The Blackberry Calendar is Broken by Design

I’ve been taking my first trip with my Blackberry Storm 2. I’ve battled through the challenges of synchronization. I’ve got my couple of indispensible apps. So I’m all set, right?

Wrong.

It seems incredible, but the Blackberry, the machine that became the archtype “smart phone” has never, ever, figured out how a calendar is supposed to work. Instead of handling dates and time in terms of local time zones, everything is in Greenwich time.

In practice, this means you type more information to schedule something on a Blackberry than you do on normal phones. Specifically, you must always give a time zone.

This is just bad interface design.

Continue reading The Blackberry Calendar is Broken by Design

From Treo to Storm II

Last fall, Alex warned me that Apple was dropping their support for the Palm Treo. I couldn’t upgrade to Spotted Lynx, or whatever the latest OS-X is called, until I switched phones. While I had been hoping to hold out for a Verizon iPhone, my patience ended a couple of weeks ago. After a weekend with a Droid, and a brief flirtation with the Palm Pre Plus, I settled on the Blackberry Storm II.

Aside from the built-in contact list and calendar (oh yes, and the phone) I rely on a smart phone for two other things: an ebook reader and a password manager. And I also want to feel some comfort for the phone’s security model. And, oh yes, I need easy access to contacts and calendar on my desktop, presumably through a sync feature.

I didn’t warm to the Droid because it’s too much like having a laptop on your pocket. And since the Pre Plus was a complete rework, I figured it wouldn’t be that similar to the Treo in practice. There was a period of suspense after acquiring the Storm, since I wasn’t sure it would in fact do all I wanted, but things eventually worked out.

Continue reading From Treo to Storm II

Reading ebooks on the Storm II

I read a lot of ebooks on my smart phone, and they all come from Project Gutenberg. In other words, they’re all free. When I recently migrated from my venerable Palm Treo 700 to a new phone, a good ebook reader was a high priority.

In fact, finding a good ebook reader was deal breaker – I wouldn’t keep a phone that didn’t have a good reader. I settled on a new Blackberry Storm 2 and Amazon’s Kindle for the Blackberry. While not perfect, the Kindle software serves its purpose well. And I still haven’t had to pay for a book.

Continue reading Reading ebooks on the Storm II