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Old 04-29-2006, 11:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Push Weather Service for 8700 - Review

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This is a summary of the push weather service that anyone with an 8700 can subscribe to for free. In the Blackberry Internet Browser (not WAP Browser) go to Blackberry Help! which is the first link in your Browser Bookmarks under the Links Folder. Then select Extras followed by Push Services.

The Service
This service pushes content out to your 8700. What you get is a nifty graphical page with a five day forecast for the location for which you subscribed. The highs and lows for each day are given, alternating between Farenheit and Celcius, together with the percentage chance of precipitation. The moving graphics are the best that I have seen on my 8700 which is probably because the page was especially created for the Browser. The weather is from AccuWeather.com. It seems reasonably accurate. It generally agrees with PocketDay which is driven by weather.com. Pocketday provides greater detail including day/night forecasts and hourly updates on current temperature but only has a three day forecast. The 5 days from the push service is a welcome addition.

The Push System
You can have it push once or twice a day. The underlying service updates four times a day (6:30 am, 12:30 pm, 6:30 pm and 12:30 am for Toronto). Aside from only pushing out twice a day, the pushing is not well synchronised with the updates. For example, the 12:30 pm update arrived on my 8700 today at 4 pm. Pushed content is stored in a new cache in your browser. If you go To Browser, Options, Cache Operations, you will see this new cache that is created when you subscribe. You have two delivery choices:

Browser Channel
If you choose this option, a new weather icon (sunny, cloudy, rainy etc.), or icons if you subscribe for more than one city, will appear on your homescreen. The icon title (which, for example, you can read if you drop down the Zen apps menu) is the weather conditions and temperature as of when the update was created. In addition, a new folder of Bookmarks called (if I remember correctly) Browser Channels is added to your Bookmarks page. I have to work from memory because I found this variation of the push service to be a pain in the @$$ and unsubscribed. The last thing I want on my home page is more icons, and there are no hot keys associated. When new content is pushed out, a little notification icon appears which is (if I remember correctly...) a circle with an arrow.
Tip: to get rid of the permanent icon(s) on you homescreen, go into Bookmarks and delete the bookmark(s) in the Browser Channel folder. However, they will come back again to haunt you each time the content is pushed out until you unsubscribe....

Message
This is the better service IMHO. A message appears in your inbox with a rather nice globe where the envelope icon would normally be. The title of the message is the weather conditions and temperature as of when the update was created (but as I noted above, that might have been several hours earlier than when it was pushed out.) When you open the message, your browser opens and the weather appears. No new permanent icons on your homescreen. Much better. Also the little notification icon is cool: a rather nice globe that disappears as soon as you open the message.

My Conclusion and Recommendation
The weather service is very nice and I highly recommend it. However, the push aspect of the service is not highly satisfactory. It only pushes out twice a day and it is not synchronised with the timing of the updates. This service is a good first try for RIM but can definitely be improved.
What I suggest is to subscribe to the service and then add an ordinary bookmark when the pushed content is open in your Browser (i.e. hit A to Add Bookmark). This bookmark will link directly with the service for your city. Then unsubscribe from the service.
Now you can open the page from your bookmarks at any time and, if you know that a new update is available, simply hit R to refresh.
That's about it. The attached pictures show the screen with farenheit and Celsius displays as they alternate every few seconds.
Attached Thumbnails
Push Weather Service for 8700 - Review-weather-f.jpg  Push Weather Service for 8700 - Review-weather-c.jpg  

Last edited by cooperpwc : 05-01-2006 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the review, I just signed up!
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Great review, so it was moved to BlackBerry Reviews Forum.
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Last edited by Seattle18 : 04-30-2006 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Agreed great review. My favorite still is bbWeather for those that get it to work. Especially with the new shortcut for updates. Multiple cities with shortcuts is the great feature. Especially if you are in microclimates. Weather is from the weather channel also.

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Old 04-30-2006, 08:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default url?

I am having trouble finding the link in my bookmarks. can you post the Url? Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mako5
I am having trouble finding the link in my bookmarks. can you post the Url? Thanks.
This is the main page for the Push Services. You can subscribe for the weather service by selecting Add Location. You can unsubscribe from this same page.
http://mobile.blackberry.com/mss/cat...ccept=I+accept
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the review. I have an icon question.

