Tagged PDA

Google Maps now available on the BlackBerry

Google Maps are now available for a wide variety of mobile phones.

A couple of weeks ago, while preparing to slog through an almost impossible-to-read map on my Blackberry to find directions, I discovered that Google has made a mobile version of their map software available to Java-enabled handheld devices, including my Blackberry 7130e. For a full list of supported devices, visit this page. The software is pretty easy to use: just type in an address or business type, and the map will show you where it is and/or how to get there from where you tell it you are. It is undeniably neat to navigate to, say, Sandusky, Ohio and ask Google to show you all the pizza places in town, even if you’re nowhere near Sandusky, Ohio.

The interface is obviously much better, since it’s designed for the tiny screen of your phone or PDA, not a computer monitor (my Blackberry was capable of using the Google Maps page beforehand, but it took forever and was very unwieldy). You can save favorite locations or searches, and zoom in and out quickly and easily. In fact, my only complaint is that, while the software offers both a road map and a satellite view, you cannot overlay the two as you can on real Google Maps. Other than that, though, this is a worthy download for your phone. Just visit mobile.google.com on your phone’s web browser to get the app.

blackberry, cell phone, directions on a cell phone, find business, get directions, google map, google mobile, handheld, java enabled, mobile phone, mobile.google.com, PDA, phone

WordPress blogging software administration on the Blackberry

The Blackberry: Sweet, juicy….Internet.

As PDAs and similar handheld devices continue to advance, it becomes more and more realistic to consider them in one’s site design, in order to reach the widest audience possible. Since I happen to have a Blackberry right now, I’ve been trying various sites in order to see what’s compatible and what fails miserably.

The usual suspects, such as Google and Gmail, performed flawlessly, as expected. The folks over at Google seem to a have a special little spot in their hearts for the mobile user, and their most popular offerings don’t disappoint in this regard.

Once I was sure that I’d maxed out my PDA’s capability to process client-side markup and scripting (you have to manually add JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and XML support, otherwise you’re basically running Internet Explorer 4.0 on a teeny-tiny screen–a browsing experience that would make even the most desperate bsuite-hound run for the nearest Mennonite community), I headed over to this blog.

The front page loaded flawlessly, though it takes quite a while, and the Blackberry’s status bar indicates a laborious process of running scripts and proccessing CSS at what is, relatively, a snail’s pace. What surprised me the most was the appearance of a photo that went with one of the stories, nicely formatted and filling the screen. It’s easy to scroll through and read posts, click on related articles, and do pretty much anything else you’d want.

With the front page test complete, I tried logging in to the admin section. Navigating to /wp-admin yielded a standard userID/password dialog, and within 30 seconds, I was on the admin dashboard, free to click on any tab, change any options I wanted, and even post an article. As far as I can tell, WP works with the Blackberry, or rather, the Blackberry has no problems handling WordPress. It’s a far cry from the cell-phone internet I’m used to.

I plan to continue trying out sites to see where the Blackberry might get stuck. I’ll post if I find anything, and update this entry if I find any more significant sites or webapps that work.

UPDATE: I found a page with a really nice intro to CSS and web development on the Blackberry. Read about it here.