Monday, April 27, 2009

Got GPS?

BlackBerry Storm
If you have a Berry with built in GPS, you might be looking for free apps to make the most of it. 

The one I use all the time is Google Maps. You can download it here: Its quick and accurate and the maps are very easy to read. 

I've tried out a few other ones that have actual voice turn-by-turn directions. AmazeGPS is one of them. Download it here: It's pretty cool to have it talk to you, but the maps aren't very good at all and its not totally user friendly because it wasn't designed specifically for BB's. But it IS free. 

Another cool GPS app I came across recently in App World is called, "GPSed: Track and Map Your Trips." It does exactly what it says it does. Read more about it here: GPSed.

Its very cool to see your exact location (in degrees), speed, elevation and direction of travel in real time. And even cooler that you can track your trips, save them and check it out later on your computer along with geotagged photos you took along the way. 

Remember, you will not be visible to satellites inside. Although I have been spotted by Big Brother a few times before indoors. It usually works if you're close to a window and will almost always work outside. Obviously if its totally overcast, you're usually out of luck as well. 

Anyway, try those apps out and let me know if you have any other ones you use. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chocolate BlackBerry Sighting!

This beautiful creation is compliments of my lovely wife. Although she doesn't always fully support my BlackBerry obsession, she humors me. Thanks for a great birthday my precious!

And yes, it was delicious. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Free Wall Street Journal Reader App

Just found this WSJ Reader and it is pretty neat. Its totally free to access full WSJ articles...for now. I hear they might chrage for the app soon, so get it now while its free for the taking!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Facebook Version 1.5 Available NOW For ALL!

FacebookWell almost. If you have a BB thats an 8700 or older, you're out of luck. But this new version is now available for BB's running OS 4.2 or higher. That means everyone with an 88xx, 81xx, 83xx or newer can upgrade! The official version number is

You can get it at App World or either of these links:

New features include:
  • Status comments
  • Facebook contact integration (contact info and profile pics added to address book)
  • Facebook calendar integration
  • And more cool stuff.
I have been running for a few weeks now and its really nice to have profile pics added to my address book and to be able to comment on status updates. 

Let me know what you think in the comments after you try it out! Make sure to let your friends know by sending them a link to the blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wallpaper Tips

I realize most everyone out there knows how to change their wallpaper or 'home screen image,' but I've seen a lot of stock wallpapers out there and thought I'd share some sources for almost any kind of wallpaper you can think of. Each one is optimized for whichever model of BB you have. 

First of all, lets go over the basics: How to change your wallpaper:
  1. Find an image stored on your BB (Media-->Pictures). I made a folder especially for wallpapers cause I like to mix it up all the time.
  2. Select the image
  3. Hit menu
  4. Select "set as homescreen image"
Thats it!

Now there are a few places to find great wallpapers, but has the best and most organized database I've found. Just click the link below, find your BB, choose a category, and download away.

As I explained in my theme how to post previously, you will have to register to download. Its quick and painless though. Username, password and email address. They don't spam you either.

Its easiest to use your computer to download wallpapers and then transfer them later using USB, but you can download them directly to your BB by visiting the site on the BB browser.

Here are some more of my favorites:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

High Scores Anyone?

Check out that BrickBreaker high score! Not bad eh? There's a guide at the following link that teaches you how to master one of the most popular BB games out there.

I even heard that our good friend BObama plays all the time. His high score is only around 15,000 though. Weak sauce ruler of the world, weak sauce.

Let me know in the comments what your Breaker high score is and any other high scores you want to brag about.

I'll start off the bragging with Paper Airplane. My current high score is: 4689.

Let it begin!!!

Sent from my BlackBerry™ Javelin 8900

***Update*** My new Paper Airplane score is 4719

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Review: OEM Leather Swivel Holster For 8900/Storm

Here are some shots of the new OEM Leather Swivel Holster I just received in the mail today. RIM has made some serious improvements on their older leather holster. The one that came with my Pearl a few years ago was not even close to the quality of this one. Maybe that's why I had to buy this separately. The pouch that came with the 8900 was junk. It wasn't even leather and it pressed buttons and drained the battery. As shown above, this one works with the 8900. It will also cradle a Storm. 

