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  • BlackBerry Desktop 6.0 – First Impression

    Posted on August 13th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Today, I got the push from RIM for BlackBerry Desktop Manager to be upgraded.  This post will talk about the upgrade process and my first impressions of this software that I’m likely to never use.

    Let’s start with the install. It all began with Windows 7 prompting me with a BlackBerry icon in my system tray. Clicking on the link brought up the BlackBerry Automatic Update dialog. Being a “bleeding edge” tech guy, I grabbed a screen shot and clicked “Install”.

    The install was seamless and painless. Basically, sit back and watch. I may suggest grabbing a cup of coffee, as the install took my system about 5 minutes to complete the installation.

    The first bit of interesting change, no longer do we call this BlackBerry Desktop Manager.  Now, it’s BlackBerry Desktop Software. I wonder how much time in R&D was spent on that change.

    The actual layout of Desktop Software is considerably different from the 5.0 version. You now get a navigation pane on the left side, versus icons covering the entire app. What’s great about this change is, you always have visibility into all your navigation opportunities at all times.  Previously, once you clicked an icon, you’d be brought into a completely new screen, with no visibility back to your previous options. Also, take a look what is in the new navigation area, “Media Sync”.  For the first time, it looks like we will get a decent integrated media sync application.  I will explore this in much more detail.

    Initially upon connecting my BlackBerry (Bold 9000) to my Windows 7 computer via USB, Desktop Software did not recognize it. The initial startup screen, “Connect your BlackBerry device”, remained.

    After a minute, my USB port recognized the BlackBerry and so did Desktop Software.  It recognized it in the home screen, followed immediately by a pop-up about adding a new BlackBerry device, following immediately by another pop-up screen about discovered music on my device. Having all this automatic discovery is nice and all, though maybe they could have let me complete one activity before bringing up the next pop-up window.

    The media sync capability appears to be better than what existed in the past.  I will explore it further and see if it compares at all to using iTunes or Windows Media Player for syncing. As of recently, the only reason I have been using BlackBerry media sync is to get my Windows Media Player (WMP) playlists on my Bold.  Using WMP to sync, only brings over the songs, not the playlists. It’s odd, because with the BlackBerry Storm, it would sync playlists with WMP.

    For now, my first impression is overall positive.  The left navigation gives the user a way to easily get back to home or any other place within Desktop Software. The integrated media sync is a great add, plus the media sync screens have a new look to them, giving a sign that RIM is trying to get serious in the multi-media space. Plus, the ability to adjust the size of Desktop Software is a great add.

    Be sure to check out Craig Johnston’s book, “My BlackBerry Curve” at Amazon. Why? He’s on the CrackBerry Podcast, and knows his stuff.

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