Pandora to provide Personal Radio Service on BlackBerry Storm

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In a recent blog on blog.pandora.com, Pandora has revealed that they are currently working on developing a Personal Radio application for the BlackBerry Smartphone. So, if everything goes well, it won't be long before we get Pandora on BlackBerry Storm.

Extract from the blog... 
 

Hi Tara - 

We know there's lots of blackberry users waiting to get pandora on their devices, and we're working on it! I have a blackberry too, so I'm with you!

:) Lucia, from Pandora


Thanks everybody, for your feedback!

Posted by: Lucia @ Pandora at October 13, 2008 12:54 PM

Source:Blog: The Pandora Everywhere Platform

imeem to provide Personal Radio Service on BlackBerry Storm

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In a recent messageboard on supportforums.blackberry.com, imeem has revealed their interest in developing an application for the BlackBerry Smartphone. So, if everything goes well, it won't be long before we get Imeem on BlackBerry Smartphones.

Extract from the messageboard 

"Hossam - my company, imeem, recently launched a very successful application on Android.  We're hoping to replicate that success on the BlackBerry.  How can we streamline this process and get in touch?  We want imeem for BlackBerry to really rock.

 

We found having a single point of contact with Google/OHA helped us quickly get our application into the Android Market.  I'm hoping that imeem and RIM can simililarly develop a close working relationship.  Our site has about 25 million unique users engaged in music listening, music discovery and social networking.  Our mobile service currently delivers DMCA-compliant 'radio stations' and will make the BlackBerry a truly strong entertainment device to compete with the iPhone, G1 and other advanced devices.  (Plus we're all on BB's here at imeem and want to make this app sing!)"


Source: BlackBerry Support Community Forums

Slacker and RIM Partner to enable Personal Radio on BlackBerry Storm

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Slacker, Inc. and Research In Motion (RIM) announced plans for Slacker to provide a free Slacker Personal Radio application, exclusively for BlackBerry® smartphones, that will enable listeners to hear their favorite Slacker radio stations wherever they go - even when not connected to a wireless network.

The Slacker application will provide BlackBerry smartphone users in the U.S. with a robust, high-fidelity personalized music discovery and listening experience pulling from over 100 expertly programmed Slacker stations, over 10,000 artist stations or their own custom-created stations.

Slacker’s unique caching technology will allow listeners to access Personal Radio stations using their BlackBerry smartphones without ever having to manage playlists, research new artists or deal with complicated software again. The Slacker application for BlackBerry smartphones will work with Free Slacker Basic Radio and Slacker Premium Radio.

Source: Slacker

BlackBerry Storm - Video Review

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BlackBerry Storm 9530 review (Design and UI) - part 1



BlackBerry Storm 9530 review (Messaging and Keyboard) - part 2



BlackBerry Storm 9530 review (Web Browser) - part 3



BlackBerry Storm 9530 review (Multimedia and Apps) - part 4


Source: MobileBurn

RIM BlackBerry Storm reported as sluggish

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CNET, the well establish tech site has posted a review on the soon to be released BlackBerry Storm. They have a lot of positive reviews on Storm. But some of the negative feedback may force you to delay your purchase of the BlackBerry Storm.

In a nutshell the Storm may have some great features like the SurePress Touchscreen, Assisted GPS, 3.2 MP (2x) Camera with Flash and Video Recording Support, full HTML browser, Enterprise email support, Data Streaming support, Application Downloads, GSM & CDMA Auto-switching support, Stereo Bluetooth support and a wide variety of other amazing features.

But it seems to have a few issues (reported by CNET) just like all first generation phones out there:-
  • The Storm is equipped with an accelerometer (so the screen orientation will switch from portrait to landscape mode when you rotate the phone from a vertical position to a horizontal one, left or right) which sometimes may take a few seconds to kick in, sometimes to the point where we might think the system is frozen.

