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Old 03-17-2006, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New BB software JournalBar for BlackBerry Beta release

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We hope you won't mind us posting to this forum, but we would dearly like to get your opinions and feedback on a new BlackBerry product, and thought you would like to take a look.

We are currently beta testing a product for newish (color) BlackBerry devices which automatically grabs the latest weather, news and stock information, for quick viewing ("Journal Bar"). News unfortunately isn't ready yet for the beta, but all the other parts are fully operational.

To download the beta version for free, please go to www.journalbar.com/bb/install.html. Please remember that this is test software, and as such may use a lot of your data bandwidth. Although we aren't expecting any big data grabs, we recommend only using this product if you currently have an unlimited bandwidth plan to prevent costly bills.

We would LOVE to hear your feedback on Journal Bar, both bugs and comments. Every time you log a bug, we will enter your name into a draw to win one of five copies of the full version of Journal Bar when it's released!

Thanks,

The JournalBar team at OmegaOne
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No offense: Any reason that anyone should give up the FREEE BBweather, BBToday, and 411 for something like this?
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIH
No offense: Any reason that anyone should give up the FREEE BBweather, BBToday, and 411 for something like this?
No offsense taken at all. It is a perfectly valid question.

In answer to it:

1) I've developed what I think to be one of the few, if not the only, third party app that should be able to automatically determine your network settings on the BB and get to the Network without any user input. (It does have a fallback for entering the correct network paramaters, and I'm hoping to see just how many device / network combinations I have working from the beta) So, it should be much easier to just download and start working.

2) The interface for weather allows entering cities from the US and all over the world. It does it in a human friendly form so that you don't have to go and try and figure out / look up codes.

3) This is a product that will be supported. Omega One has been around for a while, and is well known on the PocketPC area, and we are now trying to develop applications for the BlackBerry space.

4) For much of our data we pay for access to the information, and thus have control over it and rights to it for the indefinite future, instead of relying on an outside source of weather information.

There are also some additional features, such as weather radar, and IR photos, again for literally thousands of locations around the world. I personally have been finding the weather radar quite useful for checking if I need to worry about rain in the immediate vicinity before going on a bike ride as an example.

In short, I think there are some ease of use and other features available that make it worthwhile, but that is also why we are offering the Beta for free. We want other people to have a look at it and try it and let us know what you think, and whether it would be worth it to you. We are a small company, and still have the ability to listen to our customers!
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Even though I might be jumping the gun a bit here, what is the ballpark figure for the cost of this application going to be or in what range if it hasnt been finalized. Is it going to be a one time fee or a renewable one?
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrad
We hope you won't mind us posting to this forum, but we would dearly like to get your opinions and feedback on a new BlackBerry product, and thought you would like to take a look.

We are currently beta testing a product for newish (color) BlackBerry devices which automatically grabs the latest weather, news and stock information, for quick viewing ("Journal Bar"). News unfortunately isn't ready yet for the beta, but all the other parts are fully operational.

To download the beta version for free, please go to www.journalbar.com/bb/install.html. Please remember that this is test software, and as such may use a lot of your data bandwidth. Although we aren't expecting any big data grabs, we recommend only using this product if you currently have an unlimited bandwidth plan to prevent costly bills.

We would LOVE to hear your feedback on Journal Bar, both bugs and comments. Every time you log a bug, we will enter your name into a draw to win one of five copies of the full version of Journal Bar when it's released!

Thanks,

The JournalBar team at OmegaOne
When to your link, but found no where to download journalbar
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Old 03-17-2006, 10:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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you have to connect your blackberry in order to download. However, After downloading this is what I found:

1. The only way to select an item is to click the trackwheel. Setting it up so that you can use the enter button would be better

2. I tried and tried to determine my connectivity (I had full signal when trying and all my browsers work perfectly). However, I got and error saying that I had no service or my service was low. After trying to connect for the 10th time, the program was deleted and a bug report was filed.

At this point in time, I would say there are some issues that need to be resolved. I liked the idea, but never got to try it out. Maybe someone else will have better luck
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Old 03-18-2006, 11:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclops
When to your link, but found no where to download journalbar
Hi, we have set it up so that we ask you to enter your email address prior to downloading. We are using that solely to track how many people are using it, and then to be able to send a follow up survey. Please let me know if you can't get to the download link after submitting the email address. (We will not use the email address for any other purpose than those stated above)
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Old 03-18-2006, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coreyg510
you have to connect your blackberry in order to download. However, After downloading this is what I found:

1. The only way to select an item is to click the trackwheel. Setting it up so that you can use the enter button would be better

2. I tried and tried to determine my connectivity (I had full signal when trying and all my browsers work perfectly). However, I got and error saying that I had no service or my service was low. After trying to connect for the 10th time, the program was deleted and a bug report was filed.

