BBM For Android & iOS This Summer

BBM

This might be a little too late, but still its the move that they needed to do for a while. If you have a Blackberry you can feel relative again, you won’t be alone anymore, thats if people join BBM again after joining the WhatsApp bandwagon. I like BBM and still until the end of its days, the hardware got a bit annoying and kept restarting with 15 min restarts. With the launch of the Q10 everyone seems interested in it again and they gave it a chance with the Z10 but Blackberry just doesn’t work with the Touch Screen alone, it needs the keyboard too thats why the Q10 looks interesting. BBM was always more organized and better then the all the other chat Apps in the beginning and maybe this move will bring them back, the one failure of Blackberry is the lack of Apps but we will see what happens when BBM is released, will people migrate back to BBM?

Link: Gizmodo

Blackberry 9900 – Lighter, Better, Stronger

We have all reached a point with our Blackberries when we wanted to throw them at the wall. I got the Blackberry Torch when it first came out and I gave up fixing the issues that it had, my email never worked on it. I didn’t think of purchasing another Blackberry really until there was a lighter one and with solid operating system. Recently my Torch has been restarting on its own and with the announcement of the new 9900 I was looking forward to trying it.

Initially I’m not too fond of the Bolds but I needed a thinner Blackberry and wanted to move on from the Torch. I was hoping that the new operating system would be vastly better then before, and I liked that it booted so quickly. I got to playing with it right away and started moving things around, and I liked the OS and the feel of the phone. Its a solid phone but not too heavy, very good for a 5.0 MP camera since other phones have surpassed that now. I especially love the rubber on the outer edge on the rear of the phone and the carbon fiber back, gives a very clean and light look to the phone. It has more of a brushed aluminum frame then it does a chrome frame, thankfully I hate chrome so it isn’t too bad once you see it. Overall its a very nice phone built by RIM with a nice and smooth operating system, I’m going to put it through it’s paces once I’m done transferring one phone to the other. Got the phone for 243 KD unlocked from outside of Kuwait and that includes delivery, if you are looking for a new BB and you want it light then this the phone for you.

Thanks to TouchOfMeh


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Zain – Interaction With Their Tech Support

Blackberry9780

This was probably one of the funniest conversations I have had with Zain’s tech support, I just couldn’t believe what the guy was telling me. I had a problem with my phone, for the last few days its like my Blackberry was having blackouts a few hours at a time, then I went two days without BB connectivity, only connecting over wifi. After trying everything to troubleshoot the issue on my own I thought to call tech support and see what could be happening, because other people with BB were operating normally, and I recently paid the ridiculous amount so I didn’t have an overdue bill.

Conversation:

Tech – “Hello thank you for calling Zain”

Me – “Hello I have an issue with my Blackberry, it isn’t connecting to any Blackberry services”

Tech – “Did you try switching off your phone and turning it back on?”

Me – “I turned it off and turned it on, I took out the battery waited 10 mins and turned it on, I even took out the SIM card for 10 mins and turned it back on, is there something wrong with my line?”

Tech – “I don’t know, did you try putting another SIM in your phone to check if its not the phone?”

Me – “What do you mean you don’t know? And what other SIM?”

Tech – “Doesn’t a friend in your Dewaneya have a Blackberry? Try his SIM in your phone to make sure the problem is with the phone not the line”

Me – “Ok… Still What do you mean you don’t know if there is anything wrong with the SIM?!?”

Tech – “I can’t tell right now if there is anything wrong with your line”

Me – “Why can’t you?”

Tech – “Oh our system is down or being upgraded for the last 36 hours so I won’t be able to tell”

Me – “OK… So if I put another SIM and the phone works, then that means there is a problem with my line and now my phone, would you be able to do anything about it?”

Tech – “No we won’t be able to do anything to fix your line until our system is back up”

Me – “And when exactly will your system be back up?”

Tech – “Give us a call back in 24 hours”

Me – “Great.. Thank you Good bye”

Tech – “Goodbye and Thank you for calling Zain”

Thats 15 mins of my life that I will not able to get back.

Zain Local Blackberry – No Roaming

BlackBerry9800Torch

With Zain you have a choice of two plans, International or Local, with International you get an extra 10 MB for international use and unlimited local, with Local you get no allowance for international but you get unlimited local. With both plans you pay 6 fils per KB, with the international you get that fee once you go over the 10 MB monthly allowance. Now because of all the pricing and billing blunders that people suffered while traveling internationally with a local plan Zain switched off Blackberry Service for people who travel internationally but with a local plan. If you want Blackberry Service running but you want to keep your local plan you have to go to Zain and sign documents stating that you understand the bills against you. Now I can understand the billing issue but they seriously have to find a way to warn people when they are reaching their limits instead of just cutting them off. My friends just learned about this little change in policy while they were traveling, so even if they wanted to activate their Blackberry service they would have to go to Kuwait and sign the document and then they would switch it on, so no way to do it while you are abroad. But for those who don’t want to switch it on you can still use the Blackberry service internationally when you are connected to a Wifi connection.

BlackBerry: The Alternative – None

BlackberryCurve

“With no solution available and in the public interest … Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry E-mail and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied,” Telecommunications Regulatory Authority director-general Mohamed al-Ghanim said in a statement carried on state news agency WAM.

I was surprised as anyone else for UAE’s and Saudi’s announcement that they will be cutting off all Blackberry Service of all kinds. Meaning that even if you have a service from another provider from another country it will not work in the UAE or Saudi.

There were announcements a few months back that they were contemplating shutting down the service in Kuwait, but luckily they are too lazy to go through the politics to do it, and it would be an damage many of the telecom company’s bottom end.

