New Blackberry Update Details

Let's face it - the BlackBerry line isn't as cool as the iPhone and other multimedia phones. So it's good to know that Research in Motion (RIM) is working to improve the software in the competitive mobile phone market. PC Magazine has posted an article regarding the newest BlackBerry software update which wireless providers should be releasing shortly. The biggest new features are the ability to display HTML email, edit Microsoft Office documents and to stream media from places such as YouTube.

This version was originally known as 4.3.1 but will officially be called 4.5.

Here's the scoop by model number:

Note that an H designates a feature available on the handheld, and and S for the server.

If you have a BlackBerry Pearl 8100 or BlackBerry 8800, you'll get:

· Spell check (H)
· BlackBerry Maps with Points of Interest (H)
· Improved media player with playlist support and automatic playlist generation (H)
· Voice note recording (H)
· Streaming support for YouTube and Sling Player (H)
· Bluetooth stereo music (H)
· Microsoft Office document editing with DocumentsToGo (H)
· Native format attachment downloading (S)
· HTML e-mails (S)
· Over-the-air device upgrades (S)
· Free/busy calendar lookup (S)
· Searching the server for old e-mail messages (S)

If you have a BlackBerry Pearl 8130, you'll get:

· Automatic playlist generation in the media player (H)
· Microsoft Office document editing with DocumentsToGo (H)
· Native format attachment downloading (S)
· HTML e-mails (S)
· Over-the-air device upgrades (S)
· Free/busy calendar lookup (S)
· Searching the server for old e-mail messages (S)

If you have any BlackBerry Curve or the BlackBerry 8820 or 8830, you'll get:

· BlackBerry Maps with Points of Interest (H)
· Improved media player with playlist support and automatic playlist generation (H)
· Voice note recording (H)
· Video recording on Curve models (H)
· Streaming support for YouTube and Sling Player (H)
· Microsoft Office document editing with DocumentsToGo (H)
· Native format attachment downloading (S)
· HTML e-mails (S)
· Over-the-air device upgrades (S)
· Free/busy calendar lookup (S)
· Searching the server for old e-mail messages (S)

If you have a BlackBerry 8700 or 8703e, you'll get:

· Spell check (H)
· BlackBerry Maps with Points of Interest (H)
· New pictures and ringtones applications (H)
· Voice note recording (H)
· Microsoft Office document editing with DocumentsToGo (H)
· Native format attachment downloading (S)
· HTML e-mails (S)
· Over-the-air device upgrades (S)
· Free/busy calendar lookup (S)
· Searching the server for old e-mail messages (S)

If you have an older BlackBerry, maybe it's time to upgrade!

News source: PCMag.com

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22 Comments

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I looked into Blackberry's but settled for Mail for Exchange on my Nokia N95. Blackberry's were unique at one stage but now there's others offering the same technology without the need for a separate server and costs of BES. With Mail for Exchange I get everything the blackberry has to offer at no extra cost.

I was VERY happy with the addition of voice notes in the latest point update. I'm still waiting for that on the iPhone etc. Though the new update screwed up the "unlock by wheel" option of the 8700. I hope that is fixed in the next update, because the *(talk) key combination is useless/impossible when busy/one-handed/half-asleep, etc.

When NOT looking, yes. The whole advantage of the wheel option is that you would press the wheel (brings up unlock dialogue), wheel up a few spins (stops at the top, unlock option), then could press the wheel again to execute the unlock option. You were then able to use the phone without looking. There are LOTS of times when you might want to access the phone without taking your eyes off the road, for example, which are now not possible. Many blackberry users who keep their phones in their pockets are unhappy about this change/bug. Everything works as before, but you can't execute unlock now. It just hangs on that menu option, dead. So it's clearly a disconnect between the two versions (as the curve apparently has this retarded unlock behavior).

If you read my post closely, you'd have figured this out, but I guess it was more fun to be snarky and now you look quite ignorant on the topic your posting about.

