Thursday, December 30, 2010

5 reasons to get the BlackBerry Wireless Headset HS-300 Bluetooth

Via www.PocketBerry.com
For a little while now, I’ve been using the BlackBerry HS-300 Wireless Headset.  I’m very fond of it at the moment now, more than my other headsets for many reasons.  I’m pretty much wrapped up with the review and will be posting it up here in the next few days, but I thought I’d give you some key reasons why the BlackBerry HS-300 is the headset to choose.  Usually I throw in the price factor, where I didn’t this time since you all know by now that the HS-300 retails for only $49.99.  I saved the 5 reasons for other valuable ones instead :) .  Hit the jump to read the list.
It’s small and compact
The HS-700 is a really nice headset but my biggest issue with it is that it’s way too big.  I’m a fan of the Jawbone ICON which is small and compact.  When the HS-300 launched, I couldn’t believe its size so it definitely attracted my attention.  Some of you may favor it being big, but I think smaller headsets are more “in this season.”
It charges fully in 30 minutes!
Chargining for 15 minutes gives you 2 hours talk time, and 30 minutes gives you 4 hours respectively.  The HS-300 makes it real convenient for a short time charge, making it more possible to have it around with you all day.
Talk time up to 4 hours
Most headsets get this any way so it sounds like no big deal.  But this statistic factors in with the whole 30 minute full charge so it definitely is a plus.
Audible voice prompts
It may not be your cup of tea, but having voice commands through your headset is awesome.  You can perform actions such as checking the battery life where you’ll be told right through the headset how much talk time is left with you current battery charge.
Easy ON/OFF switch
If there’s anything that pisses me off, it’s headsets where you have to hold down a single button for a few seconds to turn it on and off.  The BlackBerry HS-300 gives you a dedicated power key that’s very straight forward: flick one way for on and the other for off.

Skype for iPhone & iPod Touch video calling now available




Version 3.0 of Skype for iPhone is now available and finally has the ability to make video calls (over WiFi and 3G) in either portrait or landscape mode. The free app supports two-way video calling is on the iPhone 4, iPod touch 4, and iPhone 3GS and your computer. One-way video calling is supported on the iPad and iPod touch 3rd generation (those with no camera).
Get it here from iTunes

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just got a BlackBerry? The best apps, accessories, and tips

By Ray Nicolini
via www.engadget.com
So you just got a BlackBerry, huh? First off, welcome to the world of glorious hardware keyboards and the holy grail of mobile messaging we mortals call BBM. Once you get past the novelty of sending the obligatory "mypin" texts to everyone you know, you're probably thinking to yourself -- what now? Luckily for you we've compiled a list of our favorite apps and accessories, as well as some veteran tricks of the trade, so head past the break for a crash course in doing more than just playing BrickBreaker on a BlackBerry.

Hey Android friends, we got you covered, too! Did you get an iPad? Check out our guide here! Found an iPhone in your stocking? Read our list of must-haves!

Great apps


Twitter for BlackBerry (Free). It goes without saying that if you've got a Twitter, you probably want to be checking it wherever you are. The official Twitter app for BB gets the job done in a fun green and blue environment. It's got tabs up top for all the familiar Twitter functions, and the rest is pretty straight-forward. We still have a penchant for SocialScope, but since that'll probably never escape private BETA... we digress.

TuneIn Radio (Free). While RIM certainly beefed up the media capabilities with BlackBerry 6, it has still left the door wide open for developers to fill in the gaps. TuneIn radio is our favorite media app, as it streams over 40,000 online radio stations. It works over WiFi and 3G, but be careful if you don't have an unlimited data plan. It can even search for stations near your location, though if you're like us and simply have to stream BBC Radio 1 from anywhere in the world, you're certainly able to do that too.

Dropbox (Free). We're not shy about being fans of Dropbox's offering, and now that they've got a dedicated BlackBerry client you officially have no excuse for not signing up. Opening up documents you've got synced to your Dropbox is a snap, and you can even edit using DocumentsToGo if it's installed on your device. If you're new to the service, you can sign up for a free 2GB account directly from your phone -- sweet indeed.

