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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

There’s a subreddit that is literally moving the stock market

(SOCIAL MEDIA) “You can’t change the world on Reddit all day.” Hm. Wanna bet? Some people do bet on whether a stock will rise or fall on Reddit.

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Stock market

I don’t gamble. RIP to Mister Kenny Rogers, but this whole folding, holding, walking, running business is bad for my heart.

So playing the stock market is out for me, but apparently, you don’t even need an accountant to place your bets? The good, if foul mouthed, people of r/WSB aren’t just proving that, their playing and paying outside the traditional trading room is actually moving markets!

The subreddit, full name r/wallstreetbets, is 900,000 users strong, and boasts members that have been involved for years. They show off their stock market wins, losses, jokes, and opinions with varying levels of insight on all contributions.

Ordinarily, this’d just be an interesting collection of folks talking stock, but some of their threads have been shown to have an effect on share prices!

Users don’t just share what and how they’ve traded, they also gamble on what stock prices will do, without actually purchasing or selling any. Options contracts allow users to cast lots for less cash, while retaining the power to show actual purchases as hotter or colder and literally moving the temperature dial on them by word of mouth (and possibly pure conjecture) alone.

So I could hop in, put a marginal amount of money down, and say ‘Stock in Pressure Valve Company X is going to go up since more people are buying bidets in the wake of the Corona-based toilet paper hoarders, and they’re a key component’, then pepper in some off-color jokes about personal hygiene and everyone’s moms to blend in, and potentially wait to collect!

Neat.

After all, not only are surges of humans looking at these bets, web algorithms and cookie crawlers are staring too. It’s chatrooms of the dotcom boom all over again, except more chaotic, more gif-laden, and more monitored by outside forces.

It’d be sinister if the vibe of the sub wasn’t ‘Take literally nothing seriously’. Try discussing ‘chicken tendies’ in a boardroom sometime and see what I mean…although the tide on that might be shifting as well.

The one forbidden thing here is actually using the forum for insider trading. Directly profiting from the rumors gets users exiled, and gets users interacting with them booted too.

Serious business actually DOES occur, who would have thought? I wouldn’t have. Which is why I don’t gamble.

It’s easy to write Reddit off as just an online echo chamber slash cesspool, but when it comes down to it, the American Psychos of the world are on the same internet as the basement-dwellers, and the gap in financial literacy between the two ends of the spectrum is pulling a reverse Pangea.

We need to start recognizing that.

I’m still staying away from 4Chan though.

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Social Media

Facebook messenger gets a major facelift for speed

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook messenger has been around a loooooong time and has started to suffer from build bloat. So the new project lightspeed has redesigned it.

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facebook messenger

If you’ve ever spent time in an old-school, family-built home, then you have an idea of what the inner workings of the Facebook Messenger app look like. It began with just a few rooms, but as the needs of the family grew, they kept adding on rooms wherever they fit until the layout no longer made sense and the home became a bloated maze.

Facebook Messenger has been suffering growing pains ever since it branched off into its own app in 2011. As the app became more popular developers worked to make it more engaging by adding new features like stickers, GIFS, and video calls.

At some point, they realized that the app had gotten away from them. The Facebook Messenger currently on your device has move 1.7 million lines of code. An app that big is slow and takes up a ton of valuable space on users devices, so the team knew it was time for a change. The project became internally as Project LightSpeed.

Facebook Messenger is a valuable app for connecting with friends, family, and business connections across the globe. You don’t even need to be Facebook friends with someone to message them making it an invaluable tool for long-distance teams or new business connections. In recent years, the app has begun to slow down making it vulnerable to competitors like WhatsApp.

The development team’s goal for the new app was to make it small, fast, and simple. In order to achieve this Facebook’s team of engineers has reduced the core code by 84%, taking the original 1.7 million lines of code down to 360,000. The new app will be about a quarter of the size of the current app.

A smaller app will load quicker and be more responsive, even if you’re using an older device or you’re in an area with lower connectivity. Current tests put the new app as being twice as fast as the current version, while keeping all the features that users have come to expect. Don’t worry, you will still be able to send your friends stickers, pictures, and obnoxious amounts of GIFs.

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Social Media

Facebook wants to hear from you. Literally. For innocent reasons

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As if Facebook didn’t already own everything that is you, they are asking to hear you say a specific phrase for their new voice services.

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facebook portal

Good news, Facebook is now offering to pay you to let strangers listen to you! Well, kind of.

Users connect to Viewpoints – a different app under the Facebook umbrella – which allows them to participate in market research. In this case, participants repeat the phrase “Hey Portal, call,” followed by the name of a Facebook friend, and submit the recording. The whole ordeal is about five minutes, tops.

By finishing this and other tasks, participants can expect to make a grand total of…$5. It’s not much, but at least that’s a fancy cup of coffee for work you can do while waiting for the ads to finish on your TV show.

So, why is Facebook shelling out $5 for people to make voice recordings? Surprisingly, it’s because AI is not nearly as smart as we sometimes assume – especially when it comes to voice commands. There’s a whole host of things that go into how we communicate, like posture, tone and even slang, which can make understanding vocal commands a much bigger ordeal.

In order to make improvements to the system, it often requires teams of humans putting in the leg-work. This means studying the disconnect between humans and machines, as well as creating solutions. Unfortunately, this human touch is also the excuse companies like Amazon use to justify listening in on your conversations. (Sure, users can ‘opt out’ but come on. That’s not exactly something Amazon advertises.)

As more people grow aware of the potential breach of privacy that tech like Alexa or Portal can bring, however, it’s put pressure on companies to scale back. Which is where Facebook’s new paid survey comes in. Unlike an anonymous employee listening in on a random Portal conversation, this way participants opt in, rather than out, of having their information shared.

The academic in me is slightly skeptical. There’s only so far a paid study like this can get, especially when it comes to the nuances of voice command. The conspiracy theorist in me is also skeptical, mostly because although Facebook promises they won’t sell your information or publicly share it, there’s still plenty of nefarious things to be done. That said, at the end of the day, at least Facebook isn’t just swiping information off your Portal…and you even get some pocket change in exchange.

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