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Chapter 5. Composing and Sending Messages > Why Messages and Not Emails?

Why Messages and Not Emails?

So why is it called Messages and not Emails? Quite simply, a message is more than just an email. A message can be an SMS message, a PIN message, or a phone call, as well as an email message, and all of these show up in the Message List—subject to configurations of course. Let's take a look at each kind of message in more detail:

  • Short Message Service Message— SMS is an acronym for Short Message Service. Every cellular carrier supports sending and receiving SMS messages on your cellular phone. Since nearly all BlackBerry handhelds have a cellular phone built into them, support for SMS messages is necessary. SMS messages are addressed to phone numbers and are very short, typically less than 150 characters.

  • Phone Call— A Phone call message is really a call log entry. It contains information about a placed or received call such as start and stop time. It also has a section for adding notes about the call.

  • Email— An Email message is the standard email we know and love (except for spam email). These messages may be sent or received emails.


    Because PIN messages do not rely on an email server at all, they are sometimes used as a way to notify users of email server issues. They also can be used as part of a disaster recovery plan. There have been several articles about how people were still able to communicate with their BlackBerry handhelds even when the wireless systems were overloaded and voice calls were not possible.

  • PIN Message— PIN messages are messages that can only be sent between BlackBerry handhelds. Every BlackBerry device has a PIN assigned to it that is unique. PIN messages are addressed to the PIN of a device. They are very similar to Email messages, except that they are treated with a higher priority by the BlackBerry delivery system. PIN messages also share information about the state of the message such as if the message has been successfully delivered to the destination handheld.



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