If there’s one thing folks hate about the BlackBerry e-mail experience, it’s the ridiculously long URLs spanning multiple lines, be they for images or links to sites. That’s why Empower caught our interest back when they were in beta. Since then, they’ve been working hard and have two full products now ready for the downloading. I also had the chance to check out their next app, InstaSpell, which provides an ongoing spell check for those of us not carrying a fancy-pants. BlackBerry 8300.
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BlackBerry has received tenth place in The Software & Information Industry Association’s Ten Most Significant eCommerce Developments of the Last Decade. Sure, Google took the numero uno spot, but go figure. It’s Google, for crying out loud. The fact that we can put BlackBerrys on the same list as eBay and Amazon in terms of economic significance, while not hugely surprising when you sit back and think about it, still puts the importance of these devices into perspective. Russ at ZDNet notes that you can experience everything on the list shy of iTunes and open standards HTML 4.0 on your BlackBerry, which is quite true. The number seven spot, Wi-Fi, will be coming soon enough. The announcement has this to say about our favourite little handheld:
The BlackBerry makes communication instantaneous, and mobile. A comprehensive communications device creates a new mobile business culture. Giving road warriors the freedom to move to any location and maintain connectivity increases cooperation and efficiency. By having the web in the palm of your hand, Internet connected devices enable ecommerce anywhere, anytime.
You have to wonder, though… what did BlackBerry nudge down to 11th. place?
Empower is a software suite that’s still in its testing phase, but is showing a lot of promise. Right now, their beta e-mail viewer is available for free and seamlessly enables HTML in the default BlackBerry OS mail browser. Two other projects still in alpha from these guys are a folder-based file system as well as a spell check for anyone using OS 4.0.2 or higher. BlackBerrySmart has recently been released and looks a little more polished, but I’m not sure if I’d pay $25 for something that does roughly the same for free. The Empower HTML Mail Viewer’s a quick OTA download, so check it out.