Hello again readers! Dear Berry is here once again with a mailbag full of BlackBerry questions and woes. Today's question comes from Justin who asks:
I know a few people who have picked up these older BBOS phones recently. Many of them have done so without changing to a BlackBerry-specific data plan with their carrier - One such person was using the SIM from his Android phone, for example, and was having trouble getting the phone to work as he believes it should. As I've got a Q10, and haven't had an active BBOS phone without a BlackBerry plan, I haven't been able to give him the answers he's looking for. What are the BBOS devices capable of doing over Wi-Fi alone, or with a generic/non-BlackBerry data plan? For example, should we still be able to use BBM, App World, and email? Are there any advanced tweaks or workarounds required to make certain features work, or any 3rd-party apps that might make up for the missing functionality?
Thank you for sending in this question. It is a very interesting one to say the least. This is what I know based on my experience.
For legacy BlackBerry devices, they do require a BlackBerry specific plan (i.e. BES or BIS) to operate correctly as it was operated through the carrier and through the BlackBerry NOC (Network Operating Center). Your friend who switched from Android and placed his SIM in an older device will find that the regular Non-BlackBerry internet service will not connect to the NOC or to the BIS plan that legacy devices require. Features may be limited as he is using a plan not meant for the device so BlackBerry specific apps such as BBM will not work.
However, speaking from experience, his carrier would be able to detect that the plan he has does not match the device his SIM is in and they may switch the plan over. For example, I once loaned a BlackBerry 8310 to a friend on another network when their non-BlackBerry daily driver stopped working. Within an hour they received a text that their data plan didn't match and that they were required to switch.
As a CrackBerry addict, I never gave away my older devices and have been using them on Wi-Fi only. Here is a list of features that work or do not work on Wi-Fi based on my usage for the past few years. Now please note I used my Bold 9900 and Torch 9800 as references for this guide. These may not work for older devices on OS 4.x or 5.x.
For additional information please refer to these posts:
As you can see, the legacy devices are fairly functional without having the corresponding BlackBerry data plan. Although, the lack of BlackBerry Messenger is quite noticeable.
Now I turn it over to our CrackBerry readers. Do you have any further tips, tricks, or clarifications to help Justin and his friend? Be sure to join the conversation and let us know your thoughts on the matter!
See you next time!
Have a question about BlackBerry etiquette? Need advice on how to cope with your BlackBerry addiction? Dear Berry has you covered and there's no question too big or problem too small. Submit any of your BlackBerry woes by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DearBerryCB.