Blackbird 0.5 is now available for download

Blackbird 0.5 is out of beta and is now available. Help spread the word and let your BlackBerry-owning friends know about it!



  1. Hi there, just found Blackbird after having some issues with TwitterBerry and looking for a more active project. Looks like a solid start. A few things I’d like to see on the wish list are…

    1. The auto update you’ve already mentioned
    2. Font size options, I like my text small :)
    3. When I select a message the title information is white text of a very light blue. v hard to read. Can take a screeny if you would like.

    Hope none of those are particually awkward and sound sensible. Can twitter me on @countstex if you want the screen shot.

  2. Steven: Thanks for the feedback, and I’m glad you’re trying out Blackbird!

    Regarding font size options, Blackbird uses whatever font family/size/style you’ve chosen in the Blackberry’s “Screen/Keyboard” options.

    Regarding white text on light blue … this might be a theme-related issue, because on my at&t BB Curve 8310, I get black text on the light blue which is very readable. I’ll do more testing using different themes, having Blackbird use the colors from the theme.

    Thanks again for reporting these things! It all helps to make for a better application for everyone.

  3. On the font, i thought that might be the case. I’ll see if I can get a nice compromise bewteen menu reada bility and fitting lots of twitters in ;)
    On the theme, I’m on the default Bold theme which is all black so you would think it would work out, will see if I can find where the colour choices are coming from in the theme.

  4. Hi Dossy,

    I just installed blackbird.jad on my Blackberry Curve. I am getting a blank screen when I run it. Going to “Friends Timeline”, I see “*Empty*” at the top with a “” at bottom. Any advise you can give me re this problem?


  5. Franklin: What carrier are you using? at&t, T-mobile, Verizon Wireless, someone else?

    At times when Twitter is having issues–if you get a fail whale at their website–Blackbird will similarly be affected. Sometimes waiting an hour and trying again is all you need to do.

  6. Dossy,

    The carrier is T-Mobile. I’ve tried it on three separate occasions, each time several hours apart. I just tried it again and am still getting the same problem. Checking against the Twitter website, I see that it appears to be working fine.

  7. I am having the same exact problem as Franklin, I have T-Mobile as well. I am using a Pearl 8100.

  8. I’m having same IOException error issue. I’m in Turkey, so my operator is Turkcell. I would have hoped TCP would be TCP the world around, but I guess maybe there are port / firewall issues or something?

  9. Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. I’m going to try and put additional debugging information into the next release of Blackbird so we can get a better idea of what is causing these Java IOException errors.

    I’m sorry it’s not working for you right now. Thanks for your patience!

  10. Zach in Ohio says

    Hi Dossy,

    I wanted to add to the latest group of people who are getting the ‘’ error. I have an older Blackberry 7105t, but my carrier is also t-mobile. I really liked the screenshots, and haven’t had much luck with other twitter apps so I’ll definitely stay tuned to hear more from you!

    Thanks- Zach

  11. I am using Blackbird 0.5.21 on a 7100g (v4.1.0.292) on O2 Ireland network. It looks great and I want to use it as having memory issues with some of the better known apps. However, once I have gone into Friends Timeline or Public Timeline once, it will no longer refresh and just leaves data from the first time I viewed these. I cannot find a refresh/update button anywhere. I even tried deleting a redownloading the app again but that had no effect. The old timelines were still there…
    Any help would be appreciated! May 0.6 will fix this if there is a manual update option. When is this due?

    Many thanks

  12. Just saw your reply to @juvenn but I have not option to bring up the menu so cannot refresh timeline. Different keys on the 7100g? When I click the wheel it just opens whichever tweet is highlighted. I have pressed every button and no menu appears. Clicking wheel on “Welcome to Blackbird” screen brings up menu there but no “refresh” option on that menu…
    Thanks again


  13. Keith: Yes, timeline data is cached – that was a big feature request before. Clicking your menu button should bring up a menu whose first choice is “Refresh” – select that, it should refresh the timeline being viewed.

    There must be a way on the 7100-series to bring up the context menu. Is that a button between the green call and red hangup buttons? What happens when you click it? If you click the jog-wheel and hold it for a two seconds, what happens?

  14. Hi Dossy: Tweeted earlier as firewall in my office blocks your blog and my blackberry won’t show the Captcha! So got your reply back – many thanks!

    (For anyone else who wondered what the conclusion was, the 7100g does not have a separate menu key. The middle convenience key does nothing apart from launch apps and holding the jogwheel for 2 seconds brings up the tweet in the same way as just normally clicking it. Dossy is going to look after me though!)

    Cheers, Keith

  15. I am having the same issue as Keith, using a 7290. Does anyone know of any way I can refresh any of the pages, all I can do is tweet and view the initial cache of messages from when I first installed it. Thanks.

  16. same here, blackberry 7290 user!

    feel free to write me an email/twitter me ( /justdoittoday) and i will test new versions for you.

    Very nice application :)

  17. Hi There,

    I have an 8703e and I am having the problem where I can’t refresh the cached friends time line. Let me know how I can help.

  18. Is that possible to disable blackbird from loading image?

  19. bee: Not in the current release, but it’ll certainly be configurable in future versions. Thanks for asking.

  20. So theres nothing we can do with the current version to update if we are using an older blackberry?

  21. Tymon: Unfortunately, that’s the case for the moment. I’m under a real hectic deadline for a project – but I promise, I will get Blackbird working on older hardware as soon as it’s done.

