Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

Archive for April 2009

Recently I joined the ever so increasing population of Twitter and I found out that I didn’t have a lot of options when it came to BlackBerry client Twitter application. The best of the crowd seemed to be TwitterBerry. But I did notice some issues with the app.

One major issue has to do with my Twitter profile picture. Every time I used TwitterBerry to update my status TwitterBerry would reset the picture. And since there isn’t a way to change my profile picture on TwitterBerry I had to sign in on a web browser to change the picture back to whatever I had earlier. This sounds like a bug to me.

Another issue was with replying to direct messages I received on Twitter. I open up TwitterBerry, I go to Direct Messages under options, I highlight the message I want, I click the BB button then I select Reply. But this just makes me reply to the user through my status instead of replying through another direct message. I don’t think this is what the user expects, so I am marking this as another bug.

Also when refreshing the Friend Timeline, the app doesn’t automatically take you to the top of the Timeline if there were updates, I would have to manually scroll to the top to see the latest changes. Another bug? You betcha!

As for the app in general, I found that it does need a make over. It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul but several screens do require touch-ups to look clean and pretty.

I got notified after launching the Google Mobile App on my BlackBerry Bold that there is an update available. I wasn’t aware of any problems or issues with the application. But when I installed the update, I noticed the dramatic improvements. No need now for the app to open the browser to display the search results, it displays it in the application itself. Plus, you can also switch between web, local, images and mobile results also right in the application. The interface has changed a little bit too. In addition, Google Mobile App now detects your current location for better results. The biggest change or addition to Google Mobile App for BlackBerry is the Voice Search. Now BlackBerry owners can assign a convenience key to automatically activate Google Voice Search which also works if you hold the Talk button while the app is open. Don’t miss-out on all these great new features. Get the update now.

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This is odd. I added several yearly recurring events to my BlackBerry Bold’s calendar (mostly birthdays) and when Google Sync kicked in to do its thing I came to realize that it entirely erased them. Is there a problem with Google Sync syncing yearly events or is this a BlackBerry Calendar issue?

Whatever the problem is, I’ll certainly do some research on it and hopefully find a quick fix for it.

How useful is the email account that comes with all BlackBerrys? Does anyone actually use it? Shouldn’t BlackBerrys come with a complete sync package out of the box? For instance, I would love to see the next generation of BlackBerrys come with a way to sync all my contacts, calendar and email and have a way to see them using a BlackBerry web portal instead of having to reach out to other email accounts and sync tools like Google Sync.

What’s the use of having an enterprise level smartphone without having a complete sync functionality out of the box? Push email is now starting to be a standard on all new phones, now we need a way to save all our contacts, calendar appointments, tasks and emails to the web. BlackBerry doesn’t offer that yet.

I was away for two weeks and during that period I had to switch to using my unlocked Nokia E61 smartphone since my Bold would only run on Rogers. The E61 had a QWERTY keyboard as well and I used to think that it was one of the best and most comfortable keyboards out there in the smartphone market. But I was wrong.

I actually proved myself wrong when I was struggling to feel those keys. The keys felt like they were flush with the phone’s body and hence didn’t help in pressing the correct letter on many several occasions. Even though the keys were bigger than those on the BlackBerry Bold, yet I found myself making a lot more mistakes. Plus, the keys don’t seem to have a good feedback when pressing them making me always question myself if I actually pressed a key or not.

I also missed the fact that pressing the Space key twice on my Bold would give me a period without the need to use the shift or alt keys. And of course the thing that bugged me the most with the E61 is its poor performance due to its slow processor compared to the Bold.

I keep saying this a lot but it’s certainly true that the BlackBerry Bold keeps proving itself more and more to be an extraordinary smartphone.

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