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There has recently been a lot of murmurings about the two programs "ColorPearl" and "Color ... Smartphone Reviews forum

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    Daiikun's Avatar
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    Lightbulb ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

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    There has recently been a lot of murmurings about the two programs "ColorPearl" and "Color Ball." For the 8100. As I promised, here is a review of the two of them.

    To start with, we need to look at the accesability of the two programs. Where ColorPearl is found under the settings menu, ColorBall is right out in the open on the home screen or in the icons (depending on where you've really set it. ) In any case, they both do relatively the same thing and that is that they can change the color of your track ball to one of several colors.

    Now here is where it starts to get interesting.

    With ColorPearl, you can choose the color and also try to customize it as well. However, you have to save the option before it actually shows up. While this is nice that you can customize, there is no clear way to know if it's by HEX that you're customizing or by a random number.

    With Color Ball (and mind you, I know I'm not calling it by the right name), you can immediately preview the color so you have an idea. The great thing is that you can also set the timer on it so that anywhere between 0 seconds after your screen turns off to NEVER, you can have your track ball still lit. Now here's the fun part about the program.

    Like ColorPearl, ColorBall has the ability to make the trackball a random color every few minutes or so or everytime you turn on the screen. While that is cool, Color Ball goes one step further and CYCLES the colors through at about 1 color/second. In otherwords, one second it's showing blue, then red, then green, then so on. It's actually kind of fun to watch.

    There is a cost difference, however. Where ColorPearl is free, Color Ball does offer a free one-day trial and afterwards costs $4.95. Color Ball cannot be grabbed OTA from the website and instead must be installed through BB Desktop Manager.

    In any case, if you're looking for a free option, ColorPearl is nice. If you're looking for a fun option and you don't mind paying the $5.00, go for Color Ball. Personally, I enjoy it more.

    Here are the links.

    ColorPearl
    Color Ball

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    EricaJ1073's Avatar
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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~ I have ColorPearl but would love to have an OTA install of Color Ball. Maybe one day they will offer one.

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    Kortanis's Avatar
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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    EDIT: I was working on comparing these products at the same time as Daiikun it seems. So rather than have multiple threads on the same topic, I've decided to post my review here as well. I hope I'm not stepping on anybody's toes here.

    ---------------------------
    Competitor reviews are what I do, so anytime I try software I tend to try all of them. I've done my 24 hour review of ColourBall and I've deleted it....for now. I am now testing ColorPearl so I don't have anything to say about it exactly, aside from that ColorPearl does it's job.

    ColourBall however, when I installed this, I happened to have a migrain and the screen brightness at 100 was bothering me so I turned it down to 10, and left it there for the duration of the test. My only complaint with this app was the apparant battery drain. I chose the blue setting, I liked the color and its only one additional LED being powered at any time. I also set the timeout at the minimum of 15 seconds. So every time I used the trackball there was an additional drain for 15 seconds. I am using near identical settings in ColorPearl. That's easy to do when there are only three settings for each app.

    I normally get 2 full days of use from my 8100. Under roughly the same usage, by 6pm on the first day of ColourBall my battery was already at 48%. By 8pm it was to 42%. From there, I installed the new Rogers OS and charged up. Now if I get 2 days with the screen at 100, but get one with it at 10 and a blue pearl, that's not too cool. I'll be doing a lot more testing here...

    Now typically, white LED's use the most voltage followed by blue, green, then red. So potentially you might be able to lessen the effect by using a different color than I did. Those of you using the Random setting or ColorPearl's 'White' setting (which turns on R, G, and B rather than using the default white only), heaven help you. The 'white' setting is actually more just Multi than white, even when the keypad lights are on.

    Now in this regard, ColorPearl should actually perform worse than ColourBall since it does not include a timeout feature. I should be encountering more drain today than before. I'll let you know, and please post what you've experienced. Perhaps ColourBall is using system resources poorly and causing more draw on the battery, we'll see.


    ***One note to the cautious as well... There have been numerous complaints to the developer of ColorPearl about his software 'breaking' various features on users BB's. Some people have claimed they've had to replace their BB entirely.
    The only reason I am trying it is because I have done a full backup prior to installation and feel secure about it in that regard, otherwise I simply wouldn't bother. If it damages the hardware, while possible but unlikely, that remains to be unseen. As with ANY application, learn about it before you install it. Cheers!


    EDIT -- PART 2


    So, here I am at the end of the day with ColorPearl my battery is at 35% at 10:30pm. All in all my usage was pretty close to yesterday's test. I didn't have the network traffic on my IM clients today, so I watched part of a movie instead.

    I think both applications drain the battery the same amount. This stands to reason with it really being a hardware issue anyway. This is quite possibly the reason RIM has not added native support for this feature so far. Even just a single additional LED being powered all day adds a lot of drain on the battery.

    I like both applications pretty much the same. The timeout feature of ColourBall was nice and at first glance a good idea but I don't think it actually accomplished anything even on it's lowest setting of 15 sec. I simply was using the trackball too much for it to save me any battery power.

    ------------------------------------
    Conclusion: Either application will do fine but both will cost you precious battery power. If you are dedicated to changing the color of your trackball, neither product will save you battery life over the other. Both products are unable to turn off the white LED under the trackball when the keypad light turns on in low light enviornments. This does results in a washed out color effect, but the colors do look fabulous when the keypad lights are off.


