I took the plunge – I’m currently playing with a BlackBerry 8700g on T-Mobile.
- The keyboard is good.
- Why can’t I be logged into more than one IM network at a time? Odd.
- The interface for this thing is not as friendly as the Palm OS.
- I’m still having trouble believing this… but it appears that it isn’t possible to set more than one “from” address for a mail account. Every mail app I’ve used since Eudora in the mid-90’s has had this, is it really impossible on a BlackBerry? What is the workaround?
- I don’t quite get the IMAP implementation. The BlackBerry received 3 messages, all of which I’ve marked as read on my desktop. When I delete a message on the BlackBerry (even selecting “delete from both server and blackberry”), it doesn’t seem to push that change back to the server. Why isn’t the BlackBerry behaving like a proper IMAP client? This seems like very basic functionality to me…
- How do you file a message in another (IMAP) folder? I seem to be missing something very basic here.
- How do I access my other IMAP folders?
- I can’t get PocketMac to sync my Calendar to the BlackBerry. Support has been fairly responsive, but I’m concerned that the response I’ve gotten so far (some steps to try) is basically all they have to offer and I still don’t have it working.
- I had the “Phone Number: Unknown” problem, the SIM Card menu option is hidden under Advanced Options.
I hope these issues are simply newbie user error – some of them are potential deal breakers for me.
UPDATE: Interesting extreme hack-around for IMAP.
I used to be a hardcore Palm guy, after a few days with the Blackberry you’ll never go back. The OS is remarkably well thought out and you’ll begin to appreciate the interface the more you use it.
On IMAP, it’s not a client, at best it’s a notifier. Without using a Blackberry Enterprise Server, pretty much all the interaction is one-way. (Still 1000x better than the Treo.)
That said, now that the patent problem is no longer hanging over their head, I expect a lot more innovation on the consumer side in the coming months. There is a client coming out for Yahoo soon which syncs contacts, todos, calendar, and email just like you would get with a BES. I expect Google would not be far behind, and I also think this will encourage more third-party integration and apps.
If you haven’t tried Google Local or Google Talk yet, definitely give it a go. Ryan has tried out a few SSH apps, but last I talked to him he hadn’t found anything good yet.
If the email sync is a deal breaker (I used to think it was for me) then there are places for $5-10/mo you can get an Exchange account with BES integration.
I’m trying hard to keep an open mind on this despite basically being disappointed at every turn thus far. I know so many folks that love them, I’m still hoping to “see the light”.
That said, I find SnapperMail and Chattermail to be quite capable IMAP clients on the Palm OS and really feel like I’ve taken a big step backward here. I’ve got IMAP goodness everywhere, with this device trying to act like a POP client!
I have no interest whatsoever in hosted exchange, nor do I want to use Yahoo or Google mail – I want this to work with my mail.
The lack of multiple “personalities” is probably the closest thing to a deal breaker right now. It’s important to me to have incoming mail going to the correct address, and 95+% of mine does; partly because I’m religious about replying from the proper address. I’m just not sure how to work around that at the moment.
Let me try to address a few of the issues:
Try Gtalk and Ramble IM for Aim. Also IM+ from Shape Services allows you to be logged onto all (including Gtalk), but it costs money.
Download BBReply and you can have multiple “from” accounts.
Are you on an intel mac? They don’t have support for those yet….soon.
I hope that answers some of your questions…some great apps for the device are: Berry 411, Google Local, Gtalk for Blackberry, Ramble IM, and a bunch of great games from Magmic, where you can even play Texas Hold’em with other Blackberry users.
Hope you enjoy your new blackberry…mine should be here in a day or so.
I have to admit that I love my blackberry. But I didn’t even think about the multiple personalities issue that you have found and I can understand why that might be frustrating. The only possible solution (which I think I mentioned last night), which isn’t really a great solution, is the possibility of there being a third party email app that you can install on the blackberry.
I’m not sure on your issues with IM and stuff. I only use GTalk on my blackberry.
