Exciting Features For The New BlackBerry Messenger (Upgraded BBM Version

To all BBM users and fanatics, RIM is reported to bring out the official update to one of the world’s most used smartphone instant messaging app today. After being in the beta zone since November last year, the official BlackBerry Messenger Version will whet BlackBerry users’ appetite with these new features on its plate:

1. Status update can now be entered with around 160 characters, which means users are no longer limited to what they want to say in their profile status. This is clearly a good option to updating your BBM contacts, instead of sending out those long, unnecessary broadcast messages to some annoyed users. 160 characters is more than double the limit before.

2. New Emoticons and Animated Avatars will also be rolled out, which definitely address users demand for more emoticons. Now, users will no longer have to broadcast those fake messages with a list of new new emoticons to “activate” because RIM is serving it for everyone to upgrade. There are about 12 new emoticons that users can utilize to express more feelings or emotions.

And how cool is this new animated avatar feature where the icons aren’t just the standard, still icons of a smile, a laugh, or a cry? The new update allows users to scroll over the icon to see them really laugh, or cry, or perhaps blush and smile. Users can access these avatars in the profile section where users can change their display picture.

3. BBM Display Picture is now Integrated with The Phone’s Camera, which means users can now easily update their profile pictures in BBM right after taking that “fierce” snapshot. Users simply press the Menu option (BlackBerry logo on the keyboard) after taking the picture, then choose Set as BBM Display Picture.

4. Chat Bubbles Can Now Be Customized with 10 Different Colors. The colored chat bubbles can be assigned to contacts (as there are only 10, perhaps they could be designated to favorite contacts), and easily help identify chats/conversation with friends and family.

*For the new OS 7.1 devices:

5. The update includes Blackberry Tag, which allows BB OS 7 users to invite other NFC-supported devices simply by tapping the handsets against each other.

These features are definitely something to look forward to within the next day or two. Please be advised that the update however will only be available to OS 5 and above handsets.

Here are some photos of the new features:

Once you guys get the new version, tell us what you think about it. Perhaps you can share your new experiences with the update.

(Images from Google. No copyright infringement is intended in the use of these photos)

Photo Studio Gets Update with Version

This amazing photo app for BlackBerry is probably a worthy contender to iOS’s Instagram. With impressive filters and effects fully integrated with BlackBerry’s own operating system, PhotoStudio is one of the most downloaded photo app in the App World. Apart from the standard image editing tools for red-eye removal, resizing, cropping, rotating, brightness, contrast and color adjustment, the application also boasts around 70 different effects that can give your photo the personalized look you want. It offers filters for “Vintage” look, “Summer Look” or “Old Style”, just to name a few. You can also set frames around your edited pics to give it the final touch before saving or uploading. Perhaps the only thing it was lacking was its quick social networking integration, much less to BlackBerry’s own BBMessenger Application.

Now comes version Whether the developers have realized that social media is now where the whole tech competition happens, or that users have simply demanded the upgrade to social networking integration, the new PhotoStudio official update offers this option now. With users hanging out more at social networking sites, it will now be easy to show off the snapshots you have taken for the day.

Here are the main features taken directly from the BlackBerry App World for the new version:

BBM Connected! Share your photo directly from Photo Studio.
– Base photo operations: brightness, contrast, RGB color adjustment, hue, saturation and many more.
– Transform operations: resize, rotate, crop.
– 70 unique effects in categories: ‘Simple toning’, ‘Old Style’, ‘Vintage’, ‘Summer mood’, ‘Sketch’, ‘Lomo’, ‘Blur’ and ‘Art’.
– A set of frames. Apply set of beautiful digital frames to your photos.
– Combine operations: Apply single or multiple effects to one image.
– Several output formats: Save the result in different formats: ‘Small’, ‘Normal’, ‘Large’ and ‘Original’.
Share photos with Facebook, Twitter and Messages applications installed on BlackBerry.

I’m sure you’re itching to get this app now, especially that it’s free. But if you already have this amazing app, then it’s definitely time for the update. Visit this site and click DOWNLOAD: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/50941?lang=en

(Image from Google. no copyright infringement is intended in the use of the photo. Thank You)

HootSuite for BlackBerry, Now Available

Good news to all social media fanatics out there, as the famous Owl logo for the social networking dashboard (similar to Tweetdeck and Seeismic) has finally released an app that can be downloaded straight off of the App World. Although the service has been available on other mobile platforms for sometime now, HootSuite’s introduction to BlackBerry’s App World is a welcome change from just accessing the regular app dedicated for a single social networking site (ie: Twitter for BB, Facebook for BB, Foursquare for BB, etc).

The social media app integrates social networking sites such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkdIn and Foursqaure to name a few. Hootsuite’s advantage over other social-media apps is that it provides a one-stop service where all your favorite social networking sites are readily accessible. When you don’t want too many applications on the phone, you can help de-clutter it with HootSuite.

Hootsuite for BlackBerry also features push notification option for users to be on top of the news/ updates that are important to them. Whether users utilize the social media for business, or perhaps just to get quick updates from family and friends, or maybe get some snippets about what’s going on in the world, the level of notification you set HootSuite to depends on you.

Here’s how you can use your HootSuite on the BlackBerry:

1. Manage multiple accounts and logins
2. Shorten URLs with Ow.ly
3. Schedule messages to send in the future
4. Share and keep photos and other files
5. Create a personalized view of searches or tags

Download it here: http://hootsuite.com/blackberry-download

“Thank You” Apps From BlackBerry Free Until Year-end

Following the massive server outage at RIM’s headquarters in October through November 2011, the company has paid for premium apps for users to download free–sort of like the company’s “peace offerings”. The apps are definitely topnotch and users can still get them until the 31st of this month. Here’s a list of some of the GAMES that you might want to get.