They cite security reasons as the main reason not censorship, but the reality is that they have no control over Blackberry services what so ever when people use them. In reality it’s very difficult to figure out someone from their Blackberry PIN, and so they can broadcast msgs, send items to people without having it intercepted or scanned. Blackberry came on fire over the past two years in the MiddleEast, everybody wanted the service, and it really took off. But the authorities weren’t to happy, in Emirates they have a lockdown on communications of all sorts, but this one seemed to have slipped them and they aren’t too happy about it, and the same goes for Saudi.

Now for the real interesting part, last year there was a little debacle with Etisalat trying to install spyware on their handsets through a Blackberry software update. That was really the Spyware product of SS8 which can monitor communications of Blackberry, but it was removed by RIM the manufacturer of Blackberry and people were pissed. Now here is the little details they fail to mention, SS8 develops products such as these but they have to take license proprietary software from RIM to use it. SS8 is only licensed to sell the software in the US, Canada, and the UK which they have to the governments, and they aren’t licensed to sell in any other country including the Middle East, that is why they were pissed about the Etisalat debacle in 2009. So I think the tactic of Saudi and UAE are trying to put pressure on RIM to allow SS8 to sell in the Middle East or the service will be shut down and they will lose a large amount of revenue. I don’t know if they do or don’t block the service in a few months but its going to be a hell of a blow to RIM’s income.

Blackberry Curve 9300

Stumbling onto this video at Crackberry is a good sign, I have had my Blackberry Curve 8900 for 1 year and 7 months now, and this thing is falling apart. The trackball is still faithfull and the phone is operating but it can’t read the micro-SD card anymore and hangs every once in a while. I’m surprised it lasted this long after what I put it through, and I have been waiting for Curve update, and here you have it. It will be running the 5.0 OS and now the rumored 6.0 OS which is fine by me. This isn’t a revolutionary phone but an overhaul of the phone to current technology, and I’m happy that they have mostly worked out the kinks in the new OS, so I’m hoping that it will be a smooth operating OS without any issues. The strange part is the guy on the video calling the Curve 8900, the “8500” which is new to me, other then that it looks like a good upgrade to the current phone, I just hope they don’t take too long to release it.

BlackBerry Messenger Delays

BB9700

For the last couple of days I think BBM has been acting up, at first I thought it was my phone since it has started to do strange things and I think my Blackberry Curve is probably at the end of its life at this rate. I have been getting delayed msgs from the same conversation, somebody would get a msg I sent a few hours later asking what I was talking about. Or I would get something someone sent a few hours earlier, again later in the day which is really really strange. I can’t imagine what could be wrong but these delayed messages are really confusing the hell out of me, a few throw me off as they are out of context of the conversations that I might be having. I don’t know if others are experiencing this as much but I hope this gets resolved soon.

BBM Recorvery – Contacts & Groups

I have suffered multiple crashes from my BBM 5.00.55 so I decided to upgrade but something was acting up and then half way thru the update the phone fell and restarted which resulted in BBM disappearing from my screen.

I had to remove the software through the desktop manager and then reinstalled BBM 5.00.57 from the phone. The best and only way to really restore all contacts and groups is through your email. Back Up to your email consistently to make sure that you have the latest contacts and groups.

One I asked to restore from email it took about 20 minutes to verify the email which freaked me out a bit, then it took about 10 minutes to restore all my contacts and several hours to restore the groups which some how came through successfully. So Blackberry has a clear and good working process for restoring the contacts and groups.

Blackberry Curve Trackball Annihilation

BB_Trackball

My luck with phones for the past few days have been a bit off but this is a bit of a simpler problem. My trackball stopped scrolling down, I didn’t think much of it, I would just cause a lot of friction and it would go back to normal and never thought much about it until today. It really didn’t want to go down, I could go up, left, right but not down so it was annoying. I decided to try to take it apart myself, when I started doing that, it turns out there are more parts connected then I knew so I put it back together. So the next step was to take a very thin flat screw driver to the area around the trackball and insert, but that get the results I expected, instead I destroyed all functionality left in the ball.

Called my phone guy, asked him to replace the trackball section asap, and he hasn’t failed me yet.

25 KD for an original trackball piece with the area around it, 5 hours later the whole thing is done and fixed, good as new. I just can’t seem to change to another Blackberry, if I’m comfortable with a phone I won’t be changing it anytime and soon and switching to the Bold 9700 isn’t on the map for me right now, the 8900 does everything I need perfectly.

Using BBM 5


There was a lot of problems with the pre-release of BBM 5 months ago, contacts were being deleted and the chat program was crashing. This time around its Blackberry that had the official release of BBM 5 with all the new features. After using it for over a week and a majority of my usual contacts have switched over the change is interesting.


Pros:

  • You can see details of the other person’s contact
  • Enlarging the contact’s photo
  • Associating BBM contacts with your phone book, the picture from BBM gets associated with your Phone book
  • Groups are a great edition you can share pictures, lists, dates and conversations between the group and its very organizing unlike inviting people to conversations such as before. Also you can have the group symbol on your Blackberry Homepage so you won’t have to go into the BBM to see it.
  • Barcode scanning makes it easier and unique to add people to your list, you always notice people looking for their BBM PIN no matter how many times you explain it to them.
  • Backing up contacts remotely and locally.

Cons:

  • The one major con that I think BBM 5 has is when your trying to send images. It’s not as easy as before and you have to transfer a picture, it doesn’t compress it and sends a simple small picture as it did before. Takes time to transfer the image so the half the time it fails.


Overall I think Blackberry did an amazing job with BBM 5, the only problem is with sending images but still its a huge step forward. Maybe they will be able to adjust it at a later point, but the benefit of the groups and shareing details are enourmous.