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My BlackBerry Can Beat Up Your Treo

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Broken Treo


I’m a Phone Snob

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love BlackBerry’s. I’ve been carrying one since 2002 when it first went from a messaging-only device to a smart phone. I’ve also carried Treo’s and Windows Mobile phones, as well as a ton of non-smart-phones. I always come back to BlackBerry. In my experience (and according to the close friends I still have working in all aspects of the wireless industry), BlackBerry’s have the best battery life, the best signal strength and the best durability. Now, a new study just came out that found that the iPhone is 6% more reliable than a BlackBerry and for a single quarter actually outsold BlackBerry’s. Many people misinterpreted this as iPhones have completely outsold BlackBerry’s, but it was actually just for one quarter.

Get a BlackBerry

No one who has tried all four (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Treo) will argue that the BlackBerry is hands down the best for email. And if they want to argue, they’re wrong 🙂 Now with the Bold (AT&T) and the Storm (Verizon) either out or about to be out, this is the perfect time to get one of the best business tools you can add to your arsenal.

Here’s a few of the reasons I can strongly urge you to make the switch:

  • Incredible battery life. My AT&T BlackBerry Pearl can easily last me through heavy usage for 3-5 days.
  • Insane durability.  I have literally drop-kicked my BlackBerry (several times) and it barely has a scratch on it.
  • Ease of use.  Why is there a CrackBerry epidemic? Because once you’ve used one for a few days, you just want more More MORE!
  • Applications. You iPhone and Android users love your app store. Guess what? BlackBerry’s have over 4,000 applications currently available. I think Google may even love BlackBerry more than Android. Gmail, Google Maps, GTalk and Calendar Sync are just a few of the awesome applications available.
  • Sync-ability. They will sync with just about any PIM (Personal Information Manager) software AND much faster than a Treo.  The newest versions will even sync with iTunes.
  • eKey. Supra has announced that there will be BlackBerry compatibility with eKey by the end of the year.

That’s the short list.

Your Training Begins

There are BlackBerry users and there are BlackBerry Super Users. For those of you who have had one for a while or for those of you placing one on your holiday wish list, I will be detailing some of the best applications and shortcuts for BlackBerry’s in the coming weeks.

I also hope to acquire a Bold (if my local store can get one in stock) and will offer a complete review from a very heavy user.

Photo Credit

Nick runs a new media marketing consulting company helping real estate professionals learn how to implement new media tools into their marketing arsenal. He frequently gives presentations on generational marketing, green marketing and advanced online promotion. Nick is active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Christina Ethridge - North Idaho Real Estate

    November 13, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Several years ago I started out with a Treo – liked it but disliked it’s size. Then I transitioned to a Samsung Windows OS – again, mostly liked it, disliked it’s size. About 5 months ago I bought the Blackberry Pearl.

    I’M IN LOVE. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this phone. I love everything it does – I have never used so many features on a phone before. The size is the best ever. I keep adding features that I’m using regularly. LOVE IT! I will never switch phones. When I need to replace this one it will be replaced with a BB. Although I am totally coveting the newly debuted BB, I will restrain myself.

    I had never used a blackberry before and frankly, never really felt the need to have one. I can not express loudly enough how much better this phone is than the Palm OS/Windows OS phones.

    Did I mention that I love my BB???

    (iPhone isn’t an option for me at present, I’m with Verizon and will not switch to ATT).

  2. Matthew Rathbun

    November 13, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    I just got my first BB last month, after years of a treo – I refer to those as my lost years. Blackberry’s rock!

  3. candy lynn

    November 13, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Nick: what do you think about the BB storm? will the touch screen be as esy to use as the curve?

  4. Gina Tufano

    November 13, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    My husband just switched from a Treo to the Bold. He loves it! I am unwilling to give up my touch screen and will have to wait until AT&T can come up with a touch BB – given how long the bold took to come out….

  5. Ron Ares

    November 13, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    If anyone wants to see the Supra – Blackberry integration effort, I have a beta version of the fob they are going to release.

    I recorded a Seesmic video (originally on Rain City Guide) showing how it works:

    https://seesmic.com/video/4ZmiUhkInb

    Not perfect, but a better solution for BB users than the ActiveKey.

