As a follow-up to last week's blog post on Tungle for Lotus Notes, I decided to venture out today and install the Tungle application for my BlackBerry.
The installation process went very smoothly, so much so that I am not going to document the steps here. I simply downloaded the free application from my BlackBerry App World, and, once loaded, I followed the instructions Tungle provides to set up this app.
What this application allows me to do is to initiate and respond to Tungle invitations from my BlackBerry, without ever having to log onto the web to schedule a meeting. I am very pleased so far with everything I have seen and I am excited to continue using Tungle. For those of you trying to hurriedly schedule your meetings for Lotusphere, this should be a great help to you.
I've been meaning to write this post for a while now.
Before getting my BlackBerry Torch, I'd heard the native BlackBerry task app was buried deeply within the OS and wasn't too streamlined for efficient use. So I was interested to see if that'd be my experience.
I use Lotus Notes with eProductivity, and my tasks sync seamlessly to the BlackBerry thanks to the power of BES. So at least getting the task information to and from the device is quite simple.
Task App Location and Favorites menu
So is the task app buried deeply? Yes it is.
To get to it, you have to go to the Applications folder, which is itself pretty far down the icon list on the home screen. Featuring the Task app doesn't seem high on RIM's priority list, a curious decision because isn't BlackBerry's cachet all about business productivity on the go?
Anyhow, we can easily make the Task app more accessible by adding it to the Favorites menu. I had to hunt around a bit before figuring out that to add new apps to the Favorites menu, you have to press down and hold for a second on the app's icon. Then a little menu pops up asking if you'd like to mark the app as a favorite.
So I did this for the Task app, plus a few others. Here's my current Favorites menu:
I also looked at programming the Convenience Key to point to the Task app instead of the default Camera app, but the Task app is not one of the listed options. Bummer. Sorry for the misinformation, this is not true. The Task app IS an option. Not sure how I missed that when I checked on this initially...
Continue Reading "Review of the BlackBerry Torch's task app" »
So I have a few days of BlackBerry Torch experience now. As I expressed in my initial post, I had good first impressions of the Torch.
I still have them.
I've been pleased with the speed and smoothness of the user experience. Push notifications of my emails/text messages/BB Messenger/etc is really addicting - probably too addicting!
the messaging experience. Threaded conversations for text messages and BlackBerry Messenger, a great tactile keyboard that lives up to the BlackBerry reputation, and a host of options to customize my inboxes. Plus I just really like the minimalist look of the icons and messages themselves.
But a couple of annoyances...
1. There's no LinkedIn app yet available. This one of course is on LinkedIn and not RIM, but it's still a negative. I need the app for both work and personal network management, so I hope LinkedIn fixes this STAT. A bunch of unanswered questions (scroll down to the bottom) by users on the LinkedIn blog asking about the app isn't a good sign, although hopefully that doesn't mean much.
2. I had to figure out how to reboot the phone OS and it wasn't obvious. For all the BlackBerry veterans out there, this is probably a no-brainer. I've additionally been told that as a managed device, it makes support sense for it to be hard to reboot my Blackberry. But all I knew was that a few minor glitches - such as not being able to vertically scroll my list of installed apps - was getting in the way and that a reboot would probably fix it. Powering the phone off and on wasn't restarting the OS - arghhh.
However, once I googled for the reboot command (for the record, a soft reboot can done by pressing ALT - CAP - DELETE) and got the OS restarted, everything worked well again.
This is the first Blackberry I've ever owned. I'm pretty excited.
I'm looking forward to better access to my Lotus Notes/eProductivity systems while I'm on the go, a functionality that I've been lacking for a while. Plus business-critical features like secure Blackberry Messenger will be great to have for communicating with our eProductivity team.
Now, there are lots of exhaustive Blackberry Torch reviews all over the web (for instance here, here, and here), so I won't be adding another one. I'll leave the "objective" reviews for the tech journalists. No, this post (and subsequent ones) are going to be all about my personal impressions and thoughts about the Torch as I use it for everyday job and life responsibilities. So I get to be as biased or unbiased as I feel like. ;-)
Ok, I'm going to give a few first impressions from my Torch and then end by posting a couple of semi-blurry screenshots since that seems like the traditional blogging thing to do.
So my first impressions of the phone are generally positive. First of all, the phone feels well-built. Some might call it hefty compared to other smartphones; to me, the solid feel gives confidence that this phone can take a beating and keep on working. I have the same feelings about my Lenovo Thinkpad which I love for it's sturdy design, among other reasons. But even though the phone seems a little heavy, it's not too large and it fits nicely in my hand.
The glossy surface definitely attracts fingerprint smudges, as you can see in the photos below. I'll probably be a frequent user of the cleaning cloth that came in the box.
One of my hesitancies about getting the Torch was the pushback from the Gizmodos and Engadgets of the world saying this phone had an underpowered processor, a low-res screen (compared to, say, the iPhone), and just general sluggish performance. That worried me a bit. But so far, my Torch seems snappy and smooth in performance, and the screen is bright and clear. I think it's quite aesthetically pleasing, even when I compare it to my iPod Touch running iOS 4. Let's see what I think when I've had more time to clutter it up with apps and information.
Lastly, thanks to our BES server here at eProductivity, connecting the phone to my Notes tasks, calendar, and email was a breeze. I looking forward to digging into the productivity aspects of the phone. I've already noticed that coming out of the box, the Task app was ridiculously buried...
Well, I'll be traveling extensively this next weekend + part of next week. That should give me a great opportunity to put this thing through it's paces. I'll keep you updated.
With the recent discussions about Apps and how consumers want the freedom to find, evaluate, and purchase Apps for their Smartphones, I wonder how many users are able download and use a productivity application and how many have policies that prevent them from doing so.
