Chapter 7. Taking the Pearl to Market
The Pearl comes complete with a travel charger, a CD-ROM with software for connecting to a PC, a USB cable (again for connecting to a PC), and a hands-free earpiece/headset. This is more than enough to get you up and running smoothly, but we all know that when a new device is as popular and functional as the Pearl is, it won't be long before a small cottage industry of accessories pops up around every corner. If you don't believe me, just look at the iPod
Even though the BlackBerry Pearl has been on the market for only a short time, there are already a fair number of accessories built
This chapter takes a brief look at the most prominent of the accessories available for the Pearl and helps you understand why a particular accessory may be of value to you (or not).
Headsets: Free Hands for Everyone!
As mentioned elsewhere in this book, one of the main issues with cellular phones in general is that users hold the phone with one hand while talking, thereby losing one of their two appendages. Although this isn't critical when walking on a
The solution to this problem is hands-free headsets. If you can make it so that you can talk to someone without having to hold the phone to your ear, you can
The Pearl gives you three ways to go hands-free: wired headsets, wireless Bluetooth headsets, and the built-in speakerphone. Each of these options has pros and cons, but with the exception of the speakerphone, you can buy third-party accessories to make your Pearl hands-free just the way you like it.
The Pearl comes with a wired headset that works extremely well ( Figure 7.1 ). The headset plugs into the headset jack on the top-left side of the Pearl (just above the USB jack) and then fits into one of your ears. The sound quality is outstanding, and no one talking to me could tell that I was talking on a headset instead of the actual phone.
Figure 7.1. The included wired headset is outstanding
Many headsets (including the one that comes with the Pearl) have a mute button on the microphone. The mute button is important if you want to talk to someone else without letting the person at the other end of the call know what you are saying.
The Pearl has an EM70 jack for external headsets. This jack is pretty much the standard for cellular and wireless
Figure 7.2. This over-the-head headset that I bought for my cordless home phone works just fine with the Pearl
A Bluetooth headset (
Figure 7.3. This Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth headset looks great and works well but runs around $100, whereas a wired headset can cost $10 to $20
Bluetooth is a wireless standard used for personal area networks (PANs), such as those created by cellular telephones, computers, and personal digital assistants (PDAs). The
Bluetooth came about because of a need for wireless communication between relatively low-power devices such as cellular phones and PDAs, but it is also used in computers to connect wireless keyboards and mice.
Another recent use of Bluetooth comes in the form of small wireless over-the-ear headsets for cellular telephones, allowing the
The effective range of Bluetooth devices varies considerably, but most devices work within about 30 feet of each other.
Setting up a Bluetooth Headset
Setting up a Bluetooth device is remarkably easy. Simply
Figure 7.4. You access the Set Up Bluetooth area from the main menu
Figure 7.5. The Pearl can search for any nearby Bluetooth devices ready to be paired with it
You can tweak a few more Bluetooth options through the Options > Bluetooth menu, but the devices