Updated Morcombe app

To: Peter Shute <>
Subject: Updated Morcombe app
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2012 11:23:17 +1000

I think your post gives us all an idea why Blackberry is rapidly heading 
towards becoming the Norwegian Blue of hand-held devices.

As for transferring the licence from a Blackberry version to that for another 
OS, I wish you luck. It would be rather like buying a book title in Swahili and 
some time down the track, asking the publishers for a version in English :-)


Carl Clifford

Sent from my iPad

On 03/06/2012, at 9:38, Peter Shute <> wrote:

> It'll be interesting to see how long Blackberry can hold on. They were once 
> the default smart phone for businesses, but there's open revolt among users, 
> with many insisting on something else (usually an iPhone) to the point where 
> many are opting to buy their own rather than take a company supplied 
> Blackberry. Very unusual.
> Equally unusual is an app developer fulfilling their promise of "Blackberry 
> version coming soon". Well, in this case it didn't come soon, but it did 
> come, and I never expected it to happen. Perhaps this is only to be expected 
> from the author of what I consider to be the most progressive of Australian 
> field guides in terms of usability. First we had text with pictures, a quick 
> index and a built in bookmark ribbon, now we have a Blackberry app!
> Despite the likelihood that, after 7 years as a Blackberry user, I will end 
> up with an iPhone in a year or so when this contract runs out, I bought and 
> installed the Morcombe app on my 9800 via Blackberry App World last night 
> without waiting for a response from the authors asking if the licence can be 
> later transferred to a different type of phone.
> I easily paid by Paypal. The download process wasn't straightforward, mainly 
> because my home WiFi is dodgy, but it eventually installed the 2MB program. 
> Now for the 300MB of data. This is where the programmers revealed their 
> inexperience developing for Blackberries. The precise instructions it showed 
> when I ran the app said I should now click either the Install button to 
> download wirelessly, or the Exit button if I wanted to download the data 
> files on a PC. But there were no buttons.
> What it should have said was to press the (physical) Blackberry button and 
> choose one of  those options from the popup menu. This is where, for an 
> app-weary Blackberry veteran, it gets funnier. You can't click on the menu 
> options either! It took me a while to think to try tapping the touch screen 
> instead, and that worked. Blackberry is still coming to terms with the touch 
> screen, and developers unused to devices with a touch screen, trackpad and a 
> physical keyboard are forgetting to check that all the input methods work.
> But Blackberry apps that don't work properly have been a fact of life for a 
> long time, and I've seen worse than this so I persisted.
> I chose the option to download the data files wirelessly, just to see what 
> happened. It failed a few times, but managed to get about 30MB of them before 
> I gave up. With more reliable WiFi, wireless download might be feasible. The 
> fact that there are many small files and doesn't retry those it already has 
> is good design that will get you there eventually.
> I instead followed the instruction to use a computer to browse to the 
> download site to download them. The URL given in the instructions results in 
> this browser message:
> "HTTP Error 403.14 - Forbidden. The Web server is configured to not list the 
> contents of this directory." I browsed around the site and found the right 
> place to download them. They need to fix those instructions.
> The download on the PC was done with a browser Java app that showed the 
> download progress, once I'd told it which part of the phone memory I wanted 
> it in. When it reached 100%, it just sat there, appearing to do nothing. I 
> expected that it would then show me the progress of loading the files to the 
> phone, which I'd already connected via USB. Had it already done it? Instead 
> of assuming it had, I browsed around the phone's memory and found where it 
> was putting them. It hadn't finished - I could see new files appearing all 
> the time.
> I kept refreshing the screen until no more files appeared, and disconnected 
> the phone. The Java app still just sat there, giving no indication that it 
> was all finished. They should fix that, or people will end up corrupting 
> their phone memory by disconnecting before it's done. This kind of install is 
> normally done via the Blackberry Desktop Manager, which I don't like, and I'm 
> grateful for an alternative method.
> Then I started the app on the phone, and it checked for missing files and 
> started up. Not the smoothest Blackberry app install I've done, but far from 
> the worst.
> The app itself is riddled with interface inconsistencies, with some buttons 
> requiring screen touches, and some requiring trackpad clicks, even with 
> mixtures on the same screen. All typical Blackberry app stuff, and nothing to 
> faze the experienced Blackberry user.
> I haven't used it enough to comment much on the content, other than it seems 
> to have roughly the same stuff my compact Morcombe has in it, plus the nest 
> and egg illustrations. I can find species, look at the pictures, zoom in on 
> them, scroll between species variations, read the text and listen to the 
> calls. I was pleased to see that the calls for each species are divided into 
> types, unlike the BOCA calls, which I assume are more complete but are all 
> lumped into the one track for each species.
> I don't know if there's a trick to it, but I can't get the search function to 
> come up with any results at all. Surely there is at least one mostly black 
> and white land species found in Victoria? Does this work for you iPhone 
> users? I'm not that fussed about this, but I'd like to get it working.
> Obviously a few glitches in this app, but I'm looking forward to always 
> having a field guide with me, and I'd recommend it to other Blackberry users.
> Peter Shute
> Sent: Saturday, 2 June 2012 2:11 PM
> To: Murray Lord
> Cc: 
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Updated Morcombe app
> Strange choice given that Blackberry is apparently only the 6th best
> selling OS (depending on which website you look at!) and that it may not be
> around much longer. I would have though Android would be a better bet and
> then some of the others.
> On 2 June 2012 13:49, Murray Lord <> wrote:
>> For any iPad owners out there I see that the Morcombe field guide app has
>> just been updated, and it will now display properly on an iPad as well as
>> an iPod touch or iPhone. In other words it doesn't just look like a
>> stretched version of the iPhone app on an iPad any more.
>> There was a warning that the update can delete your bird lists if you
>> haven't backed them up beforehand.
>> I understand a blackberry version is now available too.
>> Murray
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