The BlackBerry is the fastest growing, most popular wireless e-mail device ever sold. Dubbed the “CrackBerry” as a tribute to how obsessively BlackBerry users will check their e-mails, the BlackBerry is best known for its unique and well-executed “push e-mail” functionality. This feature makes it a favourite of mobile professionals who need to be connected while on the go. The BlackBerry is a handheld device whose most notable feature is its wireless electronic messaging capability. With a BlackBerry handheld, millions of people who rely on e-mail communications to stay in touch with customers, clients, co-workers, friends, and family can now access, read, write, and send e-mail messages anytime, anywhere.
The BlackBerry is also a general-purpose computing device complete with a processor, memory, storage, and an operating system. Like your desktop computer, your BlackBerry can be outfitted with additional application software programs that provide functionality not found on the basic product. In addition, the BlackBerry has other features associated with desktop or laptop computers, including basic PIM (address book, calendar, to-do, and memo) functionality and basic web browsing.
Although all its cool features certainly make the BlackBerry popular among those in the technology industry, people who own a BlackBerry are not all computer geeks on the cutting edge of technology. Look around you in any airport or commuter train and you are sure to spot people from all walks of life staring intently at their BlackBerry screens. They are catching up on e-mail, pecking out messages on the tiny keyboards with their thumbs, or consulting their calendars.
BlackBerry has become a synonym for “mobile e-mail device.” E-mail is the number-one computing application in the world and the electronic equivalent of the telephone in terms of its impact on our ability to communicate with one another. The BlackBerry’s design makes it perfectly suited to extend the concept to the point where your e-mail access is always with you.
Your e-mail is always with you. Messages can be sent to you wherever you are, and you receive them almost instantaneously, with no work required on your part. This represents a major breakthrough in how we communicate with one another. For better or worse, it also is a major factor behind a changing view of how accessible you are to those who need to communicate with you. Indeed, many people now assume that you have 24/7 e-mail access, and they expect you to read and respond to e-mail within hours or even minutes, not days.
The BlackBerry is based on the Java platform, it is programmable. Although the BlackBerry does not run a full Java implementation like the one on your desktop computer, the device does run a slimmed-down version of the Java environment called Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP); anyone with enough programming knowledge and desire can write her own software programs to do lots of interesting things on the device. Chapter 11 covers how you would actually go about creating your own software applications. Whether you write your programs or download them from the Internet, you can make your BlackBerry do useful, fun, and interesting things that extend its functionality.
BlackBerry itself are applicable to solving a wide range of problems, with little or no programming knowledge required. E-mail itself can be used to creatively solve many real-world problems and, with a little planning and some additional tools on your desktop computer, the basic e-mail capability of your BlackBerry can be made to do all sorts of interesting things, such as retrieving documents, weather forecasts, or even web information lookups, as you will see in several of the chapters in Part I. Additionally, because most modern BlackBerrys can access web pages on the Internet, anyone with a basic ability to create and work with web pages can create a mobile web solution or service that is accessible from a BlackBerry.
By Glenn Bachmann
Wiley Publishing, Inc. | English | 309 pages | PDF | 4.985 KB | Download | Password: blackberry