Battery life… tethered as I am to a desk for a solid five days a week, where a power strip is never more than a stubbed toe away, I don’t always give battery life of my mobile devices as rigorous consideration as I probably should. My previous Sidekick II could just barely make its way to the two-day mark before it began its pitiful drones for power. Anyone who has owned one knows exactly the sound I’m talking about. I think it was scientifically developed to make you feel like an abusive pet owner. This morning I’m staring at my Blackberry 8700g which hasn’t seen a charger since it arrived five days ago. While I consider myself only a moderately heavy user, engaging in about a dozen short, about the same number of texts and about an hour and a half of web browsing a day, I’m delighted to see three of five power bars still solidly lit!
The instant messenger dilemma still dogs me. T-Mobile has a multi-product platform which seems free, but its description seems to suggest that is using text messages (SMS) as its transport method and these count against your allotted text messages. Still experimenting with IM+ and it seems to do a decent job of instant messages aside from a pokey initial start up. This is the WAP addition so am I to gather it does not use the SMS transport method? I just cranked a few IMs through it and will check my SMS count (dial #674# on a T-Mobile phone) and see what happens. Either there is a substantial delay in the SMS usage reporting from T-Mobile or the WAP edition of IM+ does not use the SMS transport method. I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know what I find.
I’m considering trying a Blackberry GMail application instead of using the standard Blackberry email client. While I don’t think the GMail application “pushes”, it does seem to allow for better mail sorting and organizing. What I’d really like is a real POP mail client, stores messages locally and allows for custom folders and sorting. The global message box that comes standard on the Blackberry simply isn’t granular enough for me. I’m sure I just haven’t done enough research but I’ll come back to this as time allows.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t sing the praising of Google Traffic Map for the Blackberry enough. It effortlessly combines traffic information, VERY high quality maps and mapped searches of business/residences with driving direction and from-the-map phone dialing. It’s quickly becoming my “killer app” on the Blackberry and creeping up the icon list on my Blackbery phone’s desktop.
I think I’ve gotten my ring tones settings overload under control now and tweaked them to my lifestyle. I’ve been using the Blackberry’s daily reminder function as my morning alarm clock and it’s robust enough to rouse me in the mornings.
Admittedly, I’m terribly at BrickBreaker, the game that ships with the 8700g, but I still enjoy it. I definitely need to download a few more games to fill out my Blackberry leisure time. Any recommendations veteran Blackberry gamers have would be welcome.
Another wish list item… a screencapture application that runs on the Blackberry. It would make showing people what I’m talking about in these impressions much easier. :-)
Finally, there is the Blackberry’s Password Keeper application. This is one of those encrypted master logon/password utilities. I’m of a mixed opinion on these in general. On one hand, as a web developer I have literally dozens and dozens of logons to keep track of, not to mention various related information. I had been keeping my more obscure logons on an thumb drive using Password Safe (http://www.schneier.com/passsafe.html) but honestly it’s not always convenient to plugin in the thumb drive in a mobile situation and some of the flakiness of Password Safe has convinced me not to put much faith in it. The Blackberry’s Password Keeper, however, is very handy and stable so far. My only wish… exportable, encrypted database so I could put it elsewhere if the need arose.
That’s all for this installment. I’ll keep posting my impression as they come to me. Constructive recommendations, questions, suggestions and the like are always welcome.