Getting To Know BlackBerry Messenger

Hey BlackBerry addicts!  Are you using BBM?  Don’t know what BBM is?  It’s BlackBerry Messenger an instant messaging app specifically for BlackBerry users!

So what can you do with BlackBerry Messenger?  It allows you to send IM messages to other BlackBerry users in your contacts list.  Some of the features include being able to send messages without character limits; receive real-time notification when a message is delivered and read; send pictures and videos to multiple BBM users; and share what music you are listening to on your BB.

Hit the Read more link to see a video of BBM in action.

Ready to get started?  Head over to the BlackBerry website to install the software on your phone.

Before you can get started with BlackBerry Messenger, your BlackBerry must be running BlackBerry OS 4.5 or later.  That means that most BlackBerry Curve and later devices will be supported, however, you may need to update your phone’s operating system before you can install.

If you really want to learn the ins and outs of BBM, you can download the manual from the BlackBerry support website.

Quickly Identifying an iPhone 3G vs iPhone 3GS

This just goes to show that you really can learn something new everyday!  Today I learned how to tell an iPhone 3G and an iPhone 3GS apart without having to look at software, hardware rev numbers or any thing else.

All you have to do is to take a look at the back of the iPhone.  If the lettering of the word “iPhone” is in chrome like the Apple logo above it, then you are looking at an iPhone 3GS.

Thanks to the good folks at DirectFix.com for point this out.  You can read their blog post on the subject here.

By the way, I’m still looking to buy someones iPhone 3G or 3GS as long as it is still in good working condition.

Facebook Updated for iOS, BlackBerry OS

Along side the Facebook website upgrade, the iPhone and BlackBerry mobile Facebook applications have also been upgraded to versions 3.2 and 1.8.0.49, respectively.

Use the App Store and BlackBerry App World to install or upgrade your software now.

If you don’t want to use Facebook Places, or you want to keep your friends from checking you into Places, be sure to update your Facebook privacy settings.

UPDATE:

The iOS edition of Facebook has been updated again.  This time to version 3.2.1.  This latest updates includes “bug fixes” and limited the Places feature to iDevices here in the United States for the time being.

HotSync Guidelines for Windows 7, Windows Vista

Since getting back to (almost) daily Palm support forms moderation duty, I’ve been reading a lot of posts from people asking how to sync their Palm OS PDA, Centro, or Treo with Windows Vista or Windows 7.

The answer largely depends on what version of Windows you have installed on your PC.  If you are still running the insanely popular Windows XP, you can safely stay put with Palm Desktop 4.1.x or 4.2.

If you are running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you really should be using Palm Desktop 6.2.2 by ACCESS.  This version is compatible with Vista and unofficially compatible with Windows 7.  (Neither Palm nor ACCESS have gone back and retested Palm Desktop 6.2.2 under Windows 7, but it does work.)

You can download Palm Desktop 6.2.2 from the Palm support website.  Be sure to read the release notes fully before installing the software on your Windows PC.  (By the way, Palm Desktop 6.2.2 does work with Windows XP.)

The tricky part comes in when you are running a 64-bit version of Windows XP, Windows Media Center, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.  There are no 64-bit compatible USB HotSync drivers available, so you have to jump through some hoops to make your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or IR enabled Palm OS device sync with your 64-bit Windows PC.

The good folks over on the Palm Support Community forums have written up a good primer on how to make your old Palm OS handheld or handset work with Microsoft’s newest desktop operating systems.

For more details on how to setup your Palm TX, T5, LifeDrive, Zire, Treo, or Centro syncing with Windows 7 or Windows Vista, check out the Palm Support Community forums thread: Windows 7 and Vista HotSync Instructions.  You’ll be glad you did.

iPhone 4 vs. HTC Evo 4G

My friend Mark sent me a link to this video a few days ago and it is perfect for some weekend phone humor.

Be warned that this is the clean version of the video. There is a not safe for family/work version floating around on YouTube.com also.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6 Rolls Out

I was greeted this morning to an upgrade notice on my Windows 7 PC that an update was available for BlackBerry Desktop to version 6.0.  The software was released earlier this week and the download comes in at just under 100MB.

According to the BlackBerry Desktop 6 release notes, the new software has the following new features:

  • An improved, simpler design for the software
  • Added BlackBerry® Media Sync features to import and synchronize your media files (music, pictures, and videos) from one location
  • Option to synchronize your music by artist and genre
  • Support for the BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 and the BlackBerry® Curve™ 9300 Smartphones
  • Wi-Fi music sync for devices running BlackBerry OS 6.0 when the PC and BlackBerry are on the same wireless network

The update also includes some minor software updates.  Enterprise users will want to check with their IT administrations before installing the latest desktop software because “some features that will not be available which may affect some users.”  These features include Certificate Synchronization and Encrypted media card transfer support.  For more details, take a look at BlackBerry KB article 23745.

