Using a Blackberry with Google.
May 15, 2010 8:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm a former Blackberry user who hasn't used one for over a year, but who may have to switch back. I need to know if anything has changed/improved in how the Blackberry works with Gmail, Gcal, and Google's Contacts, specifically the Curve 2 (8530).

I am currently out of contract with Sprint, using a Samsung Moment (which I love). However, the new Virgin Mobile pricing may be too good to turn down (I'd save about $70/month by switching), and Virgin Mobile only has one smartphone, the Curve 2 (8530).

My problem is that all my info is in the Google. I use Gcal, Gmail, and Google for my contacts. I love how on the Android phone, I can quickly and easily label and archive e-mail as it arrives, and I love how well my contacts and calendar sync. I know that a non-Google phone cannot possibly do this stuff as well as an Android phone can. I'm trying to see if Blackberry can get close enough for me.

I've used Google Sync in the past, but I'm foggy on how well it worked, and I don't know if there have been any improvements in Google Sync in the last year.

If you are using Google services with a Blackberry, or have in the recent past, I would love to hear how well it is working for you.

Thanks so much for your help.
posted by 4ster to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I use Gmail, sync my Google calendar with my BB calendar, and have the Google app that has reader, docs, news feed, etc. (you can customize it). My phone vibrates when I get a gmail, and the Gmail icon shows a little thing so I know I have an email. It doesn't put a little icon at the top though, like when you get a text, phone call, or voicemail, but since I have Gmail on my first bar of icons, I don't really need that anyway (you might actually be able to have it do this, but I don't like the little icons at top, so I don't bother trying to figure it out).
I have multiple Google calendars for different things, all are synced to my BB calendar, it just doesn't say in the BB calendar which calendar the event is for. I can set reminders from Google to pop up on my BB.
I also sync my contacts with Google, and occasionally read my Google reader on it, but don't really care enough to do that much.
I'm very happy with this setup. I'm sure it's not as integrated as an actual Google phone, but it definitely serves my needs.
posted by ishotjr at 9:03 AM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also, any comments on the build quality of the Curve 2 would be great (i.e., do they still get dust under the screen like the 8330 did).
posted by 4ster at 9:03 AM on May 15, 2010

I have an 8320, so no comments on your particular model.
posted by ishotjr at 9:13 AM on May 15, 2010

Wow, I have pretty much exactly the same set up ishotjr, and it works well enough that I have no complaints. The web browser is pretty bad on my my older 8350- not sure if it has improved on the newer Curve.

Mail is synced perfectly. It stores a local copy of your most recent messages and you can draft emails when "offline" (like on a plane).

I have multiple calendars synced too. I never add appointments to my calender for the BB, so I'm not sure how well that works.

Contacts sync perfectly too. I often use the Reader app on my 15 minutes busride in the morning.
posted by gus at 9:42 AM on May 15, 2010

I used the Google package (including Sync) my older Curve, and there were no problems, although I'm not sure if you can manage your Google contacts with Blackberry, or vice versa.

Personally, I prefer Blackberry's contact manager to Android.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:15 AM on May 15, 2010

Also use BB with Google.

My company uses Google apps, so company email is hosted (is that's the right term) by Google, look & feel of gmail, with corporate email address. I access this email account using Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) which means my Google hosted corporate email ends up working just like normal blackberry email. Google sync keeps my work contact list & calendar (both from Google) sync'd to my BB. lastly, I use the blackberry gmail client to access my personal gmail account. Personally I'm not that happy with the gmail client, it doesn't do HTML email and I can't assign labels to emails, but other than that its serviceable.

I just upgraded from a Curve 8310 to a Bold 9700, I don't know if the Curve 2 also has rev 5.x of the BB OS, but its a good step up (especially the browser) from rev 4.x on my old Curve.
posted by Long Way To Go at 12:36 PM on May 15, 2010

I bought a Bold about a year ago. I had never used a BB prior to that. I looked at all the other phones, including the other BBs, and they all, IMHO, sucked. Whatever they did with the Bold's OS is right.

The google integration is good. The interface isn't spectacularly easy, but it works.
posted by gjc at 1:00 PM on May 15, 2010

I use google sync and in my opinion it is seamless and perfect. I sync all of my contacts and my calendar. Everything that is in one place is always in the other. It's great.

For my gmail I just use the BB email app because I like it better. But that's just me. I have the gmail app and it's OK, but I like getting all of my mail (from multiple accounts) in one place so I just get it all on the BB mail app.

But sync works beautifully.
posted by crapples at 1:54 PM on May 15, 2010

What crapples said. I use a blackberry curve (though not the 8530 :() and it's always worked flawlessly.
posted by saveyoursanity at 5:26 PM on May 15, 2010

nthing the use of Gmail, I completely de-linked my Blackberry email system. Which is only annoying when you want to compose to someone from your address book, or to click an HTML embedded link, but both are far less annoying than getting a notification every time you get an email IMO. Like ishotjr said, you can also configure Gmail to notify you.

Gmail, Reader, etc. all work as expected with the application. Also have Google Talk, this works much like BBIM but takes a while to get running and automatically shuts off when you put the phone in stand-by (mute key).

Probably not an issue on a company phone, but DO NOT download the Facebook app if you are syncing your Google calendars. After cumulative HOURS of deleting birthdays and events as Facebook helpfully added them (multiple times!) to my default calendar, I finally deleted the Facebook app altogether. Could not find any way to turn this feature off.
posted by ista at 7:10 PM on May 15, 2010

I use blckberry Curve with Gmail app (like Long Way To Go) above and sync app to sync my contacts and calendar. Except of occasional duplication of meeting I have had no problems.

Ista: You can solve your problem by setting up credentials for your email in BIS and then using the filters to say that no email should be forwarded to your device. This way when you click on a HTML link it will send out an email from your address without disturbing your current setup.
posted by london302 at 1:45 AM on May 16, 2010

I have an 8530 (and love the touch track pad navigation). I've added my gmail address to the email setup, and it works seamlessly. I also have my calendar integrated. Google maps, and the whole google suite, seem to work just fine. At least, I haven't come across any problems in accessing any google account info from the blackberry. I'm on a BES for work, but I've been able to add all of the gmail/google services on top of that.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:27 PM on May 16, 2010

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