Research in Motion has announced that the BlackBerry is ready to go on a world tour of sorts, and fittingly has named its latest world phone the BlackBettery Tour. This 3G smartphone will arrive later this summer for CDMA carriers (namely Verizon and Sprint). Sprint has already announced that it will sell the BlackBerry Tour for $200 with a contract and rebate, and the handset is clearly being aimed at the sweet spot between hardcore corporate-focused BlackBerry Bold and consumer-friendly BlackBerry Curve users.
The handset offers a nice mix of work and play functionality, notably that it will include high-speed 3G EV-DO Rev A network support, along with UMTS/HSPA and quad-based EDGE/GPRS/GSM support for high-speed mobile network while traveling internationally.
Key features include:
- Full QWERTY keypad
- 2.440-inch with 480×360 resolution
- 3.2 megapixel digital camera
- HTML browser
- DataViz Documents to Go
- Support for BlackBerry App World
- Media Player
- 256 MB of flash, with expandable microSD slot
Visual Travel Tours Launches Web Site for Viewing Via Smartphones
While packing for that next trip you might want to leave the guidebook at home, and instead go digital with a travel tour that can fit in the palm of your hand. This week, Visual Travel Tours (VTT) announced that it has launched a Web site that is the first online source of professional multimedia tours, created for viewing via mobile devices including cellular phones and handsets.
The site provides a variety of worldwide tours available, with new tours available for release each week. The concept here is that instead of pulling out a dated guidebook, you can instead load up the most recent digital guided tour. And this is aimed at users who have planned a trip months in advance, or just suddenly find themselves far from home with a few hours to kill. The site can provide walking and driving tours, as well as providing instant access to Web-based travel advice from local experts, and of course links to travel-related services. This includes maps, weather, reservations and even currency conversion. There are even ePostcards and event calendars for major destinations.
Payments can be made via a credit card, and transactions and downloads made anywhere there is Internet access, with files being formatted for iPods, iPhones, PDAs, computers and other smartphones. The pricing is fairly reasonable and ranges from $15.95 for audio/video tours; $12.95 for “Quite Guide” versions that provide text and photos, or “scroll as you stroll;” and finally $19.95 for a disc of all audio/video formats (but that option is obviously a plan for the future).
Mobile Travel Apps
FlightView – This WebOS app for the Palm Pre smartphone is the next best thing to having a travel agent on speed dial. It can provide current information about any North American flight, track in-air status and even offer alerts for delays, changes, and those dreadful cancellations. The software can be viewed in real-time, and is even linked with Pre’s calendar. It is available now, and is currently free from the Palm Pre App Catalog.
Lonely Planet City Guides – In addition to the VTT travel guides, iPhone and iPod users can consider the new Lonely Planet guides, which are now available from the Apple App Store for $16. Twenty cities are now available and include: London, New York, Melbourne, Dublin, Barcelona, Rome, Tokyo, Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Bangkok, Madrid, Miami, Seoul, Dubai, Berlin, Cape Town, Singapore and Mexico City, with more in the works. As a launch special, the guide for San Francisco is available for free.