64GB at a fraction of the price of an iThingy with a quarter of the storage - fantastic! But can I get it to DO what I want??
First off, I want to monitor my POP3 email from the sofa. My XP laptop is my primary device, with Thunderbird as my email client. But POP3 support on the Paybook Messages app is rubbish. I can't delete messages on my Playbook for tidiness without deleting them on the server. So I find K9 Mail in App World, which has the options I need and seems good.
Until I receive an email with an attachment. K9 Mail won't open it and refuses to save it anywhere but /SDCard. /SDCard??? So WHERE is THAT???
Hey **. So I copy a bunch of files that will be useful to have for reference (still not half full having uploaded all my music and all my photos). Great - plugged into my laptop I can see a file structure - BIG plus over Apple! Unplug and see what we've can see under File Manager. BUT MY FOLDERS! Dozens of files shown in a single list as flat as a pancake! How am I expected to organise 64GB of data without folders? And no sign of /SDCard or my email attachment.
OK, let's go back to App World. Aha! Files & Folders looks like a pretty good app. And here are all my folders. And I can even navigate up to /, and by George, there's /SDCard! And what's that I see in it? My attachment! OK, it'd have been nice to open it direct from K-9 Mail, but at least I can now put it where it belongs.
We're on a roll, so I find a big PDF I uploaded and open it with Adobe. Err, Adobe? Aren't you supposed to be able to move around documents sensibly, and display the index, and whizzy things like that? But this is USELESS. Oh well, here we go again. Back to App World. And Pdf Reader looks half decent. And it is. Until I try to open a file. And what do I get? Our old friend (not) File Manager and its Flat Earth view of the world. Well, I do happen to remember the name of the PDF file so I can find it, and yeah, PDF Reader I could probably live with.
So let's see if we can get there by navigating with Files & Folders. Yes, there's my PDF and the other PDFs I uploaded. Open with app... Groan. Thank you Adobe for nothing. Is it not possible to reassign the file association to my preferred PDF reader?
Then there's Contacts. I don't have a Blackberry, so is there no way to import them as an LDIF or CSV file? My master list is in Thunderbird on my laptop. And Calendar. No way of importing or syncing if you don't have a BB? And the browser is so limited. Can't you search for a keyword in a long web page?
So as far as I'm concerned, nice device, bags of storage, solid and well made if a little heavy, but nothing but frustration when you switch it on.
Should I wait for BB10, or throw it out of the window now? Or am I missing a load of tricks?
Regards - Philip
- 12-31-12, 06:28 PM #3
I feel your pain. Judging from leaks and dev info, it looks like BB10 will fix the issues you're having regarding file management and association. As for the rest, though I've seen no confirmation, I'd be surprised if it weren't fixed. Now its just a matter of playing the waiting game.
- 12-31-12, 06:58 PM #4
For reading PDFs, try installing qPDF reader from app world. It sees the PB's file system. For a file manager, try Ghost Commander from app world. It will; let you choose between the stock Adobe Reader and qPDF reader (or any other android PDF reader you might install on your PB) for opening PDFs or other files. As for contacts, you can import your contacts as a CSV file into android Contacts for use with K-9 mail. Lastly, remember the old adage that I just made up- just because you can't do something, doesn't mean it can't be done.
- 12-31-12, 08:18 PM #6
For your large PDF file, try renaming them if they have a long file name with spaces. I had the same issue with some of my large PDF files until I renamed them.
Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
- CrackBerry Abuser
12-31-12, 11:36 PM #9
- 104 Posts
I agree that PB natively lacks some features that should be there, but once you get it set up with a few extra apps it's well worth it.
Thank you all for (mainly) useful and universally well-intentioned tips. PDF Reader is now browsing by folder (vast improvement) but I shan't be syncing with Google - I've got too many accounts in too many places already, all wanting to be king, to want another.
Pacoman03 - Don't see how to import CSV into Android Contacts - is this a native Android app? I wasn't aware you could install them.
Herve5 - Long click on the Menu button would be great if I had one. I've searched all around the rim and bezel of my PB and don't see a Menu button. Is this an Android feature emulated by some gesture or magic incantation on PB?
Roll on OS10 - let's hope it lives up to expectations.
- CrackBerry Addict
01-02-13, 08:23 AM #13
- 518 Posts
- 01-02-13, 08:57 AM #14
- 01-02-13, 09:59 AM #15
Edit: found it!
1. Start Ghost Commander
2. On either left or right pane, you should keep pressing the up icon until you hit the "home:" screen
3. Click on Applications
4. Click on Contacts. The top bar should say "apps://com.android.contacts"
5. Click on Shortcuts. The top bar should say "apps://com.android.contacts/Shortcuts"
6. Click on Contacs-MAIN
7. The Android Contacts app will start, then swipe down from the top to show the menu. Click Import/Export
8. Choose Import from SD card. The app will then load all VCF files in /sdcard.
Last edited by blueberrymerry; 01-02-13 at 10:22 AM.
- 01-02-13, 11:46 AM #17
OP I feel your Pain... RIM made some huge mistakes with the PlayBook, and they along with most users have had to pay for them. Most of us have had to either buy additional apps to get the PlayBook to work (at least partial) the way we want it too. RIM has paid in the fact that once consumers found out about the lack of functionality of the PlayBook, they went and bought an iPad (and if they didn't have one I bet they soon after bought an iPhone). Sad to see such great hardware and a very cool OS/UI go to waste because of the lack of so many BASIC functions that have been with us in the tech world for years.... Feature Rich Email??, FILE SYSTEM??.
As for the problem with Adobe, really think it is a lack of power or memory with the GPU. While other PDF programs like qPDF and RepliGo do work better than the stock Adobe Reader, they still can not handle files nearly as quickly as even a iPad-1. I've tried to use it to view Architectural Drawings and navigating on document with just one page and it is still unbearably slow, when you have to watch it redraw each time you zoom in and out or move within an page is too painful.
So while BB10 can fix some problems, other I believe are going to persist no matter the OS.
- 01-02-13, 11:58 AM #18
- 01-02-13, 01:40 PM #19
I bet 90% of PlayBook owners have BlackBerry phone with them. To be honest, I tried the Mail app on PB but didn't think it useful so I removed the mail account on it and use bridge to access email on my phone instead.
Thank you Blueberrymerry, but it seems a very strange view of the file system Ghost Command gives, which I can't reconcile with the clearly Linux file system Files & Folders shows. A lot of smoke and mirrors going on somewhere only adding to the confusion and frustration. If only I could root it and pop a shell I could maybe see what's [I]actually[I] going on.
- 01-02-13, 06:56 PM #23
There's a lot of symlinking and sandboxing going on between native apps, AIR apps and Android apps. Hooking up the device via USB or Wi-fi shows another view. I think the real user data is kept in /accounts/1000/shared but once you go up to /, everything should look the same.
- 01-02-13, 07:49 PM #25
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