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Old 10-17-2007, 12:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default general Q's about blackberry features, cost, development...

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Hi everybody

I am a 4th year computer science student and am planning on developing an orientation system for people with visual disabilities. After some brief initial browsing around, it seems like developing on the blackberry would be a choice. I dont currently own a blackberry yet ( yes i lied to register for this forum, as i need your expert opinions). I have a couple of questions about the blackberry that i'm hoping people can answer, so i can get a better sense of whether this is the right hardware choice for development.

1. In Canada it seems that blackberry carreirs are super expensive. i think its 45 bucks for 4 MB of data, and 12 bucks for every MB thereafter. My question is what counts as data transfer? does the use of GPS and maps count? how about being on a home wireless network, or any wireless network for that matter?

2. I'm pretty sure blackberry is quite open to new development. Is the development Java based?

3. What kind of accessibility features does the blackberry have? can you make the font size large? can you make it talk (text/speech). Is there screen magnification software? for any developers out there, would implementing screen magnificaiton software / general accessibility features be possible?

4. How does the mapping / GPS work specifically? Do you have to pay for maps? do you have to pay for usage, either on a per use basis, or a monthly fee? are there associated data transfer costs?

I thank you all very much for any help.
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Forums.
1. Anything counts as data that is NOT a phone call or SMS. WiFi does not count as data, per se, toward to the BlackBerry Data Plan.
2. Yes, it is open more of late than ever.
3. You can adjust the font size. There is some text to speech capability (through third party applications). Not aware of any screen magnification apps.
4. Some GPS sevices charge, such as TeleNav, In their case, it is well worth the features TN offers. They charge monthly. There are other free gps applications such as Google maps, BB Maps, AmazeGPS, Windows Live Search, etc., there are numerous threads here about them in the GPS section of this board.

You'd do well to read through the FAQ site, and Stinsonddog's tips, both linked in my signature.

Good luck.
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