LAS VEGAS--To many people's disappointment, we didn't see any handset news from Verizon Wireless at CTIA 2010, but the carrier did announce that it will launch its own app store on March 29, among an already crowded field of app stores.
The V Cast Apps store will be available first on the RIM BlackBerry Storm 2, but will be rolled out to additional devices in the next few weeks. The store will complement other stores, such as BlackBerry App World and Android Market, but hopes to leverage itself by allowing customers to bill app purchases directly to their … Read more
A recent survey stated what should be obvious: In 2010, three years after the iPhone was announced, many BlackBerry owners continue to covet the iPhone.
For me, a longtime BlackBerry user, that survey result was poignant: it came just as I was grappling with BlackBerry Storm 2 problems. While the survey does show that most BlackBerry owners plan to keep their phones, the salient point is that the loyalty rate is much lower for BlackBerry owners compared to their iPhone counterparts.
Here's a statement from Crowd Science, the organization behind the survey. "These results show that the restlessness … Read more
The first version of the BlackBerry Storm was widely panned for its shortcomings, but the Storm 2 has its own set of flaws, based on my extended use of the phone.
The updated Storm was announced back in October of last year so the phone has been out there for a while. And long enough for me to realize that it has a couple of fairly serious issues--at least the particular phone that I use does.
Let me be clear, I am a longtime user of both the original Storm and now the Storm 2. And I actually had fewer complaints about the original, frequently criticized Storm than the relatively well-received Storm 2.
Buttons: What's my beef? The most persistent problem is with the four buttons at the base of the screen (see photo). Simply put, sometimes the buttons don't work. This can be an annoying problem because these buttons must be used constantly.
As one example, the buttons used to make and end a call often don't work. Only after poking repeatedly on a precise location on the button (or tapping on the main screen, then tapping the button) can I make or end a call.
Again, that's only one of the more pesky problems but there are more examples of other buttons not working. And, in my experience, the problem is only fixed temporarily by rebooting the phone. That is not an acceptable solution for me since… Read more
On a recent trip to the California desert, with access to both a BlackBerry Storm and an iPhone 3GS, I had a chance to test Verizon's vaunted claims about better coverage.
Anza Borrego Desert State Park, about two hours south of Palm Springs by car, is California's largest state park and covers roughly 1,000 square miles of desert. In other words, it's mostly raw, but stunningly beautiful, wilderness. Over the years, I have often made day trips (alone or with friends/family) to boulder up washes (aka arroyos) in the surrounding mountains (see photo).
The largest town in the area, Borrego Springs (the 2000 census put the population at about 2,500), is famous for having rock-solid 2G (and increasingly 3G) coverage for most major carriers. In fact, in the spot shown in the photo (embedded in this post), which was taken after an hour of bouldering up a wash just west of Borrego Springs, there is no hiccup in service.
But Borrego Springs, surrounded by a desert (figuratively) of dead zones, is the exception. Outside of town, in places like the outback of Coyote Canyon or in the desert east of the Shelter Valley area (part of Julian, Calif.), it's very hit or miss.… Read more
The quality and speed of the browser is an essential feature for smartphones these days. And it's here that the BlackBerry Storm 2 has some catching up to do vis-a-vis rivals such as the iPhone 3GS.
The Storm 2 is an underrated smartphone in many respects. The interface is clean and easy to navigate, the standard software feature set competitive, and the ability to integrate all email accounts into one screen convenient.
But unbelievably--to me, at least--RIM failed to improve the browser on the Storm 2. Or let me put it this way: RIM failed to make perceptible improvements. (See RIM statement below.)
This is no small oversight. The key reason why the Motorola Droid has been a hit is because it couples a big screen with a high-quality, fast browser--making it the only premium smartphone to date in the U.S. to approach the status of the iPhone.
Which brings us to the gold standard of smartphone browsers: the Safari browser on the iPhone 3GS. This is nothing short of phenomenal. It's the closest a smartphone user can get to the full-fledged browsing on a laptop.
And the browser will only become more important as the smartphone screen size creep continues, from the 3.5-inch diagonal screen on the iPhone 3GS to the 3.7-inch screen on the Droid to the 4.1-inch display on the Toshiba TG01 (sold in Europe).
So, what was RIM thinking? The Storm 2's browser (like its predecessor's--which I had previously been using) can be glacially slow when loading Web sites. So slow that many Storm users opt for downloading the Opera Mini or Bolt browsers. But these browsers have shortcomings of their own, so they don't necessarily serve as satisfactory replacements for the Storm's built-in browser. (The Bolt browser does not zoom and Opera Mini--though blazingly fast--has trouble rendering some Web sites.)
As shown in the embedded videos, which demonstrate the load times for the CNET News page and the zoom features of the two phones, respectively, the iPhone 3GS (bottom) beats the Storm handily.
But RIM needs to hurry up and match the competition. A fast, high-quality browser is… Read more
Bill Keller from the New York Times let slip he's been working on a version of the New York Times for the Apple Slate. Great! What the hell is the Apple Slate? well obviously it's a much-rumored Apple Tablet. We also discuss T-Mobile's unlimited plans and hope against all hopes that they are truly unlimited.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1092
Bill Keller: Apple Tablet ‘Impending’ http://gawker.com/5389636/bill-keller-apple-tablet-impending
T-Mobile Adds ‘Even More Plus’ Plans http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2354721,00.asp… Read more
Amazon announced same-day delivery for certain areas today, although we're not sure if you can buy wines by the glass. We also cover the BlackBerry Storm and the Motorola Cliq announcements. Guess which one we like better? And the Danger Sidekick tale continues.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 1085
Don’t change your Twitter passwords if you don’t want to lose your account http://www.infoworld.com/d/applications/twitter-warns-users-not-change-log-in-data-until-further-notice-815
Microsoft confirms data recovery for Sidekick users http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/oct09/10-15sidekick.mspx … Read more
Let's be honest. Research In Motion's first foray in the world of the touch-screen smartphones wasn't exactly a smashing success. The RIM BlackBerry Storm was riddled with bugs and performance issues, which were resolved with subsequent software updates, but still, the damage had been done. However, there are high hopes that the RIM BlackBerry Storm 2 will wash away all those bad memories and start afresh.
As of press time, Verizon Wireless did not reveal pricing or an exact release date for the Storm successor, but RIM dropped by our offices and left us a near-final product … Read more
Verizon Wireless is offering a buy-one, get-one-free deal on its BlackBerry selection and has lowered the price of the RIM BlackBerry Storm even further to $49.99 (with a two-year contract and an instant rebate).
This is the second price drop for the Storm (first was from $199.99 to $149.99), leading many to believe that the carrier is clearing out inventory to make room for the RIM BlackBerry Storm 2. While RIM has confirmed only that it is working on the device, it has not commented on a release date, pricing, or final specs.
Rumor has it, however, … Read more