More BlackBerry Bold Browser Speed Trials Raise Questions, Problems, Aug 29

Iphone 3G BlackBerry Bold Wifi Browsing Chart

While BlackBerry Cool was the first website on the Internet to bring you competent speed testing of the BlackBerry Bold and iPhone 3G web browsers, it seems as though our initial tests were not as definitive as we would have liked them to be. This past week, we have been working with Kevin from CrackBerry.com, who has been trapped in BlackBerry purgatory trying to get any sort of positive browsing experience. While we suggest you read his two long and passionate posts on the subject (which describe crackberry addiction better than anything else on the Internet), here are the problems in a nutshell:

- The BlackBery Bold from Rogers has some serious issues when you attempt to enable Javascript support while browsing the web over 3G.
- There has to be some sort of issue with the Bold and WiFi/HotSpot Browser that pops up under specific circumstances. I don’t know what is yet, but I’m sure there’s something up.

While we were initially surprised to hear that Kevin had been having such problems, because we had not encountered them at all in our testing. However, out of BlackBerry unity, we agreed to give him some help and adopt his testing methodology. Once we did, it became clear that we were facing (some, but not all of) the same problems as Kevin. Which means that something is going on with the BlackBerry Browser.

Click here to read more about BlackBerry Cool’s BlackBerry Bold Browser testing

Bold Delays and JavaScript Dismays (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 39), Aug 29

Simon’s final podcast goes over some of the trickier problems with the BlackBerry Bold’s browser, what the touchscreen BlackBerry will actually be called and new light on Rogers’ Kickstart.

BlackBerry Bold week in Canada (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 38), Aug 22

The Rogers launch of the BlackBerry Bold and all its complications dominate this week’s episode, but we do get a few more peeks at the BlackBerry Kickstart.

Bold Delays and JavaScript Dismays (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 39), Aug 29

The BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 39

A bit of a slower week newswise, though still plenty of interesting Bold-related stuff, including upcoming AT&T availability, OS 4.6 browser speeds, as well as some fresh pricing info on the BlackBerry 8220 and some more confusion on the BlackBerry 9500’s naming scheme. This is Simon’s last podcast on BBCool, so you better soak it all in.

Click here to listen to the BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 39

Bounty out for location-based profiles app, Aug 29

BountyVarious Nokia handset enjoy a little function that automatically changes the calling profile (vibrate, quiet, etc.) based on your GPS location and the time, which fellow blogger Gordon Dewis would love to see on his BlackBerry Curve so much that he’s putting $50 out there for anyone willing to cook the app up. Personally, I think anyone who made something like this could make a hell of a lot more than $50 after putting it up on Handango and MobiHand… Some of the features needed include…

1. the last-known location as determined from the GPS using proximity to a waypoint (eg: “when I am within 200m of this location, use the Quiet profile”).
2. GSM cell ID (eg: “when I am ‘here’, use the Loud profile”).
3. time of day/day of week ranges (eg: weekdays between 0900 and 1700, use the Normal profile).

This sounds like a great project for any budding coders, or even more established ones looking for a quick distraction. Of course, there may be some difficulties in automating the profile-changing process that I might not know about. Any devs out there think this app is doable? Anyone else who would like to see this come to life can chip into the bounty via Paypal (paypal AT dewis DOT ca with “BlackBerry bounty” in the comments).

(via Gordon Dewis)

New (old) themes for the BlackBerry Bold, Aug 29

L and Today themes on the BlackBerry Bold

Yeah, that new bottom-bar Precision Zen theme is pretty slick, but some of us are still plenty happy with the oldies, like Today and the slightly-newer L theme. Well, it looks like someone over at Howard Forums has managed to hack in the old styles onto the Bold, and they look alright! Of course we’ll have to wait until the official Theme Developer Kit for OS 4.6 comes out before we can see some stuff that really takes advantage of the Bold’s screen and processor. The Plazmic CDK for 4.5 was just released late last month, so it might take awhile before we start seeing some proper shiny new themes, but this does get us day-dreaming about what’s next.

Thanks Nu!

(via HowardForums)

BlackBerry Connect coming to India, Aug 29

BlackBerry Connect on BPL Mobile

Indian carrier BPL is now offering BlackBerry Connect on a wide variety of handsets, including the Moto Q9h and the Nokia Communicator. BlackBerry Connect brings all of the back-end goodness like push email, data security and personal information syncing of BlackBerry to other platforms like Symbian and Windows Mobile. Clearly BlackBerry services are picking up at a decent clip again since that security mess awhile back, and I think we’re all pretty glad to see it.

