Blackberry at work

We got Blackberry 8703e leashes at work on Friday afternoon so I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the weekend playing around with the functionality and working out how to do things. It’s a shame that their legal department spends more time writing a HUGE software licence and warranty booklet – 133 pages in all the different languages yet the getting started manual is only 51 pages, 10 of those are the terms and conditions. Strangely enough there is no mention of how long to keep the blackberry charged before using it or any instructions as to the various lights on the device, normally there are warnings of dire consequences and doom if batteries are not charged for 18 hours OR MORE!

Although I like the device, I’ve yet to work out some very strange things it does. I spent a while playing around with the alarm yesterday and couldn’t get it to play a tune. At church this morning I put it on silent mode, and the alarm went off, with tune *just* before the service started even though it was in silent mode. I think this is due to the fact the alarm settings only get read at a certain time and not every minute. Setting an alarm for 3.02 when it is 3.01 doesn’t work but setting an alarm for 3.03 does work (a useful thing to know but every other device i’ve ever used will set an alarm for the following minute.)
The device doesn’t have a voice recorder in it OR voice activated dialing, something which is critical for my use – I often need to dial a number stored in memory and the voice activated dialing on the Motorola was great – didn’t even need to train it to understand my strange accent. I use the voice recorder on the phone to make notes of when I leave my clients to aid in filling out my time sheet at the end of the day, so this is another feature I’m going to miss.
I do like the ability to use it as a modem with the laptop as this will mean we have net access almost anywhere. The speeds not great but it is certainly useful.
The google applications, maps, email and talk work well – very impressed with those so far – although we don’t have the gps tracking built in, google maps would help you get to a destination if you had someone who could push the next button every time you got to a certain stage in the route and could read the directions. But I have a proper GPS for that so it’s not that important. Apparently the gps tracking function would cost $10 per phone per month.
I’m waiting to get mail on the device as we will be getting an enterprise server to cope with our Lotus Notes server (I’m still struggling as to why RIM decided it needed something like this when Windows Mobile devices can talk directly to exchange servers) but it did sync the calendar, tasks and other stuff up ok which was good.