Tuesday, August 30, 2011

RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger carries the message during earthquake

You’re typing away on a memo for a client when suddenly your office building starts to shake. Not sure what to do, you grab your phone and keys and run out of the office. Standing with your co-workers outside of the building, you frantically try to send a text and make a call, but the only one getting service is your co-worker who has a BlackBerry. Unfortunately, this scenario occurred last week when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the east coast. Residents in some of the nation’s largest cities including Washington D.C. and New York City were unable to connect with their worried loved ones across the country-- that is, citizens using iPhones and Androids-- BlackBerry owners had no problem getting the word out.

Throughout the dramatic event, RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) remained steady and true to its users. While Android and iPhone users were fidgeting with their phones, BBM was sending and receiving texts and calls. Unlike other phones, BBM can run on either the phone’s data connection or a local Wi-Fi network, which gives it the ability to connect no matter the time, day or event. This software set-up has earned the phone an impeccable reputation. Mashable recently pointed out that BlackBerry was the only functioning phone during both the Chilean earthquake of 2010 and the events of Sept. 11 in New York City.

So what?

Well, smartphone users looking to change devices should give the BlackBerry strong consideration, especially if security is one of the top priorities.

We like the brand new 9900 because the processor is two times faster than previous models. In fact, one reviewer said he got three days of use out of the phone before its battery died. What businessman or woman would say no to that?

However, the BlackBerry gets low ratings when it comes to third-party applications and user interfaces. The phone’s stale growth rate could be attributed to its inability to evolve. For the most part, the BlackBerry functions as a corporate phone. It ranks among the best email devices and its information management apps like contacts, calendar, tasks and others make it a great business tool.

At the end of the day would you rather have fancy games or working cell service?

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