Last week we reviewed both Aerize and PeeKaWho, two great pieces of software that essentially give you great-looking caller-ID functionality for your emails and SMS text messages. We’ve talked quite a bit about PeeKaWho, developed by BlackBerry Cool 15 nominee Robert Kao of SmrtGuard (also the developer of Followup and SmrtGuard), and Aerize Alerts (developed by Aerize, who also developed the Aerize Card Loader we mentioned earlier in May).
Sometimes for members of the BlackBerry Nation, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. We’re so busy with our PIN to PIN messaging, browser speed trials, network frequency band comparisons, and OS upgrading, that we forget how the rest of the world sees the BlackBerrys that we know and love.
Our sister site, QuicklyBored, which is a mobile consumer entertainment blog, posted a device comparison of the three big touchscreen devices of 2008: the BlackBerry Storm, the iPhone 3G, and HTC Dream (which will be the first smartphone to ship running Google’s Android OS). It’s interesting to see what the average citizen is concerned about when it comes to a smartphone. Consider QB’s top two questions regarding the BlackBerry Storm, for example: will it feature an apps store that can compete with Apple’s, and will it have an accelerometer for sweet lightsaber games?
While BlackBerry Cool was the first website on the Internet to bring you competent speed testing of the BlackBerry Bold and iPhone 3G web browsers, it seems as though our initial tests were not as definitive as we would have liked them to be. This past week, we have been working with Kevin from CrackBerry.com, who has been trapped in BlackBerry purgatory trying to get any sort of positive browsing experience. While we suggest you read his two long and passionate posts on the subject (which describe crackberry addiction better than anything else on the Internet), here are the problems in a nutshell:
— There has to be some sort of issue with the Bold and WiFi/HotSpot Browser that pops up under specific circumstances. I don’t know what is yet, but I’m sure there’s something up.
While we were initially surprised to hear that Kevin had been having such problems, because we had not encountered them at all in our testing. However, out of BlackBerry unity, we agreed to give him some help and adopt his testing methodology. Once we did, it became clear that we were facing (some, but not all of) the same problems as Kevin. Which means that something is going on with the BlackBerry Browser.
As bloggers, it’s in our nature to fiddle with the latest and greatest web toys. So you can guess how much time BBCool HQ has spent with Google Insights for Search, the big G’s latest and greatest toy that allows you to view a variety of metrics surrounding different search terms. We thought it would be a good idea to measure the level of interest of “blackberry” vis a vis “iphone”. The results won’t make anyone at RIM sleep easy any time soon.
The numbers on Google Insight graphs reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. As you can see from the graph above, in the past 12 months the iPhone has been handing it to BlackBerry in terms of Google search popularity. In addition, the comparative spikes of interest based around recent launches of marquee devices — i.e., the BlackBerry Bold and iPhone 3G — fall hands-down in favor of the iPhone, demonstrating Apple’s ability to run a well-oiled hype machine.
Michael Kerfeld, an enthusiastic reader of BBCool, has submitted a great head-to-head review of Empower versus BBSmart HTML e-mail viewers. Head-to-head will be a new BBCool feature where we make two competing products slug it out until one emerges the victor. If you’d like to review for BlackBerry Cool, contact us.
We all know that the Blackberry Bold is coming, and with it RIM’s new, highly anticipated OS 4.6. A sneak peek of the features have been revealed, as well as to those using beta copies of the OS 4.5 on their current devices. RIM has given everything a touch up with fresher fonts, a more pleasant browsing experience, and snappier performance. OS 4.5 even brings a facelifted email viewer, but HTML email viewing still remains a thing of the future for those of us without an Enterprise Service activation or a carrier with BIS version 2.5. The days of endless URL strings continue.