It wasn't until I picked up my Sunset colored BlackBerry Curve a few months ago that I really discovered how functional and powerful a BlackBerry device could be. I tried a BlackBerry Pearl about 6 months before with minor usage attempts over the last couple of years and always felt the BlackBerry devices were strong in email, but not much else. RIM has really been focusing on the consumer with devices like the Pearl and Curve and just recently launched their first flip/clamshell form factor BlackBerry device with the BlackBerry Pearl Flip on T-Mobile.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
T-Mobile USA has a nice selection of cellphones for customers and even the T-Mobile G1 and BlackBerry Flip have been dominating the smartphone news from T-Mobile there are also capable feature phones being released. The latest mobile phone announced by T-Mobile USA is the MOTOZINE ZN5 that will be available for US$99 with a two year contract. The ZN5 has a 5 megapixel camera with Xenon flash, along with KODAK Imaging technology that makes this one very capable feature phone. The device also has WiFi so you can upload your photos to the Kodak Gallery with one click (it actually uses ShoZu).
There has never been any official Microsoft announcement or release date for Windows Mobile 7, but much has been leaked about this future mobile operating system. Motorola was recently talking about its future mobile strategy and let slip that a Windows Mobile 6.5 update should be coming prior to Windows Mobile 7.
One of my current activities include checking up on the Android Market offerings a couple of times a day because there is lots of activity going on there as developers roll out applications. However, I have several questions about how things are appearing in the Market (that were just echoed by a reader who sent me an email). I currently have something like 25+ applications loaded on the device (with only a miserable 12MB of memory left). When I visit the Android Market I like to view the By Date tab so I can see what has been added since I last visited. What appears though is not what was last added and I am confused about what is going on here.
A couple weeks ago Om Malik wrote an article in the NY Times titled, Why Windows Mobile is in Trouble, and most of the focus was on how the T-Mobile G1 and Google Android poses the biggest threat to Windows Mobile. The article gives an honest assessment of where Windows Mobile is at this time and concludes by stating that Windows Mobile is not a lost cause, but does need to take some actions to stay current and relevant in the mobile space. I agree with this bottom line, but also don't think Microsoft has too much to worry about with the first Google Android device (the G1). I have been using the G1 for two weeks now and while it is great to see a mainstream Linux mobile OS, I am also heavily using my Treo Pro to get things done and stay in touch on the go. I don't see a lot of people standing up and saying they prefer and like using Windows Mobile, but I know there are lots of people out there that do enjoy using this platform and I am one of them.
I just returned from a meeting in Houston and then found I was unable to access the Android Market or surf with the browser, while Gmail and IM seemed to work fine. I went online to check my T-Mobile account details and there was no data services selected on my account. When I ordered my G1 online I signed up for the US$25 data plan and 400 messages and was getting data just fine until today. I called up T-Mobile customer service and found out that T-Mobile gave everyone who bought a G1 free data access for a while (seems to be about 10 days for me) before the system was supposed to automatically add the G1 data plan. Apparently, my switch didn't get automatically flipped over so the customer service representative made the update manually and I should have full data access again in the next few hours.
Applications for the Apple iPhone continue to be released at a rapid pace and it looks like DataViz may be the first to launch with a full Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) suite in its Documents To Go application. Evernote also continues to be updated and now supports offline note creation and storage for those times when you do not have a wireless connection available.
I just posted some of my thoughts on the battery issues I have been experiencing and a reader sent me a link to this T-Mobile forums discussion where it seems the way to improve the battery life is to turn everything off. It is funny that someone actually had to post the details about this because it is obvious that turning off the 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and auto-syncing will conserve your battery. However, didn't you just pay good money for a powerful mobile computer that lets you stay in touch and connected with the world at all times. If you bought the G1 to use primarily as a mobile phone, then I think there are some valid tips in this forum. However, why not just buy a rock solid Nokia phone that provides much better call quality if all you want is a mobile phone?
One fun aspect about the T-Mobile G1, and I imagine the same thing occurs with the Apple iPhone, is visiting the Android Market regularly to check what applications and games have been added. I visited the Android Market several times this weekend, without seeing much of anything going on. However, while browsing my RSS feeds this morning, I ran across Michael Gartenberg's post on the Android Market update and went to check out the Android Developer's blog. I then launched the Android Market and found a mini-explosion of applications with there currently being 61 applications and 20 games available. This is still a drop in the bucket compared to the iPhone, S60, and Windows Mobile platforms, but it is still early in the game.
I have used several mobile video streaming applications on my S60 devices and keep coming back to Qik as my default client. Qik now has clients for S60, Windows Mobile, Java-based devices, and jailbroken iPhones with more clients coming. Last night they announced an alpha release for select BlackBerry devices, including the Pearl 8120/8130, BlackBerry Curve 8320/8330 and BlackBerry Bold. Support for the Flip is coming soon too. The BlackBerry you want to run this on must have BlackBerry OS 4.5 or above.