Competition is ALWAYS good for end-users.

Something Apple forgot when they bundled the iPhone with the worst cell provider on Earth...ahem.

Blackberry still trumps the iPhone where it really counts...email and network/provider/coverage options.

Being a network admin I deal with these all the time. The one update I keep looking out for is some support for local .PST file support. Would it be that hard to implement?! Our users have huge .pst files they need access to and their BlackBerry can only retrieve new messages. Where's the fun in that? Granted, each pc would have to act as a file server to retrieve the messages on the fly (these phones don't have the proper storage capacity even with storage upgrades) but I don't see this addition next to impossible.

All in all, the features they are including are quite nice and well deserved. I look forward to trying them out!

Being a network admin, you would know that a blackberry exchange server would give your users the equivalent functionality, as would doing IMAP (via say gmail if you can't set this up yourself). The blackberry just doesn't have the on board storage space to handle a .pst file locally and there's no reason to do a "file server" option as you describe with the options above.

I have all the email accounts routed through gmail now so I never get spam anymore and have IMAP push to my blackberry for free. I highly recommend this solution with the blackberry.

I hope this helps.

(excalpius said @ #4.1)
Being a network admin, you would know that a blackberry exchange server would give your users the equivalent functionality, as would doing IMAP (via say gmail if you can't set this up yourself). The blackberry just doesn't have the on board storage space to handle a .pst file locally and there's no reason to do a "file server" option as you describe with the options above.

I have all the email accounts routed through gmail now so I never get spam anymore and have IMAP push to my blackberry for free. I highly recommend this solution with the blackberry.

I hope this helps.

i agree, being a network admin, i woudl expect you to know about OST's which is wat you are aftewr rather than a PST. my PST is kept on the server so i have access to my emails from everywhere. i use an OST on my desktop.. my bb keeps up to date with my PST on the server adn anythign in my inbox is on my BB, anythgin in a separate folder i dont usually need access to.. i do disagree with the storage thing slightly, unless you haeva ridiculously big PST then you can just get a decent sized mem stick.. but still as you mention it is un-needed.

so you routinely have 4GB PST files? because there are 4 GB micro SD cards available...I doubt a PST could even grow to be that large.

edit: I take back what i said then, as I've never seen a PST get to 4GB, a few hundred megs yeah, but not 4 gigs. thats insane. Can't imagine how long it would take outlook to parse through that.

Actually, I've seen PSTs MUCH larger, and most existing Blackberry units do not have the micro SD capability. In a couple of years the 8700s will die out and everything will be curve/8800 or newer in the enterprise space, so this won't be an issue. But the default configuration of any of the previous blackberry line is not going to handle even a few hundred megs of .pst.

I'd like to hear about these updates and how they compare to what the iPhone offers.
Well... other than the streaming youtube videos 'cause we all know that the iPhone uses the slower GSM network for Internet access and can't stream anything anywhere near as fast as Verizon and Sprint's CDMA/EVDO/CDMA2k networks, since the iPhone isn't UMTS/"true 3G" capable yet.

And Sprint is rolling out 4G/WiMax networks now too.... and the iPhone might get 3G/UMTS connectivity. (that's a rumour).

I suppose something about it is alluring- getting the next great technology after its successor is already being implemented.
Is that the motivation behind the mythos? ... ?
Is that the motivation behind Apple products?

well the list is there, find an iphone features list and compare the 2...

personally i LUV my BB, the iphone from what i have seen deosnt have half the features

Now only if Verizon Wireless enabled GPS and OBEX file transfers on their Blackberry 8830s (I didn't choose Verizon Wireless, my employer did, its their phone...)

Having sprint is a blessing for that. They seem to know what their customers want in a phone. It's too bad their customer service sucks and their service isn't the best everywhere.

Yeah, I have an 8830 and am not happy that the GPS is disabled for 3rd party aps. It works if you use their Navigator which costs $10/mo.