  • The SurePress Technology Screen (when you select an application or enter text, you actually push the screen down as you would any other tactile button) on the BlackBerry Storm has a bit of a gap at the top and bottom of the screen, which allows for the suspension system but this makes the phone look a little cheap. The touchscreen display may not seem as impressive as the screen on BlackBerry Bold

  • The Camera on the Storm (with a 3.2-megapixel camera with video-recording capabilities, as well a flash, auto focus, 2x zoom, and image stabilization) takes pictures which may be subpar. While objects can by identified in the picture, they may look a bit soft and the colors may look completely washed out.

  • The keyboard buttons seem to be a bit too small and cramped. One can only imagine it would be worse for people with larger thumbs.

  • The software seems a bit buggy. When the camera is activated the screen would sometimes freeze a bit before switching over to the camera viewfinder mode. Also, there are some inconsistencies with the toolbar that appears along the bottom of the screen, which shows the zoom levels, flash, and more. If the camera is activated with the Storm in the vertical position, the toolbar gets slightly off center. This also happens a couple of times when the phone in a horizontal position, and while it didn't affect the camera at all, it's still noticeable.

  • Unfortunately, the speakerphone does not fare all that well. Both sides seem to experience choppy call quality as words occasionally gets cut off. There seemed to be a slight voice distortion. Overall, they were able to carry on full conversations and volume was not a problem, but they definitely had to ask their callers to repeat themselves on more than one occasion.

  • As far as general performance, they found the BlackBerry Storm to be a little sluggish. Also, there seemed to be lag when launching applications, particularly the camera and multimedia applications. When trying to view a slide show or take a picture, they were often met by a ticking clock (processing indicator).

  • Music playback through the phone's speakers seems to be sounded blown out, though there was plenty of volume. Video performance does not seem quite as dazzling as the BlackBerry Bold's.
Source: CNET

BlackBerry Storm a safer bet than the iPhone

28 comments

iPhone from Apple has developed a new standard for the smartphone industry. With it's amazing touchscreen, full featured html browser, google maps with GPS, enterprise email support, ipod, stocks, weather, calendar, application store, etc etc, it has wooed millions of people from across the globe.

But even with it's extensive feature list, there are a few key elements missing from the iPhone, some of which the BlackBerry Storm may do better than the iPhone thereby making it a safer bet than the iPhone.

For all those Californians out there, ever tried using you iPhone while driving? All is fine, when you get a call, but ever wanted to make a call to someone? Yep, it can get a bit messy. Or how about trying out the Google Maps with GPS on your iPhone when you are driving alone. The ease of use may be the best in the market, but when you are truly lost, your iPhone can just get you into a terrible accident.

It's nice to have a smartphone which does all those neat things like what the iPhone does. But it takes a nasty turn when you try to truly use some of the main features that enrolled it into the smartphone category.

(For all the iPhone lovers out there... you may not want to read on....) BlackBerry Storm has addressed some of the features that are missing or under-utilized in the iPhone making it a safer bet as listed below

  1. Voice Dial:- Many of you may argue that we do have the same functionality in iPhone. It's just a matter of downloading an App (like Who or VoiceBoxDial) from the App Store. But all these applications are not truly integrated like in the BlackBerry Storm. A dedicated button on the BlackBerry Storm makes this functionality better and eventually safer than the iPhone while driving.

  2. Turn by turn navigation: - This is one feature I am yet to see on the iPhone. I have not seen any application on the app store that can do this for the iPhone. But guess what? BlackBerry Storm does this right out of the box. It's true that Verizon would charge for this kind of functionality. But it's safer than what Google Maps can do for the iPhone right now.

  3. Bluetooth Support - Phone Book Access Profile(PBAP):- Phone Book Access Profile allows exchange of Phone Book Objects between devices using Bluetooth. This feature would allow a compatible Car Kit to extract contact information from the phone. You would be able to see the caller information on the Car kit before you decide to pick up the call. BlackBerry Storm supports this profile where as iPhone does not. So, if your iPhone is kept in your pocket or purse, good luck trying to navigate your car in traffic with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand in your pocket or purse. (Note: iPhone does support this as pointed out by blog readers.)