CrunchSMS (Free, $4.99 "for more screen space"). BlackBerry Messenger got a snazzy makeover with OS 5, but poor old SMS has been left out in the cold. CrunchSMS offers a more elegant texting solution with familiar chat bubbles and other options like seeing contact pictures in conversations. It's minor, but makes the chore of not-BBM'ing someone all the less painful.

Pixelated (Free$2.99 "Plus" option). BrickBreaker is totally fun and will forever hold a special place in our hearts, but Pixelated is an addicting time waster that is a little less repetitive. The objective is simple -- make all the pixels the same color in as few moves as possible. It's easier to try than to explain, but don't blame us if you instantly become less productive upon installation.

Google Maps (Free). In our opinions, Google Maps should come preinstalled on every phone in the world, as it's useful for finding pretty much anything wherever you are. It's indispensable for finding restaurant addresses and phone numbers on the go, not to mention "layers" for things like traffic, Wikipedia pages, and transit maps. As a bonus, it integrates with Google Latitude so you can seamlesslystalk locate your ex kids.

Gmail (Free). There's nothing necessarily wrong with the built-in email services on the BlackBerry OS, but if you're a Gmail-aholic like most of the Engadget crew, you should probably check out the official Gmail app. It allows you to perform familiar desktop functions like labeling, archiving, and storing, as well as support for conversation threading. We use it as a supplement to the built-in push email services, but the functionality it adds is a must have for anyone who knows what a search operator is.

Feeds ($2.99). It seems like the world is suddenly flooded with Reeder knock-offs, but in the case of BlackBerry -- that's a good thing. Feeds is a cleanly designed Google Reader client that make for a simple and elegant RSS experience. There aren't a whole lot of options to speak of, but the inclusion of Google keyboard shortcuts is a nice perk. If you want a streamlined, classy RSS reader for the BlackBerry platform, Feeds is calling your name.

Engadget for BlackBerry (Free). How could we not recommend the Engadget app? It's a super slick way to access the multiple Engadget sites, so you'll never miss a post. Top stories are displayed up front and center, and support for keyboard shortcuts make it a little more pleasurable than the default BlackBerry browser. And don't despair Torch users -- a new version is on the way soon!

Viigo (Free). Viigo has tons of built-in "channels" that can bring you virtually any kind of news on the go. You choose your preferences in things such as sports, weather, stocks, and news sites to curate your own stream of information relevant to you. Now that Viigo's been acquired by RIM, we could be seeing a lot more integration in the near future.

Accessories

Case-Mate ID Credit Card Cases ($29.99). This slim-fitting BlackBerry hard case has a hidden secret on its backside. You can hold up two or three cards in the built-in slot, perfect for a night on the town when you don't want to carry a wallet.

BlackBerry Leather Pocket ($29.99). Professional devices require professional cases, right? Well, the Leather Pocket case straight from RIM will probably match your impeccable suit quite nicely when it's time for a board meeting. It's got a built-in magnet that allows your device to recognize when it's holstered, so you can even set your sound profiles to change depending on whether it's inside or not.


BlackBerry Charging / Sync Pod ($39.99). You may have noticed some exposed metal contacts somewhere on the back or side of your device, and you've also probably got no idea what they're for. Well, your BlackBerry supports wireless charging -- in a sense, anyway -- and you can buy a dock to charge it without having to plug-in. We've had one of these on our bedside tables for a few years now, and it's especially great if your phone doubles as your alarm clock.

Extended battery (prices vary). BlackBerrys are renowned for their battery life, but with all these apps installed you could drain your power more quickly. We always keep a spare in our backpack and can't say how many times its saved us. You can find super cheap ones on Ebay, but just check the seller's rating to ensure it won't fry your device.

Bundles (prices vary). The ShopBlackBerry store has tons of bundles for new device owners looking to accessorize. Our particular favorite? This Torch Starter Bundle that has a sync pod, leather pocket, and screen protector for a penny under $50.

