Monday, December 21, 2009

Engadget: BlackBerry Curve 8530 Impressions

Jacob Schulman has a first impressions review of the new CDMA BlackBerry Curve 8530 up over at Engadget.com.

Mr. Schulman writes:
"We don't know, but it seems like RIM has enlisted a couple more CDMA engineers because the gap between new devices launching on GSM and then making their way to CDMA has been getting noticeably smaller over time. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 was launched on T-Mobile only a few short months ago, and it's already made its way to both Verizon and Sprint. It's not the same powerhouse as its older sibling the Tour, but this device packs a heck of a lot of punch into a very pocketable package."

You can read the full hands-on review over at Engadget.com...

[Via Engadget.com...]

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Monday, November 16, 2009

BlackBerry Curve 8520 Coming to AT&T

Earlier today, AT&T jumped on the BlackBerry Curve 8500-series bandwagon by announcing that the Curve 8520 was heading to AT&T's network "in the coming weeks" for $99.99 with a new or qualifying 2-year service agreement.

AT&T announced today it will introduce the best value in its BlackBerry smartphone portfolio with the addition of the BlackBerry®Curve™ 8520 from Research In Motion.

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is a stylish, easy-to-use, compact smartphone offering the best value for consumer and business customers looking for BlackBerry service. The smartphone features a full QWERTY keyboard and touch-sensitive trackpad for easy typing and navigation, built-in Wi-Fi® and an advanced media player, plus dedicated media keys, smoothly integrated along the top of the handset, for a convenient way to control music and videos. The handset also provides global connectivity via phone, email, text, IM, picture messaging and social networking, with Facebook®and My Space applications preloaded.

The sleek, new device houses a high-resolution 320x240 display a 512 MHz processor, 256 MB of Flash memory, and a 2 megapixel camera equipped with video recording.
“AT&T was the first choice for BlackBerry in the U.S. and we continue to expand our offering of BlackBerry products to suit the different needs of business and personal users,” said Michael Woodward, vice president, Mobile Phone Portfolio, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “The BlackBerry Curve 8520 offers the best value by combining the essential features of a BlackBerry smartphone with access to AT&T’s network, which includes best coverage worldwide, as well as the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network.”

AT&T users of the new BlackBerry Curve 8520 can enjoy access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network with more than 20,000 U.S. hotspots — including approximately 7,000 Starbucks locations. As with all other Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerry smartphones from AT&T, BlackBerry Curve 8520 users with a qualifying data plan, which includes all consumer BlackBerry unlimited data plans, get seamless and unlimited access to these domestic hotspots at no additional cost. When traveling outside the U.S., BlackBerry Curve 8520 users can enjoy the best coverage worldwide with wireless voice coverage in more than 215 countries and wireless data coverage in more than 185 countries.

Mobile users will enjoy great battery life, simultaneous voice and data capabilities when using Wi-Fi, and the ability to access up to 10 corporate and personal email accounts whether they are corporate or personal accounts. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 also affords users the ability to edit Microsoft® Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® files with DataViz®Documents to Go®suite.
"The new BlackBerry Curve 8520 is a great choice for first-time smartphone users and offers easy-to-use messaging, social networking and multimedia features with a full-QWERTY keyboard that makes typing fast and comfortable," said Carlo Chiarello, vice president, product management, Research In Motion.

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone will be available in the coming weeks for $99.99 after mail-in rebate. (Pay $199.99 and receive $100 AT&T Promotion Card. 2-year agreement on a min. $69.99 plan required.) AT&T smartphones require the purchase of a monthly data plan. Other monthly charges apply.

For more information, visit the AT&T website.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sprint BlackBerry OS 4.5.0.175 for Curve Released

Over the weekend, I activated a second smartphone on my Sprint account, a BlackBerry Curve 8330. (For those keeping score, I was using a Curve 8330 as my primary phone between December, 2008 - June 6, 2009; the day that the Palm Pre was released.) While configuring BlackBerry Device Manager 5.0 on my PC, I noticed that there was an OS upgrade for my new Sprint BlackBerry.

Sprint customers who use the BlackBerry Curve 8330 can upgrade from BlackBerry OS 4.5.0.131 to BlackBerry 4.5.0.175. As far as I can tell, the .175 build of BlackBerry OS 4.5 is largely a maintenance release as all of the BlackBerry applications in the package build are still listed as version 4.5.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

BlackBerry OS 4.5 Update Report

I installed Sprint's specially formulated BlackBerry OS 4.5 update on my Curve 8330 last night. The process when smoothly using BlackBerry Manager 4.7 on my Windows Vista Business SP1 PC.

So far things look good and appear to be working well. The one thing that I didn't like was that the pre-installed photos, one of which I liked as my wallpaper, are no longer on my device after applying the update. I haven't had a chance to follow up with other Sprint 8330 users yet to see if they have had similar experiences or not. All in all, it isn't a big deal. I'm sure somone posted the photos on the Inetnet. If I find them, I'll post the link. I'll also try and see if Sprint can confirm the missing photos.