  6. Derec Shuler

    November 13, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    You still didn’t do much comparison with the iPhone. I finally made the switch with the new generation being very sketchy about all the hype. Since they enabled Exchange support, it’s now an official business tool with wireless synch of mail, calendar, and contacts (like BB).

    BB gets better battery life but the iPhone is better for the multimedia. I’m curious to see more about the new generation of BB’s coming out.

  7. Michelle DeRepentigny

    November 13, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I really love my BB and am anxiously awaiting the Storm, one of my lucky family members will probably inherit my Curve.

  8. Bob Wilson

    November 13, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I have used a Treo for years, but need to switch. I played with both the Iphone and several BBs this week at PubCon and did my own informal survey.

    I didnt meet any Iphone users willing to part with their phone, but found a handful of BB users looking to switch for the media aspects of the Iphone. I watched users of both manage servers and networks from their phones.

  9. Jim Gatos

    November 14, 2008 at 6:08 am

    I’ll stay with my Moto Q. I can’t stand M$ Outlook and I use Mozilla Thunderbird with a $30 paid extension named BirdieSync. If I went to BB I’d also have to buy Outlook and I hate Outlook..,

  10. Lisa Sanderson

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 am

    eKey compatibility will seal the deal for me. Hope they hurry-my Treo is getting muy annoying.

  11. Christina Ethridge - North Idaho Real Estate

    November 14, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Jim –

    My hubby has the Moto Q – he finds it just “ok”, but not likely to switch until his dies.

    For the record – I no longer use outlook – I only use gmail calendar and it’s awesome with my BB.

  12. Missy Caulk

    November 14, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Nick, I love my Blackberry too.
    I am on the beta team testing the FOB for Supra on BB, so far so good.

    Should be released first of the year if testing goes well.

    If anyone switches to BB just ask for the FOB and you will get a 50.00 discount on the BB. The FOB will cost 50.00 to get. You are basically pre-ordering it.

    The app is easy to use, and no more sinking, cool features.

  13. teresa boardman

    November 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I have used blackberry’s for years and am on my 3rd, the latest pearl, just like the curve but smaller. I hate to tell you but the kool kids use iphones. They are much cooler than blackberries. The treo wasn’t ever kool but the blackberry used to be.

  14. Craig Barrett

    November 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I’ve had a Blackberry since 2003 or so. I’ve got the 8703e and love the push email and Qwerty keyboard. I once strayed and had a Treo 650… four days later I found the error of my ways and was back with Blackberry. It’s a stable platform and I’ve got plenty of apps.

    The Blackberry Storm looks interesting. I got an advertisement from my provider to check it out next week.

  15. Matt Stigliano

    November 16, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Nick – I am excited to read the rest of this series. I’m a blackberry user, but haven’t gotten into the nitty-gritty of applications (a few basics, but not a lot), so it will interesting to see what a self-described heavy user finds helpful.

  16. Nicole Boynton

    November 17, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Ohhhhhhhhh….I am so excited about ekey becoming crackberry compatible. Currently I use the Centro by Palm and really like it but it will sure be nice to have the opportunity to use more than just a Palm device. Curious though whether you have tried the iPhone and what you thought?

  17. Lesley

    November 18, 2008 at 9:45 am

    I love my BlackBerry Curve!

  18. Nick Bostic

    November 18, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    @Christina – I’ve bounced around and tried a few different options as well. I always come back to BB for reliability and functionality. I love the Pearl too, I wish they’d come out with a 3G WiFi version for AT&T.

    @Matthew – Glad you made the switch and double-glad it’s working out well for you!

    @Candy – The reviews of the Storm have been good so far. I’m personally a bit reluctant because it’s their first touch screen, so I’m going to wait for some more real-world reviews to come in. Plus I want it on AT&T, a true “open” network.

    @Brad – Exactly! I have several MicroSD cards, so I really have limitless storage capacity for a ton of music and movies.

    @Gina – The Bold definitely has been a bit of a saga. First RIM didn’t want to do a 3G BB, then they said okay, then AT&T said “fix your problems” so RIM took the time to fix it, then AT&T didn’t want to compete against the iPhone 3G for a while, then they said “Give it to us”, but RIM was behind on inventory. Whew. What a pain. Luckily, changing out the antennas is relatively easy, so once Verizon’s exclusive period on the Storm is over, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a (better) Storm on AT&T.

