We knew it was coming, and just like its relatives the Onyx and the Gemini, yet another unreleased model has managed to escape the confines of RIM’s Waterloo headquarters. This time, however, it’s the Storm 2, which we’ve heard has been internally codenamed “Oden.” We’ve also caught wind that this model pictured is of the GSM flavor, and yes, it’s indeed packing WiFi in addition to GPS according to one of our sources. As far as that rumored “new approach to text entry,” it sounds like the keyboard has been tweaked but isn’t a radical departure from the first generation. From the photos, it seems that RIM has advanced in the war on buttons and axed the bottom four in favor of some touch-sensitive controls. The real improvements, however, appear to be under the hood, as the whole device reportedly runs much faster and smoother than the current model. We can’t confirm these specs, but with the Tour coming this summer, and the Storm 2 hopefully making an appearance before the holiday shopping season, looks like you Verizon BlackBerry fans might not have to be that jealous of your GSM brethren after all. One more pic after the break.
So you say you’re a somewhat shady person, but you really want to confirm that trait for anyone who’s still on the fence about you. Enter the Mobile Visor. It’ll do the trick. Easy.
Before the visor, people might have simply guessed that you were surfing porn on your mobile while at work.
“Well, his face is flush,” they’d think to themselves, “and he’s sweating a bit too much for such a cool day in the office, but maybe he’s just walked up a flight or stairs or something.”
But then, after you attach this loud, outrageous $9 black thing to your Blackberry, you will have confirmed what you’re really up to, and then some.
Either that, or you’re the world’s most paranoid business executive or pencil pusher. Whatever. It’s bad news all around.
Boy Genius has a fairly juicy bit of backstory on the delays plaguing the BlackBerry Bold, and the serious, stab-you-in-the-throat infighting between AT&T and RIM that drove RIM to deliver their touchscreen baby, the Storm, exclusively to Verizon in the US, where it will apparently be going for just $199 with a two-year contract and rebates.
The condensed version: AT&T told RIM to make a 3G device (the Bold) even though it wasn’t really in RIM’s bag, since AT&T is pushing to have every one of its devices using 3G, even if the network can’t really stand up to the onslaught right now. So RIM did. Fast forward to now, AT&T has apparently been rejecting buggy OS builds from RIM for months, even though they obviously crossed the line into acceptable for most other carriers. Granted, there are apparently some very real problems, most pointedly with the Hotspot Browser, though we did not encounter them with our review unit.
RIM got more than a little fed up, and this supposedly drove them to deliver the touchscreen Storm to a carrier who is not AT&T. In fact, RIM is reportedly kicking up the marketing budget for the Storm. Which brings us to the last bit: BG says multiple sources have confirmed to him that the Storm will go for $199. [BGR]
Many companies use Windows Live Messenger for corporate IM because it’s free and comes with pretty much any Windows computer they purchase. Windows Mobile users have had mobile IM love for awhile, but BlackBerry users have been left out, at least as far as official messengers go. They had already been promised an official client, and today Microsoft published it. Also included is live Hotmail support, for those who still use it. Go and download it, BlackBerry addicts, if you haven’t already.
The RIM BlackBerry 9000 was supposed to take the Canadian company’s push-emailing handset lineup to a whole new level. In the face of increased enterprise pressure from other handsets, like the iPhone, RIM has been a company to watch with their BlackBerry 9000.
So, it was a bit of a surprise when I first laid eyes on the BlackBerry 9000 in the wild. At the time, I didn’t know that it was the BlackBerry 9000. The device was only referred to as a new 3.5G BlackBerry that was going through its paces in RIM’s R&D labs. I speculated that the device could be the 9000, but alas, it was too early to put a metaphorical “period” on the matter. Now that said handset has been confirmed as the BlackBerry 9000, the device’s reveal is all just a bit anti-climactic.
The device is curvy and sleek, something that can’t really be said for the rest of RIM’s smartphone lineup. The bezel is trimmed in iPhone-esque chrome and the screen looks nice and crisp. But, as much as the BlackBerry 9000 is an improvement over current BlackBerry design, it still lacks the stylish “oomph” that was widely expected from the BlackBerry 9000. The keyboard is more of the same from the BlackBerry lineup (if it ain’t broke…) and the 9000 makes use of the popular and, dare I say, “fun” little trackball that first made an appearance on the BlackBerry Pearl.
The revised slide-deck interface is a refreshing take on RIM’s tired menu/icon setup. More pizazz would have been nice, as would a larger display, but with HSDPA, WiFi, and GPS in tow, the BlackBerry 9000 should do just fine in the enterprise market.
I’ll take a 3G iPhone over the BlackBerry 9000 any day. RIM had better hope I’m one of the very few that see things the same way.
[Via: Engadget Mobile]
By Robert Hamilton, Product Manager, Google mobile team
A few weeks ago, we launched a plug-in for Symbian devices that put a Google search shortcut onto the phone’s home screen. This shortcut reduces the time it takes for you to get answers from Google by eliminating the initial search steps (e.g. finding the browser application, opening it, and navigating to Google.com before entering your query). The same plug-in has been available for BlackBerry devices since last December. Today, we’re making this available for Windows Mobile devices too.
If you’re a Windows Mobile user, browse to mobile.google.com on your device to download the plug-in and start searching faster than ever. Once you do, we think you’ll find it so much faster and easier that you’ll start conducting more mobile web searches than you ever had before. How do we know this? Well, when we look at the combined usage numbers for BlackBerry and Symbian versions of this plug-in, we see that users are able to get Google search results up to 40 percent faster. And, BlackBerry and Symbian users with the plug-in installed search 20 percent more than those without it.
We saw something similar after we launched an updated interface for Gmail on the iPhone during MacWorld earlier this year. Lots of iPhone users tried the new interface (hence the bump in Gmail pageviews between January and February), but they didn’t stick around like we hoped they would. Over the course of the next few weeks, we made some tweaks to drastically improve the speed of the product, and Gmail pageviews on the iPhone not only stabilized, but began to rise, as the graph below shows:
This link between increased usage and a faster user experience — be it search or mobile Gmail — reinforces something we at Google have known for a long time: Fast is better than slow. With mobile applications, we’re seeing that fast is much better than slow. Although this may seem pretty intuitive, it’s always nice to see new data backing this up. Moving forward, we’ll continue to focus on bringing you the fastest and most compelling mobile experiences that we can. So stay tuned!