Like the rest of you, I love my BlackBerry. It does the one thing I bought for, which is to deliver my email in an intuitive manner. All the other features are nice, and I use them, but they’re not central to my device usage.
I do wonder, however, whether my opinion on that would change if some of these additional features worked better — more intuitively, with a better interface. Would I use my BlackBerry more fully? If a recent rumor pans out, I might find out in the near future.
Rumor: RIM working on OS overhaul
When I first heard about OS 5.0, I thought it might be RIM’s step up in the software department. Again, I love the hardware and I love the core function, email. And while I do enjoy the rest of the software on the device, it feels old and outdated. I’m always on the lookout for new themes that change the interface, though that’s just putting a band-aid on the problem.
Anyway, as more information leaked out about 5.0, it became apparent that it was just one step up from OS 4.6, rather than the full flight ascension for which I had hoped. The initial hopes I had for OS 5.0 are now pinned on OS 6.0, which we heard is in the works. It sounds like an upgrade, OS 5.2, should also hit your BlackBerry device later this year, but this will clearly just be another step.
Or, perhaps, the new OS for the Dakota, which should hit some time this year, as early as the spring. Will OS 6.0 be the big jump we’ve been wanting for years? At this point, I have to think so. Otherwise, why bother?
Tip of the week: BlackBerry Messenger pointers. Al Sacco lays them out, and I can’t help but nod in agreement.
T-Mobile opens a spot for the 8910. Verizon, too?
A few weeks ago, we saw this:
It’s the Curve 8910, and at the time many of us thought that it was headed for Asian markets. We had good reason, too. With so many BlackBerry models already on the market, and with this one lacking a 3G radio, it didn’t seem to have a spot in any North American BlackBerry lineups. But when we later learned that it passed though the FCC — the American FCC — we were left wondering. Turns out, the answer was right in front of our faces.
This week we learned that T-Mobile is phasing out the Curve 8900. Ah ha! It looks like the 8910 will be a year-later replacement, catering to the T-Mobile markets that lack 3G. There are also rumblings of a Curve 8930 model hitting shelves, presumably for Verizon.
And since Sprint seems to pick up all these devices, them too. My question is how an 8930 would differ from the Curve 8530 and the soon-to-be-released Tour 9650. How to: Set up BIS email on your BlackBerry. A basic but essential tip.
RIM helps fuel smartphone growth
In a time when we’re seeing a lot of less than stellar news in the mobile space, RIM still thrives. The whole smartphone industry, in fact, has continued to grow despite shaky economic conditions. In the fourth quarter of 2008, companies sold 41 million smartphones worldwide. That number jumped to 53 million this year, a 30 percent increase. While Nokia shipped the most, 20.8 million, RIM saw its own uptick, selling 10.7 million BlackBerry devices. That accounted for 20.2 percent of the fourth quarter market, and its 34.5 million units sold in 2009 accounts for 19.8 percent of the overall market.
It’s no wonder, then, that so many companies seem eager to add mobile services. It’s a growing industry, and everyone wants to tap it.
RIM simplifies 3G bands
The story started off when we saw pictures of the Pearl 9100 running T-Mobile 3G bands.That sounds great, right? Of course it does, but there’s an even better story behind it. As Boy Genius Report explains, RIM is now releasing its GSM models with one radio. That is, they’ll make the same phone for all of their GSM carriers — T-Mobile, AT&T, Rogers, WIND, Vodafone, etc.
RIM them flashes the phone for the specific carrier, rather than putting in a different radio for each one. That should reduce manufacturing costs — which you should only really care about if it reduces the price for the end user. Still a cool story, though. Want to access stuff faster on your BlackBerry? Try Iconify, which allows you to create home screen icons for contacts and web pages, or SuperQWERTY, which essentially turns your keyboard into an app-launching machine.
Gear up for the Olympics with a BlackBerry theme
If you have a BlackBerry Storm and want to cheer on your country as they compete for glory, you can show your colors with a free Team USA or Team Canada BlackBerry theme. Here’s the USA version (Woooooooooo!) And here’s the Canada version (Boooooo — though I’m sure my co-works will disagree)
It’s RIM, not BlackBerry
So apparently Jeopardy! fudges facts in order to conveniently fit a question into a category. Kevin explains, though I’m sure you’ll get what I’m talking about just by watching the video.