Posts Tagged Browsers

Maps, Email & Browser on Blackberry Curve 8900 with Meteor (without a BIS)

184/365 Blackberry Messenger
Image by CR Artist via Flickr

A friend of mine recently upgraded his Blackberry to an iPhone and was extremely frustrated at trying to get his email to work on it. Not one for missing out on an opportunity, I jokingly said, I’ll set it up for you and you can give me your Blackberry. Surprisingly he said “that’s no problem at all, I was going to throw it out”. Happy days….

I’ve always steered well clear of the whole Blackberry “always on” scenario. I didn’t like the idea of having email on my phone and being interrupted at dinner with work email that I’d just have to deal with. Being able to leave the office and shut off completely has always been the way I like to work. But I have to admit, I was always interested in a device such as this that allowed me to collect email on demand only.

After becoming the proud new owner of a Blackberry Curve 8900, I was well and truly looking forward to having a good play around with this device. Unfortunately for me, I am with Meteor and they don’t have a Blackberry Data Plan. This means that a lot of the excellent Blackberry features are unavailable. Things like push email (which I didn’t really want anyway), Blackberry Maps, MMS and even their native web browser just wouldn’t function. Unfortunately it’s not just as simple as entering a number of different APNs, in fact you can only add one APN on the whole device. Not happy with being defeated by a little electronic device, I set out to find out how I could crack this little beauty and get it to do all the things I need it to!

I have to admit, it’s been a major struggle trying to find out the information I now have. A lot of forums simply suggest that it’s not possible to use the Blackberry without a BIS plan. But I didn’t give up that easily. After a lot of research, I now have a Blackberry in which I can surf the web, send email and use Blackberry Maps. One thing I still can’t do…. send a MMS – but not too worried about that at the moment…

So how did I do this you ask…

The easiest things to get up and running were email and browser. The email isn’t push, but a manual on demand collection (which is perfect for me). If you use GMail you can get simulated push email.

The first thing to do is set up your Meteor data APN on the Blackberry. You do this by going to Options > Advanced Options > TCP/IP. In here you should check the box beside “APN Settings Enabled”, enter data.mymeteor.ie for the APN. The username should be is “my” and the password is “wap”. Click the Blackberry button and choose save.

Check your browser now, if you can surf the web – get over to www.opera.com and download opera mini. If not, try get access to a Wifi network and connect your device to it. You should be able to browse the web now with your Blackberry. Once you’ve installed Opera Mini, you should be able to surf the web with or without WiFi.

My next step was to download and install LogicMail (www.logicprobe.org/proj/logicmail) – this took me a while to figure out and get it up and running. Basically, you need to set up the SMTP server first. I even had problems with this and in the end needed to use Gmails free SMTP server to send mails. I also tried out the Gmail for Mobile app, which is brilliant. If you use Gmail, I recommend that you install this. The only problem for me was, I don’t use Gmail that much. The Gmail for Mobile app can be left running the background and appear as if you are receiving push email.

In my quest to get the Blackberry Maps and MMS working, I hit many a stumbling block. It just didn’t appear to be possible. That was until I found this forum post http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1530734&page=1&pp=15 – For Blackberry Curve users, take particular note to AmySharren’s post. What you have to do is quite detailed, so to give you a small summary…

Basically you need to update the service books that are on the Blackberry. You do this by using a combination of the Blackberry, a USB cable and the Blackberry Desktop Manager. On the forum above, you will find links to IPD files which are the Service Book files. I played around and whittled down which ones I actually needed.

To date, I still can’t figure out how to set up MMS messaging – so if anyone knows how… please leave a comment!

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FireFox losing users to Google Chrome

MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 06:  In this photo...

Google Chrome has only been in the wild a few days now, but it already seems to be impacting on FireFox‘s user base.

Browser usage stats from around the globe seem to have an overwhelming similarity. Internet Explorer grows its user base as does Google Chrome, while FireFox seems to be losing users.

Here are some examples:

http://blog.statcounter.com/2008/09/chrome-whos-losing
http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2008/09/08/early-stats-google-chrome-hurts-firefox-not-ie/

As I mentioned in my first post about Google Chrome, I don’t see many joe soaps installing it.

The next question is, how many geeks will use it over Firefox in the long run? I would hazard a guess… very little.

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Google Chrome – where art thou?

The news broke last night unofficially on a blog (yeah right), that Google have or will be launching a new browser today.

Named Google Chrome, it is apparently faster, more secure, more reliable and more feature rich than any browser we are used to.

So where is it? Where can we get our hands on it?
http://www.google.com/chrome is the place apparently, but its giving a 404 not found error. [EDIT: Not anymore - it's live and ready to be downloaded... so what ye waiting for?]

You can find out more about this browser by visiting www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome.

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Firefox over 19% market share mark

Mozilla Firefox

According to Market Share, the release of Firefox 3 has helped the much loved browser break over the 19% market share barrier. They reckon the release grew its worldwide use by as much as 4%, mostly at the expense of poor old Internet Explorer.

Apparently over the same period, Apple’s Safari browser has seen its market share rise to over 6%.

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