Beyond offering market and business news, the Stock channel is a pretty quick and easy way to view individual stock performance in your portfolio. Simply add the symbols of the stocks you want to track and you’re ready to go. Selecting one of the entered stocks will give you its last trade price, trade time, change, previous close, open price, dayâ€™s range, 52 week range, volume, bid, and ask.
However, PE doesn’t really provide anything beyond this basic stock functionality. There’s no way to monitor the overall performance of a portfolio, setup multiple portfolios or retrieve stock charts. The Stock channel does offer a ticker of the major market indexes and update time, though, and the addition of financial columns by analyst Scott Burns is nice. Basically, you get enough to stay up to date, but don’t expect to manage your stocks with it.
The Showbiz channel replaces the old movie channel and provides TV, music and film news feeds. You can also add your local theatres and find out what times movies are playing, get box office results and read movie reviews. A very nifty channel.
The 411 channel provides exactly what youâ€™d expect: the ability find a person, neighbor, or business and reverse address and phone lookup. The best thing about the 411, however, is the address book options (and weâ€™re not talking a separate Pocket Express address book, but your actual BlackBerry address book â€“ very cool). Pocket Express allows you to quickly browse your BlackBerry address book and get maps of or directions to the listed address. You can also add new addresses to your address book through PE, making the 411 super useful for quickly finding information on people and businesses while youâ€™re on the move. Sadly, PE still only offers map and direction functionality for US destinations, which is a pain for Canadian users (hint, hint).
The Maps channel is basically an extension of the functionality provided in the 411 channel, giving users the ability to quickly map an address and get driving directions (for US locations). Mapping a location is as easy as entering as much of the address as you know and choosing the â€˜Mapâ€™ option. Once your map is retrieved, you can zoom in, zoom out, move left, right, up, or down by choosing the appropriate option from the menu; a simple click of the menu option will give you directions to or from the location youâ€™ve selected on the map. The map images typically load in less than 5 seconds and are sufficiently clear to be able to read highways and roads.
The directions provided for locations we inputted were accurate enough to get you to and from each location without issue, and PE also gives a helpful mileage indicator to tell you how far you have to go. Beyond adding exit numbers for freeway travel, the Maps channel has no real hang-ups (if you live in the US) and is a very useful resource for getting area maps and directions when you donâ€™t have the time (or just forget) to print directions.