As for the interfaces, you might want to look around at some different skins available. I personally like the Cingular skin over all others I’ve tried. I found one that looks pretty close to the one T-Mobile provides and I wasn’t happy with it either. Also keep in mind that you can hide/move/unhide icons on the home screen (Alt-Click the thumb wheel). That might help you clean up your homescreen some (I did this and it helped a fair amount). You can also assign the two convenience keys (which I imagine you’ve figured out already). I use one for switching profiles (default) and another for getting to Gtalk.
I’m not sure you’re going to get your robust IMAP features off default blackberry software. It works for me, but my blackberry supplements my emailing, I don’t try to use it to do all the same things I would on a desktop (which is probably why I’m satisfied with what it offers and you’re not).
I guess if there’s one thing I’ve learned is there is no single gadget that’s perfect for everyone. If you’re able to overcome any of the above points I hope you’ll share the solutions with us.
Nick, nice suggestion about BBReply, but I installed it on mine and I can’t find a place to choose the from address. I set up two email messages on it in the BBReply application, and when composing or replying to messages, I click the thumb wheel and I don’t see an option to set the from address anywere. Maybe it doesn’t work with the 8700? Any ideas?
Very interesting post, as I’m about to commit to a new contract with T-Mobile (UK) in a week or so. Trying to decide between the Nokia N70 and the Blackberry and the thing that swayed it towards the Nokia was the limited Mac support. I know RIM have licensed Pocketmac but my wife has a Blackberry (from work) and says it’s pretty buggy with her Powerbook. The N70 is fully iSync’d up now but my experience of the Nokia smart phones is that it handles IMAP well enough for my purposes.
My thoughts are that I’m better off getting the T-Mobile ‘web’n’walk’ unlimited internet access add-on with the Nokia and using my Joyent account to deal with the e-mail and Tasks to deal with my to-dos (fingers crossed the mobile interface works 😉 ).
Yes, the lack of a qwerty keyboard will be a pain but that’s the only negative I can come up with right now. Most of my ‘can’t wait until I get home’ mails involve not many words and may large attachments, something my wife finds problematic (if not impossible) with her Blackberry and I’m thinking I’d be better off with a web client. My extreme Mac prejudice steers me away from anything device which involves a Windows OS of any sort.
Good luck getting the BB to work the way you want. You may yet change my decision if you have any more luck!
Matt: did you try rebooting the Blackberry? I have an 8700, and BBReply 1.1 works fine.
Yep, I powered down and then waited and then turned it back on. I went to compose a message and then clicked the thumb wheel and there was nothing in the list to choose what email address to send it from. Am I missing a step along the way maybe? What version of the OS do you have on your 8700?
No-go for me on BBReply either, I set up the addresses but don’t see any way to pick one. There’s an open bug for this too.
It looks like the BBReply (and those other utilities there) are going through a bit of a “rough time.” I read the news for it on SourceForge and evidently the original developer deleted the entire project and several folks got together and found the latest versions of the software and recreated the project on sourceforge. There’s no mention really of whether or not they are actively developing it or not though. So I’m wondering if BBReply, etc might be on its death bed so to speak.
I picked up an 8700g yesterday from t-mobile nad haven’t had any problems really. Once I set up a few accounts (which I added through My-T-mobile, a much less frustrating process), I could select my sending address in any email, no matter where I launched it from. Interestingly, my gmail account seems to be push enabled as well as my balckberry.net account. I haven’t set it up with some of my hosted email, but I don’t expect that to be push.
It’s most likely that BIS is pushing your gmail account to you. I’m pretty sure cingular and T-Mobile are similar in their handling of this. Basically blackberry will collect up to 10 accounts for you and push it out to you. (So it’s probably not that Gmail is pushing to you, it’s more like BB is grabbing your GMail and pushing it to you)
Do you know what Blackberry data plan you signed up for? That might explain how you’re able to choose a from address I suspect. I heard that BES I think it was can let you do this.
I’m on the straight t-mobile balckberry unlimited plan, with no voice. I use cingular with my phone, but t-mobile has promised me they will unlock the blackberry for me when I’m in singapore getting married next month. Cingular said no way.
You can select your sending address from any account you set up, correct?
I have all the mail from all my addresses funnel into just one account – perhaps I need to set up a bunch of other dummy POP accounts just so I can have more than one return address.
yep, once you have another account set up, you can hit the scroll wheel on the send from field and select whichever account you want. The send from doesn’t even show up untill you add at least to accounts I think.
