If you have a Blackberry with a trackball then your trackball has either gotten stuck or will get stuck in the future. All of the sudden your trackball wont scroll down or to the right anymore. You’ll find yourself trying to use these crazy alternate methods of getting to your bottom icons only to accidently skip over the one you want and having to start all over again. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, but luckily for you there is help. The reason this happens is because dirt and dust from your fingers or pockets get inside the trackball and does not allow it to move. There are 3 ways to solve this problem.
- You could just say the hell with it and get a new phone. Maybe an Android phone that offers three different methods of navigating through your extremely advanced, ever so popular phone. You could get a new Blackberry with the optical touchpad and high-resolution screen. No more trackball issues with those, however you will have to be eligible to upgrade.
- You could replace the trackball: If you have insurance this should be a free replacement. If not you can replace it yourself all you will need is another trackball. You can get one from an old Blackberry, if you have one lying around, or you can purchase one. They are around $3 on eBay. Once you get the trackball replacing it is easy. You can use your nails or any type of pointy object to stick in-between the keypad and the silver ring around the trackball. Once it is in-between the keypad and the silver ring, simply flick up and it is out. You may need to turn it upside down and tap the back of the phone to get it all the way out. You can then replace it with your new trackball. Be sure to line up the three legs on the trackball with the three groves inside the space where the trackball goes.
- Clean the trackball: So your not eligible to upgrade and you can’t afford the $3’s for a trackball. Hey i know, it’s a recession, times are hard. The last way and probably the easiest way is to just clean it. All you need is a little cleaning solution. Take a dab and put it on your finger, then take your finger and put it on the trackball. Start to move the trackball around in all directions including the direction that is will no longer scroll in. After a little while your trackball will be able to scroll in all directions. I have used this solution on several different phones and it always works for me. The first few times i did it I actually used a dab of spit on my finger instead of cleaning solution. I know gross, but i found it worked the best.
The reason this happens is because in some of the Pre’s the battery is slightly too small. These batteries are easy to spot. If the battery says “Made in China” then your working with a small battery and Enzyte can help you with this one.
THE QUICK FIX
You could do one of two things.
- You could put a little piece of paper in the space between the battery and the phone or
- Just do what I did, take your battery back to Sprint and tell em, “size does matter, I need a bigger one.”
RIM has come out with several new phone models and their biggest innovation has been ripped the balls out the Blackberry and replacing them with a pad.
I must admit the optical pad is nice, it works pretty much the same as the trackball and doesn’t make me feel at all as if I’m using a women’s feminine product. Now you can navigate through your “Blackberry whatever” without having to worry about your trackball not scrolling down or to the left anymore. GREAT!!! What else you got?
Oh yes people there is more. Blackberry has increased the onboard memory to 256 MB and 2GB if you get the Storm (no more deleted call logs and text messages), they have a much higher resolution screen (480×360 pixel), an improved web browser that supports HTML fully, a 3.2 Mega pixel camera/camcorder, an app catalog, and a super faster processor so you can do all those thing quick and easy.
I know what your thinking “WOW! That Rocks!. But wait, I’m not finished. Lets look at this scenario:
You’re sitting there with your neutered Blackberry that you just traded you’re Curve in for. You’re checking out the web on your upgraded web browser, with your fast processor, and your 480 x 360 resolution screen when you realize. “Wow, this really isn’t much different from my Curve.” I mean yeah it looks better but it pretty much does all the same things. Not only that but the web browser still sucks compared to some other browsers out there, the applications are no way near as good as the Droids, the iPhone, or even the Pre, and it still has the same old interface. Really it’s just the same cake with different frosting.
When you compare older Blackberry models such as the Curve, with the new models there is a slight improvement that may or may not merit getting a new phone. However, when comparing the new models to each other, they are almost identical.
It seems like Blackberry could be going in the route that Palm went with the Treo. Palm had a popular phone that was innovative; however they didn’t make any major improvements to it. So when competitors came along they made products that did the same things that the Treo did, but capitalized on the things the Treo lacked. Next thing you know everyone is trading in their Treo’s and Palm stock plummets.