Tips and tricks

  • Not a fan of the default shortcut keys on your shiny new device? You can change those pretty easily in the options menu, under "screen and keyboard options." Come on, set that right convenience key to BrickBreaker, we won't tell anyone.
  • While there's no way to change the battery status icons to percentages on your homescreen, you can still find out you 'Berry's vitals using the Alt+Shift+H key combo. It takes a little practice, but battery level, PIN, and other stats are available at this appropriately titled "Help Me!" screen.
  • Don't forget to install the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software on your Mac or PC. In the unfortunate event that you lose your device, having a complete backup that can be easily restored to your new one can save you endless agitation and frustration.
  • You can sync your BlackBerry with iTunes! BlackBerry Desktop Manager includes a built in sync manager that will allow you to sync selected artists, genres, and playlists to your device with ease -- as long as it's not iTunes DRM-protected.
The above app picks, accessories, and tips are just a handful of selections from the team. If you've got some all-time favorites or some clever tweaks, sound off in comments below!

Bose Quiet Comfort 15 Review

Canadians spend more time online than any other country


By Ray Nicolini
Via www.theglobeandmail.com
Canadians were curating their Facebook profiles long before the rest of the world got hooked, many were experimenting with the limitations of writing in 140-character snippets at Twitter's launch in 2006, and we watch online video more than any other web surfers. There aren't many theories as to why exactly, but Canadians rank among the most enthusiastic users of the web and all its various offshoots. The Canadian Press talked to a few of the Internet's biggest properties about what Canadians are doing online.
Canada loves surfing the web ...
Canadians spend more time online than users in any of the countries tracked by measurement company comScore, which also said Canada had the highest penetration of Internet access. About 68 per cent of the Canadian population is online, comScore estimated in April, compared to 62 per cent in France and the United Kingdom, 60 per cent in Germany, 59 per cent in the United States, 57 per cent in Japan, and 36 per cent in Italy.
Canada was the only country in which users logged an average of more than 2,500 minutes online a month, which is almost 42 hours. Israel was second with an average of around 2,300 minutes, while a few other countries were around the 2,000-minute mark.
... and watching online video
“In Canada, YouTube per capita consumption of video is No. 1 in the world, it's just absolutely crazy in terms of how passionate Canadians are about YouTube,” said Chris O'Neill, Canada's country director for Google.
It's estimated that about 21 million Canadians visit YouTube each month, compared to 147 million Americans. But considering the U.S. has 10 times Canada's population, Canadians are way ahead on a per capita basis.
Canadian users also view more videos, with an average of 147 watched each month compared to 100 per U.S. viewer. In terms of most minutes watched, 18-to-24 is the biggest demographic with a monthly average of 244 videos viewed over the course of 1,095 minutes, or 18.25 hours.The world is catching up to Canada on Facebook
Canadians were among the eager early adopters of Facebook and at one point trailed just the U.S. in overall numbers of users. But Canadians no longer dominate on the site. According to socialbakers.com, Canada has more than 17 million users, and is neck and neck with India for 9th and 10th on the list of the countries with the most Facebook accounts. But Canada's penetration rate of about 51.2 per cent of the population, or 65.9 per cent of the online population, is still one of the most significant on Facebook.
Twitter nowhere near as popular as Facebook but growing rapidly
Twitter still has a long way to go before it even comes close to nearing Facebook's user base — Twitter is believed to be around 200 million, a far cry from Facebook's 575 million — but it did add more than 100 million accounts worldwide in the last year.
“What we can share is that the number of Twitter accounts in Canada has increased by 75 per cent since the beginning of the year, and the number of daily tweets more than doubled,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an email.
Vancouver-based company Hootsuite Media, which has a popular Twitter app with more than 1 million users, saw 250 per cent growth in usage among its Canadian users in 2010. About 5.5 per cent of its daily traffic, 55,000 tweets, comes from Canadian users.
According to an analysis of traffic by measurement company Trendrr, Canadian female Twitter users are more active than male Twitter users. And one Canadian user is among the most influential of them all. Justin Bieber, with more than 6.4 million followers, gets mentioned in about 200,000 tweets daily, Trenddr estimates.
Canadian users check Wikipedia more than any others
The average Canadian web surfer reads 16 Wikipedia pages a month, which is the most in the world — one more than German users, two more than Polish users and four more than Americans. Canadian users generate about 217,000 edits a month, which ranks 8th among the most productive countries.
CanLit rules on Kobo
Canadian ebook readers are supporting homegrown talent, says e-tailer Kobo. Ever since being announced as the winner of this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize on Nov. 9, “The Sentimentalists” by Johanna Skibsrud has been the consistent top seller.
And they like Jane Austen too. In the free section of the website, works by the British novelist are the most downloaded “by a wide, wide margin.”
If there's one thing that separates Canadian and American customers it's the romance and erotica category, which is very big down south and sells 50 per cent better than in Canada. Canadians go more for contemporary fiction, Kobo says. “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen got a big boost after being featured on “Oprah” but sales were twice as big in Canada, on a proportional basis
.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Groupon for BlackBerry now available!