(via EFYTimes)

BlackBerry Bold due to hit AT&T September 12th. with $299 pricetag?, Aug 29

AT&T BlackBerry Bold

No doubt all of this BlackBerry 9000 talk is driving your average American BlackBerry fanboy a little nuts since AT&T still doesn’t have it out yet - but apparently sales reps are quoting a September 12th. release date and a $299 pricetag (presumably on a 2-year plan), although there are conflicting reports that it could be as late as October 2nd. The BlackBerry Bold’s browser has been suffering from some hefty JavaScript issues, and we’re left to wonder if that’s to blame for the ongoing delayed US launch. Those rumours of a delay were certainly no joke, but it also makes sense if you take into account the big OS 4.6 patch due in September (which will hopefully fix both 3G and browser growing pains) as well as T-Mobile BlackBerry 8220 launching around the same time. AT&T needs something to punch back with, right?

(Gizmodo via BlackBerry News)

Can’t wait? BlackBerry Bold specifications behind the jump…

Rogers BlackBerry 8220 priced at $149.99, Aug 29

Rogers BlackBerry 8220

Well, so much for those dreams of a $50 pricetag. The latest Rogers ad materials are showing off the upcoming flip BlackBerry Pearl for $149.99 on a three-year contract - not what you’d call a generous back-to-school offer for the students who might be interested in grabbing one of these. Previous info was confirming a $50 promotion, but at this point it’s all up in the air until launch, ballparked for around mid-September. Word has it T-Mobile customers will also be getting the Kickstart - hopefully they’ll have more humane pricing.

(via CB)

Second picture of promo material and BlackBerry 8220 specifications behind the jump!

Golden Shellback, the future of the waterproof BlackBerrys (audio), Aug 28



Remember Golden Shellback
, those guys who were waterproofing iPods, BlackBerrys and all sorts of other electronics? Well, we had a chance to talk with Sid Martin about the process, when we can expect it to go public, the possibility of manufacturers like RIM picking it up, and how much it might cost you. For more info and updates on Golden Shellback, be sure to check out their site.

Hit the jump for the interview with Golden Shellback, as well as key snippets…

Top 5 Back-to-School Applications for BlackBerry, Aug 28

The BlackBerry Cool Top Five Back-to-School Applications for BlackBerry

Yep, it’s that time of the year again - bust out the books, call in the loans, and register for classes. Anyone going to college or university has a nice, big, juicy school year ahead of them, and that means it’s time to gear up. Your BlackBerry’s no exception, of course, and can provide plenty of helpful tools to stay on top of your assignments and study for tests. Of course it’s not all work, and there’s a lot your BlackBerry can do to keep you comfortable in the student lifestyle. Here are our top five BlackBerry apps for students heading back into the classroom this fall.

Check out the top 5 BlackBerry apps for students!

SugarCRM updated to version 5.1, Aug 28

Field Force CRM for BlackBerryThe open source customer relationship management software SugarCRM has updated to version 5.1, featuring advanced reporting and analytics, new wireless HTML client, tracker reports, data import enhancements, and module builder enhancements. The new software will offer BlackBerry and iPhone a completely revamped interface, but it looks like the handheld app, Field Force, is still only working with Sugar 5.0. Hopefully we can see an upgrade on that end soon. Head on over to SugarCRM for the latest version.

(via BusinessWire)

Survey: Runtime trumps cost and safety for battery-purchasers, Aug 28

BatteryA recent survey by Nexergy determined runtime was the top priority for those buying their batteries, which isn’t a huge surprise, but the fact that price was nearly the last thing on buyers’ minds was unsuspected.

“It was a bit surprising,” [Phil Glandon, Nexergy president and CEO] added, “that cost appeared so low on the priority list for both groups we surveyed, and nearly at the bottom among our marketing contacts. Battery performance clearly is seen as a core competitive advantage by our customers, and that should be the primary consideration as we make design decisions on new battery packs for our customers.”

Safety ranked number two on the list, and after seeing more than one incident of exploding cell phone batteries, we can certainly see why. There was also a surprising number of engineers who were unfamiliar with lithium-ion variants and other emerging battery technologies. If you’re in that boat, Giz actually had a solid post on different battery types and how they’re the major chokepoint for mobile technology.

Official BlackBerry OS 4.6 features, Aug 28

OS 4.6

Curious to know what exactly you’re missing with the BlackBerry Bold? RIM’s Knowledge Base is now listing the official new features in device software 4.6. Nothing hugely new (that Q hotkey for the vibrate profile is nice to know, and switching to Bluetooth headset mid-call is nifty), but now we’ve got all the updates in one spot.

(via RIMarkable)

Get the short version of the new features in BlackBerry Software 4.6 Features behind the jump!

The BlackBerry Thunder is the Storm 9530 (and the Thunder?), Aug 27

Verizon BlackBerry Storm 9530

This isn’t the usually way most BlackBerry news breaks, but Engadget was able to grab an image of the eventual box design for the Verizon BlackBerry Storm 9530, previously known as the BlackBerry Thunder, shedding light on why RIM’s development teams were referring to the device as the HalleBerry.