  4. Multitasking - Imagine if your neighborhood is a victim of fire or is in the path of a wild raging fire. Or if you are driving on a freeway and there is a police car chase just a few miles behind you getting closer and closer to you, wouldn't it be nice if your phone could alert you? Well, if iPhone did support Multitasking, then applications could be built that could alert you regarding an impending fire in your neighborhood or a police car chase a mile away from you. BlackBerry Storm does support Multitasking and this feature can be available to BlackBerry Storm but not the iPhone.

There are other unsupported features that make the iPhone less smarter than the average smartphone out there. While some are said to be in development either by Apple or AT&T, the others may not be supported by iPhone at this time.
  1. Cut and Paste: - How smart can a smartphone be without this feature?

  2. Tethered Modem: - This feature would allow you to use your phone as an Internet Modem. AT&T may have this feature out for iPhone but as of now, you will need to hack your iPhone to get this working.

  3. Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) via Bluetooth: - This profile is designed to transfer a uni-directional 2-channel stereo audio music to a compatible headset. While BlackBerry Storm supports this, iPhone does not and there is no news of this being added to iPhone as of yet.

  4. Serial Port Profile(SPP) via Bluetooth:- This profile emulates a serial cable to provide a simply implemented wireless replacement for existing RS-232 based serial communications applications, including familiar control signals. This profile would allow a device to wireless send/receive files via Bluetooth. iPhone at present is unable to send/receive any data (applications, contacts, files) to another phone using Bluetooth. BlackBerry Storm supports this right out of the box.

  5. Download files via built-in browser:- While iPhone allows only images to be downloaded, BlackBerry Storm is said to allow downloading of files including Microsoft Office files like Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

  6. Video Recording Support.

  7. Built-in Flash.


Of course BlackBerry has made a blunder by not providing Wi-Fi on the Storm. I know I would prefer Wi-Fi especially because at my home the 3G Signals suck. BlackBerry has to hope that Verizon has a better Network than AT&T if they want to sell their Phone without Wi-Fi.

In the end, it all boils down to what you would do most with your phone. But if you are paying the price to get a smartphone, you should get a phone that is smart enough to do all that you want to do and maybe more....

BlackBerry Storm Vs. Apple iPhone - Detailed Comparision

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It's good news for all the BlackBerry fans out there, Verzion Confirms November 21st as the Release Date for BlackBerry Storm. But before you go out and get your new smartphone, you may want to know a little bit more of how the Storm differs with Apple iPhone 3G.


Listed below is a detailed comparison between Apple iPhone 3G and BlackBerry Storm.

Technical Specifications
iPhone 3G BlackBerry Storm
Size and weight

Height 4.5 inches / 115.5 mm 4.43" / 112.5mm
Width 2.4 inches / 62.2 mm 2.45" / 62.2mm
Depth 0.48 inch / 12.3 mm 0.55" / 13.95mm
Weight 4.7 ounces / 133 grams 5.5 ounces / 155 grams
Color 8GB model: Black 1GB model: Black

16GB model: Black or white
Memory

Expandable Memory No Yes, MicroSD card (upto 16 GB)
Onboard/Flash Memory 8GB or 16GB flash drive 1 GB (Onboard) / 128 MB (Flash)
Cellular Networks

UMTS/HSDPA - 850 MHz Yes No
UMTS/HSDPA - 1900 MHz Yes No
UMTS/HSDPA - 2100 MHz Yes Yes
GSM/EDGE - 850 MHz (North America) Yes Yes
GSM/EDGE - 900 MHz (North America) Yes Yes
GSM/EDGE - 1800 MHz (Europe/Asia Pacific) Yes Yes
GSM/EDGE - 1900 MHz (Europe/Asia Pacific) Yes Yes
CDMA2000 1X Ev-DO - 800 MHz No Yes
CDMA2000 1X Ev-DO - 1900 MHz No Yes
Wireless

Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) Yes No
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR Bluetooth® v2.0; stereo headset,phone book access profile, serial port profile supported
Headset support to handle calls
Yes Yes
Stream music to bluetooth headset
No Yes
Transfer files to other phones using bluetooth
No Yes
Transfer files to computer using bluetooth
No Yes
Transfer contacts using bluetooth
No Yes
Synchronize Data to computer using bluetooth
No Protocol supported. Depends on software provided.
GPS (Built in) Yes, Assisted GPS Yes (Rumors are that Verizon have disabled built in GPS to promote their VZ Navigator Service)
Map Software Yes, Google Maps BlackBerry Maps
Turn by turn directions No Yes, VZ Navigator (expect paid service)
Display