The clip is great. Its very durable and has 360 degree rotation on 23 separate stops. I'm not sure why you would ever want this thing totally upside down, but why not I guess. The clip is easier to open than the old model and grips your belt very well. 
I love the silver BB logo on the front. I hope it holds up better than the silver "BlackBerry" plate on the old holsters that turns rusty copper after you breathe on it for a minute.  The top flap closes with a magnet and there is a proximity magnet as well that puts your Berry in Standby mode when you holster it. 
Instead of having that black elastic on the sides, your BB is surrounded by genuine leather. Much better. 

Overall, I am very impressed with this holster. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the 'utility belt' look, I can definitely rock this without feeling like that guy that has 134 keys (on a retractable string), a leatherman, a swiss army knife and a flashlight all strapped around his waist. The cool factor is there.

As far as protection, its great. You just need to be careful when your BB is unholstered. I just ordered a clear protector that covers the entire BB and provides an invisible layer of protection. I'll review that as well after I get it. I'm pumped for that because its made out of the same stuff the military uses to protect helicopter blades. Overkill? I think not.

The price was amazing. Normally at a store, you'd pay at least $40 for this. I got it on eBay for $18.45 CAD including taxes and shipping. That is a steal in my opinion. 

Any other questions? Comments?

Note: Welcome our newest member Tom! Make sure to invite all of your BB using friends using the 'Invite Your Friends' link at the bottom of the Members box.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Wonders of Autotext!

I know, I know, that's an Autobot, not Autotext. But Autotext on the BB is almost as powerful as the mighty Optimus! Also, in an unrelated matter, I couldn't find a cool picture of "Autotext."

Anyway, Autotext is an underrated feature for most BB users. You can improve your typing speed quite a bit if you set it up correctly. 

It's very simple. Go to Options-->Autotext. First of all, it would be a good idea to scan through the default Autotext entries and familiarize yourself with some useful ones. Here are some I found:

  • hr - hour
  • il - I'll
  • mn - minute
  • mo - month
  • mynumber - (displays your phone number)
  • mypin - (displays your PIN)
  • yr - year
Try them out! Just type the first letter combination, then hit space. Pretty cool eh?

You can also add your own custom entries for common words you use. For example, when I type the letter 'w' and hit space, Autotext turns it into 'with'. You can add whatever you like by going to Autotext in Options, hitting the menu and selecting 'New.'

Thanks to our newest members Amy and Admiral for signing in! Make sure to tell your friends and sign into the members box if you like what you see. Comments are much appreciated as well. Let me know what you'd like to know about and I'll do my best to figure it out for you.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

New App Enables Simultaneous Vibrate and Ring

Its called BuzzMe and you can find it in the App World. I mentioned App World and how to get it in a previous post.

I've actually had the simultaneous vibrate and ring function for a while now using BBLight. Its a little more complicated to setup, but there are more options to configure.

I downloaded BuzzMe this morning and it works just fine. There are no options. Its either on or off.

Its totally free. I think this should be a feature that is standard to all BB's.

Here's the official blurb on the app straight from App World:

 "If you want to hear your BlackBerry® smartphone ring and have it vibrate at the same time you need BuzzMe.

BigTinCan BuzzMe lets your BlackBerry® smartphone vibrate and ring at the same time.

Its easy to install, and has been used on more than 100,000 BlackBerry® smartphones worldwide."

Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Sent from my BlackBerry™ Javelin 8900

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How To Change Your Theme

A great feature of BlackBerrys is the ability to totally customize the look of your homescreen and icons using different themes. Most devices come pre-loaded with a few themes and can be changes easily by going to your Options (wrench icon), Theme, and select the one you want. 

There are a ton of free themes out there and if you really like a premium one, you can shell out for it. I have never paid for a theme and I've tried literally hundreds. They can be found for any BlackBerry device on some other websites. They will usually require registration before you download anything, but its really quick and easy. All you need is a username, password and email address. 

Here are 2 of my favorite theme sites: and

Most of the themes will be OTA (Over The Air) download only but some will be available for Desktop install as well. 

