The buying experience of cell phones has always been frustratingly full of unknowns: you don't have a good idea of what the service coverage will be like before switching plans, you don't know what reception your specific phone will get, and you are usually stuck with a dummy non-operative phone to look at in the store that gives you little idea how it will actually work.
The biggest problem with JetBlue's inaugural "BetaBlue" flight, equipped with Yahoo and BlackBerry e-mail and instant messaging, was the fact that there aren't power outlets on board the aircraft.
Sure, there are those little 110-volt things in each bathroom. But if you hog the airplane toilet so that you can give your laptop some juice, you're going to be the second most unpopular person on that flight. (The screaming kid in seat 15D still beats you.)
All joking aside, if in-flight Wi-Fi is going to take off, airplanes are going to need power outlets. Virgin … Read more
If there were snakes on this plane, you could IM your friends and tell them.
Low-cost airline JetBlue has equipped one of its Airbus A320 planes with an onboard wireless network and has forged partnerships with Yahoo and BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion to give passengers access to the companies' e-mail and instant messaging functions while in the air. The airline considers the plane, nicknamed "BetaBlue," to be an early-stage test as the company explores expanding in-flight communication options.
Passengers won't be able to surf the full Web. But if they bring Wi-Fi-equipped laptops along, they can … Read more
Online software store Handmark carries a broad range of titles for BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile, and other smartphones. What? Huh? You can add software to your phone?!
It always surprises me how few people know this, or don't bother to venture beyond the preinstalled software. Well, now's your chance to score some games, apps, utilities, and more at a discount. From now through Wednesday, Handmark is offering 25 percent off all software purchases. Just enter the promo code "SITE25" when you check out.
Alltel said today it will release its own version of the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 in time for the holiday shopping season. The carrier didn't say exactly when the smartphone would go on sale, but you can register for more information on Alltel's Web site. The price will be $149 with a two-year contract.
Alltel's Pearl will offer the full slate of smartphones features including a Web browser, e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, integrated GPS and mapping, a 2-megapixel camera, a media player, stereo Bluetooth, a 3.5-millimeter headset jack, speaker independent voice dialing, 64MB of internal … Read more
Hold the gravy! Check it out--it looks like you can add the Sprint store to your list of places to shop on Black Friday, as the carrier announced today that the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130, Motorola Q9c, and Motorola i335 will all be available starting November 23, though you'll only be able to purchase the Moto Q9c online for the time-being.
The RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 will run $199.99 with a two-year contract and has built-in GPS and EV-DO with support for the Sprint Power Vision services, including Sprint Music Store, Sprint TV, and Sprint Navigation--a pretty robust … Read more
I liked previous iterations of WorldMate, a travel organizer best suited for power business travelers, at least in theory. The app grouped valuable travel information in one place, but pricing made it impractical for most casual users. WorldMate Live for BlackBerry is an app I can get behind, with its clean, friendly interface; fully synchronized Internet maps and alerts; and a more congenial pricing model that assumes basic, free usage and provides frequent, but never obnoxious, opportunities to upgrade.
The revamped WorldMate Live adds more value with a brand new on-app itinerary section for inputting flight, hotel, car rental, and meeting details to go along with a corresponding Web app, where you can also input information. All trip data is stored on WorldMate's servers and synced in real time when the app opens and auto-connects online. Maps, powered by Google on your online account and by BlackBerry's native map on the device, are another new addition.… Read more
My iPhone and I got off to a rough start. I rushed in to buying one and initially felt that the actual device did not live up to the hype. It's clear that only a miracle could have met everyone's expectations after all the buildup, but part of my lukewarm response was due to the fact that the other gadgets I relied on, my Blackberry Pearl and first generation iPod Nano worked just fine. It took a lot to convince me that merging these devices was worth the hassle of carrying around the iPhone, which neither fits snugly in a small pocket nor hangs from a neck lanyard.
But there is good news. Now that I have used it for four months, I may finally be ready to swap my Blackberry Pearl for the iPhone, at least some of the time. I appreciate the fact that I can do just about everything but blog on the iPhone. Emails, messaging work well. The calendar application on the iPhone motivated me to finally get into using synchronized iCal on my Mac in addition to a paper calendar. The visual appeal of iPhone's interface finally got through to me. While my Blackberry can do email, messaging, internet browsing, and calendars, it all looks better on the iPhone.… Read more
For those Verizon Wirelesscustomers who have been waiting for the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130, the time is here. The pretty little Pearl is available now for purchase online and will be in stores nationwide on November 8 for $149.99 with a two-year contract. Unlike the original, GSM Pearls, the Pearl 8130 features video-recording capabilities, 3G (EV-DO) support, and built-in GPS, which you can use with Verizon's location-based service, VZ Navigator. It also has Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support for stereo Bluetooth headsets, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and support for up to 10 e-mail accounts. Sounds like … Read more
Like a number of my colleagues here at CNET, I had my ear pressed to the phone yesterday morning as the members of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), including Google, Motorola, and HTC, revealed their plans for Android, a new open platform for mobile devices. I'm not here to recap all the details of the event here--CNET News.com has a comprehensive story on that--but rather just to jot down some of my thoughts.
Looking at the big picture, I welcome today's news. I think it's a really interesting move for all the parties involved, and … Read more