It seems that the joke that has been the roll out of BlackBerry OS 4.5 is finally nearing an end. One of the last stalwarts of the older OSes, Canadian CDMA carrier Telus, has released OS 4.5 for the 8130 Pearl and the 8330 Curve (you 8830 users have been left in the lurch). Both devices are now able to be officially upgraded to application build 188.8.131.52 which is a lot older than the 184.108.40.206 that carriers like Alltel are offering and a hell of a lot worse than what is available in the gray corners of the internet (hint: OS 220.127.116.11) but we suppose this will do for those who are too scared to upload anything but a carrier-official OS. So if you have a Telus 8130 or 8330, hit the read link to start the upgrade process.
Qik announced on Wednesday that its popular mobile video streaming product is now available for the OS 4.5 version of the Blackberry Curve 8310, 8330 and Pearl 8130. These models had some incompatibility problems with the initial launch of the BlackBerry version of Qik, forcing Qik to make some changes to its BlackBerry client. The tweaking is now done and all you 8310, 8330 and 8130 owners can join your Bold, 8320 and 8120-owning brethren in some Qiking fun. This new version of the BlackBerry Qik is in Alpha and is available for download now from Qik’s website. Drop us a line in the comments if you will be Qiking any of your Thanksgiving or Black Friday adventures.
If rumors are true, then it looks like Bell in Canada is taking a page from the playbook of Verizon Wireless by crippling the GPS on select Blackberrys. Over the next few weeks, Bell may be increasing the GPS lock time (2-10 minutes) and resolution (1-2.5KM) of Third Party applications while maintaining the speed (10-15s) and accuracy (10-25m) of their own GPS Nav program. These changes are presumably meant to force lure customers into using Bell’s crappy superior GPS Nav program instead of the built-in Blackberry Maps or the free Google Maps. You knew this was coming… the GPS Nav service will cost $10/month or $3.50/day in addition to the $$ for a data plan. The phones to be affected will include the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, BlackBerry 8130 Pearl, and BlackBerry 8330 Curve. Any Bell customers with Blackberrys out there care to comment?
Google Maps Mobile is probably Google’s most actively developed mobile application. It seems like there are new versions popping up for one platform or another every couple of weeks these days. In the past few months for example, Google has issued a native S60 version updated several times, various versions that can make use of internal GPS, versions that can integrate with device phonebooks and Nokia Maps, cell-based location, etc. For the most recent feature addition, Google has decided to implement a bit of voice recognition. Sweet! A new version of Google Maps Mobile has been made available for the US BlackBerry Pearl 8110, 8120 and 8130 that allows users to speak their search criteria rather than type it. Voice search uses the same voice recognition engine as GOOG-411, Google’s free information service, so we know the accuracy will be spot on. Using pretty much couldn’t be easier:
- Press “0” to center the map view around your location
- Press the left-side key and hold it while you say the name or type of business you’re looking for (for example, “pizza”)
- When you’re done speaking, release the left-side key, and our voice recognition technology will figure out your request and find the business you’ve been looking for, no typing needed.
These days there’s a pretty good chance that the rest of your BlackBerry-toting friends make fun of you from time to time because you’re still carrying a Pearl. Opportunities might be few and far between, but here’s a good chance to show them a little something they can’t have quite yet. Hit http://www.google.com/gmm from your Pearl to snag the latest build.