Screen Size 3.5-inch 3.25-inch
Resolution High resolution 480 x 320 pixel color High resolution 480 x 360 pixel color
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes
Multi-touch Yes Yes
Clickable No Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Proximity sensor
Yes Data not available
Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously Yes Data not available
Multimedia (Audio)

Audio Frequency response 20Hz to 20,000Hz Data not available
Audio formats supported

AAC Yes Yes
Protected AAC Yes No
MP3 Yes Yes
MP3 VBR Yes Data not available
Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4) Yes Data not available
Apple Lossless Yes Data not available
AIFF Yes Data not available
WAV Yes Data not available
WMA No (use iTunes to convert) Yes
WMA ProPlus Data not available Yes
AAC+ Data not available Yes
eAAC+ Data not available Yes
Ringtones (Polyphonic)

MIDI
Yes Yes
MP3
No Yes
AAC
Yes No
User Downloadable Ringtones
Yes (must purchase from iTunes @$1.99) Yes
Sync Songs with iTunes
Yes, using iTunes (Windows & Mac) Yes, using BlackBerry Media Sync with iTunes (Windows Only)




Multimedia (Video)

Video formats supported

H.264 H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
Yes
MPEG4 MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
H.263
Part 2 Simple Profile
WMV No Yes
Input / Output

Screen

Touch Screen Yes Yes, SurepressTM
Copy and Paste data No Yes
On screen keyboard Yes Yes
Portrait SureType® and Multi-tap, Landscape QWERTY
Audio / Microphone

3.5mm Stereo headphone jack (Standard headphone jack) Yes Yes
Speakerphone Yes Yes
Voice dial No (download custom applications) Yes, dedicated button provided
Record voice notes No Yes
Video / Camera

Built in camera Yes Yes
Camera resolution 2.0 megapixels 3.2 megapixels
Digital Zoom No Yes, 2x digital zoom
Flash No Yes
Cature Picture Yes Yes
Capture Video No Yes
Photo geotagging Yes Data not available
Power / Battery

Standby Time Up to 300 hours Up to 15 days
Talk time Up to 5 hours on 3G
Up to 10 hours on 2G
Up to 5.5 hours
Internet use time Up to 5 hours on 3G
Up to 6 hours on Wi-Fi
Data not available
Video playback time Up to 7 hours Data not available
Audio playback time Up to 24 hours Data not available
User removable battery No Yes
Communication

Email, Messaging and Chat

SMS (Text) Yes Yes
MMS (Multimedia) No Yes
Email Integrations

Microsoft® Exchange
Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
IBM® Lotus® Domino®
Data not available BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
Novell® GroupWise®
No BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
Personal email account
Yes Yes
POP 3 Connectivity
Yes Yes
IMAP Connectivity
Yes Data not available
Push Email
Limited availability
Yahoo
.Mac (Mobileme)
Data not available
Chat Application Support Downloadable custom applications (push support in development) Yes
Windows Live™ Messenger
No Yes
Yahoo® Messenger
No Yes
AOL® Instant Messenger®
No Yes
ICQ®
No Yes
Email attachment support Images - .jpg, .tiff, .gif
Documents - .doc, .docx, .pages
Web Pages - .htm and .html
Presentation - .ppt and .pptx, .key (Keynote);
Excel - .xls and .xlsx, .numbers (Numbers);
Adobe - .pdf (Preview and Adobe Acrobat);
Text - .txt
Contact Info - .vcf
JPEG,
Adobe® PDF,
Microsoft® Word
Microsoft Excel®
Microsoft® PowerPoint®
Other formats: Data not available
Edit Documents No Microsoft® Word and Microsoft Excel® (limited functionality: Copy and paste, change font size, colour bullets, numbering and more)
Synchronize Data with PC
System Requirements
PC with USB 2.0 port

