Friday, January 25, 2008

ePocrates on the BlackBerry Pearl

Ok, so one of the factors in the big switch was that my wife needs a phone that does ePocrates, and we didn't want a modern (yech) Palm device. So we got the BB Pearl.

Turns out ePocrates on the Pearl ain't quite as sweet as on the Palm. You need a data plan for one thing -- no installing via the BB desktop. So no buying BB without a data plan in the hopes of having a relatively cheap ePocrates platform! I wonder if ePocrates gets a kickback from AT&T for doing it this way, or whether the BB platform really doesn't support desktop installation.

In this case we have the unlimited data plan, so I'm downloading as I type. There are a few other caveats around the 9MB install:
Software Options

From the BlackBerry device's main menu, tap on the 'Options' icon, then click on the 'Status' item on the list. In the Status screen, the File Free number shows how much free main memory you have. If you have nearly enough memory, we recommend that you still try the installation, as your BlackBerry device will automatically remove unused hidden files.

Memory cards are not supported on BlackBerry devices at this time.
Emily's Pearl looks like it comes with about 28MB free, and ePocrates will use 9MB. I have a cheap 64MB Micro SD card installed, but it looks like that's only used for media. Shades of the Palm.

The iPhone will be a different story. I've a hunch we'll be selling the Pearl in a few months ...

Update 11/28/08: Years later, still suffering. The Pearl is a toy. ePocrates on the Pearl is a train wreck. Do not do this. Please don't. If Apple were to get their iPhone app together I'd switch Emily to the iPhone immediately.

Update 4/23/09: We finally deleted ePocrates from Emily's Pearl. The phone is useful again. What a bloody wreck. A colleague of mine with a corporate BB (also EDGE) had a similar experience. Don't install ePocrates on a Blackberry.


Steven said...

I bought a BB Pearl (verizon version) this weekend, which supposedly has 64MB onboard memory. ePocrates was the first and only application I installed. Afterwards, I tried loading additional applications that are supposed to take up only 100+ kB of memory, only to be told by my Pearl that I didn't have sufficient free memory to do so. Is the 9 MB size of epocrates true? What have you found out with your Pearl? Please let me know. thanks

JGF said...

I had the same experience. Then, after pulling the battery (rebooting) I had more memory.

I think ePocrates may have a nasty "memory leak". I don't think it's really all that ready for the BB.

KennethJE said...

Having the same issue. Phone became a brick until I removed epocrates. Great theory, poor practice. Going to continue using my palm & proximal computers.