Well, I finally spent some time with the Blackberry yesterday and had some major league (see the analogy developing here?) trouble getting it up and running. I didn’t realise that you had to sign up with your provider for an extra service or two to get the ball rolling.
Yep, I spent about 4 hours at work yesterday trying to get things moving until I stumbled upon a web page telling me to get in touch with T-Mobile and register (should have thought of that first…doh). It will cost me another £5 per month to utilise their Blackberry "service" but they were very very helpful and efficient in getting it set up for it. Part of the "service" is to restore a browser to the device as the Curve had none when shipped. A Blackberry without email and web browsing capability is really not very useful.
This device is small compared to the treo and much lighter too. I tried to get it syncing with my work PC but as usual, for non-WM devices, no joy there at all. I think our IT department have something to do with that. I then downloaded PocketMac for Blackberry which is a free mac syncing application available via this link….it looks impressive specs wise and suggests it can sync ical, your address book, install new apps, stickies, mac mail and a few other things. Sounded great. And it claims to work with the Curve.
The reality so far is a bit different however. It synced across most of my contacts which was great but refused to sync anything else, it also failed to manage to install the RSS app I bought a few days ago. This is my biggest frustration to date, I just can’t get any new apps on it. Not that I’m looking to do much…I just want to get a RSS reader on and that will be it. The treo 680 will continue with all my heavy duty pda stuff.
I’ve tried the following….Bluetooth – it pairs with my imac and work PC but doesn’t support bluetoothing files from them (rather poor that methinks). I tried sending the app via email but that was unsuccessful. PC at work – can’t get a connection therefore can’t use the "AppLoader" feature. PocketMac at home on the imac – won’t install files…..downloading via the browser – the file I need is only available as a zip and it won’t open that. I’ll have a good browse tonight and see if I can come up with a solution and if not…tough tatties as they say.
Very brief initial impressions – lovely device form factor wise, good battery wise, good navigation (very good keyboard), excellent for email of course, very good Media application that loads pics from the SD card very quickly, nice and light, okay camera (better than equivalent HTC versions), Blackerry Maps is an okay application too, entering info for things like Memo’s, appointments, tasks is nice and simple and thus quick. It’s the only device I’ve had that my chums at work have shown any interest in to date…they seem impressed by its looks. There are some very nice and useful shortcuts when in applications and I would recommend downloading and reading the manual to find these. The browser is nice too, quite speedy.
Downsides so far…can’t install anything….I had to pay extra for the push email Blackberry service…some of the apps look a bit cheapo and basic (some though look very polished and these are the newish ones added to give it "consumer appeal")…no built in RSS app…no inbuilt File Explorer app?, if there is I can’t find it, again another of my devices has mediocre signal reception..on the first day I had 2 dropped calls in the office but nothing since I got it upgraded by T-Mobile to include push email (in fact reception, for some reason, has improved since then too)
I’ve put in a pic of it next to my treo 680 to give you and idea of the slimness of it. As it stands it’s quite a bit short of replacing the treo for heavy duty pda jobs but I didn’t get it for that so it’s unfair to compare the two. I wanted to get it as a pure phone with good email, media, browsing and RSS capabilities with basic PIM apps too and so far it is doing a good job.
Plus, it feels a million dollars. I can’t help thinking though that Palm could have made something as nice looking as this if they’d tried a bit harder….this is what a modern day treo should look like.