    @Ron – I would definitely agree it’s not perfect, but based on the horror stories of the Treo eKey, it can’t be that bad. When I worked in wireless, at least 3 times per day I would deal with R’s who had phones that froze every time they tried to use the eKey.

    @Derec – To say iPhone with Exchange is like BB is a bit of an overstatement. Die-hard Exchange sync users will fully admit that the BB push technology is still far superior, mostly in battery life. I also believe saying the iPhone is better for multimedia is a bit of hype – I can add music, video and pictures on my BB just like an iPhone. I can sync with iTunes. I can even send and receive picture messages and shoot video, try that on an iPhone out of the box! 🙂

    @Michelle – The Storm and Bold both look like some incredible devices for sure. And the Curve has been excellent, definitely not an embarrassing hand-me-down to have!

    @Bob – BB users, including myself, frequently get tempted by other options. I’ve tried iPhones (not 3G), Treo’s and WinMo devices, but I’ve always come back. Like I said earlier in this comment, I can do all of the media aspects of an iPhone on a BB, but email, durability, battery life and signal strength are still far superior on a BB.

    @Jim – I don’t use Outlook, I use Google Calendar and Mail for Domains. Works beautifully.

    @Christina – I’ll second that RE: GCal!

    @Missy – Thanks for the discount info, is that on the BB or the FOB?

    @Teresa – I know, iPhones are cooler, which is why I’ve been so tempted. But when I realize that the BB is a superior business tool, I push those iPhone thoughts out of my head 🙂

    @Matt – The apps are a ton of fun and really extend the business functionality of the BB immensely. It also seems like Google actually likes BB best, more so than iPhone or even the G1 (at least for now).

    @Nicole – You can already also use most WinMo devices. I’ve used the 1st generation iPhone for a while and it was definitely pretty and fun. But email is still better on BB, I like having applications running in the background, it works better with the various Google Apps I use, has better signal strength and battery life and is far more durable. Not as pretty though 🙂

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Social Media

Can Twitter ever secure data privacy, like even once?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter releases private information affecting already hurting businesses, should this even be a surprise anymore? They have a history of privacy breaches.

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twitter privacy

Dear Twitter,

I don’t know if you’ve seen the news within the past two years, but Facebook’s been under continuous scrutiny for privacy malpractices that affected millions of its users, so unless your goal is to be the next social network to infringe upon our first amendment right to privacy, I suggest you GET IT TOGETHER!

Over the weekend, users, specifically businesses, realized their billing information was being stored in their browsers cache. This is devastating news for business owners who rely on Twitter to promote their product, or stay in touch with their customers, who over the recent months have already faced monumental challenges. It is hard as a business owner to not feel this is an intentional overreach of privacy.

In an age where we have actual robots to vacuum our floors, and 3D printing, I speak for the people when I say this is unacceptable.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has been caught privacy breaching. A little over a year ago, Twitter announced that they were fixing a bug, many weren’t even aware of, that released phone numbers, location, and other personal data. AND GET THIS, even those who selected the option to keep their information private were affected, so what the hell is the point of asking us our preference in the first place?!!!

What about the time that Twitter accounts could be highjacked by ISIS and used to spread propaganda? All because Twitter didn’t require an email confirmation for account access. Or what about when Twitter stored your passwords in plaintext instead of something easily more secure. Flaws like these show a distinct ability of Twitter to just half ass things; to make it work, but not think about how to keep the users safe.

Like I said in the beginning, get it together Twitter.

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Social Media

Facebook’s Forecast wants ‘qualified’ predictions, but no one’s asking why

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook is asking a bunch of so-called experts to chime in on what the future holds, but can we trust them with the information we’re giving them?

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Forecast app

These days, trolls don’t necessarily lurk beneath bridges in order to ensnare unsuspecting travelers. Instead, they hide out in the comment sections on social media posts, ready to incite wrath and stir up controversy with their incendiary remarks. Because Facebook knows how quickly reasonable discourse can quickly devolve thanks in part to these online trolls, they’ve made a move to establish intelligent discussions through their new “Forecast” app.

The premise of Forecast is fairly straightforward. Facebook has invited an assortment of so-called experts (whether they work in the medical field or academia, or some other field) to cast their vote on predictions about the future. Not only will they share their vote, though, they’ll also pitch in their own two cents about these predictions, sparking what is expected to be insightful and reasonable conversation about the topics.

