Bug fixes, Help & How to: BB Storm Firmware update

Guess what? There is another leaked version of BlackBerry Storm firmware update out there. This time it is numbered and there are rumors out there that will be released... er I mean leaked soon.

Crackberry has posted information on how to get the unofficial BlackBerry Storm firmware for 9530, and if you weren’t happy with version then you can have another go with OS

You may want to take note that this is NOT the official release, and if you decide to install then its at your own risk.

It is strange to see that there are so many leaked versions out there in just a little amount of time. I mean, it would do everyone good if BlackBerry would decide to list out top 20 or 30 bugs and then work their way to fix them. And finally release/leak out that version for user's to test them. But guess since they work this way... it is up-to bold BlackBerry lovers to treat their greatest gadget as a guinea pig.

Bug Fixes:

As usual every new release brings out some new fixes and raises a few new bugs. But looking at the early reactions of testers out there, this release would make you more happier than sad.

Snappier Accelerometer:
  • Accelerometer on home screen and in messaging applications (SMS, Email, AIM) seems quite improved. Much less of a "laggy" feel. Switches instantly for the most part.
  • Accelerometer with the keyboard seems to work just as it should. Then again, I've never had a major problem with my keyboard not switching layouts. Maybe a second to change from portrait to landscape. Even spun it around a few times, and it didn't get "confused" with both portrait and landscape keyboards at the same time... like it has before.
Faster webpage loading through Internet Browser:
  • Browser page loading seems moderately improved. 
  • Browser set to IE with Javascript enabled. Clicking on Random Article on Wikipedia takes only seconds to load, compared to 10+ seconds on 85. I'm just guessing, but they seemed to have done quite a bit of 'tweaking' on their Javascript engine. I might actually keep it enabled now.
  • This is with 2 bars of signal, and orb rated me at 1,384kb/sec. 
  • Much better detection of "hovering" over links. 
  • Had one issue where the frontpage of Crackberry would not load and stopped at a "Loading Script" on the status bar and the black clock spinning. It eventually responded and I exited the browser.
Digital and Video Camera:
  • On camera and video camera application, the shutter bar is transparent (New Feature)
  • Plays the videos taken by Video Camera. It previously gave an error "Media Type Not Supported" -- or something like that.
  • Camera is a lot faster, and will autofocus like it's suppose to... even pointed at a ceiling fan on low with four bright lights attached to it. Took 2, maybe 3 seconds to focus and snap, another second to save to the SD card.
  • Oh, and still no bluetooth support for video playback. I think it's safe to say by now that it was intentionally deleted and we may never see it again.
The lock button is working better then ever and locks and unlocks on every try: 
  • Lock button seems more responsive overall. 
  • Still randomly have to press the lock button and then tap the screen to get the icons to disappear and the screen to turn off.
  • Unlocking is nearly instantaneous now.
Memory leak is either gone or greatly diminished:
  • Previously when I rebooted I would start at ~40mb, and drop to ~38mb almost immediately. Throughout the day my memory would drop into the low 20mb at which time I'd almost always do a battery pull to avoid issues. So far my memory appears to be going UP as opposed to down. I am sitting at 44mb currently and have been for sometime. There has seemed to be no effect from the use of any of the features.
  • Some users still have 57.2 MB of memory left after a complete wipe.
Other Bugs fixed (or atleast seems to be fixed)
  • Photos scroll a bit faster and load smoother.
  • The media player is way louder.
  • The volume spike bug in the music player seems to be gone as far as I can tell.
  • And most important? Word Mole opens in only 3 seconds, compared to 10+ seconds on .85, and brickbreaker had no lag.
  • Bug fixed regarding alerts not being heard when receiving a new message for any instant message apps.
  • Bug fixed where you're initial view for the call button is set for "call logs," it would go into contacts if you tried to make the call by pressing the call button again.
  • The Rew/Pause/Stop/FF toolbar while playing Videos is much more responsive(immediate). One tap to show, one tap to hide. Before, it would show or hide the media bar whenever it felt like it.
  • When clicking on hyperlinks in an email, the menu bar shows up near where you clicked... not always on the left side. Much nicer.

Help & How to: (HOW TO)

How to Backup your Blackberry Storm: Visit "Don's How to Upgrade to a Leak".

How to Download OS for the BlackBerry Storm 9530: Visit Here

How to Upgrade your BlackBerry's Operating System: Visit Crackberry.com

Mess things up? Fix a Bricked BlackBerry: Visit Crackberry.com

Help & How to: (HELP)

Help: It wont boot, it gets stuck on media card inserted screen then suddenly it goes to the verizon screen.

Try: During the boot-up process you get a white screen with the clock spinning in the middle and a blue progress bar at the bottom. When the clock freezes as the blue progress bar is about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way across, press and hold the power button until you see a different screen, then release immediately.