Otherwise, email, the browser, and Documents To Go are all working well. I'll have to spend some more time playing with the new software over the weekend.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

BlackBerry OS 4.5 Update Posted

Sprint has make good on their word to post the BlackBerry Curve 8330 and Pearl 8130 OS 4.5 upgrade on their website before the end of the day Friday. BlackBerry users rejoice! Sprint has packed in some very nice goodies for their customers who are using older Berries.



Software Feature Enhancement with 4.5:

  • Send Multi-Media Messages (MMS) which enables sending of text messages with picture and other file attachment.
  • View emails in HTML email format. Users can easily change their email format setting to HTML for emails to appear just like they do on your PC. Will work automatically for BlackBerry Internet Service customers. Requires BES 4.1, Service Pack 6 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers (verify with your company's IT department).
  • Free/Busy Calendar Lookup for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers immediately lets you know all attendee's availability. Not available to BlackBerry Internet Service customers. Requires BES 4.1, Service Pack 5 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers (verify with your company's IT department).
  • Remote search for email for BlackBerry Enterprise Service customers creates more access to emails that are not stored on your device but remain stored remotely on your email server. Not available to BlackBerry Internet Service customers. Requires BES 4.1, Service Pack 5 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers (verify with your company's IT department).
  • Word completion for SureType keyboards allows for faster typing on BlackBerry Pearl 8130.
  • Automatically generate a music playlist with specific criteria based on artist, albums or genre.
  • Video recording attachment view supported.
  • Create a Voice Note and attach to an email or Multimedia Message(MMS). Or record a voice note and save for playback when needed.
  • Dataviz Documents To Go Application gives you the ability to download and save a file to your BlackBerry to view or edit later. Requires Visit the DataViz® website to register with DataViz and download an update for Documents To Go that includes Sheet To Go.
I know that many Sprint BlackBerry customers have been vocal in asking for MMS support on their devices. I'm also glad to see Sprint roll in support for HTML email and going the extra mile to include DataViz Documents To Go.

Be sure to check back over the next few days as I do plan on posting my experiences with the upgrade process and with the new software features.

Download the update now...

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Sprint Releases BlackBerry OS 4.5 for 8130, 8330


For Sprint's BlackBerry customers, it has been a long wait for the certified version of BlackBerry OS 4.5 for the 8130 and 8330. For the last few months, Sprint Berry owners watched as fellow addicts on other carriers received their updates before us. Today, Sprint has announced that the wait is finally over!

On the Sprint customer service forums, BuzzAboutWireless.com, the comapny writes:
"Sprint is pleased to inform you we have approved final software for upgrade 4.5 on BlackBerry Pearl 8130 and BlackBerry Curve 8330 smartphones. Although we are getting this to you later than hoped, we are confident our extra testing and evaluation will deliver a better experience.

Upgrade 4.5 software should be available at www.sprint.com/downloads later this week. When you arrive at the Web site, please select the BlackBerry device you use (Pearl or Curve), and our Web site will outline all the new and enhanced features with software version 4.5, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to update your smartphone. As mentioned previously, among other great features offered by the BlackBerry software 4.5, you will also now have MMS functionality with your BlackBerry.

If you have loaded 4.5 software directly from the RIM Web site, we recommend you re-register your smartphone (go to Options>Advanced Options>Host Routing Table>select the menu key and choose "register now" )to ensure all software has loaded properly.

Software versions of 4.5 for 8830 and 8703e BlackBerry models will be available very soon. We will update you as they become available."

I just checked the Sprint software downloads page for the BlackBerry Curve 8330 and it still has the link to OS 4.3, however, a Sprint representative on the BuzzAboutWireless forums has indicated that the OS 4.5 software download link will be made available soon.

"I just finished speaking with the team responsible for posting the update on sprint.com/downloads and they assured me that it would be done later today or tomorrow."

This is great news for people who are addicted to their BlackBerry and who have been waiting to turn their email device into a real work horse by adding DataViz' Documents To Go to their device. I was surprised to learn that by switching to a BlackBerry as my everyday device that I would no long be able to have the rich document editing capabilities that I had grown used to with Documents To Go on my Palm Treo 755p.

Check the Sprint downloads page to get the update as soon as it is posted. You can discuss the update on BuzzAboutWireless.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Sprint BlackBerry OS 4.5 for Curve 8330 Leaked

I'm not sure how I missed this last week. My guess is that I've spent too much time at work and not enough time at home obsessing about my BlackBerry. But it would appear that a CDMA version of the BlackBerry OS 4.5 for Sprint's Curve 8330 is making the rounds on the Internet. The build number of the leaked software is 4.5.0.119.

Remember, this is a leaked version of the BlackBerry OS. Install it on your production units at your own risk! If you brick your Berry, Sprint won't help you out with this one.

Check out the BerryReview.com thread...
-or-
Check out the CrackBerry.com thread...

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Monday, December 22, 2008

BlackBerry Activated

As planned, I activated my Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8330 this morning. The folks at the local Sprint customer center had some trouble removing the Power Vision Pack from my account and adding in the BlackBerry personal Internet data pack, but everything seems to be working now.