The full BlackBerry Desktop Software 6.0.0 release notes can be found on the BlackBerry support website.

Apple Releases iOS 3.2.2, 4.0.2 Updates

Apple has released minor iOS updates for iPad (Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G) and iPhone (4, 3GS, and 3G) and iPod touch (second and third edition) to address a Safari PDF security flaw.

Hackers were able to use the Safari exploit to “jailbreak” iOS devices to run applications that had not been approved by Apple.  However, that same exploit could be used to allow an attacker to gain control of your iDevice remotely.

If you are running a stock iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, connect your device to your Mac or PC running iTunes and hit the Update button on the Summary tab for your device.

The update weighs in at about 457MB for my Wi-Fi edition iPad.  The package size might be smaller for the iPhone and iPod touch.

If you are on of the folks that doesn’t like to be told how to use your device by Apple, and have gone ahead and jailbroken your device, you will want to wait until there is a new “adjective”sn0w update that allows you to patch your device and exploit a different vulnerability to load unauthorized applications on your iDevice.  Proceed with caution.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

HP Palm webOS 1.4.5 Update Available For Sprint Customers

A short while ago, Sprint Palm Pre and Pixi customers started receiving notifications that the Palm webOS 1.4.5 software update was available for download and installation on their phones.

During my frantic game of “Keep Tapping the Refresh Button In The Updates Application,” I finally received my upgrade notice.  Reports are also coming in, and I have seen it first hand, that there is some trouble downloading the update from Palm HQ.  In the Palm webOSdev Twitter feed, Palm writes:

we are aware of the problems downloading 1.4.5 for sprint customers. It’s being investigated.”

Update
As of 1:00am Eastern time, the download issue has been resolved and Sprint Palm Pre and Pixi customers can download and install the new webOS update.  If you tried to download the update earlier this evening and couldn’t and you still can’t, try rebooting your Pre or Pixi.  Once I did, I was able to download the update successfully.

It’s after midnight here on the East Coast, so I’m sure that by the time we all get out of bed in a few hours, the update will be ready for download and installation during our morning commute.  In the mean time, here are the official details on webOS 1.4.5.

Palm webOS 1.4.5 weighs in at 8MB and includes “minor software improvements.”  Palm has also updated their Palm webOS support site to list the changes in webOS 1.4.5.

Palm webOS 1.4.5 Change Log

New applications

NONE

Feature changes to existing applications System

  • This release includes minor fixes and enhancements to support the public release of the webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK).
  • This release may require you to update certain apps to their latest version to properly support the launch of the webOS PDK. If you have a game that is not saving your game information correctly (high scores, stages, settings) check the App Catalog for updates. For more information on updating apps, see Using App Catalog

Web

  • If a user enters text in a field on certain websites, the screen focus now remains on the text being entered.
     
  • This release fixes a rare problem so that podcasts now download correctly.

Security

  • This release addresses several security issues with the Palm webOS software.

You can review the change log for each of the webOS updates on the Palm support website.  Just in case you are keeping score, this is software update 12 since Palm released the original Palm Pre on Sprint a little over a year ago.  Not too bad Palm.  While 1.4.5 will bring some new enhancements for 3D gaming on the Pre and Pixi, I’m really looking forward to webOS 2.0 which is scheduled for release late this year if all goes well.

Yes, No, or Maybe? Will HP webOS 1.4.5 Show Up This Week In the US?

Despite the fact that Sprint may have posted the change log for HP’s Palm webOS 1.4.5, US customers of the Palm Pre and Pixi still don’t appear to have access to the update yet.

Running the Updates application on my Sprint Pre gives me the “Your phone is up to date. Palm webOS 1.4.1.1” message and the official Palm webOS change log does not show any release notes for webOS 1.4.5.

While the software update is not currently available today, as suggested by Sprint’s release notes, it will likely be released in the next few days to a week if past history is any indication.

So who wants to join me in a frantic game of Tap the Refresh button?

Oracle to HP: You Guys Are Idiots

I just read this over on Gizmodo and had a good laugh.  Too bad Mr Ellison is right.

In an email to the New York Times, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wrote:

“The H.P. board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago…that decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn’t come back and saved them.

In losing Mark Hurd, the H.P. board failed to act in the best interest of H.P.’s employees, shareholders, customers and partners…The H.P. board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false.”

Mr. Ellison is correct that Mr. Hurd was not ousted from HP for the sexual harassment claim the board later found to be false, but rather submitting inaccurate expense reports.  Maybe HP can get Carly Fiorina back.  No?

[Via Gizmodo.com…]