[…] I finally got BBReply installed on my BlackBerry 8700g. The trick is to do a full reboot in order to activate BBReply. […]
[…] Out of the box (at least with an “internet plan”), the BlackBerry doesn’t support multiple e-mail personalities (multiple “from” addresses). This absolutely shocked me. The BlackBerry is widely regarded as being a superior mobile e-mail device, so much so that users will forgive pretty much any other shortcomings it may have in other areas, so to discover that it lacked the functionality I had in my mail clients back in the mid-90’s was really a surprise. […]
[…] If I’m going to use this BlackBerry, I need to figure out a solution for my Calendars. My current idea is something like this: […]
Wow. I just received my 8700c from Cingular today. After all the positive things I read I made the plunge also. I have been banging my head all day regarding the lack if true imap support. I thought is was me until I came across this discussion. After 6 hours of use, I can’t figure out what the hype regarding email and the Blackberry is. It seems the only way I can truly get the features of imap is to first get an exchange service and then also add BES to it. That turns our to be an expensive solution in relation imap. Very frustrated Blackberry newbie.
Side note: I have now setup a Treo 650, a Treo 700, and now this Blackberry. I have been trying to decide on a platform for my company. Final conclusion – of these the 650 wins so far.
Make sure you read the full series of posts amd comments. I’d find it really hard to recommend a palm based Treo these days, mainly for reliability reasons.
I’ve been in Italy for the last 2 weeks using a $20/month international bberry data plan as my only internet access and I’ve been rather impressed with the device, despite it’s limitations.
People who LOVE the BlackBerry products and rave about the email are likely working in an environment where they have a BES (BlackBerry Exchange Server) near their corporate Exchange server. In this case, BB mail rocks. Attachment handling is fair- especially for such a limited capability device and the over-the-air calendar sync is fantastic. However, if you want to work outside the ‘exchange’ box, it is a really nasty pain in the backside. I’ve had a corrupted Address Book for months now because PocketMac and Entourage ganged up on it and beat it senseless.
I’d love to try the 8700, (I have a 7100) but the pains of being in a non-windows world are fairly high and I’m considering getting a Nokia E61 instead.
From a UNIX/Mac point-of-view, the BlackBerry is ‘ok’, but there are other solutions that might work much better if you don’t want to play along with the whole system-vision.
You may want to read my follow-up post.
[…] I currently use T-Mobile, which does not have good coverage at my house. It is OK a block in either direction – I must be right in between 2 towers. T-Mobile’s coverage spectrums do not penetrate buildings as well as the spectrums used by Cingular. I used to be on Sprint (which had better coverage), but switched when I ditched the Treo for the BlackBerry and didn’t want to pay the extra $40/month. Steve’s Cingular phone got slightly better coverage at my house than I get with T-Mobile. […]
[…] Since I was out of my Sprint contract, I started seriously considering this as an option. I decided to take the plunge, realizing that I would have 2 weeks to try it and return it if I didn’t like it. While I haven’t been overjoyed with all aspects of the BlackBerry, there is a lot I really like. […]
[…] – I begin to look into Boot Camp and Parallels as a cross-platform testing solution. I get a BlackBerry. FeedLounge releases an […]
[…] adapted pretty well to the limitations of BES-less BlackBerry service over the last 11 months, but there are a few things about it that […]
It’s 2010, I just got a Blackberry 8900, and my response was the same. No IMAP folders? Seriously? What is all the Blackberry hype about?
“On IMAP, itâ€™s not a client, at best itâ€™s a notifier.”
That pretty much sums up email on the Blackberry. If you want to know instantly when you get a new email, BBs are for you. If you actually want to manage your email, BBs are not for you.
And the browser? Don’t get me started…
I’ve just got a Curve, and I agree it is complete shite compared to my Android G1.
Email: Had to jump through hoops to get it to use IMAP rather than OWA (which has my mailserver is Linux-based, I don’t have anyway). Then I had to dig through the crap interface to get to the weirdly named “Folder Redirection Option”. Then I find that the IMAP client is crippled and doesn’t support folders.
Seriously, this is supposed to be the leading email mobile device?