Pocket Express offers 3 free channels: News, Sports, and Weather. The others you have to pay for (6.99 USD/month or 69.99 USD/year), but Handmark gives you the pay channels free for the first two weeks after you’ve downloaded Pocket Express, which is plenty enough time to discover whether or not you want to upgrade.
News Channels like News, Showbiz and Sports get all their articles from the Associated Press. Each channel is organized into different categories of news (tv news, music news for the Showbiz channel, World News and Technology for the News channel) and you have the ability to change how many articles you want appearing in each category, depending on how interested you are. Selecting a news article will give you the first paragraph or two to read, with the option to continue if you want to keep reading; there is also usually an option to view an image related to the article.
While the various channels cover the gamut of news youâ€™re looking for, the lack of variety is kind of annoying. You can only view AP articles and have no ability to add your favorite news sites (like BlackBerry Cool, say). Handmark’s control over what news sources feed into PE allow them to format the pages and images so that reading the news is really easy on the eyes and frustration free compared to trying to web browse from your device, but some sort of RSS functionality would be nice. If youâ€™re just looking to stay up to date each day on top-line news, Pocket Express more than gets the job done.
Beyond presenting top-line sports news, the Sports channel adds special event-based coverage (for example, right now there’s a separate section for World Cup news). The Sports channel also has special sections for all the major sports (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, etc.), where you can check out weekly game scores, league standings or add your favorite teams to be tracked. You’re out of luck if you’re a golf or NCAA Hockey fan, however, because you can’t add sports to the list. Despite this annoying caveat, it’s a great service for sports fans that want to stay up to date on (most of) their favorite teams and leagues.
The Weather Channel has been streamlined a bit since we last took a look at PE. Gone are the 2-day detailed forecasts, marine forecast and ski report; only the 7-day forecast remains. The 7-day forecast provides a quick overview of the current conditions plus the forecast for the upcoming week, displaying the forecasted high and low temperatures along with precipitation outlooks and general temperature feel. Selecting an individual day gives a more detailed outlook, providing precipitation details, general temperature feel, cloud forecast, highs and lows, humidity, comfort temperature (what it feels like), wind, dew point, and UV index.
There is a bunch of different ways to receive your desired weather information in Pocket Express. You can set PE to give you a weather report based on postal code, city or (if you have a GPS BlackBerry) LBS. You can have multiple locations set up at once, in case you want to check the weather of the city you’re about to arrive in without deleting your hometown location, which is nice. You can also pull up radar images of any of the locations you have set.