Feeling overloaded with BlackBerry news and rumors? We know the feeling. We hear new things almost every day, and it can be tough to keep up with it all. that’s why we’re bringing you BlackBerry News from the Wire every Thursday.
We’ll catch you up on everything ‘Berry that happened over the course of the week. Not only that, but we’ll rank ‘em by importance, so you can more easily skim the items and read the ones of most significance. If you only have time to read one article, for instance, you might want to head down to our 5-star section. It’s All the BlackBerry News Fit to Geek.
Could Microsoft make bid for RIM?
You can slap this one directly in the speculation file, but it’s still an interesting notion. Mark McQueen of Seeking Alpha notes that while RIM is doing well, they’ve lost a considerable portion of their market capitalization since June. The company is still profitable, and could get a big boost from the Storm, Bold, and Pearl 8220. However, that doesn’t mean that we can rule out a possible takeover bid from a company like Microsoft. In addition to Microsoft, McQueen mentions Hewlett Packard, Nokia, IBM, and Google as possible suitors, though he makes strong arguments against each. Chances are, this will remain speculation. Still fun to think about, though.
Subsidizing the Storm?
The official word on the BlackBerry Storm came down this week. As I’ve discussed on the BBGeekcast before, this is kind of pointless, since we’ve been buzzing about it since May, and heavily over the past month. You can check out an emulator as well as developer tools, which can tide us over until November 4(?). The Financial Post talked with RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie about the iPhone vs. the Storm, which is an interesting read. For hands-on takes, you can check out Engadget, Gizmodo, Phone Scoop, Laptop, and/or PC Magazine.
Perhaps the most interesting bit written, though, is by Daniel Ionescu at PC World. Apparently, Vodafone will offer the Storm for free with an 18-month contract. Ionescu wonders why Verizon, which is 45 percent owned by Vodafone, wouldn’t follow suit. It sounds like wishful thinking, but it’s something to ponder.
Which Canadian carrier has the Storm?
While we knew the Storm would be launched on Vodafone in the UK and Verizon in the US, the fate of Canada wasn’t as well known. Then came the official announcement, with no Canadian carrier specifically mentioned. Just afterwards, Telus announced that it would get the Storm. Sorry, Bell. But wait! On the same day, Bell announced they’ve have the device. What? So will they both have it, with no exclusive carrier? David George-Cosh of the Financial Post talked to both parties, and it seems that Telus will get it first, shortly followed by Bell. That’s according to Telus, though, so it might not be the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We’ll find out soon enough, I suppose.
RIM readying BlackBerry application center
If you want to go head to head with the iPhone, you need a few things in place. I’ve long thought that the device absolutely needed at least 8GB of on-board memory. That’s not happening. Instead, we’ll have to use media cards, which can be a greater convenience in one way, but not in another. (I left mine somewhere yesterday, and it’s killing me.) Anyway, it looks like RIM is taking a page out of Apple’s book by offering an application center. It’ll be designed for the Storm, but I have a hard time imagining it won’t be available for Bold users in due time.
AT&T still testing BlackBerry Bold
There have been many speculative reasons why AT&T hasn’t released the BlackBerry Bold yet. Some have it pinned down to some vast iPhone conspiracy. Others say that AT&T wants to make sure this is perfect, as to not tick off their business customers, who are expected to flock to the device. According to RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, AT&T is still testing the device so it doesn’t face the problems of the iPhone. At least that’s a bit of positive publicity/spin on an issue that has been irking BlackBerry users for quite some time. The only definitive word on the Bold’s release is that it will come out this year.
Niagra, Jupiter, and Apex in the works for RIM
We’ve heard the name Niagra before in terms of BlackBerry, back when we first started talking about the Javelin/Curve. According to internal documents obtained by BlackBerryNews (which have subsequently been removed from the site), the Niagra is the next evolution of the 8830. So does this mean that it’s the CDMA Bold? One has to figure it will approximate the Bold in some, if not most ways. We also get word of the Apex, which is said to be the CDMA Pearl flip. Question: if you’re not going to call it the Pearl (they probably will), why not just call it the Kickstart? Finally, they’re working on the Juptier, which is, you guessed it, the CDMA version of the Javelin/Curve. Yes, this will probably be called the Curve, too.
Hands on with the Curve 8350i
Anyone psyched for the Curve 8350i on the Nextel network? Okay, so there probably aren’t many. If you are, though, you can check out this hands-on take at infoSync World. Sprint says there’s interest from another company in buying the Nextel network, so 8350i users might eventually have to sever ties with the nation’s No. 3 carrier.
Virgin Mobile getting Curve 8330
Earlier this year, Virgin Mobile Canada introduced a postpaid division of their operation. This allowed them to get some nifty devices which don’t exactly appeal to their typical prepaid audience. The latest addition to that: the BlackBerry Curve 8330. It will drop at around $99, though a release date isn’t yet known.
Vlingo offering closed Beta
Anyone a fan of Vlingo’s speech recognition software for BlackBerry? If so, BlackBerryCool tells us that you can apply for their closed Beta testing. You’ll need a Pearl, Curve, or 8800 series device, and live in the US, UK, or Canada. All you have to commit to is using the product and filling out a survey afterwards. Could be a good deal.
How to clean your BlackBerry trackball. Inspired by Gary Krakow, writer for TheStreet.com, who posted a video complaining about a faulty trackball rather than tracking down some easy-to-find information.
PeeKaWho email previewer. Yep, it does just what it says. When a new message comes in, you can get a quick pop-up to determine whether it’s worth clicking through.
Separating SMS from email in your messages folder. People have already found this helpful. Before I found out how to do this, I did wonder if it could be done. It’s nice to have the phone separate from the data.
Looking at Electric Pocket’s line of BlackBerry apps. Electric Pocket works furiously to have a quality line of BlackBerry apps. Go here to check out programs like FindMe, Ringo, and the Mike Lazaridis-endorsed FlipSide MP3 player.
Review of Universal Converter. Need something converted? Whether it’s currency, metric data (who uses units of 10, anyway?), time, or measurements, this application has it.
Using Gmail as a BlackBerry spam filter. One commenter suggested it’s easier to install spam filtering software on your ‘Berry. Just take a look at these Gmail instructions, though. It’s rather simple indeed.
How to swap BlackBerry devices with someone. I just did this yesterday, and it was a lot easier than I had anticipated. A few upgrades to BIS make this easier than it was just a few months ago.