The Pastor’s Blackberry Tour – Uniquely My Own

In Computing, The Pastor's Blog on September 23, 2009 at 1:00 PM

This is the third time writing about my Blackberry Tour; I just wanted to bring you up-to-date. There is so much you can do with this device, and I probably haven’t even scratched the surface of its potential. Some of that hamstringing is purposeful, as text messaging is blocked at my request – text messaging should be part of the phone package, not an extra cost. That’s just me, though. I couldn’t sleep at night if I charged for something that should be included with the basic package.

One of the most basic questions is why would anyone even want a Blackberry. Let me give you a little background about my journey with cell phones. Land lines are perfectly okay with me even now is this information age full of technology. For years I fought the urge to obtain a cell phone just because everyone else on the planet was wasting their money. How on earth could wireless providers charge such exorbitant prices for something comparable to a land line? It didn’t make sense then, and still doesn’t. When you boil it down to apples and oranges, a cell phone is still a land line without the land line. It’s a device you communicate with.

I caved. After forty forevers (approximately), my wife and I finally decided to buy cell phones for both of us, so we stopped by a store and made the big purchase. It was great! We could talk with each other practically anywhere except when there was no signal. We were pretty happy with our phones; when it was time for an upgrade, we made the jump. This same scenario played out many times over the course of years. Upgrade, upgrade.

When our last phones went out of contract, we were very happy about the situation. I despise having a contract. My wife and I are not the types to jump from one carrier to another, so the contract is kind of an unnecessary irritant. The excuse providers give is that it costs a lot of money to provide phones. How lame! If the provider hooks a customer with a contract, the price of the phone will be way more than recouped over time. To me, a contract and BUYING a phone is just piling on. Provide the phone, get your money back and profit, too. That’s not difficult to understand.

Why a Blackberry? Good question. I wasn’t going to buy one until one of the salesman at a local Verizon kiosk began showing me some of the advantages of owning a BB. I still wasn’t convinced. A few days before the Tour was released to the public, I got to look at one up close. Very nice. After a few weeks, I finally convinced my wife a Blackberry Tour would look good on me. We went into the local Verizon store and each came out with a new phone. She chose a basic phone as that’s all she wanted. I chose the Tour and have been happy with the purchase. BTW, there’s a great article at the Crackberry site about why anyone would purchase a BB.

Capture on 11-12-2009 11-31-01

PrecisionBerry Sense 2 theme from monkeybiz

Themes are the easiest way to customize a Blackberry. Some people are perfectly happy with the stock look of the device, while others can’t stop tweaking the looks of the screen. I fall into the latter camp. There are several themes on my BB now and I change them often. You can see some of them in a previous post. Themes are either free or premium, which means the author gets paid for his work.  I have only one premium theme, Spaces, by Daniels Design. It’s a beautiful and unique offering, but the overall font size makes it difficult for me to use very much.

Currently, the following are on my BB Tour:

  • 3G Tour
  • BBampd ORANGE NOTE : This looks great with FL Gator Football wallpaper! Go, Gators!
  • Blueprint This has the architect look and feel.
  • DashboardOne Tour Makes you feel like you’re sitting behind the wheel of your car.
  • iTour (Active) There are two versions: with iPhone icons and standard icons.
  • ReverieW Tour – This one lets you show off your wallpaper almost full screen. Great idea.
  • SodaBerry Tour – I just like the way this theme is laid out.
  • Verizon Zen – This is one of the stock themes.

Obviously, everyone has different tastes when deciding which applications are needed on a BB. Since the last post, I’ve added a few more, but haven’t really put them through their paces. It’ll take time, but hopefully I’ll be able to learn to use them productively after a while. Currently, the following apps are installed on my Tour:Anagram – quickly and easily add contact information to your address book

  • Anagram – captures personal data from e-mails for your address book
  • BBWeather – a very nice, basic weather app which keeps current conditions on the home screen
  • Bible – This is from YouVersion and is an extremely versatile Bible app. Lots of helpful resources
  • Blackberry App World – a place to get apps for the BB. Similar to other stores like iTunes
  • BuzzMe – Vibrate and ring together
  • dub – an easy to trade contact information with other people
  • edocrab – barcode spelled backwards. Looks up product info using your BB as a scanner
  • Facebook – you know what this is
  • FileScout – manipulate files on your BB
  • Google Maps – free maps that uses the GPS function of the Blackberry
  • Google Sync – Syncs my Google Address Book and Calendar to my Blackberry
  • Poynt – GPS enabled app including Yellow Pages, White Pages and Movies. Excellent
  • QuickPull – Simulates a battery pull in order to reset the device – very handy
  • Sensobi Contacts – unique way to look at your contact information
  • vlingo – use your voice to control your BB. I use this quite often
  • WeatherBug – gets weather for cities you assign
  • Where – handy GPS-enabled app which helps you find all kinds of information
  • ZonaSnap – takes a snapshot of your screen

It’s easy to see just how you can customize your Blackberry to suit your needs and tastes. Make it your own – experiment with different themes and apps to make your Blackberry unique. Go get it!

  1. The more you write about your Blackberry, the more I want one. The only problem for me would be that it is considered a smart phone and internet service would cost $30 per month, rather than the $10 per month for my Samsung Eternity. Other than that, it sounds like there is a lot more that can be done with the Blackberry.

    Just out of curiosity, how many times have you changed the theme on the BB today? 😉

    • Yes, BBs are pretty cool. I read an article a few days ago by someone who switched back after using the iPhone. I’ve never used the Apple device, and have only had the BB for a short while, but wouldn’t go back to a regular cell phone.

      How many times have I changed the theme on my BB Tour today? Hmmmm. Thrice, perhaps. I installed another one today called “The Blueprint” and like it a lot. It keeps hanging on me, though, so it’s not efficient. I’m planning on e-mailing the author and see if he can fix the situation. There are a few that will absolutely stay on the BB, while others are in the “not so much” category.

      One more thing before closing. I installed another cool app after putting up my last BB post, and can hardly wait to try it out. It’s called HippoPost. The company was started by some former RIM employees; it allows you send real postcards to folk in the US and Canada for free. The card will have an advertisement on the front and back and you can even choose the ads. You can send the postcard one of three ways: from your BB, Facebook or from the Hippo site. Very cool.

  2. Almost you persuade me! My husband and I are ready to get rid of our landline completely and get two cell phones, vice the one we share now. I, the gadget person, would love a Blackberry when it’s time to renew–which is soon! Thanks for all the useful (and COOL) information. I’m ready! HippoPost sounds neat too!!

    Blessings brother! Linda

    • Good evening, Linda. The more I use my BB Tour, the more I like it. It’s handy to keep up with e-mails, weather, approve comments on WordPress, and other things, too. From what I’ve read, the BB is built for security, too, so you wouldn’t have so much to be concerned with regarding that issue. My wife, granddaughter and I are on Verizon, so we can call each other for free. The one thing I wanted was Wi-Fi, which isn’t offered by Verizon, yet, at least for this phone. That would be sweet.

      Be very blessed, and have a great tomorrow.

  3. I’m also Blackberry fans, thanks for your sharing.

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