative Enterprise Application
Most Innovative Web Application

Not only is the BlackBerry Developers Conference the perfect venue for the $150 venture capital fund to see what developers are up to, but it’s also a great opportunity for devs to network and hone their skills. Be sure to stick around next week, when we have a talk with BlackBerry Partner Fund’s Rick Segal for more background on the firm. In the meantime, be sure to check out the revamped site for contact info and news on the fund. If you’re a developer and looking to get into the show, be sure to register for the BlackBerry Developer Conference before the end of the month to save $200. There’s also a call to papers until August 22nd. that will get you through the doors for free.

(via Devberry)

Indosat launches prepaid BlackBerry Internet Service, Aug 15

Indonesian carrier Indosat recently launched some nice prepaid options for week- and month-long BlackBerry service. It’s all-you-can-thumb internet browsing, e-mail, instant messaging and whatever else you want to do with your data, just remember that it doesn’t count SMS, voice or tethering. The 7-day deal will cost 50,000 rupiahs (or $3.50), and the 30-day prepaid service goes for 175,000 rupiahs (or $20). For travelers with an unlocked BlackBerry, this is a pretty sweet deal, and even local users who only need occasional data use, the plan could come in handy. Head on over here for more info on Indosat’s BlackBerry On Demand service, or text “BIS1 BB” and your BlackBerry model number to 889 to get started.

(Slashphone via Engadget)

PocketMac update supports Entourage and iTunes, Aug 15

AppleMac users rejoice! Entourage 2008, designed to emulate much of Microsoft Office, can now support syncing for BlackBerrys released as of May through PocketMac. Devices running OS 4.5 reportedly work like a charm for getting contacts, tasks, and calendar items off your Mac and onto your BlackBerry via Entourage. iTunes support is also in there, although it’s kind of funny that PC users got the iTunes Media Sync first. This is pretty awesome for Mac users everywhere, considering the complete lack of love they tend to get from RIM. Hopefully this will keep enough of them from going with the iPhone instead… Hey, you can always make your BlackBerry look like an iPhone with themes like iBerry in Today, Icon and Zen styles. Head on over to the PocketMac site to download version 4.1.25.

(via TUAW)

BlackBerry Bold launch kit hits Rogers stores, Aug 15

The rumours of an August 19 release for the BlackBerry 9000 in Canada are gaining some traction as launch kits including oversized versions of the BlackBerry Bold arrive at Rogers retail outlets. Previous info suggested a $275 pricetag on a three-year plan and around $1000 without contract.

(CB via BlackBerry Sync)

More pictures and BlackBerry 9000 specs after the jump…

Fresh BlackBerry Pearl cases from Speck, Aug 15

Some new hard cases are now available from Speck for $24.95, sporting a very stylish array of colours including green, red, pink and crystal clear. Normally I find hard cases a little bulky, but these look very slim and snug, while also giving your BlackBerry a bit of colour. BlackBerry 8110, BlackBerry 8220 and BlackBerry 8330 cases ready to roll, but if you’re packing an older Pearl, the BlackBerry 8100 SeeThru case is still available. Head on over to Speck’s online store for a closer look.

(via MarketWatch)

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