In This Chapter
Search engines, directories, and portals
Advice and self-help
Social and virtual networking
Shopping and shipping information
Other browsing categories
Web surfing with a BlackBerry has improved dramatically with the newer models. With higher screen resolution and bigger real estate, your BlackBerry Curve should give you one good mobile Web-browsing experience. And with a 3G connection, your Web browsing should be faster. Remember that by using Page view, where the Web page displays like it does in your PC Web browser, you can maintain on your BlackBerry the browsing habits you have on your PC, but in a smaller package. The Web site recommendations in this chapter are based on reviews in the public domain and sites that definitely help when you’re on the go.
Weather changes often, but you can keep up with it at these sites:
AccuWeather.com (www.accuweather.com): AccuWeather.com provides the local weather forecast.
Weather.com (www.weather.com): Weather.com is smart enough to know that you’re using a mobile device and displays a nice, trim version of its page with a few links to non-weather-related information.
If these two sites aren’t enough, check out the “Search Engines, Directories, and Portals” section, later in this chapter. Major portals have weather information as well as traffic alerts and airport delays.
Most major news companies have mobile versions of their sites. This section gives you just a sampling of what’s out there. We list the same Web address you’d expect when browsing from your desktop. These sites detect that you’re using a smartphone and redirect you to the mobile-friendly version of their sites:
ABC News (www.abcnews.com): Get ABC News on your BlackBerry.
BBC News (www.bbc.com): You can read BBC News right from your BlackBerry, even if you’re not in the United Kingdom.
CNN (www.cnn.com): This is CNN’s mobile-friendly Web site.
Reuters (www.reuters.com): This is the mobile-friendly version of the Reuters site.
The New York Times (www.nytimes.com): This automatically points you to The New York Times’ mobile-friendly Web site, a site that’s clean and easy to navigate, without a lot of advertisements.
USA Today (http://usatoday.com): USA Today, one of the most popular newspapers, is now available for free from your BlackBerry.
Wired News (http://mobile.wired.com): Wired News is the mobile version of this tech-news Web site.
Search Engines, Directories, and Portals
In this section we list Web portals, which are sites that contain various information or links to other sites:
Google (www.google.com): The king of search engines works like a charm on your BlackBerry.
MSN (www.msn.com): You can access MSN Hotmail, MSN Messenger, and an online calendar. MSN application for the BlackBerry has all the features that you can find in a Web portal, such as Web search, weather lookup, sports information, and news. Plus you get MSN’s finance-related pages, which give you up-to-the-minute stock quotes.
RIM mobile home page (http://mobile.blackberry.com): This is the default home page setting for most BlackBerry browsers. The service provider can customize it, though, so your BlackBerry browser may
point to your service provider’s home page. RIM’s home page is definitely a place to start browsing the Web.
You should definitely bookmark this site.
Yahoo! Mobile (www.yahoo.com): Yahoo! is a smart portal because it knows you’re using a mobile device and formats the page accordingly — meaning a smaller page with no advertisements. The portal site allows BlackBerry users to employ regular Yahoo! functions, such as Yahoo! Mail, Messenger, Finance, and Games, as well as driving directions and weather.
This is another site you should bookmark.
You can keep up with the latest news in the finance world from your BlackBerry. Visit the following sites for finance-related articles and news:
BusinessWeek Online (www.businessweek.com): This is a place to get great finance information.
Fidelity (www.fidelity.com): Fidelity is an online investment brokerage firm.
Yahoo! Finance (http://finance.yahoo.com): This is a great site for checking the performance of your stocks.
Every site in the following list features flight status and gate numbers. Some allow you to log on (if you’re part of the airline’s frequent-flier program) to access frequent-flier benefits:
Any airline: http://flightview.com Air Canada: www.aircanada.ca
American Airlines: http://aa.flightlookup.com/omnisky
British Airways: www.britishairways.com
Cathay Pacific: www.cathaypacific.com
Continental Airlines: www.continental.com
Northwest Airlines: http://nwa.com United Air Lines: http://ua2go.com
In addition to these sites check out the following:
TripKick (www.tripkick.com): Don’t be so excited about getting a good deal on a hotel only to end up in a crummy room. TripKick tells you who has the best rooms and who doesn’t.
