Thursday, April 3, 2008

Blackberry and Google: A Powerful Combination

If you are a Blackberry user with a Gmail account, I highly highly recommend Google's free mobile software suite. The software is available exclusively for Blackberry users at the moment.

Here's a quick run down of what Google has to offer:

Gmail - An email program with an interface much like the web version of Gmail. You can access your labels and folders and read your email as conversation threads. Highly recommended.

Google Maps - Hands down, the best application of the bunch. Google Maps allows you to see your approximate location on the map, whether or not your Blackberry has GPS! Get directions, find listings and check traffic in just a few clicks. Highly recommended.

Google Sync - Syncs your Blackberry's calendar with your Google Calendar - over the air! That's right, no cables necessary! You can choose to have your Blackberry calendar sync with your GCal manually or automatically. Highly recommended.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The software can be buggy at times. I recommend NOT entering auto-repeat appointments as they tend to be the culprit.

Search - Allows you to easily access Google Search. While it may sound unnecessary, (you can just go to Google on your browser) I use it way more than I thought I would. Its quicker than launching the Blackberry's browser and saves steps. Highly recommended.

Mobile Updater - Keeps track of all of the Google applications on your Blackberry and informs you of available updates. Highly recommended.

Picasa - Right now, Picasa is just an icon that links to the mobile web version of Picasa (a free photo sharing service). Google and RIM are planning to release a full-blown application for the Blackberry in the near future. I'll keep you posted when its released!

Google Docs - An icon that allows easy access to Google's mobile web version of Google Docs. You can view your Google Docs, but not edit them.

Reader - An icon that allows easy access to Google's mobile web version of Google Reader. Not recommended as there are better RSS options on the Blackberry (more on that at a later time).

News - An icon that allows easy access to Google News on the web.

Google Talk - While this isn't exactly part of the Google software suite, Google Talk is one of my favorite and most frequently used Blackberry programs. Chat with other GTalk users for free (it uses data rather than text messages).

You can download this software for free by visiting on your Blackberry's browser.

Google Talk is available on RIM's mobile Blackberry site at

Joe Says: If you have a Blackberry, get Google's mobile software suite. If you don't have a Gmail account, get one :)

This is Joe, signing off.

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