If you found a productivity application for your mobile device that was proven to increase your performance, would you: a) be allowed to install it? b) encounter resistance (or refusal) from IT to allow you to install it? c) make a business case to management for why this App should be allowed?
Please take a moment and vote in one of the two quick polls below, then scroll down to share your comments.
Update: The survey is now closed. View the results below
I'm not asking whether you think Smartphones connected to enterprise systems should be locked down or not - there are many valid arguments for both sides of that discussion. What I most want to know is what the current climate is like when it comes to productivity applications on mobile devices and what organizations are doing to encourage/permit or discourage/restrict users from downloading and using productivity applications on their mobile devices.
Update: I split the question into two separate polls because otherwise the results could be skewed in favor of the iPhone/Android as these devices are often unmanaged/uncontrolled in the enterprise.
A few months ago, I engaged Darren Duke of Simplified Technology Solutions, to help me get my BES up and running and I have been hooked on my Blackberry every since. (Darren's a master at all things BES. I highly recommend him) Anyway, the ability to have everything in sync with Lotus Notes at all times is absolutely fantastic. At this year's Lotusphere, we will see RIM and IBM introduce even greater support for IBM Social apps (e.g. Connections and Quickr) on the BlackBerry. I'm told that with OS5 we will even see support for Symphony documents. Cool.
Unfortunately, as a productivity platform for messaging and task management, mobile devices leave much to be desired. As great as it is to receive email on my device, it's unproductive to process it on the device and then have to process it again when I return to my computer. David Allen has this same issue, too.
This weekend, David and I were talking about Lotus Notes and eProductivity and I gave him an overview of our roadmap for mobile and cloud computing. David shared a few thoughts about staying productive in the cloud, and he told me he wanted me to get eProductivity into the BlackBerry sooner than later.
I think David shares the sentiments of many mobile knowledge workers that want to get things done on the road. I know I look forward to the day when my productivity tools are available wherever I want to work, whether that is on my BlackBerry, at my desk, or in the cloud.
This is why I am pleased to have David collaborating with me to create such a solution. It's coming folks.
If you work with RIM and will be attending Lotusphere, I'd like to talk with you. Though much is under wraps, If you find me at Lotusphere I'll give you a quick overview.
Meanwhile, here's David's wish for a GTD Enabled Blackberry to use with IBM Lotus Notes:
So, here's my question to the ND community.
I want to be able to demonstrate two BlackBerry Bolds (already purchased) connected to Domino with
a) custom applications and
b) SameTime mobile.
We are a small consulting firm; I don't want to invest the resources to purchase a full Enterprise BES server just to support 2-3 demo users so that I can show my clients. There must be an easier (read: faster and low cost) way...
As best as I can tell, I will need:
1. A BlackBerry professional server of some flavor
2. MDS Support for the custom apps, and possibly for the Mobile SameTime
(Isn't there a simple way to just connect SameTime to the server direct?)
It appears that my initial options are:
Blackberry Professional Express.
Great for messaging only
Does not appear to support MDS or SameTime
Free for first user, ~$100 for each additional user
BlackBerry Professional Software
See here for comparison
Appears to support MDS, though not stated
SameTime support not available (Unless I can manually load)
Will cost me $500 for my 2 users (up to 5)
BlackBerry Enterprise server
See here for comparison
Will support MDS and Enterprise IM (SameTime)
Will cost me $4000 for my first 2 users (up to 20)
$ out of my ball park for a demo.
I've sent email to one hosting company; but I have no idea of price or time to deploy.
It appears it will take weeks to get set up, which may be a deal breaker
As you can see, I know what I want to accomplish. If this were for a client, I would opt for the full enterprise sever. For my own test, demo, and development, that's a bit steep. All I really care about is the ability to use and demo this at Lotusphere. So I need to get it set up quickly, load up a few custom apps and SameTime, if at all possible) and go. I would be most appreciative to talk with some who's been down this path before and who has set up this specific type of system. Thanks folks.
Fortunately, the people inside the yellow bubble are some of the smartest I know; I'm sure someone's already figured out how to do this. So, I'm posting this request for assistance. If you've done something like this or have some experience to share, I'd like to hear from you.
I've had the Bold for just 24 hours, long enough to collect my thoughts and first impressions. Here's my 24-hour report card:
|Use of standard connectors||EXCELLENT|
|Voice Call/Quality/Volume||VERY GOOD|
|Navigation/Ease of Use||EXCELLENT|
|AT&T Coverage & Network (so far)||VERY GOOD|
|BlackBerry as Modem||POOR|
|BlackBerry Desktop Software||VERY GOOD|
|Overall Satisfaction||VERY GOOD|
Some of you may disagree with my POOR ratings. I wanted to capture my first impressions. I will continue to test and evaluate these and other features of the Bold offering. I simply wanted to capture my first impressions.
Continue Reading "My Bold First Impressions of BlackBerry 9000 Bold" »
I've been a long-time fan of the Palm Treo SmartPhone due to the simplicity of its applications and the extensive integration I have done with Lotus Notes. As I look forward to 2009, I've decided to evaluate a few new mobility platforms and the Bold is at the top of the list.
I recently decided to move to the BlackBerry Bold 9000 as my mobile computing platform. I have a collection of mobile devices, including Palms, Treos, Nokias, and as of yesterday, a shiny new BlackBerry Bold 9000 which I plan to integrate into Lotus Notes. I selected the Bold over the Storm primarily for two reasons: 1) I want a device that is as well suited for information input as it is for retrieval, and 2) I need a device with WiFi support. (No network coverage where I live.)
Continue Reading "I've decided to make Bold move in my productivity" »