Almost 3 months ago, I switched from my BlackBerry 9960 to an iPhone 4S. Prior to that I have been using a BlackBerry for 8 years. Some of you know I also worked for RIM during that period for 3.5 years. But in early June this year, I got fed up with my 3 week old, brand new BlackBerry. It was constantly giving me the hourglass wait icon, intermittently worked with my car’s bluetooth and was giving me a lot of grief in getting things done. The last time it happened with me, I happen to be strolling by a Virgin Mobile kiosk and I thought to myself, it’s time. I decided to go with the iPhone because I had an Apple TV at home and thought the interoperation would be nice.
I Love My iPhone
I do love my iPhone. It is an elegant experience. It works great with my Apple TV. It never stalls or crashes. I rarely need to restart it. It works beautifully with my car’s bluetooth. And it has any application or service that you can think of. It’s really a delight. I signed my latest job contract on my iPhone, while on the road — something I would have never dreamed of doing on my BlackBerry. I was able to do so much on my iPhone that I have never been able to do on my BlackBerry….
But I Miss My BlackBerry
Yet, somehow, I’m not happy! I have to say, I really do miss my BlackBerry. First, I miss that amazing hardware keyboard. Until Siri has 99% accuracy, hardware keyboards are the way to go. Virtual keyboards SUCK! I don’t care what anyone says.
Second, I miss BBM. Specifically, I miss the guaranteed, near-real time delivery and notification of status of BBM messaging. I’ve tried many third party apps – WhatsApp, Hookt, Kik. They just don’t cut it. They’re not reliable, not always real-time.
Finally, I really really miss getting things done quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I can get things done on my iPhone — a lot more things actually. However, when I want to get some of those quick things done on my iPhone, it takes forever and requires my full attention and both hands! On my BlackBerry, I could do those things while talking to others, carrying my son and walking down street … with one hand. Examples include, looking up a contact or a nearby location, sending my current location to my wife, BBMing my friend a number or link from the internet, tweeting & updating my Facebook status at the same time.
Best of Both Worlds
Now I want the best of both worlds. There is no way I can go back to the slow and buggy experience of BB7 devices. But I also really do miss the realtime, power user focused nature of BlackBerry devices. I don’t think any phone on the market today can give me what I want. Android is mostly an iOS clone. Apple is not focused on power users and iOS6 is not making any changes to my pain point areas. I haven’t tried Windows Mobile yet, and maybe Window Mobile 8 will give me what I want. However, I actually do believe that the best chance for getting the best of both worlds will be BlackBerry 10 devices from RIM next year.
The BB10 Platform is aimed at having the power user focus that current BlackBerry devices have. It also has a great base OS with realtime capabilities and a beautiful user interaction model. The biggest risk areas are: (1) RIM delivering a great quality experience on-time. They’ve had issues with this in the past and (2) RIM convincing the big name and small development shops to develop on the BB10 Platform. Not only that, they also need to convince them that the BB10 Platform needs to be a top priority platform in line with iOS and Android.
If RIM can tackle these two concerns, they have a shot to win my business (and the business of others) back. Until then … I’m sticking with my iPhone. Siri …. open wordpress and post blog.