However, while the premise is exciting (smart people! not basement dwellers! talking about serious stuff!), there’s more than a small amount of risk associated with Forecast. For starters, what exactly is Facebook planning on doing with all of this information that is being volunteered on their app? And secondly, are they going to take precautions to help prevent the spread of misinformation when these results are eventually published?

The fact is, Facebook is notorious for propagating and spreading misinformation. Now, I’m not blaming Facebook itself for this issue. Rather, the sheer volume of its user base inevitably leads to flame wars and dishonesty. You can’t spell “Fake News” with at least a couple of the same letters used in Facebook. Or something like that. The problem arises when people see the results of these polls, recognize that the information is being presented by these hand-picked experts, and then immediately takes them at face value.

It’s not so much that most people are simple minded or unable to think for themselves; rather, they’re primed to believe that the admittedly educated guesses from these experts are somehow better, smarter, than what would be presented to them by the average layperson. The bias is inherent in the selection process of who is and isn’t allowed to vote. By excluding everyday folks like you and me (I certainly wasn’t given an invite!), undue prestige may be attributed to these projections.

At the moment, many of these projections are silly bits of fluff. One question asks, “Will Tiger King on Netflix get a spinoff season?” Another one wonders, “Will Mulan debut on Disney+ at the same time as or instead of a theatrical release?” But other questions? Well, they’re a little more serious than that. And speculating on serious issues (such as COVID-19, or the presidential election) can lead to the spread of serious — and potentially dangerous — misinformation.

Facebook has implemented very strict guidelines about what types of questions are allowed and which ones are forbidden. That, at least, is a step in the right direction. It’s no secret that expectation can actually lead to the predicted outcomes, directly influencing actions and behaviors. While it’s too early to tell if Forecast will ever gain that much power, it undoubtedly puts us in a position of wondering if and when intervention may be necessary.

But I’ll be honest with you: I don’t exactly trust Facebook’s ability to put this cultivated information to good use. Sometimes a troll doesn’t have to be overtly provocative in order to be effective, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see someone in a position of power exploit the results of these polls to influence the public. It’ll be interesting to see if Forecast is still around in the next few years, but alas, there’s no option for me to submit my vote on that to find out.

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Social Media

Well established Pinterest has a new competitor, Google Keen

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Google is constantly playing catch up, their new target is Pinterest. They have a new photo sharing social media app called Google Keen.

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Google Keen

It looks like Pinterest might finally have some competition: Google Keen. Notice the heavy emphasis on the word “might”.

It’s not hard to see why Google might feel a tad encroached upon by Pinterest, a photo-sharing and search-based platform; while Pinterest’s impact is relatively small in terms of taking traffic from the G-people themselves, any competition is unwelcome in Google’s eyes–perhaps justifying their move toward creating their own version of Pinterest.

Google Keen isn’t a direct ripoff–after all, they changed the name–but the general principle is the same: Users can create a “keen” for a specific visual topic, thus allowing them to search for, and add images of that topic. Google was quick to cite “bread” as a possible topic, which, according to Social Media Today, is a direct nod to recent Pinterest trends.

Subtlety never was Google’s strongest suit, and that seems to be a theme they’re reiterating here. Perhaps that’s why the Google Graveyard, a site we’ve addressed in the past, is full of tools that didn’t live up to their original inspiration (one of the latest additions being the half-baked Google Hangouts). Google Keen shows promise, but one can’t help but remember how Google’s Circles feature fared in Facebook’s shadow.

Keen is available for web and Android platforms, which answers one question while raising a few more. For example, while it makes sense that Google would brand Keen for their own smartphone audience, iPhone Google usage is notably high, and the Pinterest crowd loves a clean aesthetic (that’s another point in the Apple camp). As such, it might be in Google’s best Pinterests–I mean, interests–to implement an iPhone presence for the app as well.

It is worth noting that Google has taken deliberate inspiration from Pinterest in a lot of ways. So Keen may be a way for them to tout their adopted features and familiarize users with them so that, in the long run, they are able to begin migrating traffic back to their own platform from Pinterest. In a time in which any competition may open the door to disaster down the road, this is a move that, despite skepticism, makes sense.

After all, the Google Graveyard is operating at capacity, yet the tech behemoth continues to chug away. Who knows where their newest “innovation” may take them?

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