Try: Perform a few battery pulls. Some users have got this fixed this after 5 to 6 battery pulls.

Help: it went to the white screen, with the message Reload software 507 or 503 screen.

Try: 507 means there's no OS...just connect to DM and load .86.

Help: I finally got the thing loaded onto my device. And even though I have it selected in apps... My browser wont show up... I went into apploader on download manager and tried adding it again. But it has a check mark and is greyed out, so I cant do anything to it... help?

Try: Go to Options> Advanced Options> Host Routing Table> hit BB button>Register Now... Wait a couple of minutes and you will get an e-mail and ur browser will appear.

Try: You need to make sure the blackberry registration message was received. If not do a battery pull or go to mobile network hit the menu button then run the diagnostics test. After it is complete you should recive the blackberry registration and your browser should show up.

Help: My Download Manager does not do anything. I deleted the vendor.xml, disconnected from the internet, closed DM, opened DM back up, connected my phone and went to apploader........nothing.

Try: Go to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\AppLoader. Then double click the Loader application (looks like a phone)

New Features:
  • When you are on the main home screen and you lightly press on an icon, it shows its text and name then dissapears after 5 seconds.
  • On camera and video camera app, the shutter bar is transparent.

Source: Crackberry.com

Slacker Radio now on Blackberry. But not for BB Storm

The popular Internet radio provider Slacker has made an appearance at CES to officially announce that it has launched the Slacker Radio for BlackBerry. According to the company, 100 stations categorized by genre are available. In addition, there are over 10,000 artist stations, Slacker also allows users to customize personal stations.

The Internet radio provider announced that the program would feature cover art and album reviews, as well as artist bios. Although the competition in the area of streaming radio for mobile devices is turning tighter and tighter, users can still benefit from Slacker, as it enables them to store their favorite stations on a memory card that is reported to be able to increase the battery performance about five times when played back and not constantly streaming music.

The service has been currently made available only for BlackBerry users in the United State. At the same time, only users running OS 4.3 and up on their devices are able to enjoy the service. Currently, Storm is not on the support list, but it is expected to get there after a software update will be released.

Slacker promotes its Radio for BlackBerry customers as a free service that allows them to listen to over 100 stations created by music experts, while also letting them create their own stations directly from their handsets. According to the provider, it offers high-quality stereo sound over any connection. Music can be stored on the device so that users can listen to it even when their phone is not connected, and songs will play even when other applications run at the same time.

Source: slacker

New Smartphone, the ICEphone to be released soon

Guess what else is going to be on the smartphone market soon... the ICEPhone. It was designed to be a wrist mounted medical handbook for the British military. But now it is going to be released as a 3-piece folding smartphone for the consumers.

It is designed to do everything you'd expect a smartphone to do and more. It comes with a multi-lingual first aid software which could give you simpler ways to administer aid (such as giving CPR). What's more, it captures a log of all activities that would help medical experts study further. In case you are really having a medical emergency, the phone offers direct access to a medical hotline. The phone allows you to store personal medical records just in case something happens to you. It is all accessed by a single touch of a button called the ICE button... ICE.. get it... In case of emergency.

Wondering what kind of features would it tout to be qualified as a smartphone... it would be 3G ready, GPS equipped and it runs Windows Mobile. The phone has a unique design... a 3 part folding design consisting of a touchscreen, a physical QWERTY keypad and a traditional phone pad.

The ICEphone is expected to be in production in April and maybe we would see it in the US soon enough.


Palm's New Touch Screen Phone: iPhone-Alike

As our expectations of the new phone from Palm set to be announced this Thursday at CES skyrockets, John Biggs over at CrunchGear says he’s got a source that says the phone is a full QWERTY slider with a large touch screen. Shown here is a PhotoShop job.

The phone is described as “iPhone like”. Palm itself has been ratcheting up our expectations for the launch and we are told it will blow our minds and revolutionize the phone biz. If there was ever a time for Palm to shine, this is surely it.

Their Linux-based Nova software has been expected since fall of 2007 and the delays have not helped the brand stay afloat. Despite success with its low-dollar Centro, Palm needs a pro level phone hit to keep going. The aptly named Treo Pro was a good looking and thinnish phone, certainly the best design they’ve had in years, but its high unsubsidized price has kept consumers from flocking, that and the the fact it offered little new other than design.

While this mock up is not from Palm, I believe the artist showed one thing that could help Palm: Verizon. If this OS is above expectations and the device offers a legitimate challenge to the iPhone, Palms ubiquity of carriers could allow it to become the phone for AT&T hating users. The iPhone is still tied to AT&T for some time to come.

