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Archive for the ‘BlackBerry’

Tips and tricks for travelling with your BlackBerry

February 21, 2011 @ 08:30 By: gordon Category: BlackBerry, Travelling

I went to the UK last summer and meant to write about a couple of tips and tricks I learned for travelling with your BlackBerry. Well, better late than never as they say…

If you’re a Canadian with a BlackBerry or some other smartphone, like me, then you are probably painfully aware of how expensive wireless data is in Canada compared to most of the rest of the civilized world. We’ve started to see the cost of wireless data come down in the last year or two, particularly with the arrival of iPhones and Android devices, but it’s still more expensive, generally speaking, that other countries like the US or the UK. Most of the major carriers in Canada offer some sort of international data plans to allow you to use your smartphone outside of Canada without taking out a second mortgage, but they’re still quite expensive and if you should use your phone to call someone, even what would otherwise be a local call where you are travelling, you could be looking at several dollars per minute.

But there are some something you can do to make using your smartphone while travelling a little more affordable. I have a BlackBerry 9700, but some of these tips are probably equally applicable to other devices like iPhones and Android.


Brian’s Brain Challenge

April 24, 2010 @ 10:06 By: gordon Category: BlackBerry

Menu-screen A couple of days ago I noticed a couple of new applications had been “pushed” to my BlackBerry by Rogers. One of them was the urMusic app (well, actually a shortcut to the installer) and the other was the Brian Challenge 2 Demo.

I don’t use my BlackBerry as an MP3 player, so the urMusic isn’t really of interest to me, but it’s nice to have a few games on it to pass the time when waiting somewhere. So, I clicked on the icon to check it out.


Facebook 1.6 for the BlackBerry

June 08, 2009 @ 17:07 By: gordon Category: BlackBerry, Reviews

Kyle over at BlackBerry Cool posted a first impressions of Facebook 1.6 for the BlackBerry article, which was released over the weekend. Since this is an app that I use fairly regularly, I fired it up on my BlackBerry and clicked on the “check for updates” link in the options menu. It reported a new version was available and took me to the over-the-air install site.

The first thing I had to do was select the language for the install from a pulldown menu. Oddly enough, the default language was “Chinese (Simplified)”, which could be a bit of a gotcha for some people if they don’t notice it. I was surprised that the default language wasn’t the preferred language in my browser; or simply pre-selected based on the language of the existing install; or just English. The download and install was pretty straight forward, but did involve a device reset, presumably because Facebook weaves itself into the address book, messages thingy and other base applications.

Firing it up after the reset meant accepting a new EULA, which was similar to other RIM EULAs (or BBSLAs as they seem to be called). It didn’t appear to have any Facebook-specific terms in it. After accepting the EULA, I logged in with my Facebook details and it started updating my friends list, etc. Like the previous version, it’s much more integrated with the BlackBerry calendar and address book than versions in early days were.

The interface itself is “prettier” than previous versions and looks more like the web interface. There still isn’t a way to use the chat functionality of Facebook with the BlackBerry client, but that’s not a huge inconvenience as I don’t chat using Facebook that often. Still, you would think that would be fairly straightforward to implement and is a feature that is noticeably missing.

The status screen has become a bit cluttered, but that could be fixed if they removed your profile picture from the screen. (I have a BlackBerry Curve 8310, which has a lower-resolution screen than most of the BBs available today, like the BB Curve 8900, so this may not be as much of an issue on newer devices.)

One commenter on BBCool said it was slower, but I haven’t noticed that, yet. There are many factors that can affect how quickly something runs on a BB, so it could be an issue with the commenter’s BB than a general application issue. I’ll post an update if I notice that it’s slower.

My review of Aerize Card Loader 2008

March 06, 2009 @ 22:18 By: gordon Category: BlackBerry, Reviews

Though I’ve been blogging in one form or another for over ten years, I’ve just had my first article for another website published.

A couple of weeks ago a comment I made about an article on BlackBerryCool.com caught the eye of the chap who runs it. He emailed me asking if I would be interested in reviewing a BlackBerry application from their store. After a couple more exchanges I picked the Aerize Card Loader 2008 application and started to play with it.

I submitted my review this afternoon, which you can read at BlackBerryCool.com.

BlackBerry profile manager bounty expired

October 28, 2008 @ 20:00 By: gordon Category: BlackBerry

Well, 25:59 UT has come and gone.  This means that the bounty I posted for a location-based profile manager for the BlackBerry Curve has expired without being claimed. This is too bad because people who heard about it seemed very interested in it, with one even adding $25 to the original $50 I posted.

One day left

October 27, 2008 @ 09:00 By: gordon Category: BlackBerry

Tomorrow (Tuesday) evening at 19:59 Eastern (23:59 UTC), the bounty for a location-based BlackBerry profile manager expires and I refund the money added to the original bounty to the donor.

It’s too bad because I think there would be a market for a profile manager that automatically sets the active profile based on where you are.

Only 8 days left

October 20, 2008 @ 16:50 By: gordon Category: BlackBerry

There’s only 8 days left before the $75 bounty for a location-driven profile manager expires.

I’d gotten my hopes up that someone I know who is a BlackBerry developer was working on something because he’d asked me some questions about it on Facebook, but nothing has yet to manifest itself.

Basically, I’m looking for an application that will run on my BlackBerry Curve that will determine the active profile based on location.  For example, if it notices that I’m near the building I work in, it would automatically switch to the vibrate profile so that it doesn’t go off in a meeting.  You can read all about it in my original post.

The original bounty was $50.  Since then, someone else has added another $25 to the pot.  If the bounty expires, he’ll get his contribution back, but I’m hoping it will have been claimed before that happens.

A tip o’ the hat to the crew at BlackBerry Cool for picking up my original post.