Given the BlackBerrys roots as a mobile email device, its no surprise that the operating system emphasizes e-mail. Specifically, its the push e-mail capabilities that make this so addictive (hence the Crackberry nickname among its devotees). New messages appear on the device at the same time theyre sent to your desktop mail inbox, so you dont constantly have to manually check for new messages. You can get similar capabilities on Palm and Windows Mobile devices, but BlackBerry is still considered the tops in this regard.
The BlackBerry operating system is also easy to use. Although you dont get touch screen capabilities, scrolling through the menus with the trackball or scrollwheel (in older models) is a cinch. BlackBerry OS can read Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents sent as e-mail attachments, but it doesnt allow you to edit or create new ones.
You can sync BlackBerry devices with a PC for Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes data. And with wireless sync, new appointments, tasks, contacts, and so on can be swapped between the device and a PC.
BlackBerrys trademark trackball is turning heads.
Because its primary audience is business users, previous BlackBerry models were lacking in multimedia capabilities. Thats beginning to change with the BlackBerry Pearl and 8800 series, which support music and video playback. Newer versions even come with Roxio software to help you get music, photos, and videos from your computer onto BlackBerry. The capabilities are limited to unprotected files, so you cant play songs purchased from online music stores that contain DRM (digital rights management) protection.
Unlike the other operating systems, you wont find a wealth of third-party applications for the BlackBerry. But for e-mail connectivity, it cant be beat.
Choose this OS if: E-mail connectivity is your main concern.
Compatible devices: All BlackBerry models.