My Response to the article "Why I Still Use a Blackberry" from Crackberry.com
This comment was in response to the following article:
I used to be an avid Blackberry user. In fact, I was a powerhouse Blackberry user, and have remember upgrading from OS 3.5 to 4.0 on a really old blue brick device. I have always demanded a lot from my Blackberrys and created ringtones and custom backgrounds from day one. I remember I got really excited with the Bold 9000 came out and for the first time I was really able to begin streaming music (although no applications existed) but I was able to download my podcasts at home OR outdoors. To me, those were the haydays of Blackberry. Unfortunately, really not too much has changed for Blackberry since 2009.
Just before the 9000 came out, I went to the local Rogers store to play with the iPhone. I wasn't sure if I wanted one, yes I don't really like Apple, but I really wanted to have an open mind about it! My main gripes with the iPhone was that there was no copy and paste functionality, there was no "back" button (only a home button) and that I couldn't get my ringtones loaded onto it! Plus I didn't really want to use iTunes for anything... So I realized that it wasn't for me.
From the 9000, I got a 9700, but couldn't justify going for a 9780, since there wasn't much difference than the memory. I really wanted a 9800, since I love having large screens. So in December 2010 I got that model, and I loved the keyboard. From that point my love for Blackberry was still very strong. The phone had a half-decent camera, but web browsing sucked, the keyboard really wasn't all that good, the battery wasn't very good (it couldn't last me a full day in the office, I have poor reception in the building I was working in), and there were a lot of features missing in the implementation. Things went pretty slow, but I was really used to all of that, it's what I'd come to expect. The only thing that was good, was the email functionality, but even so, my hotmail and exchange accounts weren't real-time since I didn't have BES running in the environment (i'm also a sysadmin).
One day my friend asked me to check out his new phone. It was a Samsung Nexus S running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). He came over and I played around with it for a little while. I have to admit that it was pretty cool, but I didn't really find it useful, espicially since there was no keyboard on the thing, I asked him "how the heck do you type on this", and his only response was that "you get used to it". (To this day, I still don't believe him). One day I was monitoring some of the other tech websites and came across a review for a phone called the "Droid 3". It was another Android phone, based on 2.3 (gingerbread) but this one was pretty high powered as it had a dual-core processor and a keyboard. I have since moved to watching monthly video podcasts from one of the websites I frequent, and unfortunately at the time, they didn't really work all that well on the Blackberry 9800, so I figured I'd try something out, and if I didn't like it, I could always return it in 14 days.
That was in August of last year... Yes, I have purchased a new phone, called the Droid 4 (unfortunately the Droid 3 didn't have the hardware requirements to run the latest version of Android).
As an avid Blackberry user, I can tell you what you are missing:
- For news, I use a program called gReader Pro. It does all of my podcasts and RSS reading, including video podcast downloading. It's really great since it syncs between my google reader account, my tablet and my phone, so I never have to worry about reading the same article twice or 4 times (payware, but a free version offered, without the podcasting portions)
- Video playback is much smoother on this phone
- One ecosystem, (my tablet is also android) so I don't have to re-purchase my software between platforms
- Dropbox integration; my dropbox is setup that whenever I take a new photo it puts it into my dropbox
- Multitude of VPN client options (some free, some paid)
-> I can easily view the weather just turning on my phone
-> I can easily dial or txt someone by clicking on their face through my home screen
- Web browsing is A LOT FASTER, I also have access to Adobe Flash (but who cares about flash)
- Portability between carriers; it doesn't matter what SIM is in my phone, my email accounts are on the phone, as long as I have a data connection I can get everything (this goes a long way if you like to change SIMs when going into other countries)
- Skype full video chat
- Viber voice
- Remote capability to view or listen to the content I have at home through a simple app
- Google talk with Voice and Video chat
- Access to a software application store with 1/2 a million apps in it, for things like learning how to tie a tie, or an interactive Dr seuss book, of course, there are countless of other titles
- Multitude of 3rd party VoIP applications (some androids also give you built-in VoIP access) (payware)
- Full office-like suite (payware)
- The softkeyboard called "Swype". I'm actually using my physical keyboard a lot less, since the new version is absolutley superb! (Manufacturer specific)
That's pretty much all of the stuff I can tell you about.
For any hardcore Blackberry user, I would really recommend picking up a DROID 4 phone, and running with it for a couple of weeks. If you still think Blackberry is better, PM me.
For people outside of the US, Android QWERTY phones are hard to find. My old phone Droid 3 was only so good, I wouldn't really recommend that one. Try finding an XPERIA PRO and load up the latest update to see how that one works. Both are slider phones, I'm not sure if the Sony has the Swype capability in it, but there is a free beta version going around at beta.swype.com.
After everythign I said, keep all of this in mind, I do have a Bold 9900 for work purposes and find the Blackberry ecosystem is still missing a lot.