Windows Vista; or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later

iTunes 7.7 or later
PC with USB or serial port
With a USB port: Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista™ including x64 bit support

With a serial port: Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista

Optional Bluetooth® connection on computer with Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher
Multimedia (music, videos, photos)
Yes, using iTunes only Yes, using iTunes with BlackBerry Media Sync
Business (calendar, contacts)
Yes, using iTunes only Yes, BlackBerry Desktop Software
Applications
Yes, using iTunes only Yes, BlackBerry Desktop Software
Synchronize Data with Mac
System Requirements
Mac computer with USB 2.0 port

Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later

iTunes 7.7 or later
Not supported
Multimedia (music, videos, photos)
Yes, using iTunes only No
Business (calendar, contacts)
Yes, using iTunes only No
Applications
Yes, using iTunes only No
Browser file download support No Yes (limited)
Browser Flash files support (.swf) No Data not available
Background processing support (run multiple apps at the same time) Limited only to iPod feature in iPhone Yes
Hardware (Input / Output)

Data transfer (computer) 30-pin doc connector Micro usb port
Built-in speaker Yes Yes
Built-in microphone Yes Yes
3.5mm audio out jack Yes Yes
Volume up/down Yes Yes
Home / Escape key Yes, Home Key Yes, Escape Key
Call key No Yes, dedicated key
Menu key No Yes, dedicated key
Sleep key Yes, dedicated key Yes, dedicated key
Mute Key No Yes
Voice dial key No (Voice dial not supported natively) Yes
Camera key No Yes
Lock key Yes Yes
Security

Password protection and screen lock Yes Yes
Sleep mode No Yes
Support for AES or Triple DES encryption when integrated with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server No Yes
FIPS 140-2 Compliant (FIPS Validation in Progress) No Yes
Optional support for S/MIME No Yes


Note: The above mentioned technical detail is for information only. This data is not to be used to for decision making.

References:
1) http://blackberry.vodafone.co.uk/storm/specifications/
2) http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html
3) http://www.blackberry.com/blackberrystorm/specifications.shtml


If you find something missing or wrong, you could post a comment and I will make sure I will update the same.

.

Things you didn't know about BlackBerry Storm.

1 comments
It's good news for all the BlackBerry fans out there, Verzion Confirms November 21st as the Release Date for BlackBerry Storm. But before you go out and get your new smartphone, you may want to know a little bit more of what the Storm would be capable of doing for you right out of the box.

Listed below are the features for BlackBerry Storm as defined by Vodafone (UK) on their website http://shop.vodafone.co.uk/shop/mobile-phone/blackberry-storm#hoverID600059.

Data Support and Connectivity
3G HSDPA
GPRS Wi-Fi Support
Bandwidths 7.2 MBPS Bluetooth
Infrared Modem

PC Synchronization
Contacts
Contacts & Calendar with Outlook
Calendar
Lotus Notes
Apple Mac
PC Systems compatibility
Mass Storage
Backup/restore my files items to/from PC

Navigation
Built in GPS navigation




Specification
Dimensions 112.5 x 62.2 x 13.95 mm Screensize 3.25
Weight (g) 155g Phonebook memory
Talk time (with standard battery) 15 Days Stand by time (with standard battery) 6 Hours
Internal memory 1GB Memory card slot Yes, MicroSD
Touch screen
Qwerty keyboard On-screen

Calling and Messaging
Speed dialling
Conference calling
Call waiting/hold Call divert/transfer
Vibrating alert Voice activated dialing
Voice activated commands Record sound clips or memos
Built-in speaker SMS/MMS
Picture and video Predictive text

Internet and Email
Mobile Internet Email

Entertainment
Games Supports java games and application
Preloaded java applications MP3 player
Stereo FM radio Dedicated music keys
Poly ring tones Real tones
Other ring alerts Mobile TV compatible

Camera / Video
Direct camera key Image resolution 3.2 Megapixel
Flash or light Picture mode selection - Night mode/automatic etc
Camera self timer Camera/video zoom
Camera autofocus Camera anti-shake filter
Video calling

Other
Alarm clock Stopwatch/Timer
Calculator Web browser
Calendar