WikiTravel (www.wikitravel.com): This is one of the most up-to-date and complete travel guides on the Web.
Tired of missing updates on your favorite sport while on the go? You don’t have to. Visit the sports-related sites that follow, and you’ll get the scoop on what’s happening to your favorite team:
CBS Sports Mobile (www.cbssports.com/mobile): If you’re active on CBS Fantasy Team, you’ll be happy to know that you can log on and view your stats from this Web site. Popular U.S. sports are covered here.
ESPN (http://mobileapp.espn.go.com): Everyone knows ESPN. This is the mobile version of its Web site.
Advice and Self-Help
Looking for ways to save time and get your questions answered? Check out these sites:
HowCast (www.howcast.com): With a dose of humor, this site is a world of how-to videos.
Omiru (www.omiru.com): This site offers practical fashion advice for the common person.
Yahoo! Answers (http://answers.yahoo.com): Here, you can get all sorts of creative, amusing, and helpful responses to your questions — advice that’s free.
Zeer (www.zeer.com): There’s no need to stand in the supermarket comparing nutritional labels; do it here.
Social and Virtual Networking
For those of you who are (or aren’t yet) addicted to social networking sites, we list a few of the most popular ones here. If your favorite site isn’t listed, don’t fret; just search for it with a search engine:
Friendster (www.friendster.com): This site is popular in Southeast Asian countries and is open to people 16 and older.
LinkedIn (wwwlinkedin.com): LinkedIn caters to professional and business relationships. You’ll find people publishing their bios on their profiles.
Multiply (www.multiply.com): This site claims to focus on real-world relationships and is open to anyone 13 and older. It’s a popular site for teenagers.
Orkut (www.orkut.com): Orkut is a social networking site run by Google. It’s open to anyone 18 and older, and it requires Google login credentials. This site is popular in Latin America and in India.
Windows Live Space (home.spaces.live.com): This is a social networking site run by Microsoft. It’s open to everyone and requires a Hotmail or Windows Live login.
MySpace and Facebook both have an application you can download from RIM’s Web site. Point your browser to mobile.blackberry.com, and navigate to IM & Social Networking.
Shopping and Shipping Information
Shopaholics can keep it up online even when they’re not in front of the PC. Check out these sites:
Amazon (www.amazon.com): With Amazon Anywhere, you can shop and check your account information right from your BlackBerry.
eBay (www.ebay.com): You can bid on goods from the convenience of your BlackBerry.
FedEx tracking (www.fedex.com): This mobile version of the FedEx Web site allows you to track packages from your BlackBerry.
Gas Buddy (www.gasbuddy.com): You can find the nearest gas station that sells the cheapest gas.
ILikeTotallyLoveIt.com (www.iliketotallyloveit.com): This is shopping with a twist. Shoppers post things they like, from wasabi gum-balls to DeLorean cars, and solicit opinions on posted sale items from members.
UPS tracking (www.ups.com): Like FedEx, UPS has a mobile version of its Web site that allows you to track packages from your BlackBerry.
Other Browsing Categories
You can visit the following sites from your BlackBerry to get more information on various topics:
BlackBerry Cool (www.blackberrycool.com): In the same category as CrackBerry (see the upcoming bullet) and in fact a direct competitor, BlackBerry Cool is one of the pioneers in providing great reviews of BlackBerry applications.
‘ BlackBerryGoodies (http://blackberrygoodies.com): Go here from your BlackBerry or your PC. You can get information on customizing your BlackBerry, read BlackBerry application reviews, and get answers to your BlackBerry-related questions — from the authors of BlackBerry-related topics!
‘ CrackBerry (http://mobile.crackberry.com): To experience the BlackBerry community, go to CrackBerry.com. From application reviews to the lively online forum, this site is one of the most active BlackBerry communities.
MiniSphere (www.minisphere.com): You find useful links designed for mobile devices here.
‘ MizPee (www.mizpee.com): When you gotta go, you gotta go. This site locates the nearest clean public bathroom.
Starbucks Locator (www.starbucks.com): This site helps you locate the nearest Starbucks so you can meet your buddies or get a dose of caffeine.
wcities (http://pda.wcities.com): This site provides searches based on the city you select. You can search city information, dining, shopping, and sporting and local events.