How much work can you do on a BlackBerry?

The laptop-free promise of today’s next-gen mobile devices is put to the test. Can the BlackBerry Bold deliver?

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The BlackBerry has no included navigation app, so I went to the BlackBerry App World Store and downloaded the free, highly rated Gokivo Navigator, which does the trick. When the BlackBerry can find a GPS signal -- which for me meant being outside or very near a window -- it can locate you and draw you a map of where you want to go. But zooming and scrolling that map is hard: Not only is the trackball imprecise, but there’s a lag of several seconds, so you don’t really know where you’re scrolling, making it hard to follow along. Gokivo can use AT&T’s extra-cost Voice Navigator to talk you through the directions, as well as update to the map as you move. That combination duplicates what you’d expect from an in-car GPS navigator.

Hang on to that laptop
If my fantasy of throwing the Bold against the wall is any indication, my BlackBerry experience could be labeled a disappointment at best. As a messaging and travel companion device, it’s bearable. But the app and Web experiences are painful to the point of being questionably relevant. Ultimately, I felt let down. And I eagerly looked forward to using my computer instead.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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