Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blackberry tips

Hard to imagine, but after 10 years of holding out, I’m now in possession of a Blackberry. I’ve owned three Treos, countless Palm Pilots before that, and my most recent phone was a Samsung D807 with the Gmail app installed for e-mail access. But the volume of e-mail here is on a scale that clearly requires a more aggressive read-respond-delete posture. And, to butcher a theme from my friends at Long or Short Capital, the Samsung just wasn’t getting it done. So… here I am with this Blackberry 8700.

First off, I’m using the Gmail for Blackberry app instead of the enterprise server/Exchange server.  I’ve written before about why Gmail is so perfect for me; convenient that I now work at the company responsible for making it. I’ve also got Google Maps installed (zippy, and the directions are soooo helpful), but that’s about all I’m using it for right now. What other essential Blackberry apps do you rely on? What should I be looking at?


  1. I think you'll like the BlackBerry...I've done the Treo thing and I like my Pearl better.

    In terms of apps, you can't go without RSS feeds (of course), and for that it's hard to beat NewsGator Go:

    Google Talk also comes in handy sometimes:

    Take care,

  2. live on and buy accessories from , I don't work for either, just found them to be helpful as I switched a few months ago. Of course you need NewsGator GO! for Blackberry, where I do work, but it truly is a great product.!+for+Blackberry

  3. The two most important tips are:

    1. hold down a key to get a capital letter
    2. when typing an email address, you don't need to type the @ or the .
    just type "joe gmail com"

  4. If you ever get to the point where you start using the BlackBerry Inbox instead of the Gmail app, you should definitely check out Empower ( -- their add-on allows you to view rich (read "html") e-mails. I've been playing around with the beta and have to say that I am suitably impressed though I'm sure RIM will include this in the next iteration of their OS.

  5. I just picked up a BlackBerry as well. Finally gave up on the Treo/Palm OS and didn't like Windows Mobile on the Moto Q.

    I bought the new BlackBerry 8830 World Edition running on the Verizon network. The 8800 series is so much nicer (and oodles thinner) than the 8700 series, IMNSHO.

    Why'd you go for the 8700? Google-issued?

    Apps: Download Opera Mini. Much better experience than the built-in BlackBerry browser.



    John Federico

  6. Rick -

    I put together a page full of links to mobile-friendly versions of sites at

    which I use instead of built-in browser bookmarks to browse the web.

    It's in ultra-simplified 1992-era HTML so it loads fast and is easy to browse. The best of the bunch for news layout on a Blackberry is The Onion - very well done site for mobile access.

  7. JF - thanks for rubbing it in. :) Yes, this is company-issued. And sure, it's bulky... but so far I'm fine with it. The download speed is zippy (thanks for the Opera recommendation, btw) and the Gmail app runs wonderfully on the Blackberry.

    Ross & John - will definitely give Newsgator Go a look.

    Steve - awesome advice.

    Ed - great site. Definitely getting bookmarked.

    Thanks everyone! Great input.

  8. Sorry for being late to the party. For me, the full integration of mail/calendar/contacts that BES offers makes the BB an awesome tool. I also run the Google mail/maps/news/search on the device (personal mail), and that works well too - but I can't beat being able to schedule meetings after checking colleague availability wirelessly.