Saturday, November 18, 2006

Is there enough software available for the blackberry?

I read an on-line article that indicated there are 900 programs available for the blackberry via an on-line provider of pda software.

You can even download a bootstrap program from handango that will let you order and install over the air many programs - which is nifty.

However, the specific model of your blackberry constrains exactly which programs will run on your device.

I looked my blackberry up and couldn't find it. I think I've ordered the 8703e, so I'm assuming the 8700 series phone category at Handango is where software compatible with my phone will live.

One of my biggest concerns is the size of these applications and the amount of available application storage memory - I understand what is available on the palm, but not the blackberry. Verizon says the phone has 64 MB Flash and 16 MB RAM. Where do the applications go - Flash or RAM - how big are they? I can tell you that the 22 MB of available RAM on a Palm Treo 650 is not enough. I'm afraid it will be the smaller number, but must find out.

The programs I would consider are:

1. Worldmate at $60.00 - but it's way too expensive - probably worth $20 - I don't travel that often, but the on-line weather and currency conversion features are neat.
2. SplashID for storing passwords and confidential data $29.95 or Cryptmatic + PC Desktop - which does the same, but has a PC client to sync with - it's a far better option so you don't have to double enter passwords $34.95. I do wish MobiPassword had a blackberry product.
3. Some type of electronic office suite to edit and view attachments - it's unclear which one yet
4. Total Fitness for the blackberry - tracks exercise programs - I always wanted this for the palm. $29.99
5. Ascendo Money for Blackberry to Sync with the Intuit Qiucken - to track finances. $29.95
6. Sudoku Master for blackberry. Just to spend the time when there is nothing else to do. $14.95.
7. To Do Matrix for Blackberry - a task manager for $59.95. Actually if Franklin Covey had something, I'd love to go with that.
8. The MS Dict Concise Oxford Dictionary for $39.99. Just in case.
9. Some kind of ringtone maker - maybe. Much more important for others than myself.
10. TrackIT Vehicle edition. Allows you to track car maintenance, etc.... for $24.95 - you need to put this information somewhere.

There's another question. The blackberry website claims the 8703e can be used as a tethered modem for a laptop - does Verizon support broadband access via the telephone? Would be interesting.

It certainly is nice to know that many of the purposes I would use a pda are actually available for the blackberry.

If anyone has any experience with these products, please post a comment.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


some answers, potentially, to some of your questions!

generally the 8700 series of phones will all support applications designed for the 8700, so your 8703 should do fine! infact some applications created prior to the 8700 release will also work.

our experience of BB apps is that they are nice and small (we develop enterprise BB apps and are continually impressed with the tightness of the J2ME environment).

however some apps need lots of data storage (for maps / pictures etc)so take that into consideration.

generally apps are loaded on to the Flash memory portion of the device leaving the RAM free for on the fly presentation and processing.

(the newer Pearl comes with a flash memory card that you can install apps on a bit like symbian devices)

has 510 titles available for the 8703e

eOffice is the standard BB office doc viewer and DocHawk is the standard for PDF enhancement

(you can get away with DocHawk if you only want to view attachments and not edit them)

finally reference to your question on the device as a tethered modem, this is entirely dependant on your Network Operator, have a look at this post on where Danny talks through the options for tethered EV-DO modem use on Verizon.

we use 3g phones and BB's in the UK on Vodafone as tethered modems with out issues!

Just need to get the settings for the connection installed on the device, Verizon should be able to do this for you over the air.

hope this helps


PS its a bit odd that one has to sign up for a blogger blog just to comment on your site!