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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.

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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

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.

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Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.

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Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?

Wrong.

Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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