Blackberry Pocket Express Beta Sneak Peak

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Pocket Express

Pocket Express the award winning software from Handmark will finally be coming to the Blackberry. We had a chance to look at the Beta version for the Blackberry. We have to remember this is the beta version we are reviewing and by the time the finalize version comes out it’ll be much improved.

Pocket Express delivers news, weather, sports, stocks, movie show times, directory lookups, maps and directions automatically and quickly to portable devices. One can find the news or track the performance of his stock portfolio in a matter of seconds.

Installation: Installation is fairly easy, Handmark offers an OTA (Over-The-Air) Install or through Desktop Manager. The file is fairly large at 264k but hopefully the final release will be shrunken down. Pocket Express is a subscription-based service so you will need a login. Handmark has made it easy for users by offering an OTA account creation but there’s also the conventional way by creating the account with your PC over the internet.

Pocket Express At A Glance
At-A-Glance: You can tell that this is a beta program because the RIM version is not as polished as the one for Palm. Nether less the program works and seems quite stable with a few minor issues. The interface is very clean and easy to navigate but I had an issue with the “Enter” key not mapped to select the items, you will need to wheel-click for selection.

Pocket Express BlackberryPocket Express Blackberry

Comments:
I tried every feature and it worked really great. The news and sports scores came from Reuters. Hopefully in the final release they will have more than Reuters as the news source. With Sports you can search for scores and schedule for the major pro-league and collegiate NCAA teams.

The Movie listings you are able to get listings for both Canadian and American theatres with some theatres giving you the option to purchase tickets online. I actually tried to buy tickets from the Blackberry but the internet page was either too large or unsupported. I am not very concern with this because I figure most people would opt to buy tickets at the movie theatre.

The disappointment came when I tried doing a directions search to my house. For some reason Maps do not support Canadian address but Movie listings do, hopefully this is only in the beta.

The Stock feature is probably the best thing the program has to offer. You are able to add stocks to your portfolio and have it updated with a click of the wheel. It would be nice to be able to set a time for the stocks to automatically update instead of manually clicking. Stocks are retrieved quickly, way faster than what you can do with the Blackberry browser. I know Hillcast has a similar program but have not had a chance to use it to compare to Pocket Express.

Summary:

The Good
* Stock Feature, easy to keep track of your portfolio.
* Quicker than using the Blackberry Browser.
* Movie times work for both American and Canadian theatres.
* User-friendly interface.

The Bad
* Subscription based program at $6.99 a month or $69.90 a year.
* Only one news source.
* Some features like news and sports scores are easily retrieved through your Blackberry Browser for free.

Conclusion:

If you need to keep track of your stock portfolio on a regular basis, which many Blackberry users do, than this program is defiantly to be considered. The subscription price is fairly reasonable so if you can justify the monthly cost than I defiantly recommend the program as well. For others that do not mind spending the extra time surfing the internet than the program does not offer much value.