Personal Assistant updated to 3.0, now zippier and peppier

By Ryan Blundell on 28 Jul 2010 08:20 am
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Personal Assistant 3

I was wrong. There, I said it. When we took a look at Phone Assistant back in April, I mentioned that this application acts as, well, your personal assistant (coincidence? I think not). Personal Assistant keeps you in the loop for a variety of important issues throughout the day. From this application, you can keep an eye on your travel itinerary, bill management (with mobile minute tracker), banking, portfolio and credit card management. Your information is laid out in front of you in amazing detail. This makes it easy to get updated at a glance, which allows you to focus on making the most of your day to day.

So what was I wrong about? Well I was wrong in saying that it didn’t suck up to you (the boss). Why do I say that? Just check out what’s available in the latest update made back in May to Personal Assistant 3.0; from their product description:

  • Integration with your calendar, all upcoming events, including bill due dates and upcoming itineraries will automatically be added to the calendar.
  • The application is running in the background and as a result is now super fast, over 1000% performance improvement from previous versions.
  • The Enhanced Notification feature was already introduced in version 2.5 and now has enhanced capabilities with more alerts, such as APR change to your credit card and more. Also, all alerts are shown aggregated in a new alert tab.
  • More readable account information screens and ability to refresh all accounts at once (refresh all available only for the premium version).

Still no word of when it will be able to get you your coffee or not, though you could call and order it yourself. Personal Assistant comes in a free and premium version, both of which are available in BlackBerry App World. I'm not sure why Pageonce sent an email to subscribers almost 3 months after it was updated, claiming it was "new" and "now available". It even caught me off guard. Thanks to those who pointed it out to me.

28 comments

Duvi

Zippier and peppier is always welcomed =)

blueyestm

I must be missing something because I've had 3.0 for a while now and it doesn't run in the background either

fsj80

Same here, been running premium as well, has never run in background, also I don't have any calendar integration...running on BlackBerry Curve 8530

germann1

On my storm 9530, it is running in the background.

marckatz

Been using 3.0 for awhile. I don't find it zippy or peppy. Application does not run in the background

emanwis#CB

I also have had 3.0 for a while. It does not run in the background and is painfully slow in updating my accounts. If this is 1000% peppier and faster, I'd hate to see how slow it was before 3.0. I too have the premium version and have yet to see it add anything to my calendar even though the option is turned on. I do like the program and will stick with it. However, I hope we see another "1000% improvement" in speed.

sweetlittlehugs

Is there any benefit to upgrading to the premium version?

BB Musketeers

3.0 came out in May, so not sure what is "new" about it at this point. I love this application, but something does not meet jive in this review. Either the application has been updated again with a newer version than 3.0, and the additional features mentioned in this review, or the review is just messed up.

Maddog24g

Doesn't run in the background, but does add some due dates to my calendar and provides annoying reminders to pay my bills. Stupid bills.

sweetlittlehugs

Mine is not zippy either, I had to turn notifications off because it kept reminding me to pay bills with 0$ due, because I had already paid them.

gatorboi352

Man if you ever want the real truth on the matter, no frills, no holds barred, just scroll down to article comments.

3.0 HAS been out for a while, and no it does NOT run in the background.

Now we just all await a potential response from Mr. Blundell...

Brandon 8ch

i left the app when it said "App Error. Reset Now" so I hit reset and.....it froze my phone! Thanks Personal Assistant you P.O.S! Now I have to reinstall my OS. God Dammit!!!

Griffspen

I think maybe Pageonce owns Crackberry.com............

Ryan Blundell

This was an oversight on my part. I do sincerely apologize. A few days ago I received an email from Pageonce about Phone Assistant. The subject read: Now Available - New Personal Assistant App by Pageonce"
The body included:
"NEW! Personal Assistant 3.0 Now better than ever! Upgrade to Version 3.0 Free"
Now I know it isn't a new app, heck I reviewed it already right? My excitement got the better of me and I neglected to see when it actually came out. Though, with this type of email it does lead readers to believe that it came out quite recently. Wouldn’t they send this out earlier, especially if they are a subscriber?
In regards to the specifications, those were taken directly from their site so I hope they can back up their claim.
While I do take responsibility for not initially checking further, I still find it deceiving on the developer's part for both the misleading email and the product description. 
I shall hang my head in shame and update the article accordingly. Thanks for keeping me on my toes everyone!

birdman_36

Don't worry about it buddy! We all make mistakes

Pageonce

My name is Guy Goldstein and I’m the CEO of Pageonce.
I thought this blog post and your comments that followed were important enough for me to personally respond to.

1. Pageonce v3.0 DOES run in the background: For security reasons, the background process is not recognized by a name and it is not visible to the user. This background process is responsible for intelligently syncing with our data center, push notifications and calendar integration.

2. The new version of this application is super fast: Since the process runs in the background, the foreground process (which is the application itself) does not require access to the cloud in order to present the information and is getting its data from a local encrypted database. As a result, the app is 1000% faster upon startup and when presenting your information to you. For those of you who do not see such a huge improvement in speed between the old and new version, please contact support (support@pageonce.com) as this symptom may be device specific.

3. How new is the application: We indeed released version 3.0 a couple months ago and we should have made it more clear in the email we sent. The reason for not immediately announcing the version launch to our existing user base is because we wanted to take the time to verify the app was running smoothly with new users before we encouraged our current loyal customers to upgrade. Once we felt comfortable with the performance of our application, we sent an email to over 1M BlackBerry users, announcing the new version.

What we tell our users is always true!! We would never say that we are running in the background if we were not. We are investing a lot of time and effort to build a trusted brand, make the BlackBerry experience the best we can and provide a great service. We always welcome your feedback

Thanks for your support
Guy Goldstein, CEO

davidnyc

Thanks Guy; it's always good to hear from the people behind the products I use every day!

Ryan Blundell

It's funny how I originally started the article by saying "I was wrong". Maybe I should listen to myself more often.

denniscolligan1

Yes, I am very confused because I have had this installed since it came out in May I believe and it doesn't run in the background, there is no ALERT Tab( running Storm2), and it doesn't send anything to my calendar. All off these features would be welcome though !

jkpitcher

The newest verison is 10 times faster than the pevious version. Almost deleted it due to how slow it was. No I use it quite often. Still doesn't seem to be updating my accounts in the background which the previous slow version did. oh well. Takes about 5 seconds to update.

germann1

I downloaded the update over the weekend. It is faster and nicer to use. I recommend it.

HavPlenty

Downloaded the regulr first to try it out. Will go premium if I see fit.

alcor34

I have it on my 9550. It does run in the background unless i say sign out, if i just hit close it runs, but you don't see the icon.

It is really slow though. As for calendar - it does add the items by push notification. I had to go into extra settings and select it even though push was already selected. However i noticed it does not set a reminder, it is just added as an item on that day. So basically you get no reminder.

bgriff25

I've had this app for awhile and updated to 3.0 when it came out. It doesn't run in the background of my Tour and it sure don't see a 1000% performance improvement. It is still one of the more useful apps I use. It has definitely kept me from forgeting to pay my bills, which is great because nothing's worse than coming home to find you have no internet or cable because you forgot to pay your bill.

Zipper

Yup I was one of the first on the very start of the app. I have to admit, great idea and concept, however like everyone else posted with it's bugs or nonexistent features, I too have those issues. Frustrating getting emailed about my account balance when nothing has changed...especially when I'm waiting for a particular email and I keep getting nagged.

Positive? Well it's the right idea and should be expanded upon! :)

JohnMidnight

since it was 2.0
works great, even 3.0 is quite a bit better. It does take quite a while in "Logging in" and it varies from place to place. One place it may login fast, other times it may login slower.
It does update in the background, not in soon enough intervals, but I can see that being a good idea. TweetGenius updating every 10 minutes drains battery hard fast.

coffee-turtle

it seems to be a whole lot of data at your fingertips, which normally is a good thing, but what if someone nabs your phone?

davidnyc

The premium version allows you to set a PIN to access the application. You also could use the built-in password protect on your BlackBerry.