    I really do appreciate everyone’s patience and I know how frustrating it is not being able to use the app. Maybe I can quickly push out a bugfix build to address this issue, but I can’t guarantee anything.

  22. Hi Dossy,

    Blackbird looks awesome! Any chance of adding / Laconica support? It could be a quick win because Laconica has a nearly 100% Twitter-compatible API. We really want Blackberry support, and that would open up a new user base for Blackbird. What do you think? (I also sent you email.)




  23. Hi Dossy,

    I’ve been checking in every day and great to see a fix released for this issue. I’ve tested it on my 7100g and it works a treat on the Friends Timeline.

    I don’t use the Public Timeline very often but I did find a little bug there. The Alt-click does indeed bring up the Refresh menu but refreshing gave me a javalang.NullPointerException null [OK] message. This came up again when I went into Friends and back to Public but did not come up on subsequent refresh. The refresh still worked though – seems to be only a niggly warning so happy to live with that for the rest of the functionality provided!

    Many many thanks for this resolution!



    P.S. Good luck with your other “secret” product developments – I hope they are fruitful for you. If they are as intuitive as BlackBerry then combined with the great customer service I’m sure everything will work out fantastic.

  24. Keith: Thank you so much for confirming that the “fix” indeed works on real hardware. I’ve updated the main Blackbird download with the new build!

    Once I get through my current projects, I’ll go on a serious bug-stomping spree and really clean up Blackbird. But, for now, I need to stay focused.

    Again, thanks everyone for your patience while you couldn’t use the app! I hope this won’t happen again.

  25. Bernardo Kuri says

    Hey Dossy,

    Looking forward to using Blackbird soon. :)
    Unfortunately, I’m encountering the same issue as Franklin (ioError). Does Blackbird require a data connection in order to function? Is it possible to add “pure” WiFi support for a future version if this is the case?

    Thanks! Keep up the good work.

  26. Bernardo Kuri says

    I forgot to mention that I am using an 8820 using the latest firmware.

  27. Bernardo: Blackbird currently uses either MDS through BES/BIS, or direct TCP, which is configurable through the Options screen inside the application.

    Now that I have a handset with Wi-Fi capability, I can see what it takes to support it.

  28. Hi Dossy,

    I really like BlackBird and it has been working great. Recently I upgraded my BB 8830 World Edition from Sprint OS and since then the dates in the Friends Timeline detail are way off. For instance, just now I twittered and in my Friends Timeline it says it was sent 266 days ago! I was on build 18 but did an uninstall and installed 0.5.23 with the same results.

    BB info: BlackBerry® 8830
    smartphone (GPRS, CDMA)
    v4.5.0.135 (Platform
    Cryptographic Kernel v3.8.5.32a
    Micro Edition Configuration: CLDC-1.1
    Micro Edition Profile: MIDP-2.0
    Micro Edition JTWI Version: 1.0
    Micro Edition Media Version: 1.1
    Micro Edition PIM Version: 1.0
    Micro Edition File Version: 1.0
    Micro Edition Bluetooth Version: 1.1
    Micro Edition Location Version: 1.0.1

  29. fuzzalot: Yes, there was a Twitter API change on 2009-04-01 that has revealed a bug in Blackbird. I’ll have that fixed in the next release.

  30. I wish I could get responses this quickly from vendors.

    Thank you for a great product. I look forward to future releases.


  31. Chad McCullough says

    Just wondering if Blackbird is still in development? I would love to see the new version with the timeline issue resolved.

    Thanks for all the hard work on this.

    • Chad: I do fully intend to continue development of Blackbird, but as it is often the case with free software, it necessarily has to take lower priority when I’m too busy with paying work that helps support my spouse and children.

      I appreciate everyone’s pateience and am glad you find the application useful.

      • Chad McCullough says

        Hey Dossy,

        I completely understand. :)

        Again, thanks for all of your work with this. I’ll keep an eye on your blog for updates.

  32. walter geldres says

    hey Dossy wanna just ask u if Blackbird for Blackberry phones is gonna be updated or not, i understand if its the latter due to fierce competition but i think this app is awesome, i downloaded it but every time i tried to connect an API error would come up so i would apreciate it if you reply in the matter thank you very much

    • Hi, Walter,

      At this point, it’s very unlikely that I’ll continue working on Blackbird. When RIM released their official Twitter client, that was pretty much my cue that continuing work on Blackbird would be fighting a battle I could never win.

      Perhaps the folks who are still interested in Blackbird could help me by answering one question: why would you use a third-party app like Blackbird, instead of RIM’s official Twitter client, or any other BlackBerry Twitter client that’s already out there?

      • walter geldres says

        i see what ur saying Dossy, its kinda of shame thou in my case for instance im not a heavy twitter user therefore blackbird was perfect for me love the fact that it was simple and to the point as oppossed to the official twitter, ubertwitter etc are so bloted, complicated, and memoryhogs but i truly understand, unfortunately lots of third party twitter clients like blackbird are dissapearing gonna miss it thou i appreciate ur reply thank you.

        • Thanks for the explanation. Perhaps there’s still an opportunity for Blackbird, if there’s others who prefer a simpler Twitter experience on Blackberry, like you.

          Perhaps I can find some time to update the app. so that it’ll continue to work. Feedback like yours helps me justify making that time. So, thank you!

          • walter geldres says

            No problem Dossy and that would be great so hopefully it’ll happen whichever the outcome thank you and take care

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