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BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 to Ship preloaded with Wikitude Augmented Reality Software

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Today at BlackBerry World, RIM announced that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones will be shipping with Augmented Reality software Wikitude. This will be one of the first utilizations of the new Bold series’ digital compass and will allow users to browse the over 150 million Augmented Reality items already in their system.

The Wikitude World Browser has won the “best Augmented Reality browser” in 2009 and 2010 by readers of Augmented Planet.

I look forward to see what sort of apps and use cases come out of the new Bolds’ AR-friendly features. The influx of BlackBerry users into the AR space will mean a lot more user generated content. It will be interesting to see AR leveraged by BBM’s colossal user base.

Get more info on Wikitude for BlackBerry

Spotberry GPS Toolset Features Compass, Speedometer and Track Log Recorder

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Spotberry let us know that they have released version 2.3.20 of their GPS toolset app for BlackBerry. Spotberry features a few useful tools that leverage the BlackBerry’s GPS, and allows you to do some pretty fun navigation things that might be popular with the geocaching crowd. SpotBerry features a compass, speedometer and track log recorder, as well as features such as an automatic shut-off if battery levels are low.

In speaking with some developers about the GPS on BlackBerry, I’ve heard the altitude readings can be very inaccurate, so it will be interesting to see how this app handles the readings.

More information available about SpotBerry in our store.

Coming soon: Compass for the Storm with waypoint management

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compass_lite

While BlackBerry devices don’t come with a built in compass, like the iPhone 3GS, the on-board GPS does provide enough data to calculate true North once a heading has been determined.

Compass Lite is an app for the BlackBerry Storm that has this basic functionality but differs from the other apps in that it uses a clean UI and graphics.

Blue Solutions Inc, the makers of Compass Lite, will be releasing an updated version to their compass software for BlackBerry. Features you’ll find in the update include:

  • The ability to store WayPoints (specific points of interest where the user can record a meaningful description about the particular spot).
  • A ‘Guide Me Back’ feature that will point the way from your current location to the WayPoint you choose. This is ideal for finding your car in that enormous parking lot.
  • The ability to change backgrounds: 5 stunning new backgrounds are in the works.
  • Multi-language support.
  • The ability to change the format of the Line of Travel and the Lat/Long.
  • Additional header graphics showing satellite signal strength.
  • On the Storm, the ability to change from portrait to landscape format and back.

Until then, you can purchase Compass Lite for the BlackBerry Storm or the Tour for $0.99.

BlackBerry feature requests: what do you want to see?

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While RIM releases device after device that combines form factors, we’re still waiting for them to include new features in the hardware and software. Adding these components will add to the price, but they also unlock a plethora of possibilities for developers. Lets look at some basic hardware and software features that will make the BlackBerry experience better.

Video Out: There are several smartphones on the market that support video out and it has great potential for the device. Not only can you attach peripherals to the video out such as a projector and television, but you can also have the video output interact with an application. An app that combines your device’s camera with a projector, could have Project Natal potential on a smaller scale.

Compass: The iPhone 3GS compass is a seemingly minor upgrade to the device, but again, it’s great for developers. Augmented Reality is the future of how we interact with the real world using our device and the compass makes these apps much easier to make.

Dual Touchscreen/QWERTY: A Bold-like device with a touchscreen has been rumored to be in development but we haven’t seen any proof. A dual touchscreen/QWERTY device has huge implications for the end user in terms of experience, but it also has big implications for developers. Being able to develop an application with a smooth touchscreen interface and QWERTY input is the best of both worlds.

I leave it to you BlackBerry Nation. What features would you like to see RIM implement?