After much deliberation and shopping around, I finally bought a Blackberry smartphone. With so many to choose from, it wasn’t an easy task, but in the end, my wife and both got new phones from the carrier we’ve been with for several years – Verizon. We have had good customer service with them and it is a large carrier with an enormous presence.
These devices are pocket computers and can do so many things. You can send and receive e-mails, post on your blog, surf the net, shop on-line, pay bills, and the list goes on. I like technology.
My clerk told me a story today about a man who has nearly 4,000 contacts on Twitter (I don’t have that and have never used the app). A short while ago, while sitting in his church, as the pastor was preaching this man was on his mobile device. After the service, the pastor asked about it and the man replied “Pastor, what you said was so good and I wanted all my contacts to hear about it, so I typed and sent it. Another friend did the same thing for about 3,000 contacts. In the church, your message was heard by about 135 people, but in a matter of a couple of minutes, about 7,000 people were able to read about what you spoke.” That’s good enough for me!
Some of you may know of my disdain for Apple products, and I wasn’t about to put money into their coffers again. Admittedly, the iPhone has a certain appeal, and there are scores of apps to choose from. The people I know who own them say nothing but good about quality and ease of use. Those aspects of the Apple design are probably very true, but Apple turned me away some time ago. Their choosing to purposely break the iTunes database so it wouldn’t work in Linux was the clincher for me.
Anyway, after researching for a while, my list came down to the Blackberry 8900 from T-Mobile, the Palm Pre from Sprint or the Blackberry Tour from Verizon or Sprint. Having never used any one of the devices very much, I had to rely on research, and occasionally, users who had similar devices. One of the pastors at our recent PCG Facilitator’s Retreat had the Pre, and it certainly looked nice. The video features alone had me nearly convinced to go with Sprint, but it didn’t happen. I actually got to look at the Tour a few days before it went on sale. I was pretty convinced when that happened.
The folks at the local Verizon store have been very helpful and patient with me as I let the questions fly. After a little over a week, I’m getting the hang of it and am even being productive. There’s lots to learn and new apps to try out. Actually, the salesman I spoke with today at the store was impressed I had so many apps installed; he said most new users take a long time to get the full potential out of their mobile devices. I am no expert, and that’s verifiable.
Here’s what I’ve got installed now in no particular order:
- Bolt – a fast browser
- Slacker Radio – internet radio
- Facebook – you know what this is
- Blackberry App World
- Opera Mini – another browser
- AP News – news from the Associated Press
- Google Sync – Syncs my Google Address Book and Calendar to Blackberry
- WeatherBug – gets weather for cities you assign
- QuickPull – Simulates a battery pull in order to reset the device – very handy
- Google Maps – free maps that uses the GPS function of the Blackberry
- Viigo – RSS, Weather, Sports, and tons more. Very nice app.
- Bible – This is from YouVersion and is an extremely versatile Bible app. Lots of helpful resources.
- BuzzMe – Buzz and ring together
- Poynt – GPS enabled app including Yellow Pages, White Pages and Movies. Excellent.
Here’s something I’ll be installing shortly: LifeInPocket
Do you use a Blackberry? Which one? What are some of your favorite apps and why?