The push subscription includes an updated icon that represents the current weather: sunny, rainy, dark, whatever. My 8700g (Zen theme) doesn't show this icon. Rather, on the home screen I get a generic "push web" icon, but the pop-up application menu (when I push the center button) shows me the correct icon representing the present weather.

In fact, this issue is a problem many other applications too, for example Google Talk and Google Maps (home screen shows generic Java app icon, pop-up menu shows proper icons).

Is this something I can correct?

TIA!
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spblat
Thanks for the review. I have an icon question.

The push subscription includes an updated icon that represents the current weather: sunny, rainy, dark, whatever. My 8700g (Zen theme) doesn't show this icon. Rather, on the home screen I get a generic "push web" icon, but the pop-up application menu (when I push the center button) shows me the correct icon representing the present weather.

In fact, this issue is a problem many other applications too, for example Google Talk and Google Maps (home screen shows generic Java app icon, pop-up menu shows proper icons).

Is this something I can correct?

TIA!
You get the "generic" icon on the .284 Zen homescreen. In any other theme you would see the sun or clouds etc. The only solution is to upgrade to the Telstra OS and Zen theme as discussed at length here. That will allow the push and third party icons to appear correctly on the Zen home screen. However, with the new Zen version you can no longer turn off the application names. (To my taste that's one step forward and two steps back.)

Last edited by cooperpwc : 05-01-2006 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Much better. Thanks!

I share your annoyance with the push schedule. I'd like my icon and weather data updated every two hours or so. So I'm unsubscribing from the service and keeping the bookmark so I can check weather on demand.
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Old 05-01-2006, 02:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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(Deleted: I had a theory but it didn't work)

Last edited by cooperpwc : 05-01-2006 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I unsubscribed to the weather service, but the icon is still on my home screen. Anyone know how to get rid of it?

Thanks.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoopitz
I unsubscribed to the weather service, but the icon is still on my home screen. Anyone know how to get rid of it?

Thanks.
To get rid of the icon on your homescreen, go into the Browser's Bookmarks and delete the bookmark in the Browser Channel folder.
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Old 07-28-2006, 12:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Although I subscribe as Browser Channel, I do not see any Browser Channels folder in Bookmarks. I also don't get any icons on my home screen. Any solution?
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawm
Although I subscribe as Browser Channel, I do not see any Browser Channels folder in Bookmarks. I also don't get any icons on my home screen. Any solution?
It sounds like you should go in and subscribe again. If necessary, unsubscribe and then resubscribe. That's my only suggestion; it should be working.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc
To get rid of the icon on your homescreen, go into the Browser's Bookmarks and delete the bookmark in the Browser Channel folder.
Tried that myself, but the bugger keeps popping up like a weed every time. I'm almost at the point of wiping the handheld just to get rid of it.

Frankly, a weather service that only updates twice daily is fairly useless. The forecast is nice, but I don't need a home screen icon telling me at 3 PM what the weather and temp was at 6 AM.
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.W.
Tried that myself, but the bugger keeps popping up like a weed every time. I'm almost at the point of wiping the handheld just to get rid of it.

Frankly, a weather service that only updates twice daily is fairly useless. The forecast is nice, but I don't need a home screen icon telling me at 3 PM what the weather and temp was at 6 AM.
Check around the Options->Advanced Applications. You may find something there.
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Old 10-02-2006, 07:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Actually, after posting, I went back and found that by clicking on the "push weather" link on the forcast page, you can go back and unsub from the push by deleting the locale chosen. Goodbye!
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:05 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm going to try this now. It sounds interesting.
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Great review. I do actually use the push channels because I travel a lot and like to load a few cities for a quick look and have the icons on my homescreen.

Everone should keep in mind that there are 2 different services. Accu Weather, and The Weather Network. I find the Weather Network to be more reliable and the pushed/icons more in sync.
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have had this before and loved it, but my BlackBerry recently broke and I've gotten a replacement and am trying to download this weather push service again, but the Extras link is gone! Does anyone have a direct link to this?
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