In Chapter 9, you learned about accessing the Internet through the BlackBerry web browser that is built into your unit. The BlackBerry also supports the PocketGenie web browser and service, provided by WolfeTech. You can customize content for this browser and easily collect information that you want. Although the built-in web browser is all you need to use the Web with your BlackBerry, you should check out PocketGenie to see what it has to offer you. For starters, you can learn more about WolfeTech by visiting www.wolfetech.com and clicking the Products link to bring up the page shown in Figure 14-1.
As you can see in Figure 14-1, you can click the appropriate BlackBerry device graphic to find out what is available to you. If you click the Products link, you can find out more about the products for RIM, including the PocketGenie, as shown in Figure 14-2.
Clicking the PocketGenie icon takes you to the PocketGenie page, where you can learn more about the PocketGenie and download a free trial version (U.S. residents only), as well as several documents in PDF form so you can learn more about the PocketGenie. If you try the PocketGenie service and decide you want to use it on a regular basis, then you must pay a monthly fee. At the time of this writing, unlimited use per month will cost you $12.95, and you must also pay a $12.95 setup fee. If you decide that the PocketGenie is right for you (or if you decide to check out the trial version), then the following sections show you how the PocketGenie works.
Figure 14-1 Wolfetech.com
Figure 14-2 WolfeTech products
Did You Know? The Lean and Mean BlackBerry
Since I’m talking about third party solutions in this chapter, and the next chapter explores applications and fun stuff, now is a good time to mention the “lean and mean BlackBerry.” Your BlackBerry, which ships to you with default applications, is designed to hold the third-party services described in this chapter as well as the applications described in Chapter 15. However, that does not mean that you should install everything you can get your hands on. Keep in mind that the BlackBerry, although powerful, does have a limited amount of storage space.
The more room left on your BlackBerry, the more availability it provides when you really need to install something new. My point is simply this: install whatever you need, but don’t install a bunch of items just for the heck of it and don’t keep applications that you are no longer using. When you’re not using it, lose it! Remove any services or applications that are not needed and keep your BlackBerry lean and mean!.
Installing the PocketGenie
Once you download the PocketGenie from the WolfeTech website, you can install it on your BlackBerry using the installer program and your BlackBerry Desktop Manager. The installation process works basically like any other application installation. Check out “How to…Install PocketGenie” for specific steps.
Did You Know? From WAP to HTML
An interesting thing about the PocketGenie web browser for the BlackBerry is its use of HTML instead of WAP. Now, those two acronyms may not mean anything to you at all, so I’ll explain them a bit. When the Internet first came onto the scene, computers used Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to access Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) documents on the Internet. All Internet sites are written using the HTML language, and HTTP is a communications protocol your computer uses to contact and access HTML documents on the Internet.
Wireless Internet access, however, uses a different protocol, called Wireless Access Protocol (WAP). PDAs, web-enabled phones, pagers, and other types of Internet-ready mobile devices use WAP to access websites on the Internet. If a website doesn’t support WAP, then your wireless device cannot access the site. Currently, somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the sites on the Internet support WAP, so wireless Internet surfing is rather limited at this time.
The PocketGenie is breaking these rules by providing an HTML-based mobile browser. Since the browser is HTML based, it can access any site on the Internet because all sites support HTML. The PocketGenie supports frames, forms, cookies, 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and even e-mail links. Basically, anything you want on the Internet you can access with the PocketGenie. The problem is, of course, download time. The PocketGenie compresses information to make download over the wireless network faster, but you will have to spend some time playing with this cool tool to see if it is right for you and your business.
Setting Up the Browser
Once you have the PocketGenie installed, you must register the application before you can begin using the browser. The registration process is quick and easy—just follow the steps in “How to…Register the PocketGenie.”
This chapter is from How to Do Everything with Your Blackberry, by Curt Simmons (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2004, ISBN: 0072255870). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.
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