Early speculation also says this Nova powered phone will be a bargain. Call it poor timing, but Palm is introducing this phone at what we hope will be the bottom of the economic downswing. That should mean the price will be low to attract quick sales.

I want to believe this Nova will be amazing and the design will be more than palatable. These are two combos we’ve not seen from Palm in quite some time.

Anyone think they can pull it off???

Source: crunchgear.com

Apple Patents ‘High Tactility Glove System’


Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has filed a patent named ‘High Tactility Glove System’ that could be used in many, many ways. Imagine using it to control your iPhone, iPod or even your iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook and so on. In particular, when you live in a cold climate, You’d get a kick out of being able to leave your gloves on. It is a bit of a pain to take your gloves off every time you want to answer a call or email in cold climates. Struggle to take off the glove, touch the screen, do whatcha gotta do, etc. With this new glove there would be no need for that! Simply leave your gloves on, and use your iPhone as normal.

Official patent description: “This invention is directed to a glove system for operating an electronic device. The glove system may include an inner liner and an outer shell. The liner may be formed from any suitable material, including a material that is thin, electrically conductive, has low thermal conductivity, and/or has an “anti-sticky” finish. The outer shell may include at least one aperture through which the inner liner may extend to operate the input mechanism of an electronic device (e.g., on at least one finger tip). In some embodiments, the aperture may be at a finger tip of the outer shell. In some embodiments, a closing mechanism may be used to maintain the aperture closed when the user is not operating the electronic device. For example, an elastic ring may surround the aperture such that, in its non-deformed state, the aperture is substantially closed. The user may elastically deform the ring to allow the liner to pass through the outer shell.”

You can read more over at the US Patent Office.

Apparently these ‘Dots Gloves’ have been around for awhile… There is a product on the market called ‘Dots’. These life-savers/gloves allow you to continue using your iPhone or most other touchscreen devices with your gloves ON.

Just what you may need! But unfortunately both styles that they offer are currently sold out. There’s a knit version for $15, and a wool version for $20. If you’d like to know when they become available, there’s an email notification signup right here that you can use. Good of them to offer that… I suppose it’s the least they can do!

If anyone out there already owns a pair, I’d love to hear about your experiences with them. Until I can get my hands on a pair, I’ll simply sign up for notifications… and wait.

For more information visit DotsGloves.com.

Source: intomobile.com

Garmin nuvifone: all set to release in 2009

Remember the Nuvifone? Yes, it has almost been a year since Garmin announced the GPS enabled, touch screen phone. Garmin said recently that the nuvifone, is on track to launch in the first half of 2009 and should hit carrier labs in the earlier part of the year.

Garmin added in a statement that it has signed letters of intent with carriers, but wouldn’t provide further details until the nuvifone gets closer to launching.

nuvifone is based on Garmin’s proprietary OS. The phone contains Google applications that would allow it to search for local businesses, check traffic patterns and weather. Photos (or videos) taken with the built-in camera are automatically geotagged for positioning in location-based services.

The nuvifone is the ultimate multi-tasker. Calls are easily initiated by tapping the “Call” button and selecting a name from the contact list or by using the on-screen keypad. When the user is trying to juggle talking on their phone while entering their vehicle to start a trip, the nuvifone makes the transition simple. When the nuvifone is docked onto the vehicle mount, it automatically turns on the GPS, activates the navigation menu, and enables hands-free calling so that the user never misses a beat in the conversation and is able to begin routing to their destination with ease.

Things that nuvifone might not have over iPhone:
  • Multi-touch
  • iTunes store (although they’ll undoubtedly partner with someone)

The nuvifone is advertised to have the impressive feature list as those mentioned below.
  • Quad-band GSM mobile phone
  • 3G HSDPA
  • 3.5-inch touchscreen interface
  • HTML Web browser
  • WiFi
  • Multi-network instant messaging
  • MMS media messaging
  • Still & video camera
    • Automatically geotags photo with the latitude and longitude reference of where the image was taken
  • MP3 and MPEG4/AAC player
  • Garmin Online service with constantly-updating information:
    • Real-time traffic
    • Fuel prices
    • Stock prices
    • Sport scores
    • News reports
    • Local events
    • Weather forecasts
  • Google applications
    • Gmail
    • Google local search
    • Proximity, location based search (coffee shops near me)
    • Access to millions of geo-located landmark and sightseeing photographs available through Google’s Panoramio picture sharing site
  • Best-in-breed GPS capabilities
    • Preloaded maps of North America, Eastern and Western Europe, or both
    • Turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions
    • Speaks the names of the streets
    • “Where am I?” feature displays your latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and gas stations.
    • Find your car in an unfamiliar spot or crowded parking lot by automatically marking the position in which it was last removed from the vehicle mount.

    Intro Video of nuvifone from Garmin

    Scenario Video of nuvifone from Garmin