Around a year ago we reviewed Handmarkâ€™s Pocket Express application. We found it to be a handy and reliable tool to get news and other information on the go. Handmark recently released their third iteration of the software, now with free content, so we thought it was time to give it another look.
Installing Pocket Express on our BlackBerry was fairly quick and easy. You have the option of an OTA download from http://pocketexpress.com or using the BlackBerry Desktop Manager (go to http://express.handmark.com/). Because we tested PE on our new BlackBerry 7130g, the OTA download did not recognize our device and we had to use the Desktop Manager. However, a Handmark rep told us that every time someone tires to download PE from an unrecognized device, a message is sent to build team, so the problem might already be corrected.
Once youâ€™ve set up an account and given them your area code (for use with location based services with Pocket Express), youâ€™re all ready to go.
Pocket Express is broken down into two main pages, with nine channels on each page. On “PageOne,” you’ll find mostly information-based channels like News, Sports, Weather, Stocks, Showbiz, Info, Maps, Dictionary, and the Express Blog keeping you up to date on new happenings with their software. On the “Extras” page you’ll find more entertainment-based channels like Dear Abby, Astrology News, News of the Weird, as well as sections like Get Tools and Get Games where you can actually buy software through Pocket Express for your BlackBerry. Each channel is synced to a numbered button on your keypad and it takes a simple button click to switch pages, so navigating Pocket Express is very easy. PE does not provide push-based information, so you do have to manually update it. Updating all channels at once will take a couple of minutes, so it’s best to just update each channel individually when you want to check them out, which takes only a second or two. Thankfully, you can also set specific channels to auto-update at specific time intervals, making getting your news quite easy.