Dan Sweet

How to get HTML email, Youtube, and internet radio on your Blackberry…

I have a BlackBerry.  I do not have an iPhone.  I’ve always been jealous of the iPhone’s beautiful html emails and legitimate web browser.  I’ve attempted to comfort myself by saying things like “what would I want wi-fi for?” and “well at least I can cut and paste!”

The one thing I have always hated though, is the really bad non-html email that transforms the simple task of reading an important email into a word find. However, since I’m a finance guy, I am somewhat frugal by nature and am not about to break my 2-year contract with AT&T or drop $3-400 on a new device.  So–I just live with it.

Anyways, those problems are behind me now.  My BB 8310 (Curve) is now running OS 4.5.0.99

Beautiful HTML email, choppy Youtube videos (prob due to weak network), and decent free streaming internet radio are all now live on my Blackberry.  And, if you have a couple of hours to waste and aren’t totally afraid of your computer, you can have all this too.  All with one caveat:
You can’t blame me if you screw up your phone.
That said, its not that hard.

Possible reasons why not to do this:
-your carrier will tell you this voids you warranty (no customer service)
-it takes an hour or two
-you are on BES (a work BB) vs BIS (a personal BB) and the IT guy at work doesn’t like you (BES users will need a password from the IT guy)
-you’d be upset if the phone’s OS still wasn’t perfect and had a memory leak that meant you might have to reboot the phone every week or two

Resources:
The instructions below are straight from these three threads on the Crackberry forums:
8310 thread -and the- link to OS download
8330 thread -see thread for OS download links
8300/8320 thread -see thread for OS download links

First, determine what model BB you have, what version OS you are running and get the latest version of Desktop Manager you have installed.

The “O” key will bring up your options menu and the “About” choice at the top of the menu will tell you which BB you have and the “v4.2.0.XX” tells you what version of the OS you are running.  The Help>About menu in the Desktop Manager software will tell you which version of that you are running.  Download Desktop Manager 4.6 here by choosing Desktop Software 4.6 from the drop down menu.

Now follow these steps: (these install instructions will install the OS from any carrier on your BB)

1. Back up data on Desktop Manager under Back up/restore option
2. Back up your 3rd party apps. Instructions here***
3. Disconnect your BB from Desktop Manager
4. Download the desired OS to your PC – see device appropriate link above
5. Install/run OS to PC
6. Delete vendor.xml file. C:Program FilesCommon FilesResearch In MotionAppLoader or search for “vendor.xml”
7. Connect BB to Desktop Manager and it should prompt the upgrade. If not click app loader and that should initialize it.
8. Do not unplug BB during the process. It will take around 30-60 minutes to complete upgrade. It’ll also probably look like it is frozen for 20 minutes or so at some point but just be patient
9. Options > Advanced > Host Routing Table > Menu > Register Now  (re-registers your BB with your carrier)

***Steps 2 is optional but recommended

Steps you may need to take to resolve random issues:
-browser Icon is missing – just wait 15-20 minutes and it’ll show up
-calendar entries are missing – just wait 15-20 minutes and they’ll show up
-HTML Email isn’t working – you may need to “resend the service books”, Google that phrase and your carrier’s name. Older emails won’t be in HTML, only new ones.
-my favorite app…X…doesn’t work properly anymore – delete the app and reinstall it.  This fixed YahooGo 3.0 for me.
-my battery life is terrible now – leave it charging over a weekend and it should be as good as before.

Anyways, hopefully this will be useful to some of you. Enjoy, your new and improved BB.

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Free internet radio streaming on my BlackBerry

I just found this on the Crackberry.com forums the other day and I must say it is the absolutely best way to drain your BlackBerry battery in 2 hours!

moodio.fm
m.moodio.fm (from your phone)

Pros:
-free
-works great*
-can add any radio stream you want
-decent existing database of stations
-107.7 The End out of Seattle
-supposedly also works with many other more recent Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, and HTC phones.

Cons:
-drains your battery pretty quickly
-only works with OS 4.3 or higher*

*people are reporting mixed success with OS 4.3 but OS 4.5 works great.  (I am running OS 4.5 on a 8310 Curve from AT&T.)  Options>About will let you check what OS you are running.

I’ll cover how to upgrade your Blackberry to OS 4.5 in an upcoming post.  Choppy Youtube videos, full html emails, and streaming radio can all be yours!  Subscribe to the RSS feed so you don’t miss it.