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Unleash Your BlackBerry and Unlock Functionality

written by: Sandy Samra•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 11/26/2010

BlackBerry hacks add functionality and have a transformative effect on your BlackBerry handhelds. Read on to review some of the best options.

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    Even though BlackBerry is the leading messaging device, there are areas where it lacks. BlackBerry hacks help in adding functionality to these smartphones. We will discuss some of the most popular BlackBerry hacks in this article.

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    Unlocking a BlackBerry is one of the most popular BlackBerry hacks. A BlackBerry is unlocked so that any SIM card can be used on a compatible GSM network. You can unlock a BlackBerry by using the following procedure:

    • Go to Settings then Options and then Status to get the IMEI number.
    • Order an unlock code by submitting the IMEI number to an unlocking website.
    • Once you have the unlock code, from Options, go to Advanced Options and then SIM card.
    • Type in M E P D and simultaneously press ALT and type 2.
    • When requested, enter the Network MEP Code to unlock the BlackBerry.
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    2. Change your BlackBerry PIN

    There comes a time when a BlackBerry user needs to release his or her PIN. For this you don’t have to wait for your network carrier to do it for you. Instead you can do it in less than five minutes. Log into your network carrier’s BIS site with your PIN and IMEI number in hand. After logging in, look for Settings in the menu options. There is a link for change device under Settings. Click on that link and enter the new PIN and IMEI number and Submit. This hack works when changing devices not network carriers.

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    3. All-In-One Handango Messenger

    All-In-One Handango Messenger offers MSN/Windows Live, AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and even Skype support. Grab this messenger and stay connected on all networks all at once.

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    4. PhoneTweak for BlackBerry

    PhoneTweak for BlackBerry promises to offer a variety of new functionalities in your BlackBerry phone. There are different categories to select options from like Messages, Phone, Connections, Power, Clock, LED and Flashlight to change the default settings of your BlackBerry device. You program your phone to activate LED or vibrate while making a call or ending one and also make your phone switch off or on at time intervals set by you. Get this app and explore the other features that it offers.

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    5. BlackBerry Addon

    This is a feature rich application that lets BlackBerry users add and integrate endless lists of functions like SMS signature, auto keypad lock, InCall notifications, blacklist/whitelist callers, saving outgoing and incoming calls to calendar application and emoticons into the BlackBerry OS interface.

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    6. Opera Mini

    RIM's latest browser, is excellent but it renders support only to latest BlackBerry devices and not to 4.5 and earlier versions. Opera Mini is a lively little browser that can run on almost any BlackBerry, even the ones that were released back in 2002. Opera utilizes server-side optimization to speed things up and offers an experience that at least resembles modern browsing.

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    7. Bolt Browser

    Bolt, another browser for those ancient black and white BlackBerry handhelds, uses server-side compression to achieve good browsing results

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    8. Google Apps

    Google Mobile app on BlackBerry provides access to Google Maps, Gmail and Google Sync, which will keep your calendars and contacts efficiently paired.

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    9. VoIP

    Even though BlackBerrys have been neglected by Skype, that doesn't indicate VoIP on BlackBerry is unthinkable. Surprisingly functional 3rd-party apps like iSkoot, Truphone, and Gizmo5 have made this possible. iSkoot allows clear Skype voice calls even over 2G networks, Truphone offers to route international calls at local rates and Gizmo5 not only offers free calls to other Gizmo5 users, but instant messaging on most of the popular networks.

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    10. Viigo RSS Reader

    Viigo is an incredible RSS reader that consolidates any number of feeds, be it Google Alerts, website content, or social networking sites, into a simple and friendly interface.

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    Some BlackBerry hacks will probably void your warranty therefore proceed carefully and at your own risk. If you have any more you'd like to suggest then post a comment.