The next step is to get my email accounts configured on the BlackBerry. At this point I'm not sure how I'm going to acomplish that. Looks like I'll be spending some time with the BlackBerry user manual this afternoon.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the Trail of BlackBerry OS 4.5

Not wanting to let it go, I've continued my search for answers about when Sprint might actually get around to certifying and releasing the BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 for the Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8330.

During my search, I stumbled across the Sprint discussion forums, BuzzAboutWireless.com. There I found a thread titled, "Update on 4.5 code upgrade", started by a Sprint forums administrator, SarahKS. In her October 17, 2008 post, the admin writes:
"Sprint would like to make its customers aware that it is currently in testing with the 4.5 code for a number of our BlackBerry devices. We understand that many of you are anxious to receive this upgrade; please note that it is very important that Sprint has time to adequately test and certify the code to ensure a quality experience for you, our customers. Once this process is complete Sprint will make this upgrade available as soon as possible.

We understand and appreciate the enthusiasm shown here at Buzz About Wireless and want you to know that we value your feedback and hope you will continue posting and letting us know what is on your mind. Please continue to watch this site about availability of the BlackBerry 4.5 code and other relevant news for Sprint customers."

Ok, I get it. Sprint is telling us that they are working on the update, but have not committed to a release date. The admin being only a forums admin, has no specific information except what the software development team reports to her.

Another Sprint employee chimes in and writes:
"I just read today on another website that Sprint confirmed the release of OS 4.5 to sometime in November...which would mean we will be the 2nd carrier to release it in the U.S. (following the release at T-Mobile, USA)"

Checking the calendar on my Curve, it looks like the November date was missed.

On November 25, 2008, the forums admin posts another OS 4.5 update that reads:
"First off, yes we are still working to deliver the 4.5 software absolutely as soon as possible. We want to make it absolutely clear that Sprint is not sitting on its laurels here. We are working hard to ensure that the software you get is absolutely tip top and will do what you need (and nothing you don’t!).

Unfortunately the software is not quite ready. Right now Sprint and RIM are working together to make the necessary modifications to ensure you have the best possible experience. The good news is that we believe we are getting close to final software."

The lack of MultiMedia Service (MMS) on Sprint's BlackBerry devices is another hot topic from the looks of things. While browsing through that thread, I found a post by another Sprint employee dated November 29, 2008. It reads:
"The PictureMail update for the blackberries should come with the new OS update, that should also coincide with the release of the 8350i within the next few weeks. Interestingly Sprint seems to be skipping the OS 4.5 update alltogether and going straight to OS 4.6

EDIT: The OS update will be avalable for both the 8330 and the 8130, in addition to shipping with the 8350i."

Well, well, well. Ok, so when will the Sprint BlackBerry 8350i for the iDEN network finally arrive? A quick Google search turned up this page over at Engadget Mobile dated November 17, 2008 that suggests that the new BlackBerry will be arriving the the cheers of iDEN users on, oh-ho, December 1, 2008.

Will Sprint's BlackBerry customers get some love tomorrow and get a new BlackBerry and some new software updates? I don't know, but I really hope so.

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BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 for Sprint 8330

I recently purchased a BlackBerry Curve 8330 for Sprint. One of the must-have software packages for me is DataViz Documents To Go; which was recently released for the BlackBerry platform. But you need Device Software 4.5 or later. My Curve has 4.3.0.127.

There seems to be some confusion about the 4.5 software. It has been officially released for many of the current BlackBerry devices. My research shows that it has been released for some of the Curves, including the CDMA Curve for Verizon. I just can't seem to find the official Sprint edition.

Threads on some discussion forums indicates that any BlackBerry Curve 8330 can be upgraded with the multilingual release. Reading through these threads though, it seems like some of the carrier specific features, like No Force Roaming, aren't in the generic release. Go figure.

So I'll have to do some more poking around to figure out whether or not BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 is officially supported on Sprint's devices.

For the bold and the daring, there is a thread on SprintUsers.com that talks about loading over carriers version of 4.5 on your Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8330. With my BlackBerry kung-fu not as good as my Palm OS kung-fu, I'm not sure I'm ready to pull the trigger on an official unofficial upgrade just yet.

UPDATE 1:

I found this article on BlackBerryCool.com and they are reporting that OS 4.5 is official on Sprint, yet when I run the "Windows Update"-like upgrade checker at BlackBerry.com I get the message that my device is running the latest software; 4.3. Ugh!

UPDATE 2:

After a few hours of poking around on the Internet with Google and on the BlackBerry.com and Sprint.com websites, I have finally come to the conclusion that BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 is not (officially) available for the Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8330.

While searching for an answer, I stumbled across the BlackBerry Device Software v4.5 Availability page on the BlackBerry.com website. When I entered my device's PIN number, I received the following message:
"BlackBerry® Device Software v4.5 is not supported by your wireless service provider.

You will be redirected in 10 seconds to our Product Update form to receive notification when the software is available.

If you are not automatically taken to the form, please click here"

So, it seems that us BlackBerry Curve owners on Sprint who don't want to roll the dice with one of the unofficial upgrades still have to wait this out. I do hope that Sprint gets around to releasing the upgrade soon.

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