Via www.CrackBerry.com

Groupon for BlackBerry Groupon for BlackBerry

Deal-of-the-day provider Groupon has just released an application to help out BlackBerry users. Available in the US and Canada, the Groupon app allows you to find local deals and display coupons right on your device. Use the app to display local deals, then bring up the coupon to show to the retailer. You'll never have to print another coupon again to snag a deal. Groupon for BlackBerry is totally free and is available in BlackBerry App World.

Samsung Galaxy Player to take on iPod touch

By Ray Nicolini

Via www.BGR.com

While we haven’t yet been able to independently confirm the report, Samsung Hub claims that a new addition to Samsung’s Galaxy family is set to be introduced at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The device, dubbed Galaxy Player, will be an Android-powered portable media player that will take on the iPod touch. According to the report, it will essentially be a Samsung Galaxy S without the cellular connectivity, featuring a 1GHz processor, a 4-inch WVGA touchscreen display (LCD, not AMOLED), T-DMB, SoundAlive audio enhancement technology, dual cameras, HD video playback support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and the Android 2.2 OS. Samsung Hub states that the Galaxy Player will be available in three sizes, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB, though pricing and a firm release date are not yet available.

Newegg Mobile App For BlackBerry

by Ray Nicolini

Via BerryReview.com
152829While browsing through App world I came across this new app fromwww.newegg.com. I have used this website to buy all kinds of accessories and computer stuff. Next to amazon this is another good place to shop for discounted electronics. The application is free and packs quite a few useful features.
Description and Features:
  • The Newegg Mobile application allows BlackBerry® users to search, shop, read reviews and make purchases on Newegg.com. Once you know, you Newegg®.
  • Comprehensive product specifications.
  • 1.7+ millions customer reviews.
  • Detailed item image gallery.
  • Quick and simple shopping flow.
  • Simple and quick search function.
  • Search by category, Guided search and Advanced search
  • Sorting
  • Good for deal hunting: Shell Shockers, Daily Deals and Free Shipping.
  • All purchases made on Newegg Mobile are routed through Newegg’s secure servers.
You can download the application from this link via app world.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Palm Pre 2 officially available at Rogers Wireless


The Palm Pre 2 smartphone running HP webOS 2.0 is now officially available in Canada exclusively at Rogers. More details are below – please let me know if you are interested in a demo or doing any type of contest/giveaway.

Pre 2 is the first Palm phone with a gigahertz processor and features a 5-megapixel camera, a glass screen and a sleeker, streamlined design that still gives users the ideal combination of a vivid touchscreen and a slide-out keyboard. It’s also the first phone to run the new HP webOS 2.0, the most significant update to the platform since its launch. Additionally, up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices can simultaneously connect to the Internet using the new Pre 2 Mobile Hotspot app which acts as a router to provide Broadband Internet access wirelessly.

