Thursday, November 20, 2008

10 Reasons to own a Blackberry

[caption id="attachment_1020" align="alignright" width="300" caption="From left to right: The Blackberry Pearl, Bold, Curve, and some older model that I can't identify"][/caption]

Ever since I purchased my Blackberry, I've been discovering and learning all sorts of cool things you can do with them.  I wanted to share with you some of these discoveries I've come across while scavenging the internet, learning all sorts of things they're capable of doing.  I've compiled together 10 reasons why you should go out and purchase a Blackberry.

# 10. You can stream video & audio on your Blackberry

If your Blackberry has an O/S 4.5 or higher, then the included Blackberry media player should be able to handle the common video streaming formats.  You also can stream any audio or video you might have on your PC to your Blackberry using a program called Orb.  Youtube also has a mobile version of their site allowing you to watch all their content:

# 9. The Blackberry Messenger is the best Instant Messenger out there

What makes this particular instant messenger stand out from the others is the fact that you can verify when people get your messages, and check to see if the message has been read on their end.  Also you can send files like pictures, short audio messages and other crap without any hassle.  Keep in mind the Blackberry Messenger only allows you to directly communicate with other users on their Blackberries.  This Instant Messenger doesn't allow you to IM people on AIM, MSN, Yahoo, etc...

# 8. You get "Push" Email on your Phone

[caption id="attachment_1023" align="alignright" width="300" caption="You can see the icon has a little * next to it indicating new e-mail."]You can see the icon has a little * next to it indicating new email.[/caption]

Basically no matter what, you'll always know when you receive new email.  These phones are designed to have an "always on" capability so that you get your email in real time.  You don't have to check your mail manually to see if you have email.  Icons will have red Asterisks * representing unread mail.  I would also like to note that if you have other programs with messaging capabilities (like Facebook or Myspace) the phone will alert you automatically (without having the program open) that you have new messages by placing their application icon with a red asterisk on the top of the screen.

# 7. Continuous O/S upgrades

It seems that Research in Motion (RIM) is always releasing upgrades for their phones, adding and fixing little things here and there.  They added the capability to allow you to capture video, create voice recordings (reminders for yourself) among other things.  Not too long ago, RIM released O/S 4.5 for the Curve series which included HTML email among other things.  In addition the overall responsiveness of the new O/S is much quicker.

# 6. You have a FULL QWERTY Keyboard

Well I can't say this applies for all Blackberry models, *coughPEARLcough* but this was one of the main reasons why I switched to Blackberry in the first place.  Before, I found myself continuously sending out text messages to people, and the time I spent typing out those messages made the process much longer then it should have been.  At least now with a full QWERTY keyboard, you're able to pump out the messages quickly, and not have to abbreviate 10 year old sounding phrases like "Where are U?".

# 5. Internet Browsing

While most phones today have some form of browsing, the Blackberry has the 3rd best mobile Internet Browser on the phone.  Opera Mini being the 2nd best, Safari Mobile being the 1st.  The native Blackberry Internet Browser supports JavaScript, CSS, Tables, Images, etc...  Other popular phones like the RAZR V3 have a crippled browser which is limited to WAP 2.0.

# 4. Tons of 3rd Party Applications

There are a ton of applications out there for the Blackberry.  Well, probably less now then there are for the iPhone, but RIM has future plans on releasing their own app. store similar to what Apple is doing, and there will be less restrictions then what Apple has put in place.

One of the IM applications aside from Blackberry Messenger that I use is a program called BeeJive.  This is an All-In-One instant messenger where you can have your AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google and other instant messengers tie in together.  I use this program because it saves memory rather then having each native Instant Messenger application running.  Also if you don't like the way webpages render using the default Blackberry Internet Browser, you can get Opera Mini, which does a better job rendering websites.

# 3. J2ME (Java Mobile Edition) Support

This kind of ties in with #4, but if weren't for J2ME, you wouldn't have nearly as many applications as there are for the Blackberries. J2ME is a standard platform that's included with typical phones, but since Blackberry has a community as well as several different models of their phones, you can find quite the collection of programs.  For example: Opera Mini.

# 2. Multiple Applications can run in the background

This feature as well as the full QWERTY keyboard were the two factors that sold me.  Just knowing that I can leave my Instant Messenger running in the background so that people can message me whenever they feel like it is always satisfying.  The phone allows for multitasking which most non-smartphones don't have.


Blackberry has one of the best online communities I've ever been a part of.  There are several websites dedicated specifically to the Blackberry phones.  If you ever have a question or need help solving a problem with your phone, the Blackberry community will usually provide you a quick answer.  I find the Forums to be the best site getting help with.  There are other websites that also have pretty good communities: