Before RIM released their mobile conferencing application, I always found it a pain to join in on those types of calls – I would end up making sure I was back at my desk in order to use my landline. I would use this method, as I could view Outlook to see both the number and the password needed. BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing definitely had my interests in mind as it ended up doing most of the dialing duties itself. Doesn’t it make sense that your BlackBerry makes all types of communication so easy? You know your time is important, so BlackBerry Mobile conferencing helps you schedule and join conference calls almost effortlessly – especially with the seamless integration with both your BlackBerry Calendar with accessibility from your Email. For those who are looking for an easier way to participate in conference calls, without losing mobility (or asking someone to dial in for you), let’s review what BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing can do.
This application was announced as a beta back in April and was then officially released in June. It is available for BlackBerry smartphones running OS 5.0 or higher. The supported countries list only consists of Canada and the United States at this time. Currently in version 188.8.131.52, it has a file size of 569 KB.
Rating in BlackBerry App World: 3/5
If you haven’t read the release notes, or the online user guide, after installing the application, you probably thought- ok I have it, where the heck is it and what do I do with it? Well let’s get the application set up before we get into functionality.
The application allows you to set up multiple conferencing profiles; up to five, to be exact. Audio Profiles are the key ingredient to streamlining conference call access. To create, edit or delete profiles, you need to head to your native Calendar application. From there, press the menu button and select Conference Profiles. You can assign a conference number (which could be internal, direct or a toll free number), which can be followed by either a Moderator or Participant access code (or both!). After that, you then name the profile and add a description (optional). Mobile Conferencing is smart enough to recognize when you add a pause or a “wait” (represented by a comma or exclamation mark, respectively). You can use these in cases where you need to identify yourself as a moderator with the required passcode, thereby making the command automatic.
Creating a scheduled conference call
Now there are a couple of ways you can create a conference call using this application. Adding a conference call is very similar to adding a new appointment in your Calendar. As you look at the New Appointment page, you will notice an additional button staring at you - "add conference detail”. This button redirects you to your Conference Profiles, once you select a profile; the details are then listed under the notes section of the calendar appointment. If modifications need to be made to the number or access code, the appointment entry screen also has an Edit Conference Details button. From your inbox, select an email then press Menu> Schedule Conference and follow the steps above.
I just loved how easy it was to dial out to the conference call. All that you do is access the appointment in your Calendar. There’s a button named “Join Now” that, when pressed will dial in for you. Remember when I mentioned the access codes, and pausing earlier? This is where you will see those commands executed. Simple as that. If you are, for some reason, dropped from a conference call, you can click the Reconnect button to rejoin. Just make sure that you review the details prior to making the call to ensure you are supposed to be joining as the organizer or as a participant and that your pauses and pins are entered correctly.
BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing is the kind of app you don’t think of (or need to) and fits smoothly into my routine. I don’t miss mashing out bridge numbers and access codes every time I want to join a call. Hopefully this review helps those who asked “What do I do?” and enables you to benefit from this application. You can grab BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing, for free, from BlackBerry App World.