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Why you need to upgrade to BlackBerry Device OS 4.5

by Darren Duke

10/22/2008

Introduction

The next generation of BlackBerry operating system has arrived, and boy is it worth upgrading to. It really is all we hoped it would be. The new features are outlined in this review along with screen shots to whet your appetite until your carrier releases it for your device. Most of the 8 series smartphones are getting the upgrade, even most of the older 87 series models.

1. Email additions

HTML EMAIL

More correctly called "Rich Content" this allows for full fidelity HTML email, including images, colors, etc to be displayed on your device. Requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 SP6 or higher and Lotus Domino 7.0.2 or higher. No more strange text appearing where html used to be:

REMOTE MESSAGE SEARCH

Second up is one of my personal favorites, "Remote Message Search". You can now have the device search email back on messaging server (Domino®, Group Wise® or Exchange) simply by changing a flag in the search screen, No more keeping messages in the device "forever". Requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 SP5 or higher:

DOCLINKS

For Lotus Domino users, doc links, view links and db links now work. To an extent. The link is translated into a HTTP link and the user is redirected to the browser. Obviously the database must be web accessible AND the content must be web "friendly". Requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 SP5 or higher and Lotus Domino 7.0.2 or higher:

SAVE ATTACHMENTS TO FILE STORE

You now have the ability to save email attachments to any storage on the device (see below for why this maybe important to you). Probably time to buy a microSD™ card if you have not yet done so, and your device supports it:






And with Documents To Go (see below) you can now open and edit MS Word and MS PowerPoint files too!

2. Calendar Improvements

IMPROVED USER INTERFACE

This may not be new to all (4.3 may have had this already), but the calendar now displays the entire subject of the appointment. No more opening the entry to find about it:

FREE TIME LOOKUP

Free Time lookup. That’s right, no more guessing when the people you are inviting to a meeting/party/firing are going to be available. Requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 SP5 or higher. There is also a “Next Available Time” function too:

3. Documents To Go

OPEN AND EDIT WORD AND POWERPOINT FILES

In conjunction with the “Download Attachment” you can now read and edit two of the three popular MS Office formats on the device. You’ll need to upgrade to edit MS Excel files:







4. Over The Air (OTA) Device OS Upgrades

Once a device is upgraded to OS version 4.5 or higher, BlackBerry® Enterprise Sever admins can then push out OS updates (point releases or major version upgrades) over the air to users.

5. Media Player Playlists

Another of my favorite mew features. I use my trusty BlackBerry 8830 World Phone from Sprint as my MP3 player. I travel an awful lot and that means one less device to get through security. Well in 4.5 the Media Player application has been dramatically approved, including the addition to create and edit custom playlists:

5. Summary

4.5 is a must have upgrade for all BlackBerry users if for no other reason than the HTML (aka Rich Content) support, including doclinks. However, BlackBerry Enterprise Sever administrators who have stacked their servers full of users may need to test these features for impact to their systems BEFORE turning it on (and it is on by default). It maybe time to start splitting your users across multiple BlackBerry Enterprise Severs (and yes STS can help you do this).

For users, the oft requested ability to edit MS Work is now built in. You do have to register in the application but it is quick and painless.

I've been running 4.5 since early beta releases and have been extremely impressed with the new features over the older 4.2.2 device OS I was using. Overall a winner and must have.

Highly recommended.

The Disclaimer

Simplified Technology Solutions, Inc provides you, the reader, with this information and you use it at your own risk. Should you upgrade your device to OS 4.5 you do so at your own risk. Should you require assistance in implementing this this device OS upgrade in your organization, contact us and we will schedule a visit by a technician qualified and experienced to carry out these steps.

Simplified Technology Solutions

Should your organization require resources to help with any aspect of you design, development, testing, training or implementation of the BlackBerry solutions please don't hesitate to contact STS.

Learn how BlackBerry can empower you organization by contacting Lisa Duke at STS. Call 678 638 6688 today!

Legal Disclaimer

BlackBerry®, RIM®, Research In Motion®, SureType® and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of Research In Motion Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world.



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