Got a BlackBerry or RIM-Related Question? Ask BlackBerry Answers!
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
We’d like to think CIO.com is your number-one destination for BlackBerry software information, how-tos, tutorials, tips and tricks, advice and more, but we don’t pretend to believe one website can answer every question you have or fix whatever issue you may come upon. However, a new Web-based service from RIM, dubbed BlackBerry Answers, just might be the next best thing.
Launched last month in Canada and for the rest of North America in mid-July, BlackBerry Answers is an easy-to-use, intuitive—and best of all, free—service offered by RIM that lets you plug a question into an online field and receive an answer based on the company’s “premium knowledgebase collateral such as user manuals, getting started guides and support knowledge base material.” You’ll even get diagrams along with your answers, where available.
To access BlackBerry Answers, just click the default BlackBerry Help icon on your device’s home screen, or if you’re like us and you deleted the help app long ago to free up valuable storage space, you can surf on over to RIM’s mobile.blackberry.com site and click the Help icon on the home page.
We haven’t had too much time to experiment with BlackBerry Answers yet, but two out of the three questions we asked resulted in, we’ll say, “satisfactory” answers. For example, when we searched “How do I use microSD media cards?” a short paragraph of text was delivered along with a suggestion to see the “printed documentation that came with your device.” Not a whole lot of help, but a start.
When we asked BlackBerry answers how to back up and restore handheld data, we got a slightly better response, which suggested using the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software to do so. And it also suggested a few other things to search for to find related information.
Finally, we were a bit disappointed to find that we couldn’t locate any information on BlackBerry tethering, via USB, Bluetooth or otherwise, on BlackBerry Answers, even though we tried a variety of search queries.
If we had to rank the service on a scale of one to 10, one representing the least satisfied option, we’d give it a five, though it’s worth reiterating, we’ve only spent half an hour or so testing BlackBerry Answers.
Surf on over to RIM’s mobile site, give it try for yourself and then let us know what you think.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.