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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Whether you plan on rocking your cap and gown this month or have a few more semesters to trudge through — and we don’t judge, super seniors —  let’s be honest: “Pomp and Circumstance” has been on your playlist ever since your Preview adviser told you UF boasts the highest graduation rate in the state. So, as you prepare for your official inauguration into the “real wold,” it’s time to ditch that cinder block in your pocket you call your cell phone.

Sure, you have your reasons. Maybe you’ve been holding off with your standard model because you only need your phone to make calls and send text messages. Maybe you’re emulating Fred Flintstone. But as a budding young professional, it’s time to join the 21st century with a phone that can keep you just as connected with the world as you need to be. Mobile e-mail. Mobile Facebook. Even Twitter on-the-go. You’ll want to put a smartphone on your graduation gift list — and if you’re not graduating yet, you’ll have to take it up with Santa.

To get you all the details, the Avenue tested out one such smartphone, the new Blackberry Torch, for a week, courtesy of Blackberry.

Touch screen: The Torch has the business aspect of the Blackberry, but the touch screen feature makes it just as fun as the iPhone when looking at photos and browsing online. Unlike the previous model, the Storm, this touch screen works just like the iPhone.

The screen flips when you flip the phone, so you can use it vertically or horizontally — and it doesn’t lag. The larger screen also gives you more room to read articles and play games.

Blackberry Messenger: Also known as BBM. This is just more fun with a touch screen. You can even have group chats with your friends and insert photos directly into the conversation. BBM runs through the Internet and is a great way to keep in touch with friends studying abroad.

Social feeds: You can stay updated on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace (if you happen to still use that). The Torch will notify you when you’ve received any new comments or messages, and you can update all of these accounts right from your phone.

Endless apps: The applications are a little overwhelming, but once you figure out which ones are worth it, they can definitely be a time-saver. Need to get somewhere?  The YPmobile app uses the GPS feature to track your location and find places nearby, get directions and even find gas prices. For those of you who can’t navigate Gainesville once you leave University Avenue or 13th Street, the AT&T Navigator application will not only give you the route, it will also say it out loud. Other applications that are great to use while waiting for class — or trying not to fall asleep in class: CNN, ESPN and YouTube.

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