Review: BlackBerry Bold 9930
The Bold 9930 runs BlackBerry 7, which is a refreshed version of RIM's system software. There are tweaks aplenty compared to what was available in BlackBerry 6, but they are barely noticeable. The home page has a number of different elements with which to interact. From top to bottom, the basic home screen has the status bar, the notification bar, main screen/wallpaper, and the app tray.
The status bar — where the clock, signal indicator, battery meter, etc. are located — is the top-most element. Press the time at the top from the home screen[g], and it opens up a tray of tools, such as network controls (WI-Fi, etc.), the alarm clock, and other basic settings. This feature doesn't work from other screens, only on the home screen.
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The notification bar acts similarly to the drop-down notification shade in Android. Tapping it lets users quickly get a look at all of the unread messages they may have received. This includes email, SMS, MMS, BBM, Twitter replies/DMs, and Facebook notifications. You can see the first handful of each message type, and view info such as the sender and subject. Want to hide all the notifications? Tap the bar again and it goes away. If you do want to read a message, select it and the notification app will open the message in whichever messaging service it belongs to.
The app tray is where users will really be able to customize BlackBerry OS 7 handsets. The tray offers five different user-configurable home screens / menus. The first (and default) screen lists all the apps. The second lists those used most frequently. The third shows all downloads. The fourth is reserved for media. And the fifth is for user-chosen favorites. When the app tray is open users can swipe sideways between these five different home screens.
The Universal Search tool has been updated, though it behaves mostly as it did in BlackBerry 6. For example, if I type "Phone Scoop" while on the home screen, the Universal Search pulls up all the relevant items on the 9930 and delivers them to the desktop. This includes contacts, web sites, and so on. Do the same thing for quick access to a contact, or song, or any other application that you don't want to peck through the menus to find. If what you're looking for isn't on the phone, it offers web-based tools (YouTube, Bing, BlackBerry Maps, etc.) to continue searching.
Press-and-hold gestures can be used to open secondary menus in some applications. For example, in the contact application, the press-and-hold gesture conjures up the options menu, offering shortcuts to calling, texting, emailing, editing the contact and other actions. Use press-and-hold on the home screen, however, and the options will include moving, opening, deleting, or hiding the selected app, among other actions.
The real improvement doesn't come so much from BlackBerry 7 but from the fact that the 9930 is a touch phone. Being able to reach up with your thumb and select menu items instead of using the trackpad saves gobs and gobs of time.
New BlackBerry Bolds Add Touch, NFC, Run OS 7
Research In Motion today announced a new series of Bold handsets, the 9900 and 9930, which marry a traditional BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard with a touch screen. The new Bolds are the first BlackBerries to include near-field communications (NFC) for mobile payments.
Sprint Confirms It Will Sell BlackBerry 9930 and 9850
Sprint today announced that it will sell variants of the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9930 and the BlackBerry Torch 9850 later this fall. Pricing and the exact availability were not disclosed.
RIM Says 7 New BlackBerries On the Way
During its recent shareholder meeting, Research In Motion's executives said that the company is on track to release seven new smartphones in what it says will be its biggest product launch ever. RIM originally planned to release the Bold Touch 9900/9930 this summer.
RIM Now Accepting BlackBerry 7 Apps
Research In Motion indicated via its blog today that it is now taking application submissions for its forthcoming BlackBerry 7 platform. RIM has posted a step-by-step guide for developers so they may properly test and post their applications.
BlackBerry 9930 Hits Verizon's Web Site for $249
Verizon Wireless has made the Research In Motion BlackBerry Bold Touch 9930 available for sale via its web site. It runs the new BlackBerry 7 platform, and has a touch screen and QWERTY keyboard.