Technology can often leave us breathless in our efforts to keep up with the leaps, bounds, and popular trends in the communications market. Can you remember the day when you didn’t know what a cell phone was? Or perhaps when you decided you needed one too?
We have become accustomed to the cellular phone, and usually find that it quickly becomes something we don’t leave home without. You see everyone from kids to business executives with a cell phone to their ear, or having a conversation with an inconspicuous earpiece or headset attached to the cell phone that is hiding in their pocket. But wait — isn’t that guy over there talking to his PDA??
Meet the RIM BlackBerry, a wireless solution with integrated phone, SMS (short message system), browser and organizer applications. The market concept behind the BlackBerry device is to facilitate the management of all your information and communications from a single, integrated device. The BlackBerry marries wireless technology, PDA (personal digital assistant) functionality, and cellular accessibility. So should you toss out your PDA and your cell phone, and jump on board? It can be a tough decision . . .
Before you do anything you might regret later, consider your current communication needs. Do you have more gadgets than pockets? Do you foresee a need to access and update your calendar while you are dialed into a meeting and waiting for your flight at the airport?
How many times have you wished you could play a game on your phone while talking to your friends? Would you like to move to another country and not have to buy a new wireless device that will work on that country’s network?
Here are some BlackBerry pros and cons that have been reported by users, which may help you make a decision:
You can access many of the BlackBerry’s functions during a call.
You can access your existing email accounts, wirelessly. BlackBerry’s “push” technology means you don’t have to retrieve your email, it finds you.
You can view email attachments such as PDFs, documents, and images.
The QWERTY-based, full alphabetic keyboard allows for quicker and easier data entry and retrieval.
You can choose your network and service providers, without limitations based on contracts.
The BlackBerry operates on a number of global networks, as well wireless local area networks (WLANs).
You can install Mac or PC friendly applications on your BlackBerry, to facilitate sharing information and projects between your computer and your wireless device.
The cost is higher for a BlackBerry than for most cell phones.
There are so many features and not nearly enough documentation available to support them.
There is no speakerphone capability on most BlackBerry models.
You have to manually engage the BlackBerry’s screen light; there are no settings for an automatic on/off.
Some technology experts think that the BlackBerry is on its way out, to be replaced by the Treo.