How the iPhone Should Have Made the Blackberry Storm Launch Easier

There have been a lot of reviews lately regarding the new Blackberry Storm. I summarized a few myself, but things haven’t improved much. While there are some bright spots, the overall tone of the reviews is that the Storm is a disappointment.

Still, as a Blackberry on the Verizon network I suspect it’ll do fine regardless. Instead of dwelling on the reviews, I want to disagree with comments I’ve read that say RIM should be cut some slack because it’s a 1.0 product, which makes it the same as the iPhone’s initial release. 
No, not at all. RIM had it easy.
From the moment it was announced, while Apple faithful may have believed, most outlets spent time mocking the iPhone. Greasy screen! Fingerprints! Car crashes because you can’t drive and text at the same time! Won’t be able to dial in bright sunlight! And on and on. Most of them were kind of silly, and a few were downright asinine. 
People’s memories can be short, so let’s go back in time and look at what Apple had to overcome with the iPhone. 
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Blackberry Storm- Web Worker’s Delight?

blackberry-stormNo question one of the most important tools a web worker will adopt is the smartphone.
Today’s smartphones can become complete messaging systems that keep the worker up to date and in touch with clients and coworkers.  The Blackberry has long been considered one of the most complete messaging tools available and they have recently made great inroads into the marketplace as a result.
The newest Blackberry to come along is the Storm and a unique smartphone it is without even a keyboard to get in the way.  Will the Blackberry Storm fill the needs of the average web worker or is it just fluff?
Let’s take a look at what it offers and kick the tires.
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The Storm Arrives: Is It Just A Drizzle?

The Blackberry Storm will be available on 11/21 in the U.S. It’s getting some early reviews and they’re a mixed bag. Will this be an “iPhone killer”, will it have similar problems that the Bold encountered, or at the end of the day is it just another Blackberry (not that that’s a bad thing)? 
A couple of things I’ve gathered so far that are worth emphasizing: 

  • Everyone talks about it costing $200 in the U.S. with a two-year Verizon contract, but the real cost is $250. That’s what they’ll take from you, that’s what you’ll see coming out of your bank account, and that’s what’s gonna be on your receipt. Afterwards, if you tackle the paperwork and wait a month or two, they’ll send you a $50 debit card in the mail.
  • Data/Voice plans appear on a par with AT&T and others (around $70/month), but keep in mind the visual voice mail Verizon offers is an additional $3 a month. 
  • Turn by turn directions are available, but that’s another $10 a month. 
  • For Mac users, there’s no updated MacMediaCenter app available yet to move media to the device. 
  • No Wi-Fi. Verizon says it would just eat up battery life, but that’s wrong; Wi-Fi uses less juice than 3G. 

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BlackBerry Media Sync for Mac, Storm Announced Stateside

The Boy Genius Report brings word of relief in sight for Mac users with BlackBerry.  The official Research In Motion (RIM) application BlackBerry Media Sync for Mac will bring all the functionality of BlackBerry Desktop Manager to OS X users.

Third party solutions like PocketMac for BlackBerry have filled the void left by RIM’s lack of official support, but in practice these solutions were not always elegant or simple enough for novice users.  The new app seems to address both these issues, although the early version depicted in the screenshots apparently doesn’t yet seem to offer much sophistication when it comes to handling and distinguishing between different media types.

What it does promise, however, is the ability to sync your iTunes library, playlists or specific songs to either the internal memory of your handset or to microSD cards.  Expect RIM to add the ability to sync other media types as well in the final release.  Including, one would hope, movies and other videos from your iTunes library, to take advantage of the apparently very impressive screen on the company’s latest handset, the BlackBerry Bold.  The application is said to be compatible with the BlackBerry Pearl and presumably all later models as well.  For more information about what to expect from the upcoming release, it’s probably safe to assume that the featureset from the Windows version will be closely mirrored.
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