The things that makes Blackberrys great is their push email capability, which makes your emails come to your Blackberry instantaneously without your phone having to search for them. They also have the ability to sync with corporate emails, calendar, and other enterprise features easily. Lastly they have really good battery life when compared to other PDA’s. Even still the Palm scenario is a very possible scenario for Blackberry if they don’t make some major changes to their devices. Especially now that the iPhone is ending its contract with AT&T and is improving it’s messaging and enterprise capabilities, just like the Google phones is doing.
What a Berry Needs
- First off RIM needs to get a great web browser. If they can’t develop on of their own maybe they should work with Opera Mini.
- Next they should come out with a Blackberry with a keyboard and a touch screen. A slider would be nice if it had the right form factor.
- Get some better applications
- Change the interface to something similar but less ugly and boring. Maybe add some graphics the boring list menu
If Blackberry was to do at least two out of the 4 suggestions I think that would be enough to fight off the uprising of the android an iPhone.
Those of us with iPhones, specially up here in the North East, know the deal with touch screen phones and the winter cold. They go together almost as well as oil and water. Most touch screens today are sensitive to the heat given off by your fingertips. This vastly improves the touch screens responsiveness, however it makes it impossible to use your phone with your brand new winter mittens.
Luckily The North Face has come up with a solution. ETIP Gloves by, The North Face come equiped with X-Static tips on the thumbs and the index fingers. The tips are made out of a type of metal fabric that allows the heat from your fingertips transfer through to the phone. No longer do you have to choose between texting your ride, who’s 20 minutes late to pick you up from the train and frostbite.
We’ve all seen the commercials by now where Verizon claims to have 5 times more 3G coverage than AT&T. “There’s a map for that.” I’m sure some of us have pondered to what degree this stuff they’re feeding us is true. So here is a closer look into the map war.
Verizon says they have 5 times more 3G coverage than AT&T. Is this true ?
Update: AT&T is now suing Verizon for “misleading” commercials that show the 3G map above. However this really is not misleading, This map was actually on AT&T’s website at the time the commercials launched. The Map shows AT&T’s “3G Coverage” it does not say that AT&T doesn’t have data coverage in places where they don’t have 3G coverage.
In fact AT&T has very slow 2G coverage in most of the areas however the map depicting their 3G coverage above is 100% accurate. The new map on AT&T’s website, however is misleading. They no longer break down coverage of 2G and 3G.
AT&T’s Data map should look like this
As you can see from the map above Verizon has significantly more 3G coverage then AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint who is an okay second runner. I know what you’re thinking. “Sprint is a close second?” That’s right, interestingly enough because Sprint has been struggling in the wireless industry yet their network doesn’t seem to be the issue. I did find it peculiar that Verizon took shots at Sprints coverage when they both launched the Blackberry Tour. Oddly enough, Sprint’s inventory was infested with defective Blackberry Tours. Those defects included a shabby trackball and poor reception, making it seem as if Sprint’s reception was worst than it really is. Coincidence? Maybe.
Anyways, if you listen to AT&T they never actually deny that Verizon has better coverage. Their answer is that they have a faster 3G network. Let’s look into that.
Three speed tests performed by Gizmodo.com, and Wired.com all give 3 different winners. One Gizmodo test, which included 8 major cities (Atl, Bay Area, Chi, Denver, Vegas, LA, Maui, NY, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Tampa) named AT&T the fastest network.
A different test by Gizmodo, which included 4 major cities (Chi, NYC, Austin, Raleigh, Seattle, Portland, San Fran, Boston) named Sprint the fastest
The last speed test, done by Wired.com, reports
“Verizon came in first place with an average download speed of 1,940 Kbps, as reported by 856 participants. T-Mobile’s average rate was 1,793 Kbps with 1,189 reported T-Mobile users. Third was Sprint with 1,598 Kbps, based on data from 1,570 users. In dead last was AT&T with an average of 901 Kbps — but an overwhelmingly large user sample of 8,153 test takers.”
