Is the BlackBerry really the ultimate business tool?

Opinion by draywood

Over the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure to trial and basically...

Over the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure to trial and basically play with a BlackBerry, the specific model was the Bold that was loaned to me by Research in Motion (RIM).


Now I wouldn’t consider myself to be a geek, or at the other end a technophobe, I guess somewhere in the middle is good. This opportunity however, presented itself after I attended a recent press briefing by RIM and told the company and PR representatives that I had never even held such smartphone, let alone used one.


In the briefing the company demonstrated how a smartphone could be taken over by an attacker, and did this by passing handsets amongst the assembled members of the press and controlled each one by disabling the camera option. This was probably an education for each member of the briefing, possibly less so for the chap next to me who insisted on holding his own handset throughout, probably to show his commitment to the cause.


So following discussions I was sent a BlackBerry Bold with the strict instructions that it be returned two weeks later, I want to work with both companies again so best to follow instruction in this instance!


My first thoughts on the BlackBerry is that it is a very nice phone, as a standard handset user until now I do get by very well on what I have but I can see how this would be beneficial to someone who is on the move a lot.


I guess that not having my personal or work email set up to the device prevented its usability to me, and there was not really any call for me to use the Word, Spreadsheet or PowerPoint options – which provided a challenge for me to locate when showing another member of the SC team.


Elsewhere I am not 15, so the benefit of it being used as a music player on a bus or train is not an option I chose to take up. The same with the games, I am not a fan of bleeping devices on the tube on my way to/from work so I decided not to partake.


I guess my main interest came from the options in the applications. Hotwire had already downloaded various social networking and general internet tools to the handset for me, I added TwitterBerry for my own personal tweeting but as someone who is still unsure about downloading from iTunes, the option to pay for more applications (which generally seemed to be gaming based) did not appeal.


As for what I did like, the Google Maps function was very useful for finding my way to some recent meetings and I did enjoy tweeting from the device at home. I won’t lie, I did hardly use the device and did not get the best from its various functions, but I can see how addictive this can become and how dependant someone would be on such a device.


The possibility of having email and internet in the palm of your hand is a real benefit to anyone who is out and about, but for this primarily office-based writer I’ll be sticking with the full size keyboard for now.



Thanks to RIM for the loan of the handset


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