However, considering the contentious debate that has occurred on the ‘net over the name of RIM’s first touchscreen BlackBerry, don’t think that’s the whole story. It turns out the BlackBerry Thunder namesake will be used for the eventual Vodafone and Rogers (!!) versions. That’s right, Rogers. So much for a Telus/Verizon exclusive.

Other items of note? Another World Edition phone, the Storm will come with a SIM card, as well as an 8GB MicroSD card. We’ll keep tabs on the story and see what else we can dig up.

(via Engadget)

Click here for another image of the Verizon BlackBerry Storm 9530 box design

DMTI Spatial joins BlackBerry ISV Alliance, Aug 27

Location Hub

The latest to join the BlackBerry Independent Software Vendor Alliance is DMTI Spatial, a Canadian company focusing on enterprise-grade “location intelligence”. Location Hub is their web-based platform, which aims to help enterprise keep track of assets, sales, and mobile workforce. They also provide industry-specific data packs to ensure customers get mapping software tailored to their needs. Keep an eye out for some BlackBerry-side software from these guys soon.

(via MarketWire)

What goes into a Rogers bill, Aug 27

Pie chart of a typical Rogers bill

With the aid of Rogers’ Q2 financial report and some trusty pie chart skills, some folks at Wireless North put together the numbers which constitute Rogers’ $75 average monthly revenue per user.

General overhead, shiny offices, salaries etc: $30
Cost of sales (Direct costs, electricity bill for those towers etc.): $7.69
Marketing (You might have seen some): $7.44
Depreciation (Infrastructure cost of the network): $6.06
Debt (interest on loans for past spectrum auctions and investments): $3.55
Profit (before taxes): $27.89

Yep, a little over a third of that monthly bill goes right into Ted’s coffers. Just a friendly reminder before anyone gets too angry at Telus or Bell for charging for incoming SMS messages.

(Wireless North via MobileSyrup)

U.S to take top spot from UK in mobile web browsing, Aug 27

First place cupA recent survey by mobile billing service Bango is forecasting increased mobile browsing in the U.S which could bump the UK out of its number one spot. Last month the UK took in 19.35% of global traffic, the US had 18.88%, India 10.82%, South Africa 8.82% and Indonesia 4.08%. AdMob’s recent report corroborates the trend, claiming US ad requests grew 5.8% month over month, while UK traffic saw a -0.5% drop from June. The reason for the uptake?

“The US share of the browsing market has grown as an increasing number of phones come with bigger screens and service contracts that include unlimited internet access,” said Adam Kerr, VP of Bango North America at Bango.

(via cellular-news)

Marvell downgraded after losing contract for BlackBerry Javelin, Aug 27

BlackBerry JavelinChip manufacturer Marvell saw a downgrade status rating on the stock market today from Jefferies & Co. due to losing the contract with RIM to provide parts for the upcoming BlackBerry 8900 (a.k.a Javelin) to competitor Freescale. The folks from Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. didn’t see it as quite that bad of a hit to Marvell.

“Not to minimize Freescale’s successful efforts, but we still think there is plenty of room for Marvell to feed at the Blackberry trough,” [analyst Craig Berger] wrote. “We believe Marvell’s unit shipments to Research In Motion could grow by 60%-80% this year.”

RIM’s been buying from Marvell for a long time, so we’re left to wonder what spurred the change in supplier. It could be as simple as going with the lowest bidder, but maybe Freescale’s got something that Marvell doesn’t… I guess we’ll have to wait for the Javelin around late November to see if she runs any differently.

(via MarketWatch)

Updated: The Definitive BlackBerry Bold versus iPhone 3G Browser Comparison (video), Aug 27

iPhone 3G BlackBerry Bold Browser Speed test Screenshot

Update: Just got talking to a couple of our friends at RIM, who said they weren’t surprised by the results of our test. It turns out that the focus of RIM’s development for the new rendering engine in OS 4.6 was in stability, not performance, and the Waterloo crew is still working on speed optimization. What this means is that future OS updates from RIM will require additional speed tests.

While previous results had been contested, we hope to put the BlackBerry Bold versus iPhone 3G browser debate to bed. Taking some time with our brand-spanking-new Bold and QuicklyBored EIC, Kyle McInnes’ iPhone 3G, we put the two beasts through some browsing hoops to see who can get through the fastest. We tested on Wi-Fi only, 3G-only, both with and without JavaScript enabled. Sadly, our results are pretty conclusive - the iPhone’s browser is faster.