    ColorPearl - FREE - For power users and berry addicts.
    • Berry addicts will probably be using your BB enough to make a timeout feature unneccesary and this application is currently free (donations are possible and encouraged).
    • There are many preset colors to choose from. Power users can also mess around and use custom hex values if they would like.
    • For anyone inexperienced, hex values for a custom color on your screen might be a little unnerving.
    • The random color setting of this application changes the color of the lighting each time the trackball is activated. It does not flash constantly, which is perfect for those who like a little variety without all the pizazz.
    • The settings for this are hidden within the options menu and keeps a very low profile. Nothing is shown within your running applications list.
    • Casual users that go this route might expect a noticable drop in battery life that might otherwise be saved by a timeout feature.
    • ***I experienced none of the problems that had been experssed in the user comments on the developers website. I would trust this application, but as with any software make sure each version has been tested and proven stable before installing it on your device if you don't want to take the risk.
    ColourBall - $4.99 - Casual users only
    • Sadly and solely because of the inclusion of the timeout feature, I think this product would benefit casual users the most over ColorPearl. Casual users are likely not going to notice the amount of drain this application will have on your battery.
    • The color schemes are limited to the easy to change preset values.
    • The application is easy to get to, it places a link in your application menu and always stays in your running applications.
    • While the constant flashing and changing of the random mode in this application is certainly fun, business users might want to stay away from having something so flashy in meetings and such.
    If you have any experiences contrary to my review, I'd be interested in hearing about it, particularly about the battery life.
    Last edited by Kortanis; 05-12-2007 at 02:29 AM.

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    Any one know if there is a program out there to change the keypad backlighting color?

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    The keypad LED's are single color white only. The reason you can change the backlighting on the trackball is because they actually put four different LED's there; W, R, G, and B. I think the notification light at the top is either a couple different LED's or a single multi-color LED. I'll bet the guys that are opening up their devices in the other thread could answer the last part there.

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    I've had Color Ball since it came out (haven't been keeping up with any updates). I don't see an option that allows it to cycle through the colors every second or so. How do I do that?

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    I changed my LED indicator and trackball color to match my skins, it would be cool if someone came out with a program to change keys backlight!!

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jockobasi
    I changed my LED indicator and trackball color to match my skins, it would be cool if someone came out with a program to change keys backlight!!
    +1 that would be SOO cool. I also change my trackball color depending upon what my wallpaper looks like. I think the key LED is only one color (white) if I remeber correctly. So I don't think it's possible. Could always do the sharpie mod.

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jockobasi
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyp20
    +1 that would be SOO cool. I also change my trackball color depending upon what my wallpaper looks like. I think the key LED is only one color (white) if I remeber correctly. So I don't think it's possible. Could always do the sharpie mod.
    I changed my LED indicator and trackball color to match my skins, it would be cool if someone came out with a program to change keys backlight!!
    I had just responded two posts earlier to someone else asking the same thing, here it is again is case you missed it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kortanis
    The keypad LED's are single color white only. The reason you can change the backlighting on the trackball is because they actually put four different LED's there; W, R, G, and B. I think the notification light at the top is either a couple different LED's or a single multi-color LED. I'll bet the guys that are opening up their devices in the other thread could answer the last part there.

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    Whoops double post. Oh, I did finish and update my review as well. I also added a note at the top. Didn't mean to hijack the thread, sorry!
    Last edited by Kortanis; 05-12-2007 at 02:34 AM.

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    I used ColourBall first and it didn't really seem to impact battery life (I had it set to timeout at 30secs, which coincided w/ the screen timeout on the BB).

    Then I tried ColorPearl (mainly b/c I liked not having an app running in my task list) and I have noticed battery life is worse (after 2 days I used to be around 30 - 35%; now I am around 15-20% and I rarely let it get that low before charging - I used to go a full two days before recharging).

    I am using the TIM software with autodim set to On and used the blue trackball in both apps. Currently I have ColourBall unistalled and ColorPearl installed but Disabled. My battery life is back to normal, in fact, it may be better than it ever was (have been only getting down to 40-45% after 2 days) - maybe I'm going crazy but I feel like the pearl lights up less than it did before I installed either app. Wonder if "disable" limits how often it comes on.
    Last edited by EricScott; 05-12-2007 at 02:06 PM.

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    will the colorpearl mess up the brightnes on the pearl,like before it goes to like very bright backlight then into like a low backlight,now it looks like its only in low backlight...

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    mysmyrrh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkois
    Any one know if there is a program out there to change the keypad backlighting color?
    Yeah. You color them with a sharpie. It's been a topic much discussed.

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    Quote Originally Posted by Kortanis
    I had just responded two posts earlier to someone else asking the same thing, here it is again is case you missed it.
    wow..I feel like a complete retard.

    Can anyone answer my original question? I have Color Ball but I don't see the option to have it cycle through colors. Where is that located? Maybe I just have an older release.

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    Re: ColorPearl and Color Ball: A review

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
    @anthonyp20 - Yes I believe you can redownload the new version an funout the same registration code to get the new features. You should be able to access the download through your customer portal at Handango.

    @tiburon916.- The keypad lighting all depends on your ambient lighting. It should remain the same in the disabled mode.

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