Interview with App Developer Fabian Heuwieser

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My wife and I just returned from Europe for our anniversary.   While we were there, we stopped in Munich to meet up with Fabian Heuwieser. Fabian is one of those people that you have to meet if you’re in Europe. He’s a sharp, friendly and fun guy to hang out with and of course, a BlackBerry application developer. We chatted with Fabian after a beer at the famous Hofbräuhaus in Munich to see what he had to say about his upcoming application, thoughts on the BlackBerry platform and what his wishes are from RIM to help him make applications more quickly and better looking. Check out the video and drop Fabian a line on Twitter via @fabianmh.

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SmrtGuard releases version 2.02 with free trial for new users

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We’ve covered SmrtGuard a lot in recent months because they have a solid product we can stand behind. Well they’ve gone version 2.02 and the latest version comes with a free trial for new users. The free trial is risk-free as well, because now you can sign up without any payment information.

What’s new in v2.02:

• Risk-free Trial without payment information.
• Added Remote Backup Function to allow ad-hoc backup to be trigger remotely. (Issue a remote backup before a remote data wipe).
• Added a new Location History Tab on the SmrtGuard Dashboard that displays all of your historical locations.
• Remote Listen feature now allows users to issue call forwarding remotely. This is useful when users forget their smartphone at home but need to re-route calls to another phone.

You can check SmrtGuard out today in either monthly, semi-annual, or annual service subscriptions.

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RIM dominates the top selling smartphones in Q3

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The BlackBerry Curve 8300 was the top selling smartphone in the US again, according to the NPD Group. RIM beat out the iPhone 3GS and 3G which came in second and third. What really drove home sales for RIM was taking the rest of the top 5 with the Tour and Storm.

NPD is saying the BOGO campaigns (Buy One Get One) were largely responsible for the Curve taking the lead, and prices for the devices are lower than ever. Globally, prepaid BlackBerry plans are driving sales, and regions such as Asia and Latin America are going to be big revenue generators for RIM.

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Preview a cool new baseball game You Make The Call

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Umpire illustration

mySportRules.com is developing a series of new mobile apps around the complete rules of sport and is currently seeking feedback on their first BlackBerry game.

You Make The Call, is a cool new game that uses full motion video. You’re the umpire and you have to make some difficult calls in various baseball game scenarios. Make the right call before the clock counts down and add up your score. Challenge your friends!

NOTE: This is a preliminary demo only and not all the features are fully functioning. However, the good folks at mySportRules are giving BlackBerry Cool readers an advanced preview, in the hopes that you’ll leave some helpful feedback.

The game demo can be downloaded and played on newer devices such as the Bold, Storm, Tour, 9700 and Curve 8900. The demo was built exclusively for the high resolution devices and will not play properly with low res devices (older Curve models, Pearl etc).

BlackBerry OS v4.5+ (Bold, Curve 8900 etc.)

Go to http://www.mysportrules.com/bbcool/4.5 from your BlackBerry to download OTA.

BlackBerry OS v4.7+ (Storm, Tour etc.)

Go to http://www.mysportrules.com/bbcool/4.7 from your BlackBerry to download OTA.

MySportRules.com are asking:

What do you like the best about the game?
What do you dislike the most about the game?
What was your overall user experience?
How likely is it you would buy this game: Not Likely / Somewhat Likely / Very Likely?
Do you have any other comments or suggestions?

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Magmic makes national news with Kaglom number 1 in Japan

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Magmic has made national Canadian news recently as Kaglom made number 1 in Japan. Their app is free in App World and Apple’s App Store.

Jeff Bacon presented the app to the CBC, and even went on the streets to showcase it to some local Ottawans. It’s just too bad he presented it with the iPhone, because he’s a BlackBerry genius. Remember his column on BlackBerry Cool? It was awesome.

“We were responding to some customer feedback and adding a few more features,” said Jeff Bacon, director of engineering at Magmic. “That caused it to pop up on some new release charts in iTunes and the customers in Japan really picked up on that. Within a couple days of releasing the updates the game was No. 1 in Japan.”

Bacon said it is too early to tell how many Japanese iTunes users have downloaded the game. However, he said to date Ka-Glom has been downloaded more than five million times.

For video, see the CBC official site and skip to around 13:30.

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The BlackBerry Storm2 makes a big push into Italy

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Recently the BlackBerry Storm2 was introduced to Italian customers via Wind and Vodafone Italia.

On Wind, the device will cost 499Euros (about $750 USD), and customers will be able to get unlimited email and internet for 12 Euros per month ($18 USD). From Vodafone Italia customers will be able to pick up the device from €0 to €399 depending on the contract length. Ciao!

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Free Twitter app Seesmic uses yfrog for pics

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Seesmic is a free Twitter app that is like UberTwitter but without the ads. The service has been around for a little while now and they recently announced their partnership with yfrog to offer pics.

One of the upsides of the app is that it offers one click URL shortening, but as a downside, it does not offer Tweetvid functionality. If you’re a big yfrog user this could be for you.

UPDATE: Sorry about that, you can change the media provider to use Twitpic in the settings.

Just go to Seesmic.com from your BlackBerry to Download the app.

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Leaked pics of the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 Stratus

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Gotta love Salomondrin for leaking pics of the upcoming BlackBerry Pearl 9100 aka Stratus. The 9100 is apparently a 3G Pearl for the GSM network. It has SureType, an optical trackpad, 3G, WiFi and the version we’re seeing is running OS 5.0.0.350. Too bad Sal’s YouTube was taken down by RIM legal. Those lawyers are killing the Internet, 1 leak at a time.

Click through for more leaked pics of this device

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Conclusions from testing the BlackBerry Bold 9700 battery

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Testing the BlackBerry Bold 9700 battery has been an interesting experience. I always thought consumer electronics manufacturers embellished their battery life expectancies in order to impress the buyer. In this case, RIM has actually slightly under-stated the Bold 9700’s battery life, and really proved themselves to be an honest company when it comes to their battery life marketing. Could we say the same for Apple? I challenge TIPB to do the same with the iPhone, and see if it can play 39 hours of music off radio and last 29 hours with heavy usage. Speaking of Apple…the BlackBerry Bold 9700 lasts longer than the best iPod.
Click through to read more about the BlackBerry Bold 9700 battery

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New Elecite theme Sentient with cool animations

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Elecite have a new theme out called Sentient. It looks pretty cool and features an animated shield with 6 customizable icons. It’s easy to use and the navigation is pretty user friendly. As with most Elecite themes, the icons could do with a little work.

Sentient is $6.99 and available for the Storm, 8900, 9700, Bold & 9600 (OS 4.7 & 5.0).

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