To be fair, it’s not by much - maybe a two to three second delay, depending on the site, but it’s enough to notice the difference. We’re also running on BIS, so don’t have enterprise servers doing a lot of the compression for us. The Bold’s browser is still a huge upgrade for BlackBerry, and definitely more enjoyable than what I was using on the Pearl. While we’re calling this test definitive (we ran a series of five tests using multiple sites each time), your mileage may vary - if you’ve got both devices in hand, take some time to wipe the caches and run a few tests. We’d love to hear if our results match up, and love even more to hear if they don’t.

Click here to see the iPhone 3G and BlackBerry Bold Browser speed test

JuiceCaster to help Curve users share video and pics, Aug 26

JuiceCaster for BlackBerry

JuiceCaster just launched the beta of their video and sharing app for BlackBerry 8310 and BlackBerry 8330 users in the U.S., allowing them to post to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Photobucket, Blogger, LiveJournal, Typepad and plenty of other social networking sites. It’s too bad that it’s only on the BlackBerry Curve, but they promise that compatibility with the Pearl will be coming soon. Aside from broadcasting, JuiceCaster also lets you view other videos on the network so you meet all sorts of other mobile video microbloggin’ types. Head to JuiceCasterландшафт to get in on the limited beta.

BlackBerry Made Simple goes mobile, Aug 26

BlackBerry Made Simple

You might remember that poll awhile back regarding getting instructional videos right on your device… Well, it looks like the folks at BlackBerry Made Simple listened, and are now offering over 65 of their files in a BlackBerry-friendly format. This is a great idea for training folks on simple BlackBerry tasks, since they’re not only learning a thing or two about video playback in the process, but it guarantees they can review lessons whereever they are. It’s a solid deal deal for both individuals who need a few crash courses and enterprises who are looking to keep their help desk calls down. Head on over to BlackBerry Made Simple to try out some of their free sample videos.

Wi-Fi Curve, Pearl come to South Africa, Aug 26

BlackBerry 8120 and BlackBerry 8320 from MTN

MTN has launched the BlackBerry 8320 and BlackBerry 8120 to South African customers, expanding on their existing GPS versions of the Curve and the Pearl. It’s been awhile since we had heard from MTN, but it’s good to see the African market is still getting some of the newer devices, but will they be getting the BlackBerry Bold any time soon? RIM’s COO Don Morrison has high hopes for their progress into Africa, and a BlackBerry 9000 launch there could go a long ways. Find more info on the MTN BlackBerry 8320 here (available in gold and black) and the BlackBerry 8120 here (available in titanium and black).

(via ITNewsAfrica)

Nokia still rocks the mobile browser roost, Aug 26

International mobile browser share

The latest report from mobile advertising agency AdMob ran through some numbers based on the four billion ads they’ve served up. As you can see, Nokia remains top dog in mobile browsing activity, capturing a solid 34% of the global share thanks primarily to heavy adoption in Africa and Asia, followed up closely by Openwave (AKA WAP) at 29%. BlackBerry took a sad little 3% slice of the pie, right along side Motorola, Palm’s and Apple’s browsers. The BlackBerry 8300 and BlackBerry 8100 are still on the American Top Ten handsets list, though the top four spots are taken by Motorola. Even internationally, the Pearl does alright, getting 9th. place. In terms of geography, Indonesia has seen about ten times more traffic than last year, and Asia on the whole has seen a significant increase in activity.

(AdMob via Electronista)

Free service offering enterprise network security by phone, Aug 25

PhoneFactor

I just got wind of this free new service from Positive Networks which authenticates log-ins by calling the user’s phone number. Just answer your phone after logging-in and hit the pound key to finish the process. PhoneFactor has just partnered up with LogMeIn to get this service out there for free to existing subscribers, who already enjoy secure remote desktop access. This is a dead simple and easy way for enterprises to ensure only the right people are getting into the network, and nice little bonus to folks who are already using LogMeIn. Try out PhoneFactor for free here.

(via BusinessWire)

Now access financial data via BlackBerry through QuickBooks, Aug 25

QuickBooks

QuickBooks, a financial app that had previously been anchored to the desktop, is now going mobile with BlackBerry and the iPhone. Financial data fed in through their service will now be available via web on your BlackBerry at IntuitLabs.com. Using the mobile site, users will be able to review accounts receivable and payable, vendor and customer locations through Google Maps, profit and loss numbers, and lots more. For an initial foray into mobilizing software, a website seems like a sound way to go.

(via MarketWatch)

Top 5 official BlackBerry sites, Aug 25

Top 5 BlackBerry Sites

After replying to Mark’s comment about BlackBerry needing an app store, it occurred to me that there are some resources right on RIM’s site that not everyone might know about. While they might not be widely publicized, there’s still a lot of info out there ripe for the picking - you just have to know where to look. Even if you’re not a noobie to the BlackBerry scene, there might be some spots here you haven’t checked out before…

Check out the top five hidden gems of the BlackBerry world…

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