OTA Installation:
  1. On your BB browser, find the link for OTA download and click it.
  2. Select download
  3. Wait (shouldn't take long)
  4. Go to Options, Theme and look for the new one
  5. If its there, click it and your pretty new theme will load 
  6. If its not, you might have to do a battery pull
  7. It should show up after rebooting
Desktop Installation:
  1. Download the .zip file 
  2. Extract the files
  3. Open your Desktop Manager (if you don't have it, get it here)
  4. Select Application Loader
  5. Add/Remove Applications --> Start
  6. Click Browse
  7. Find the .alx file that you extracted and select it
  8. Click next
  9. Now check in your Options if the new theme is there
  10. If it is, select it and it will load up
  11. If not, pull your battery and it will be there after it reboots.
Any questions?

Here are a couple of my go to themes:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New BB Facebook App! Updated to v1.5

This post is for anyone who has and enjoys the BlackBerry Facebook app. There is a new version with some pretty cool new features. 

With version 1.5 you can comment on your friends' statuses, link your contacts in your address book, use facebook pics as contact pics, sync facebook events with your BB calendar and more. 

There's some more info here: BerryReview

Before you get too excited, this update is for BB's running OS 4.6 only. So thats the Bold 9000 and Curve 8900. Sorry to everyone else, but there is an official update coming for everyone soon and version 2.0 is rumored to be coming by the end of the year.

If you want to get it now, go here on your BB browser.

Or you can download and install it with your Desktop Manager using this link.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Aerize Card Loader

In my first post I mentioned the one app I have ever paid for and this is it.

This is a must have app for all BlackBerry owners out there. If you like installing apps and themes and would rather not worry about filling up your device memory, you need this app.

It allows you to store, install and run pretty much limitless apps on your media card. 

After installation, whenever you download anything, an option will pop up that says, "Install to SD card." 

Its great and it also makes it really nice when you have to reinstall apps if you wipe your BB or even when you upgrade to a new one cause you just put in your media card, load what you want and you're good to go.

I purchased this app a while back when it was half price. It used to be $15. I paid $7.50. Now, they have dropped the price to $10. You can get it directly from the Aerize site or from the App Store.

There is a free trial available so you can try the full functionality out before you buy. 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

BlackBerry App World is Here!

RIM's answer to the iphone's App Store is up and running and it looks great.

It has already been updated twice from to to solve some apparent connection issues (which I never experienced). 

The user interface is slick and it is easy to find, download and install apps. You'll need a PayPal account to pay though.

To get the latest version of BlackBerry AppWorld, go here in your BB browser: or you can click the 'BlackBerry Help' icon. Its the one that looks like 3 gold plus signs.

I've downloaded and installed Shazam which is very cool. It listens to a song and tells you what it is, who sang it and a bunch of other info. 

I also dl'd a game called Paper Airplane which is super fun. Its pretty much a clone of that Helicopter game where you hold the mouse button to go up and release to drop down while dodging obstacles. Very addictive. My current high score is: 4209...and yes, that IS a challenge.

Anyway, give it a go and let me know what apps you've tried!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Welcome to J's BB Blog!

Hello to all you BlackBerry spazzes out there. I've been a user for about 3 years now and have learned a few things along the way. 

As my addiction has deepened, I have read most of the most popular BB blogs out there and found tons of useful stuff.

I have managed to find almost everything I need for free. I have only paid for...(checking BB now)... 3 apps and 2 of them were games. The other one is an almost must have for any BB owner. More about that later.

My BlackBerry fascination started with the 8100 Pearl. It was my faithful companion for about 2 years and I loved it. But RIM kept releasing more and more tantalizing powerhouses and I finally chose to upgrade to my beloved 8900 Curve early this year. By the way, the codename for the 8900 before it was actually released was "Javelin" and I think that is way cooler than the same old "Curve." I also think it deserves its own distinctive name. 

Henceforth I will refer to my 'device' as: 'BB', '8900' or 'Javelin.'  There will be no more Curve mentioned!

The purpose of this blog is to share some of the limited knowledge I have gained with other BB owners; whatever their level of expertise.

Here is a stock pic of my Javelin: 

Beautiful, I know.

I'll get to the tips and stuff later. Right now I have to beat my high score on Paper Airplane...