In my previous pearl articles I wrote about viewing or listening to video and audio using the Blackberry Pearl. Click the thumbnail to see Opera mini. Just recently Opera Mini 3 became available and if you already have Opera installed on your phone starting up Opera will automatically place a link to upgrade. This happens quickly and easily and even keeps your settings and favorites.
I have downloaded several Apps that I really enjoy using on this Pearl. One is BBWeather, which can be downloaded from here:
Once installed, start it up. After it says “No Weather Profiles..”, which it will at first, CLICK THE PEARL – do not touch the menu key (OR any other keys) otherwise you will have trouble getting the program to start working. CLICK ONLY THE PEARL.
At this point, after you CLICK THE PEARL – you should be able to go into Options and add a profile. That means add a zip code for the city you wish to know about and how many days of Forcasting you want. Also “Disable MDS Proxy”. You may have to click the pearl twice to get there, but believe me it’s easy once you get started. Obviously zip codes are only for the US. If you wish to include a city in Europe, there’s a fairly simple method. It just requires a little bit of prep work. Go to weather.com and locate the city you are interested in.
As an example I wanted to know the weather for Glasgow and here is the link:
See that number in the middle? UKXX0061 Take that number and to add it to your list in the Blackberry: click the menu button Options/Add In the Location ID put in that number. The Description is the name of the city. Forecast Days can be 2 to 10 days. Choose between Standard and Metric Units and if you wish you can assign a Shortcut Key for quick access to that city. Go ahead and try it. Another city I like to collect info about is Brussels, Belgium and the number is BEXX0005. Try it out and see.
As you add cities you to your list access this list everytime you click the menu button. Click on the city you wish to know about and wait for the weather info to update. At any time you can force an Update via the menu.
There’s other ways of getting the weather. Like, for example accessing http://mobile.wunderground.com/ which is a nice site for getting all sorts of weather related info. What is fantastic about BBweather is that personal list. And the info is immediate. I’m spoiled!
Another of my favorite things to do is look and play around with maps. On the Blackberry Pearl you can use their included Maps program as well as download Google maps
That site lets you download google maps for cell phones. Use your WAP browser to get to that site and site will “sense” you are using a blackberry and will download the correct version.
Both programs lets you save favorite locations and create directions between locations. If you have an address in your Contacts, access that to find the location on the map. In the Maps program get the menu item Map From Address Book. This brings up the Address Book list. Roll to the person you want to find and now click the menu. Click View Home Map and let the map program find the location.
And if you have a Bluetooth GPS device you can Pair that to the Blackberry and use it with Maps Program. There’s a menu item in Maps: Start GPS which starts it up.
Google Maps has Satellite View – BBMaps does not. Being able to see the Hoover Dam on a cell phone is something I find quite exciting. Call me crazy! Anyway, using these two programs there’s NO way you can get lost! And if you are like me, it will provide hours of entertainment as you search about the country.
Since we are mentioning Bluetooth I’m happy to report that the two Bluetooth headsets I have work quite well with the Blackberry Pearl. These are the WEP200 and the BluePearl.
In Options roll down to Bluetooth and click the trackball to Enable. Pair a headset in the normal way – easy, no sweat. I’ve done Pairing with several devices at this point and this was just as easy as any other. And for the most part the sound is good. In fact, I called someone I know in the UK and spoke to them using the BluePearl headset. I find that set really comfortable to wear (and I like the colors). At one point during the conversation a family member spoke to me from down the stairs and my friend all the way over in the England heard what was said through my Bluetooth. Not half bad, eh? As I mentioned to him, I felt like Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. Being able to clearly and comfortably talk wirelessly to someone thousands of miles away should NOT be taken for granted. Especially using a device that fits inside my hand. I’m impressed!
Multi Media SMS Message (MMS)
MMS is the new and cool way of sending messages on the Blackberry. Sure, you can text to your hearts content. In fact I love the way you can type on this phone. The SureType basically saves (or “learns”) a list of words you use and as you type shows the possible words you are aiming for. With a bit of practice I find myself typing out messages fairly quickly and easily.
Send Voice Note is an easy way to speak a message. Click on that icon and start talking. When done, click the Pearl and send it as a MMS. If you only want to save a voice message for yourself rather than send it someone, just pick anyone in your Address book when you are asked who to send it to. Once you are in the message ready for sending, access the menu for where it says Save Draft. It will be saved in the Messages list, unsent. And easy to listen to anytime you wish. Needly to say, this is also a way to make a sound message to someone and postpone the sending until a later time.
You can send someone a combination text, audio, video and still image MMS message (ok, their phone DOES has to be able to accept all that). This makes being James Bond really easy! Take various surreptitious pictures of Dr No’s secret lair and MMS the info to M with the press of a few buttons. None being the wiser!
When you explore the files you have in your microSD card, access the menu while looking at any file you can send it in a MMS message.
Here’s a few things I’ve collected together for your edification and hopefully, entertainment.
In my previous article I explained how to use the included media player for audio and video. It’s simply and works fine but for those not happy with the native media player or just like variety, check out meshPlayer As I write it’s not quite done yet, but it looks like it’s worth a look when finished.
As you use the Blackberry some people may notice their phone may seem to be getting a bit slow. Like any device with an OS, the easiest way to clean things up is simply to reboot. Turning off the phone every once in a while is a good idea. in fact, you can program the phone to turn off at night and turn back on just before you have to start your day. Access Options and click on Auto On/Off. You get the option of when the phone will turn and off during the week and even when it turns on and off on the weekends. And if you don’t want this just click Disabled. Very nice indeed.
However you can also speed things up a bit by clearing your logs. This is done by holding the Alt key while typing LGLG. The Alt key is the one on the left from the * sym key beneath the zx key. It’s the bottom most left key. Hold that down. Now type “L G L G”. The logs will now appear. It’s a list of things that have been happening on your Blackberry. Assuming everything is working ok, there’s no real need to keep all this stuff. Don’t remove it if you are experiencing a problem, of course. You may need it to examine. If, however, all is well, why keep all that stuff clogging things up? Click the menu to delete. I’ve done this a few times and my device is perfectly happy.
What if you need to remove all personal info on the phone? (When one is selling it or giving it to someone else, for example). Here’s what you do:
Options/ Security/ Generals Options/ Wipe Handheld.
There was a recent study on how common it is that discarded cell phones still contain people’s personal info – even when they thought they had removed it. Be safe.
Are you wondering what Apps are presently running on your Blackberry Pearl?? Hold down the ALT plus the Return or Esc button. That’s the button between the Pearl and red end call key. It brings up the icons of the programs currently running. You can go into each one and Close it. Some programs Always run. I think that includes Browser and Messages, but this way you can close the others and free up memory and resources. Also, don’t forget that Bluetooth uses up your battery. Don’t have it turned on unless you are using it. Or Really need it.
Using the Blackberry Pearl with your MAC. Ok, I haven’t tried this successfully because I don’t have a MAC (yet). My brother has an iBook and I did try this with his but I’m not sure he has Bluetooth set up on his system. Ok, so let’s make believe you have a MAC and you have the Bluetooth all set up nicely. To get files from a MAC to the phone: On the Blackberry go to Media, now select the folder of which type of media you would like to exchange. Pictures, Music, Video or Ringtones. Now click the menu key to select “Receive Using Bluetooth“. On the MAC run the Bluetooth file exchange program, choose your file and Send it. In theory this should work.