Apple Drops iPhone Price to $199 and Converts Blackberry Fans

As you know, I've been a strong advocate of my Blackberry Curve and wrote an article a few months ago titled Five Reasons Why I Chose a Blackberry Curve Instead of an iPhone. I take my Blackberry everywhere, and am continually checking email, checking on my websites, finding my location on Google Maps with the built-in GPS, and loving everything about it... EXCEPT:

It's Internet speed is too (yawn) slow. EDGE (the network technology used by the Blackberry and many other mobile phones) is dull, and way too slow compared to the new 3G speeds that the iPhone will have come July 11th, 2008 when it's released to the masses.

I already know how fast 3G is from my Aircard that plugs into my laptop and gives me fast broadband internet speeds. That's what we'll have with the new iPhone.

According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs an 8GB iPhone 3G will sell for $199 and the 16GB model will sell for $299, and will come in white and black versions. You can buy these iPhone 3G models on July 11.

Dropping the price to $199 makes this a no-brainer decision (especially if they keep the lower monthly service plan that's always been less expensive than the Blackberry's $30 monthly rate).

GPS: yep, it's built-in.

Traveling to London With My Blackberry Curve

I'm heading to London tomorrow for a week long business trip and will need to have access to phone, email, and internet on my Blackberry Curve (I'm the Education Manager for Jive Software and will be delivering 4 days worth of training on Clearspace, our collaboration application).

Phone calls are crazy expensive internationally, with rates of $1.29 per minute in the UK.

Fortunately I spend a lot more time on email and the web then I do on the phone, and AT&T has an international data plan that's $64.99 a month for unlimited email and internet. I'll be able to check email, browse the web (tweet on Twitter, etc), and text home occasionally.

When you sign up for the international data plan, it drops your phone calls down to 99 cents a minute. Still not cheap, but if I have to make a business call then Jive will reimburse me.

I'll switch back to the regular Blackberry data plan when I return home, which is only $30 a month.

I also have an Aircard for broadband internet tethering on my laptop, but the data plan for that was something like $130 - too much in my opinion, and the training facility will have high speed internet, as will my hotel.

How can I transfer my itunes songs and videos to my Blackberry Curve?

Question: How can I transfer my itunes songs and videos into my Blackberry 8330 curve?

Answer: Blackberry curves let you play mp3 music just like an iPod, and you can transfer songs and videos from iTunes to your Blackberry using an SD Micro memory card and a USB card reader.

Here's the general approach for transferring music files from your computer to a Blackberry:

1. Plug an SD Micro memory card into your computer using a USB card reader.

2. Copy music from your computer onto the SD Micro card.

3. Plug the SD Micro card into your Blackberry (behind the battery) and it will automatically recognized the music files.

Blackberry Curves come with 64 megs of built-in memory, which is barely enough for even a single music album. Fortunately, the Curve also has a memory expansion slot that allows up to 4 gigabytes of SD flash memory - the same amount of storage as an iPod nano.

You can get a 2 GB 3-in-1 microSD/miniSD/SD Kit from Wireless Emporium (shown below), which is enough for about 1,000 songs.

Sandisk MicroSD 2GB Memory

Combine it with a USB card reader (also available for a few bucks at Wireless Emporium), and you'll be able to plug it directly into your computer or laptop and transfer songs or videos to it from iTunes.

The memory expansion slot is located behind the battery, so you'll need to turn off your Blackberry and remove the battery to get to it. The memory expansion slot takes SD Micro flash disks, which are about 1 cm in size.

Turn Your Blackberry Curve into a Wireless MP3 Player

Most Blackberry devices comes with a standard 3.5-inch headphone jack that let you listen to music from the built-in mp3 player.

But you can also listen to music without plugging in a cord, by using a wireless bluetooth headset.

Here's a step-by-step guide that will show you how to set up bluetooth on your Blackberry so you can listen to music using a wireless bluetooth headset.

1. Enable Bluetooth on your Blackberry

Click the "Set Up Bluetooth" icon on the main Blackberry screen, and it will automatically enable Bluetooth and start searching for Bluetooth devices that are within range (normally about 30 feet).

Make sure your Bluetooth headphones are in pairing mode so that they can be discovered by your Blackberry. For the Jabra BT620s Bluetooth headphones shown below, this means turning them off and then pressing and holding both sides of the headphones at the same time for about 5 seconds until both sides show solid blue lights.

Blackberry Enabling Bluetooth

2. Pair your Blackberry with your Bluetooth Headphones

Once your Blackberry discovers the Bluetooth headphones, it will prompt you to select the device (the headphones). You may already have other Bluetooth devices that you've paired your Blackberry with, such as your computer if it has Bluetooth enabled, but you'll still need to pair with the headphones before you can use them.

Pairing with a Bluetooth device requires establishing a Bluetooth connection that's identified by a unique passkey. You'll always use four zeros "0000" for the Jabra headphones numeric passkey.

Essential Blackberry Email Tips and Tricks

Here are a few handy shortcuts for Blackberry email that most Blackberry owners just won't be able to live without.

1. Mark All Messages As Read/Opened

Select the most recently dated email in your main email folder (the one at the top).

Press the menu button, and choose the "Mark Prior Opened" option.

All of your email messages will be marked as opened, taking your message counter back down to zero (perfect for obsessive-compulsive guys like me who just have to keep track of new messages vs read/opened messages).

You can also select any previous day in your email inbox, in which case choosing the "Mark Prior Opened" menu option will only mark all messages previous to that day (including messages from that day).

2. Delete All Messages

As email messages pile up in your inbox faster than you can individually delete them, you'll probably start looking for an option that will delete all email messages from your Blackberry.

Select the top-most day in your email inbox, press the menu button, and choose the "Delete Prior" option to immediately remove all email messages from your Blackberry email inbox.

You can also select a prior day in your inbox, and only messages prior to and including that day will be deleted.

Be careful with this one though. It's a very handy option that keeps your email inbox under control, but there's no "Undo" feature, so deleting email messages is a permanent operation that happens immediately.

3. Move to the Top


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