At this point in time, I would say there are some issues that need to be resolved. I liked the idea, but never got to try it out. Maybe someone else will have better luck
Interesting, I use the BlackBerry standard radiostatus apis to determine if you have signal strength and digital coverage, Corey, if you don't mind, I will contact you offline to try and figure out what is going on there. Thanks for trying!
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Old 03-18-2006, 11:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Response to your email was sent.
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Old 03-18-2006, 12:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It's nice to see Omega One trying to develop apps for the Blackberry. Their PPC apps are some of the best around.
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It sat at checking my connectivity on my 7100i. I deleted it.
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonTiki
Even though I might be jumping the gun a bit here, what is the ballpark figure for the cost of this application going to be or in what range if it hasnt been finalized. Is it going to be a one time fee or a renewable one?
Hi, you are correct, we haven't figured the final price yet. But, we are thinking at this point of an inital price of 29.99 with a yearly renewal of $19.99, including upgrades to newer versions.
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgreenberg
It's nice to see Omega One trying to develop apps for the Blackberry. Their PPC apps are some of the best around.
Thanks for the kind words! We think that the BlackBerry is going to be a strong emerging market, and I personally use one all the time, so that's why we're going for it!

Our goal is to develop applications that are very easy to use, and that is why I'm trying to make sure that the connection to the network just works, without any messing around. RIM and the various network provides have not made this an easy task for a third party app!

At any rate, that is what I'm hoping to iron out in the beta. So far, we are looking at about a 15:1 success /fail rate from people who have downloaded the app and made a connection, and I'd like to track down the remainders and get it to 100%!
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifestar53
It sat at checking my connectivity on my 7100i. I deleted it.
LifeStar, I will contact you with private email if you don't mind! Thanks,

Ron
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Old 03-19-2006, 05:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I downloaded the software and ran the program it dumped on my computer. But nothing seemed to install. Does it install via Desktop Manager or Javaloader?

All that seemed to happen was it started my browser and went to a promotional page!
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Ronrad, I have not tried this application at this time, but here are some thoughts and questions. If you have solved the network connection issue, that will help alot of people. That is a major task. Sounds like the program points you to your browser for the info? Is that right or is it a standalone like Pocket Day or BBweather. If it's the latter, can you post some screenshots. From my review of the IM apps, RSS apps and things like BBWeather I firmly believe that the interface is really critical for user acceptance. Good luck with the program.
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roofus
I downloaded the software and ran the program it dumped on my computer. But nothing seemed to install. Does it install via Desktop Manager or Javaloader?

All that seemed to happen was it started my browser and went to a promotional page!
Hi, we're using the new RIM ativeX control for this beta. One thing I forgot to mention is that this requires Internet Explorer to work. It will then most likely post a security message at the top of Internet Explorer for the ActiveX control. If you have your BlackBerry connected via USB, it should then provide a load button on the bottom of the Broswer page that pops up.

If this did not happen, then there is an .alx file in the unzipped package. By default, this installs to the \program files\omeaga one\jb-bb directory. If you open up your desktop manager, and click on the application loader, choose add, and point it to the directory where you installed to, you should be able to load that way.

Thanks!

Ron
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Old 03-19-2006, 11:56 AM   #18 (permalink)
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As a longtime Ipaq user, I Beta tested your first release of JournalBar. Looking forward to trying it out on the 8700c!
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Old 03-19-2006, 02:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinsonddog
Ronrad, I have not tried this application at this time, but here are some thoughts and questions. If you have solved the network connection issue, that will help alot of people. That is a major task. Sounds like the program points you to your browser for the info? Is that right or is it a standalone like Pocket Day or BBweather. If it's the latter, can you post some screenshots. From my review of the IM apps, RSS apps and things like BBWeather I firmly believe that the interface is really critical for user acceptance. Good luck with the program.
We've been thinking about that. I will work on getting some shots up on the website. I agree with you the interface is critical . We have designed a completely different interface for Journal Bar for BlackBerry than the PPC. (In fact the entire codebase is new from the ground up, with the exception of the algorithms for finding our data) Our goal was to design an interface that fit with the BlackBerry model, but was still easy to use, and bore a family resemblance to the PPC version. We welcome all comments on the UI, as it is a very different direction for us.
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Old 03-19-2006, 02:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinsonddog
Ronrad, I have not tried this application at this time, but here are some thoughts and questions. If you have solved the network connection issue, that will help alot of people. That is a major task. Sounds like the program points you to your browser for the info? Is that right or is it a standalone like Pocket Day or BBweather. If it's the latter, can you post some screenshots. From my review of the IM apps, RSS apps and things like BBWeather I firmly believe that the interface is really critical for user acceptance. Good luck with the program.
In answer to a couple of your other questions ...

Actually, I do not use the browser for most of it. The only time I use the browser is when we run into copyright issues with the data. (I.e. we have to display it exactly as given to us) This will happen with our news content, and with Non north-American stocks. Other content is displayed on a custom UI (which is much quicker than using the browser)

The network connectivity is an algorithm that we have worked on for a while. I'm hoping it will work, and it should in theory. It will need some tweaks as we go through it, and that is where the beta feedback will really help!
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