1. SIM CITY Deluxe — i’ll begin with this, not because i have it in my Bold 9780, but because the game is a gem to have. This is nothing new to players of the title, but getting it free on your BlackBerry is to die-for. It can be quite challenging playing it first time on a small screen with your trackpad, but once you get the hang of it you can surely lose yourself in the game for hours. Players act as mayors of the city, and the goal is to build a functioning community complete with residential areas, schools, factories, and profitable business locations. This game is something you don’t want to miss; not when it’s for free.

2. The SIMS 3 — this is another great campaign from the ubiquitous game, with players getting a chance to develop the SIM into its appropriate character. Although i don’t have this in my phone (my sister has it in hers; come on, this is a veritable virtual doll) users can simply just swoon at the fact that its cost-less.

3. Bubble Bash — this is one of those addictive arcade games where players “bash” at least 3 same-colored balls/bubbles to get the points. Players must not allow the bubbles to reach the bottom of the screen to avoid losing the game. This game is another must-have.

4. Bejeweled — in the tradition of the Zuma games (and Bubble Bash for that matter), the player must swap different colored gems and connect at least three to get the points. This is perhaps a game you can kill time with while on a bus, a plane, or while on queue for a movie ticket.

5. Texas Hold’em Poker — if you like playing those good, old cards (like my mom who plays nothing else but solitaire in the computer), this is probably something you’d also like to download on your Berry. Whether you’re a casino fanatic, or simply a BlackBerry user passing some spare time, this poker game is something you can glue yourself to at the convenience of your smartphone.

These are the games available in the “Thank You” Apps from BlackBerry AppWorld. Other free apps you might be interested in are Shazam Encore, Vlingo, DriveSafe.ly Pro, DriveSae.ly Enterprise, NOBEX Radio Premium, N.O.V.A. and iSpeech Translator Pro.

You probably won’t have any use of all these apps on your BlackBerry but i bet you have at least a couple that piqued your interest. Why not get them now while they’re free?

BlackBerry Basics: Keyboard Shortcuts for Messaging

I know that a lot of BlackBerry users aren’t aware that these alphanumeric buttons spread across the better half-part of their phones correspond to more than just letters and numbers. Some users just press a certain key combination by mistake and voila! it turns out to be a keyboard shortcut for something. With that in mind, I will be starting a series of posts called BlackBerry Basics to provide some guidelines on keyboard shortcuts, simple tips, and neat tricks about the coolest phone on the planet!

Since BB handsets and its acclaimed slabs of buttons were primarily engineered for messaging, my initial post on this series will be nothing else but what it says in the title above.

Shortcuts while in the Text Message app:

1. click “C” to create a new message

2. click “T” to go to the topmost message on the the list

3.click “B” to go to the bottom of the message list

4. click “N” to jump through the message list from the latest to the oldest

5. click “P” to jump through the message list from the oldest to the most recent

6. click “Alt+P” to view recent call log

7. click “Alt+S” to go back to SMS list from the (Alt+P) call log

8. click “Alt+I” to show the inbox (including the incoming calls list)

9. click “Alt+O” to show the outbox (including the outgoing calls list)

10. While inside a message/conversation thread, swipe across the trackpad to jump over to the next message/conversation thread. Say for example, if you have two conversation threads–one with Jessica, and the other with Tom–you can move from your convo thread with Jessica to your convo thread with Tom by swiping across the trackpad.

These are a few of the shortcuts you can use while inside your phone’s Text Messaging app. There will be more to come on my upcoming posts.

(Photo credit goes to Google. No copyright infringement is intended in the use of the image. Thank you)

Blackberry App World Makes Room for Android

Whether you’re an executive, an A-list celebrity, or just a 15-year-old owner of a Blackberry smartphone or the PlayBook itself, you’re probably a little perplexed with the meager offering of applications in the BlackBerry App World. While RIM’s big competitors are–for lack of a better word–rife with applications in their respective markets, BlackBerry users have to make do with “several thousands” dedicated in the store.

The recent BlackBerry DevCons held abroad, however, hold a big promise for the coming year. At the onset of 2011, there has been news that the BlackBerry PlayBook will run Android applications through a software aptly called as the Android App Player. Although this has only been made officially available to developers who can port their native Android apps to the BB ecosystem for use in the Playbook, the consumer version could well be available in the first quarter of 2012 and might also be included in the BB OS 10 (formerly the BBX) for smartphones. According to RIM, these Android applications will be available straight off from the BB App World and will then be executed through the Android App Player:

“Consumers browsing App World will not know if they are downloading an app that was ported over from Android…Under the current implementation on the Playbook OS 2.0 , the app opens in the Android App Player.”

In retrospect, RIM has founded a loyal following from the corporate arena with its efficient and reliable push messaging system. But with the need to stay afloat in the marketplace, which are manipulated more by household consumers than by a small pack of enterprise users, the availability of attractive, native applications is a key driver to the relevance of the business. Although this recent move has raised a few eyebrows, especially from developers who think that this is quite a desperate move to lure developers into eventually making native apps for BlackBerry, it is fair to say that the whole project is ingenious. With Android Market being an established app provider, backed by an open-source platform, RIM may have veritably revolutionized an engine that will cater to both its loyal enterprise following and its household consumers: the reliability of a secure messaging system and the diversity of the App World.

2012 isn’t too far off. With the first quarter being a crucial stage for tech giants in making a first impression to consumers, we sure hope to get a taste of Android living inside the BB App World as comfortably as it does anywhere else.