As you can see these test are very subjective.
They also argue that their network allows users to talk and surf the web simultaneous, and they provide 3G coverage in popular areas. Keys word “popular area.” Verizon does have the most coverage but a good portion of their covered is in low populated areas.
The map shows Population density throughout the US. Darker red represents denser populated areas
This should mean higher costs for Verizon users because the costs of infrastructure in the mid-west and western states are spread over fewer customers. However AT&T has the exact same price point as Verizon when it comes to monthly plans. Odd.
Wireless providers have most likely decided not to start building towers in the mid-west and western states because it is not cost-effective due to the low population. Once their revenue grows from heavy populated areas, they may decide to expand coverage. The reason AT&T and T-Mobile’s 3G coverage is so limited is because they just started offering 3G services within the last few years. Unlike Verizon and Sprint, who have had their 3G networks for much longer.
What does it all come down to?
Most often consumer’s attitudes are “you get what you pay for.” But is that really true? Here is a break down of service plan for all four major companies, on a smart phone with 450 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data.
Verizon and AT&T plans mirror each other with a few exceptions. AT&T doesn’t cover as many States as Verizon. So what are you paying for? Why does AT&T and Verizon both cost $90 a month yet AT&T has less coverage then Verizon? My guess is that the consumer idea of “you get what you pay for,” makes people believe they are getting the best service if they are paying the highest price. Plus the power of the iPhone allows AT&T to set higher prices when really all consumers are paying for is the expenses their wireless provider encounters to make it seem like they are the best network. Things like advertisement expenses and network expansion to low populated areas.
Verizon and AT&T probably have similar advertisement expenses based on the number of commercials we see with them going back and forth. When you look at a voice service map all the companies have pretty decent coverage Verizon’s being the best.
Update: AT&T also stopped showing levels of voice coverage. Instead of going from great, to good, to poor, to roaming, to no coverage; they just show coverage and no coverage, no matter how poor the coverage is. You can no long distinguish good and bad coverage with AT&T’s map. The map above is accurate.
In a nut shell Verizon has the best overall network and if you compare the cost verse the benefit, AT&T doesn’t even make sense. In actuality, from a “cost vs benefit’ point of view Sprint seems to be the best choice. Sprint has good 3G speeds and decent coverage, yet their plans are $20 lower per month than Verizon and AT&T. Sprint also offers great bundle packages that include GPS, TV, text, web, and unlimited calls to any cell phone number no matter the wireless provider, all for the low-cost of $69.99. Not sure how they can do that but it sounds like a good deal to me.
Verizon Wireless or “raping you wireless” as I like to call them, recently received an open letter from the FCC commissioner, scolding them on their new early termination threats. “Boy if you terminate this contract prior to the 2 years stipulations I’m ganna smack your ass with this $350 charge so hard you won’t know what hit ya.”
Verizon has been trying to defend their new $350.00 ETF’s to the FCC, stating “The fees enable the company to sell phones at lower upfront prices and to reduce losses if customers break their contracts early. The Carrier also noted that it prorates the fees and the additional revenue helps keep its broadband network strong”
My response to that poor excuse was pretty similar to the commissioner, Mignon Clyburns response, only worded a little different.
My Response: Man that is such BS. Verizon already charges an arm and a leg for cell phone service, and that’s before random fees and surcharges, overage fees, and phantom data charges. A PDA customer with insurance, 450 daytime minutes, and data pays about $90 a month. That $2,160 over 2 years, without overages. These phones retail for $600 tops, which probably already is marked up 300%. If they gave the phones away for free with a new plan, the plan would pay for the phone in less than 8 months.
The real reason Verizon is raping customers with outrageous charges is to cover their outrageous advertising bill. According to Spyfu.com during peak seasons Verizon and Verizon wireless pay over $80,000 a day in “pay per click” advertisements alone. Every second you see the Verizon guy on TV or the web and someone has to pay for that. That someone is you. “Can you hear me now? Good!”