Be Bold

By: Chris Mahlmann Last Updated: January 2, 2010

I have just started using the Blackberry Bold 9700 from my friend Eric at Cartronix. I have been a crackberry addict for over 10 years, dating back to the original mini-brick that displayed about 20 charachters at a time, long before most anyone had ever heard of them. I have always loved them because they were rock solid reliable, the keyboard was awesome long before anyone else even tried to do a keyboard well, and at least they used to be good for one thing and one thing only - email. While limited, the early versions did do email incredibly well, whether you were working off a blackberry server or a general email account like hotmail or gmail.

As they kept coming out with new models, I would upgrade every couple of years, but for the most part I would use my blackberry as an email device and then always use a seperate phone as my cell phone. Part of that was that the Blackberry in it's earlier versions was not an awesome phone. Part of that is that some of the phones I have used like my iPhone are awesome at all of the other graphical stuff that a phone can do in terms of searching the web, checking the weather or sports scores, looking at photos, or any other number of non-email things. Part of that is my A.D.D. like personality is better equipped to be talking on one phone, while typing emails on the other. No matter the reason, I lived for most of my adult electronic life with two devices permanently attached, and the worlds never much collided.

I tried to use the iPhone for email just to see if I might want to consolidate, but no matter how cool that puppy is, I just cannot get used to typing on the screen, versus the tactile feel of a good old Blackberry keyboard. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I tend to say hello in 4-5 paragraphs, and am known for short little "idea" emails of 1,000 words at 2am in the morning, so hunting and pecking away without my trusty keyboard was not in the cards.

When I talked to Eric and he and his guys raved about the Bold, I said ok, I will try it, but was not thinking that it could ever match the simplicity of the iPhone for things like Apps, upgrades, web browsing, and all of that "Non-Essential" stuff that tends to feel like it is pretty essential sometimes. With the holidays fast approaching, I started using the Bold just like my old ones, email, a rare occasional check on the web for something, a quick posting of something to Facebook when my iPhone battery had died, but mostly just for the bang it out, 500 word message to my wife that I would be home shortly.

Recently, when I connected it to my laptop, it prompted me to upgrade the apps and the operating system. I thought for a second, "man, this is never going to be as easy as an iPhone, but what the heck" and hit go. I was impressed as heck that it walked through all the steps, upgraded itself, and within minutes went right back to being Mr. Reliable just like I always wanted him to be. Then this past week, with a couple minutes on my hands, I checked out the Blackberry App World site and downloaded the App World app, and then started checking out a ton of other apps that they have on the site. You can download them off of the site, and it will just send a quick link to your handset to download the app, or you can do them right from the device and it is quick, painless, and there are a lot of cool apps.

Now those that are used to having a selection of 94 different apps to play blackjack with might find the selection more limited than the iPhone, but for most anything that folks want to commonly use, there are at least a couple of options, and seems like they are adding a load more every day. I have put a quick list of some of their more popular free apps below, and you can go to the site to find those, and hundreds more across many categories.

I'll update you more as I really dig into this, but so far, I am quite impressed. It has a camera way better than the iPhone, it does video, it is fast, the screen is incredible, and oh yeah, it still has that awesome keyboard. No worries my friends. Those 1,000 word missives I send about the next great idea for ValpoLife or what is the latest news..... Those will still be coming regularly.


Blackberry App World

Top Free Apps

BlackBerry App World
Discover a world of possibilities at the BlackBerry App World™ storefront. Personalize your BlackBerry® smartphone with games, social networking, personal productivity applications and so much more.

Pandora. It s radio that is personalized just for you, playing only the music that you love. Simply enter one of your favorite songs or artists and Pandora creates a radio station that explores just that kind of music.

Dictionary and Thesaurus
Dictionary and Thesaurus - Dictionary com - Dictionary and Thesaurus The only free dictionary app for BlackBerry® is from Our well-known reference content from and includes more than 500,000 words

NEW VERSION! Now includes Twitter and Streaming Audio Podcasts! Imagine one click access to News, Weather, Entertainment, Live Sports Scores and Schedules, Markets, Stock Portfolios, Flight Schedules and Status, Movies,

Score Mobile
ScoreMobile for BlackBerry® is a true application that's been built from the ground up for BlackBerry smartphones. We provide up-to-the-minute sports scores, boxscores, fantasy player stats, betting odds, game previews,and more.

Just in time for your new years resolutions. Read through the Bible this year using one of the 20+ Bible Reading Plan that were added in this 2.1 release.

Weather Eye
WeatherEye BlackBerry® provides you the following information and allows you to select from any city The Weather Network provides content for Current conditions, Short-term forecasts, Long-term forecasts and Warning updates.

Stay on top of your social life with Facebook® for BlackBerry® smartphones. This free application makes Facebook services - like sending messages, poking friends, writing wall posts, inviting friends to join and uploading photos.

XENOZU You Tube Player
Enjoy your favourite YouTube videos on BlackBerry® now with FULL SCREEN SUPPORT (v. 1.0.12 and up) ! With XENOZU FREE YouTube® player for BlackBerry® you can stay in touch with your favourite videos while on the go !

GT Blackjack
This is the online multiplayer blackjack casino game. Once logon, you can play with a community of 1 million BlackBerry players all around the world. You can also chat with other players on the table.

This version supports additional devices such as the 8520, 8230, 8350 and 8530 models to widen our beta user base. Minor usability issues and some visual fixes were addressed.

AP Mobile
AP News is an award-winning mobile news application, rated the Top 3 App of 2008 by TIME magazine and ?Best in News? by The New York Times. Hailed as ?one of the best applications for your BlackBerry? by

Lovin’ that tune? Create music moments: discover, buy and share music. Enjoy and use Shazam for FREE* limited to 5 Tags per calendar month with options to buy and share your music discoveries.

Send money to your friends and family, anytime, anywhere in the world. It’s fast, easy, and secure. Just log in, enter the amount and the recipient's phone number or email address, and the rest is a snap.

Windows Live Messenger
Windows Live? Messenger for BlackBerry® smartphones allows you to chat in virtual real time with your instant messaging IM contacts when and where you want to ? not just when you?re in front of your computer.

Want Some Juicy Details on All the Specs on This Unit?

High Resolution Display

The BlackBerry® Bold™ 9700 smartphone has a large, hi-res screen that displays over 65,000 colors; creating a vivid viewing experience for all your photos, videos, files and websites.

Trackpad Navigation
Access what's important with trackpad navigation based on how laptops are designed. Glide your finger over the trackpad to scroll through menus and icons. A slight press and click lets you select an item to navigate where you want to go.

Enjoy music, videos, photos and documents in great color and sound. Easily sync data and audio files from your desktop to the BlackBerry Bold 9700, and get up to 35 hours of music playback time.

Expandable Memory
Enhance the 256 MB of on-board flash memory by easily inserting a microSD card. Create extra room for emails, messages, apps,multimedia files, documents and all the other important things that you want to take with you.

Video Recording
Along with a 3.2 MP camera, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone features video camera functionality. Record and view4 videos on the hi-res screen, and share them through email, text messages or social networking sites.

Speedy Network Connections
Hi-speed 3G network connectivity lets you browse the web or view email attachments faster. While Wi-Fi® support enables yourBlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone to access available hotspots5.

Want to check one out for yourself? Call Eric over at Cartronix 219-464-2571 and tell him you want to Be Bold. He'll know who sent you. :)