BlackBerry Cool Roundup for the Week of March 22nd

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This was a great week for the BlackBerry Nation filled with OS leaks, new apps, and some good news on the BIS side of things. The BlackBerry Beta Zone launched this week and it’s a great opportunity for the general public to get access to invite-only beta apps. This means you can get an advanced look at the latest BlackBerry Messenger, Desktop Manager, or even OS builds. I’ve heard most of the apps will be available to anyone, but OS builds will be selected based on device and carrier conditions. So if you’re an early adopter, this program is perfect for you.

Speaking of first party RIM apps, we also got some insight on a official BlackBerry apps such as Twitter, Facebook and the yet to be announced BlackBerry Shield. My personal thoughts on RIM’s approach to developing software was outlined in an editorial I wrote this week, and if you’re a developer I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Something that wasn’t mentioned, which I’ll say now without creating a new post, is that BlackBerry Shield will be announced at WES. While it won’t launch for some time later, we do know it will be part of the press announcements. Click through after the jump and get caught up on a week of BlackBerry news.

Speaking of WES, don’t forget to sign up for Zenprise’s Smartphone Support Story contest where they’ll be giving away a free ticket to WES 2010. If you submit a story by video, and you win, they’ll also cover the cost of your flight. Check it out at Facebook.com/Zenprise.


Apps

Upcoming Facebook 1.8 and 2.0 Updates Mostly Performance-Based
My Battery Updated to Version 2.0.1 with Battery Drain Fix
Free ETA Notification App from TeleNav Available in App World
Moby Looking for Beta Testers for Personal Security App
Feature Details Leaked for Upcoming Official Twitter App
Leaked BlackBerry Messenger Version 5.0.0.65 Available
Druglord Wars on Sale for Today and the Month of March
Google Voice Updated to Version 0.1.7
Skype Mobile for BlackBerry Available Tomorrow
Vlingo Version 4.5 With SafeReader for Audio Email and SMS
Viira Get Things Done App Updated to Version 2.1 With Delegation Feature
Kompass for Basecamp Now Accepting Beta Testers
ING Direct Canada Mobile Banking BlackBerry App Available
Skype for BlackBerry Launches on Verizon
Free Talk to Text App from Microsoft and Yap on Sprint

Themes

All Cocky Culture BlackBerry Themes 65% Off for March
Premium Rainbow BlackBerry Theme by Hedone Design
3D Unique Icon BlackBerry Theme Pod by Calx

OS

Leaked OS 5.0.0.554 for the Curve 8900 and Bold 9000 with Mirror Links
Leaked OS 5 Roundup: Curve 8520, 8900, Tour 9630, Bold 9000 and 9700

News

BIS 3.0 Coming March 28th with Gmail Sync in Spring 2010
More Details of the Upcoming BlackBerry Shield
RIM Hosting Sessions for IT Managers Looking to Embrace Employee Liable Smartphones
Cricket Wireless to Carry Pre-Paid BlackBerrys
Rogers Updates Tethering Policy for Users With 1GB+ Data Plans
Get Invite-Only Beta Apps From the BlackBerry Beta Zone
App-Centric Developer Conference APPCON in August
Save the Date: RIM Q4 Fiscal 2010 End Year Results March 31st
BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6.0 Screenshot Leaked

Other

Should RIM Be Developing First Party Applications?
BlackBerry OS 5.0.0.411 Theme Bug Shows Wrong Wallpaper
Review of QwikClique vs Iconify: Two Quick-Icon Applications
How to Fix the GPS on Your BlackBerry
iPhone SMS Database Hijacked at Pwn2Own Contest
Interview with Xobni for BlackBerry Product Manager Michael Holzer