preacherpen

My New Blackberry Tour Smartphone

In Computing, The Pastor's Blog on August 14, 2009 at 5:57 PM

From engadget Mobile

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?

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  1. I don’t use a Blackberry, although I like the looks of them. The apps will surely come in handy.

    A couple of questions for you about the phone. How much does a data plan cost for it, especially compared to the iPhone? The data plan for my Samsung Eternity is $10 per month from AT&T.

    Can you bluetooth ringtones from another phone and use them? That is one reason I do not like the iPhone. Ringtones have to be acquired through iTunes and that just sits wrong with me.

    • The data plan is $30, but it’s not limited. I can download all the ringtones I want and just copy them to my mini SD card. There was an 8GB at Office Max last week for $25. It was about $70 at the Verizon store. I really don’t know about using Bluetooth to grab ringtones from another phone. I’m very new to the whole smartphone experience. BTW, I did install LifeInPocket, and it’s worth having the Blackberry alone.

  2. My data plan is unlimited also. The reason for the difference in the cost is because my Samsung is not considered a smart phone. If it were, the data plan would be the same as yours. It sounds like you have made a very smart choice of phones.

    I took a look at LifeInPocket and all I can say is I wish it was available for my phone. It sounds great. I may upgrade to a Blackberry next year, but so far I am very satisfied with what I have, especially considering the price of the plan.

    • I’m still learning to use so many of the apps I’ve installed over the last few days. It’s not a stretch to see how handy they can be. I saw one today that allows controlling almost every aspect of the Blackberry by using nothing but voice commands. Facebook, sending e-mails, searching the net; the possibilities are almost endless.

  3. Thanks for visiting.
    reading your blog for today was like listening to my husband, just with a reverse point of view.
    I love my iPod, but I’m also comfortable with my Toshiba machine, and have no intention to buy a new one.
    I’ve always used Nokia cell-phones, mainly because they have the best photo equipment,(5megapixels & Carl Zeiss lens), thus I always have a camera where I go.
    My daughter and hubby are so satisfied with their iPhones, I wouldn’t even dare to suggest anything else.

    As you well my understand, being the housewife, I make the best of what utility is at hand.
    I guess that’s what life is about,- reaching for the stars, but never loose ground control!
    When I’m in church, I need to focus on what’s being said and what it does to my mind, spirit and heart.
    If I wanted to share, I think I’d ask the preacher for a copy of his speech,-afterward.
    I guess I shouldn’t say anything at all, since I am a rather seldom church visitor.
    The difference by listening to a sermon over the radio or being in church, to me, that is togetherness.
    From Felisol

    • Felisol,
      I am honored you dropped by my little blog today and left your comments. You are always welcome to visit and share your thoughts. What you write about the Nokia cell phones is very interesting; too bad Blackberry doesn’t have the same equipment.

      You probably wouldn’t have a problem with your iPhone using Windows, but with Linux, Apple broke the functionality. That’s what made my decision to not support them. The iPhone is an extremely nice device, but I really do enjoy this Blackberry so far.

      As far as sending notes from church, I’m still debating the issue. To get the message out to so many people would be a wonderful thing. I don’t have that capability now. Being together in a church setting is wonderful.

      Come again!

  4. Thanks for the great info and recommendations! My Verizon phone is due to be replaced in January and I’m seriously considering a Blackberry. My husband and I travel a lot, so it sounds very suitable for that lifestyle!

    I love the variety of your posts, links, and RSS feeds. Thank you, as always, for such an interesting, Christ-focused, and God-glorifying blog! In Him, Linda

    • Linda, you are so welcome. I do enjoy writing and sharing what little I know about things. I do believe the Blackberry would do fine job in meeting your needs. We went back with Verizon, but T-Mobil is another fine choice. They and Verizon consistently share top honors for customer service. One advantage for T-Mobil is the wi-fi built into the phone. That way, wherever you go that has a wireless hot-spot, you can get on the net or make calls without using your minutes. That’s a great feature. Come on, Verizon!

  5. I am glad you shared your find…I will be due an upgrade on my phone next year and am considering a blackberry. I have to tell you, I am a little nervous because I am not a tech geek in any stretch of the imagination. I do love to be organized to the tee, however, so I think it would be a great match. I just hope I could learn to master it. Heck, I’m still trying to master Twitter! 🙂

    • Hello, Dominique. The more I use this BB Tour, the more I like it; there’s so much it can do, and I haven’t even scratched the surface. In another day or so I’ll post about some other things I’ve learned and experiences so far. It’s great to get e-mails when I’m nowhere near either my desktop or laptop. I have even begun uploading mobile pictures on my Facebook page. That’s interesting.

      Anyway, it’s a great device.

  6. You’re on facebook? I didn’t know that…

    Well, I look forward to your future adventures with your Blackberry!

    Hey, do you think you can contact President Obama on his Blackberry and get some answer to our healthcare questions? 🙂

    • Yes, I most certainly am. It’s a great way to communicate with people and get information to lots of people. Drop by and see.

      I don’t even know if he knows any answers to the health care dilemma, if you know what I mean. He just needs to leave that one alone and try not to mess up any worse than he has already.

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