This post was lost and found, here it is again. I don’t know why, ask WordPress. We lost a few comments but I think the blog will live through it.
Thoughts on messaging and why a BlackBerry is now my personal choice in a messing/communication machine, again.
To tell the truth I was a BlackBerry user before the iPhone came along but as I am quite the Apple computer fan and have been since before the Mac existed I jumped to iPhone as soon as it was released. While there were some shortfalls for sure, no cut copy and paste, no apps at all, no unified message box, no 3G (at launch) and on and on. But the paradigm shift in mobile UI it ushered in was undeniably huge, not to mention it had a very, very good mobile browser. Dragging fingers on the screen to interact with nice large icons instead of navigating tiny little menus with a stylus or other hardware controls like click wheels and scroll balls. Yes it was different and cool but was it really better?
See, in switching to iPhone I spent more time playing around with the phone but I don’t think it ever actually helped me get the job done faster. Let’s examine some of the finer points of both platforms and see why we end up at messaging.
Let’s look at browsers first. Definitely a very important part of the modern smart phone experience. Not a single smart phone user from 2006 could say they were happy with their mobile browser after seeing the iPhone’s Safari browser when it was introduced. Now, at the time it was a huge win for iPhone but these days with web kit browsers everywhere its all mostly the same. Although I like having the shortcuts available with my BB’s full keyboard at the ready, like hitting t instead of scrolling to the top of a web page, the actual browsing experience is mostly the same these days, so let’s call it a draw.
Data. Another very important part of the modern smart phone experience. The first iPhone didn’t even support 3G and with the compression BB offers there was no comparison. Now iPhone is 3G and my Torch H+ so again the iPhone looses out but not by much this time, now let’s throw bridge into the mix as it is a connectivity. Nothing you do with syncing an iPad and an iPhone is as cool as bridge and when PlayBook OS 2 is released next month with Bridge updates and Bridge Remote, well wow, come on. So unlike the browsers above I don’t call this a draw, clearly the BB and Bridge are slightly superior.
So. What other things do the average person with a smart phone want/need? GPS? All platforms have this available with free and paid options. The BB ones may not be as fancy on-screen but they fulfill the function very well, traffic and all. Business apps and functions. Well again for the average person it’s all even as each platform has evernote, docs to go, Dropbox and so on. Again the apps may look a bit fancier on ios but the BB versions do the job very well. Media players. Well all devices can do it and while again, the iOS apps look great the apps on a BB for media have all the functions and features you need. So what’s left?
Well you have horoscope apps, and those darn fart apps. You have recipe apps and secure browsers, shopping lists and photo touch ups. Mobile payments and forum readers but all these things are apps and they define the developer who makes them, not the platform they run on so I ask again, aside from games (a topic for another post and partially covered above) what makes a great and desirable smart phone. Whats the true difference in the platforms?
Messaging and social media, that’s what, and we all do a lot of it. So why do I think the BB has the edge here? Simple, they keyboard and the LED notification light, that’s why. I can type so much and for so long on a BB with a nice keyboard where as on any iPhone I ever had my text entry was kept as short as possible. I never noticed at the time but now that I’m back using a blackberry again I find my notes, texts and emails are more through and detailed when needed and better communication helps any job. Think of Facebook, when you are surfing other people’s pages the screen of the iPhone is nice as it’s a bit larger than my Torch 9810, it’s not a big difference, it’s actually a small one buts its there. It’s when you are into your own posts and info that the BB excels. Having that great keyboard (along with a very good-sized screen, it must be said) encourages you to get into your posts more and enjoy the writing, instead of just spouting off something real fast.
The other side of it is the BB apps use less on-screen space for commands and such because the phone has buttons and the BB menu for that stuff. Compare a few common apps like Facebook and twitter and you will see, even on the Bold’s you aren’t missing much on-screen data/info at all and you gain the amazing Bold keyboard and BB navigation. Worth it to me right there but then there’s the LED notification light.
With a free or cheap app you can customize it to flash different colors for different notifications. Like blue for BBM. Red for email. Green for SMS. And so on. Its amazing, with the phone across the room I know exactly what I have missed, even if I was out and didn’t hear the sounds. Its amazing
It also comes back to bridge again. With the purchase and install of the BB phone app SMS Bridge I can now send and receive SMS on my playbook through my phone. I know all tablets can get texting apps and the iPad has imessage now but none of that is anywhere near as good as getting your phones SMS (read your phone number) messages on your tablet. So you’re on your playbook and you get a text, just reply on the tablet. Phone rings, you get call display and ringer mute on the playbook screen. Email BBM and all. So cool, its like it always should have been.
So. In conclusion. I say communication is the number one thing a smart phone can do. Email, calls, text, Facebook, twitter and so on and in that respect I say the BlackBerry can’t be beat. Games, well like I said, that’s another post
Chat soon everyone.