Palm Pre 2 will cost as little as $99 on a three year voice and data plan.

webOS 2.0 offers consumers compelling application experiences not available on any other platform, while providing developers an unparalleled level of openness to integrate their applications and services. The next generation of webOS makes it easier to get more done by advancing the webOS features introduced 16 months ago, including true multitasking; universal search with Just Type; HP Synergy; the new Exhibition feature, which lets you run apps designed specifically for the Palm Touchstone Charging Dock; and support for a beta of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 in the browser, which provides access to rich, Flash based web content. For further details of webOS 2.0, see HP’s Oct. 19 announcement titled “HP Introduces webOS 2.0, the Next Generation of Mobile Innovation.”

More information about the features of webOS 2.0 and Palm Pre is also available at http://www.palm.com/ca/.

Photos are available upon request.

Best,
Amy

Amy Clark
Consultant
Environics Communications
Tel: 416-969-2758
Follow ECI on Twitter: twitter.com/environicspr
The ECI blog: Thanks, Augie

 # 1 on the 2009 list of 75 Best Workplaces in Canada published by The Globe and Mail.
HP Introduces webOS 2.0, the Next Generation
of Mobile Innovation
Coming first on new Palm Pre 2 in France,
the United States and Canada
PALO ALTOCalif., Oct. 19, 2010 – HP today announced HP webOS 2.0, the most significant update to the platform since its launch in 2009 and a substantial step in HP’s vision to transform how people think, feel and connect.
The first device to run webOS 2.0, HP’s new Palm Pre 2 smartphone, will be available on Friday in France from SFR and is scheduled to be available in the coming months in the United States from Verizon Wireless and in Canada.
“With webOS 2.0, we’re advancing the innovations we introduced 16 months ago, expanding the features that make webOS great for consumers, enterprises and developers,” said Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager, Palm Global Business Unit, HP. “We’ve made tremendous strides since the platform launched, and now we’re taking our biggest leap forward with powerful new features that make it easier to get more things done with your webOS device.”
webOS 2.0 offers consumers compelling application experiences not available on any other platform, while providing developers an unparalleled level of openness to integrate their applications and services. The next generation of webOS makes it easier to get more done:
      True Multitasking – Pause a game, tap an email notification, check your calendar, read a restaurant review, send an email reply, then switch back to the game without closing anything.(1,2) webOS lets you easily manage multiple open applications and notifications using natural touch gestures. New in webOS 2.0, Stacks logically groups together your open apps so they work the way you do. Whether you’re reading email or planning a night on the town, Stacks keeps related items together so managing multiple tasks is even easier.
      Just Type – Start an email, create a message, update your status, search your favorite websites – all before you’ve even opened an app.(1) With webOS 2.0, whenever you want to do something on your phone – whether it’s emailing, texting, searching or almost anything – just type. And Just Type is open to developers, so they can integrate with the search function and add their own user-customizable shortcuts, called Quick Actions.
      HP Synergy – webOS was the first mobile OS to connect you seamlessly to multiple web services. With the Synergy feature, you just have to sign in to your Facebook, Google, Microsoft® Exchange, LinkedIn and Yahoo! accounts and your information automatically populates your phone.(3) webOS 2.0 will extend the support for Synergy so developers can easily plug new Messaging, Contacts and Calendar application sources directly into the core webOS experiences.(4)
      Exhibition – A new way to use your webOS phone, Exhibition lets you run apps designed specifically for the Palm Touchstone Charging Dock, turning charge time into useful time.(4, 5) Set your phone on the dock and Exhibition launches automatically, showing you anything from today’s agenda to a slideshow of your Facebook photos. Exhibition will enable developers to display aspects of their existing app experience or create specialized apps for use when users have their webOS device in charge mode on the charging dock.
      Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 Beta – With version 2.0, webOS now supports a beta of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 in the browser, which provides access to rich, Flash based web content.(6)
webOS 2.0 also includes many more new features, including the following:
      Favorites – With webOS 2.0, you can tag your favorite contacts so they appear as favorites in Phone and Contacts views. When you search for them by name, they instantly show up at the top of the Contacts, Email, Messaging and Phone apps. Favorites make it simple to get in touch fast.
