crackberry

We all know Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore and Windows Phone Central are the best places to go to for your Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone news… But did you know we have a whole family of apps purpose-built to free you from the shackles of your desktop computer?

Below is a quick roundup to connect you with these awesome apps. Download and install. You'll be glad you did!

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The third annual Smartphone Round Robin is back, everybody! And we're kicking off the second half with CrackBerry Kevin himself and his bevy of BlackBerries. (Actually, we concentrated on the Bold 9700 and Storm 2, but you know how we are about alliteration.)

Anyhoo, I've started a forum thread at CrackBerry.com to figure out why these things are just so darn addictive. Check it out, and remember that anytime you post in an official Round Robin thread, you're entered to win a phone of your choice from that site (up to $1,000). So get to posting!

Now, check out Kevin and myself after the break.

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What do you get when you put the best of Windows Mobile into a self-proclaimed BlackBerry addict? You get the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, of course. And this week, CrackBerry Kevin's putting down the front-facing QWERTY and picking up the HTC Touch Pro 2 and HD2.

If you haven't already, check out his hands-on video at CrackBerry.com. And dive into the WME Forums and lend him a hand. (And while you're at it, check out my thread at The iPhone Blog as I tackle that monster this week.) Remember: Anytime you post in an official Smartphone Round Robin thread, you're entered to win a smartphone (worth up to $1,000) from that site. Get to it!

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As you might have noticed, we're in full-on contest mode of late. Something about the spring air makes us want to give stuff away. Here's a quick wrap-up of what we and our sister sites have for ya. Act now, 'cause the contests are winding down:

  • The iPhone Blog: It's TiPB's Birthday Bash, and Rene & Co. are having a monster giveaway. (Hey, we know some of you WinMo faithful are dabbling with an iPod Touch or – gasp! – an iPhone on the side. Happens to the best of us.) They're giving away a full-on factory unlocked 8GB iPhone 3G in your choice of 35 different color options courtesy of the awesome folks at ColorWare. And that's just the TiPB of the iceberg. Who wants free apps!?!?!?! Check out all of their contests here.
  • WMExperts: We're giving away not one, but two phones. We've got an AT&T Fuze (aka the original HTC Touch Pro), as well as an HTC Touch Dual. Contest ends Monday, so get your entry in now.
  • PreCentral.net: The pre-Palm Pre release contest is over, but there are still five $50 Amazon Gift Cards to be given to PreCentral.net Forum Members. How do you win one of those? Simply sign up as a member and score one "Thanked" post or Thank another user's post – in other words, it's quality, not quantity. Get the lowdown here.
  • CrackBerry.com: Hey, when aren't these guys giving away something? They've got 100 themes from JC Designs and 50 copies of TweetGenius to give away. And you can bet there will be more coming up.
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Having become pretty popular with Windows Mobile, the Skyfire browser apparently is  making its way over to our BlackBerry cousins. According to an e-mail snagged by the Boy Genuis Report, a search is on for Alpha testers.

We are looking for early Alpha testers to help us develop Skyfire for BlackBerry. If you like to be the first on the block, and on the bleeding edge (bugs!), please sign up and give us a steady stream of feedback so together we can make browsing on the BlackBerry the best it can be.

You can bet CrackBerry users will be lined up down the street for this one. Because if there's one thing that platform needs to improve on, it's the browsing experience. (Yes, we really just said that. Hey, browsing's been getting better on Windows Mobile in leaps and bounds lately.)

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WMExperts Podcast 8 - Windows Mobile 6.1 and CTIA

This week we discuss what's new in Windows Mobile 6.1 and what was great at the CTIA conference (Namely the Xperia X1). Special guest this week too! Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry.com joins us to talk about his impressions of Windows Mobile from the BlackBerry perspective. You want to listen to this, you know you do.

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Reports are sporadic at the moment, but it looks as though CrackBerry addicts could be in the midst of their third major service outage in a year. Remember when Palm got their swagger back by Knocking the NOC? That's “Network Operations Center,” the centralized server through which all BlackBerry emails must go. Up until recently, it had been the paragon of reliability and stability, but in the past year some “upgrades” have managed to knock the NOC down for hours at a time.

That's what BlackBerry users across many carriers are reporting this morning... BES users seems to be ok, and not everyone seems to be affected, but the word so far is that there are BIS difficulties today. - ALERT: Nation Wide BlackBerry Internet Service Issues?! | CrackBerry.com

Update: Looks to be “limited” to Verizon, AT&T and maybe T-Mo. Definitely limited to certain areas of the country. Service coming back already for some folks, though there are still delays. In other words, this might not strictly be RIM's fault, but instead the fault of the carriers. Keep an eye on our sister site, CrackBerry.com, for updates.

I learned from the CrackBerry.com Podcast that a relatively short outage of the NOC can actually cascade into a longer outage as RIM's servers try to catch up on all the email that didn't get sent out.

Speaking of Podcasts, our podcast has been sketchy lately: we missed last week because of CTIA. This week's is all recorded up (with a special guest appearance by CrackBerry Kevin) and needs to be edited in two parts - the standard part and a bonus section where Kevin, Mal and I actually discuss the ups and downs of using a NOC to push email out instead of the Microsoft Direct-from-your-own-server method. Topical, no? Expect both parts tomorrow!

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