As BlackBerry owners, we're pretty loyal to our beloved device, but I'm sure most of us can admit to having been tempted by the fruit of "another" on occasion. I often like to hop on YouTube and check out some of the un-boxing and review videos to see what some of the other devices have to offer, and while I won't be jumping ship any time soon, I must confess there are a lot of cool features the other guys have that make me a little jealous.
Instead of just sitting around green with envy, I decided to take a closer look at some of the neat things offered by HTC devices, the iPhone and Android handsets. I wanted to see if I could replicate these features on my Bold or at the very least achieve similar functionality. Sure, our icons are pretty nice, but an interface like that of the HTC Touch HD certainly looks a heck of a lot better. And yes we have a nice Manage Connections icon, but how about that handy WiFi toggle on the Treo Pro? While there's obviously nothing we can do about the current hardware, is there software available that can give us our favorite features offered by the competition? Let's find out.
First up is the web browser, BlackBerry is always getting knocked for its browser - or lack there of. I personally have no issues with the browser on my Bold which, when configured properly, performs pretty well as long as its not being compared to Safari on the iPhone or Skyfire on a WinMo device. Even though Skyfire is headed to BlackBerry in the near future, I needed some more browser power now so I downloaded Bolt Browser which renders complex pages a bit more accurately than the Berry's native browser. Looking to take it one step further I also downloaded Opera Mini. Now my Bold is capable of surfing three web pages on three different browsers simultaneously. Can the iPhone do that?
While I am a big fan of the BlackBerry OS, I would certainly like to see some of the nice 3D content offered by the HTC Touch HD on my Bold, especially their great looking weather application.
After a quick look in the CrackBerry App Store I came across Berryweather. This application looks great with its animated radar maps feature and handy homescreen icon that displays current conditions. While it may not have the fancy windshield wiper that cleans fake rain drops off your screen like the HTC, it does have customizable themes and a free three day trial is available.
One of the advantages of the Treo Pro and some Windows Mobile devices is their numerous hardware buttons that allow for one click access to certain device applications. Though we may not have a ton of buttons dedicated to specific programs on our BlackBerrys, we do have two very useful convenience keys. Wanting to add some extra functionality to my Bold's convenience keys, I grabbed myself a copy of QuickLaunch. Just like the Treo Pro, I now have one click access not only to toggle WiFi on and off, but just about every application, file and function I could possibly want. This program really steps up my Bold's productivity and efficiency. Gone are the days of digging through menus to activate the memory cleaner or setup a Bluetooth connection, QuickLaunch simply does it all.
After writing this article I realized that I should not have been questioning what my device was capable of - no sir. Instead I should have been asking what is it not capable of? While these other devices sometimes look a little fancier and may have a function or two that we don't, as loyal BlackBerry users we will always find a way to stay true to our beloved Berry. With all the new applications available today, the BlackBerry can have some beauty along its brains and braun.
CrackBery Member Stories - This article is from Mike B. - a member of the CrackBerry Nation (username BDBOLD). If you have anything you'd like to send in us that would be fitting for the CrackBerry blogs, we love to hear different views on everything Berry. Drop us a line at [email protected] and let us know what you've got. The CrackBerry Member Stories category is to provide an outlet for members to have their tips, stories, ideas, etc. reach a broader audience. You may just see it here on the homepage!