      Skype Mobile™ (Verizon Wireless only) – For Verizon Wireless customers, webOS 2.0 supports Skype-to-Skype calls and messaging while in the United States to anywhere in the world, and low-rate calls to international landlines and cell phones.
      Text Assist – webOS 2.0 offers greatly expanded capabilities to spell check, auto correct, set up macros and customize the dictionary.
      Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite – An all-new document viewer from the leading provider of mobile document viewers offers support for Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and provides integration with a variety of services, including Google Docs and Dropbox.
      Facebook 2.0 – Available via the Palm App Catalog, Facebook 2.0 will support Facebook IM via Synergy in the Messaging application,(4) as well as Stacks, status updates via Quick Action and the Exhibition feature.
      Browser – The browser adds support for more HTML5 features, including geolocation support. OpenSearch plugin support makes it easy to add your favorite websites to Just Type web search.
      Messaging – The unified Messaging app in webOS 2.0 adds Yahoo! IM and buddy management. Customers can now connect to their buddies through SMS, MMS, Google Talk, AIM and Yahoo! IM.
      VPN – webOS 2.0 supports the most popular ways to connect to a corporate network, including IPsec and Cisco AnyConnect mobile optimized VPN, which supports SSL (TLS and DTLS).
      App Catalog – The redesigned Palm App Catalog makes finding and discovering great apps even easier.(7) And the new Software Manager helps you keep your apps up-to-date.
      Launcher – A redesigned app launcher lets you add, label and reorder launcher pages.
      Phone – The webOS 2.0 Phone app lets you easily dial your favorites and offers reverse area code lookup and Skype Mobile integration (Skype Mobile for Verizon Wireless only).
      Accounts – The new Accounts app provides a single place to manage all your Synergy accounts.
      Bluetooth® keyboards – webOS now supports Bluetooth keyboards and Bluetooth SPP peripherals, enabling applications such as barcode readers and realty lock boxes.
      A host of developer features – In addition to Exhibition, Just Type and Synergy APIs, webOS 2.0 adds Node.JS, enabling developers to create services in JavaScript. They also can now use the webOS Plug-In Development Kit (PDK) to combine C/C++ with web technologies in a single app.
More information about the features of webOS 2.0 is available at www.palm.com/softwareupdate.
Introducing Palm Pre 2
HP also introduced the Palm Pre 2 smartphone, the latest evolution to the Palm Pre lineup. Pre 2 is the first Palm phone with a gigahertz processor and features a 5-megapixel camera, a glass screen and a sleeker, streamlined design that still gives users the ideal combination of a vivid touchscreen and a slide-out keyboard.
More information about Palm Pre 2, including features and specifications, is available at www.palm.com/Pre2.
Availability
Palm Pre 2 featuring webOS 2.0 will be available on Friday in France from SFR and is scheduled to be available in the coming months in the United States from Verizon Wireless and in CanadaThe webOS 2.0 update will be delivered to existing customers in the coming months, with exact timing to be announced at a later date.

Developers will be able to purchase unlocked UMTS versions of Pre 2 in the United States to use as a canvas to build the next generation of webOS applications and services. More information about the purchase program will be available at http://developer.palm.com/devdevices.html.
About HP
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Media can access high-resolution images and video of Palm Pre 2 running webOS 2.0 in the Palm Media Library at www.palm.com/mml.

(1)      Within wireless coverage area only. Actual speeds may vary. Email, mobile number and related information required for setup and activation. Required data services sold separately; unlimited plan recommended and may be required. Not all web content may be available.
(2)      Performance varies based upon actual usage.
(3)      Within wireless coverage area only. Microsoft Exchange contacts and calendars available for ActiveSync only; requires Microsoft Outlook using Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with SP2, Exchange Server 2007 or Exchange Server 2010.
(4)      This feature planned to be available via over-the-air software update to webOS 2.0.
(5)      Palm Touchstone Charging Dock requires inductive Palm Touchstone Back Cover. Charging dock sold separately. Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pre 2 come with the Touchstone Back Cover; sold separately for all other webOS products.
(6)      The Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta is compatible only with Palm Pre devices; not compatible with Pixi or Pixi Plus.
(7)      Third-party software available separately. Within wireless coverage area only. Requires data services at additional cost.