Tech Time: BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 Upgrade

Ok, ok. I get it. The new BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 is new and it's cool. Those who couldn't wait, downloaded and installed the leaked version and some of you ran into a world of problems. The two most common complaints were handset 'freezing' or contact lists disappearing. The good news is, you can reinstall your BB OS (that's BlackBerry Operating System) to unfreeze your phone and access the original BB Messenger. The bad news is, your contacts are still lost is some cyberspace vacuum.

For those that took my advice and waited, you feel left out and are eager to check out the new features offered by BB Messenger 5.0. If you upgrade to ver 5.0, you can assign avatars to your contacts. This visual representation is VERY helpful for those contacts who force us to guess their screen name everyday. You can "broadcast" messages (aka spam your friends) and you can collaborate in new and better ways by sending images, voice notes, files, tasks and calendar appointments. For me, the most impressive feature is adding new friends through bar code scanning. When you are up close and personal with your friends, you can 'scan' the bar code from their BB and add them directly to your messenger; no email addresses or PIN codes required.

So, despite the risks, you want to upgrade? Can't blame you. I did. So let's follow the steps I took to successfully install the app.

FIRST: Make a backup copy of the data on your BB device. Download and install the BlackBerry Desktop Manager and create a full backup of all application data on your phone (Mac users can download the software from the BlackBerry website because it is not included in the package CD). If anything goes wrong, at least you can restore your phone to where it was at this point.

You will lose all your current conversations, so if you have important information in those Messenger windows, make a note now.

BB Messenger 5.0 only works on handsets operating OS ver 4.5 or higher. So our next step is to ensure your phone can handle, Messenger 5.0. Go to 'options', then 'about'. If the OS version is less than 4.5, pause here. I have a different set of instructions for you. If you see v4.5 or higher, let's move on together.

In your device browser, enter "". (Of course, there are other ways, but this was has some additional benefits, so take a leap of faith with me.) Download and install the BB App World Application. Then, from within BB App World, select the new BB Messenger. I encourage you to download and install from App World for two reasons. 1. You KNOW you are getting the authorised Messenger 5.0 application, not a leaked, possibly corrupted copy. And 2. You can see all the other cool free apps available for your phone.

After the installation, you will need to reboot. But your Messenger should work seamlessly. Go have fun!

If your OS is below version 4.5, you will need to upgrade BEFORE attempting to install Messenger 5.0. You will need a PC/Mac with BlackBerry Desktop Messenger. Goggle "Blackberry NAME OF SERVICE PROVIDER software download" (sorry I can't give you the direct link). The link will take you to the page to receive the official OS update. You will have to provide your contact information and agree to their terms and conditions before the download commences.

Once the download is complete, double click to install, open BlackBerry Desktop Manager and update your handset.

Verify the upgrade and complete the steps above to join your friend on BB IM 5.0. I maintain that this upgrade is not for the faint of heart, impatient or those new the BB experience. If you think its too much for you to do, visit:

Francis Express Wireless
Market Place, Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10

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