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Why I No Longer Use Blackberry

I have officially left the Blackberry world. Haven’t missed all that much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it. But I personally think that RIM has developed the phone & its ecosystem with some inherent weaknesses:

1.Endless settings. You can set every push notification, text, & calls to a gigantic combination of vibrations, clicks, sounds, tones, and so on. This is no longer the 80s where all pushbuttons on the starship have so many different colors, sounds, for every different operators! User don’t invest their time configuring this all that much. Pick a few simple ones and move on.

2. The Mean Number of Clicks between Main Menu and Function. It’s quite baffling if it takes many steps before the phone computes the actual function. For instance, I usually need to bring up an additional menu to act on something that I already selected. This means, for a two-step access, I now need 3 actions to get there. Every step in a mobile phone is one step too long.

3. Functionality & contents of apps. I’ll put it this way: software is more flexible than hardware. I was struggling to get more apps and functionality out of the phone. More cool stuff please… where are the developers?

If you can cope up with the above, by all means, it is a great smartphone! Stay with it.

In order for RIM to hold the fort, this is what I think the existing strengths that they should focus on:

1. Push Notification. This is the single most powerful concept that RIM has brought into the smartphone world. It’s less intrusive than alarms but more annoying than in-app notifications. The key is to get this right is the balance between being informative & annoying.

2. Blackberry Messenger. Uniting Blackberry users! If you have data connection anyway, this is a heaven for those who prefer texting, saving you from the expensive (to users) small-cost high-margin revenue of SMSes to Telcos. Telcos should be quaking in their boots with the rise of direct messenger service in between users through the data plan.

3. GPS. It doesn’t matter if it’s only real time 2D dot on a Google Map – I just found this feature very, very useful in planning & modifying a journey.

What’s your experience with Blackberry devices?

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What is the Fastest Way to Wipe out BlackBerry Contacts?

Vowe: Settings, Advanced, Security, Scroll down all the way, Menu key, Wipe
Abu: Throw it into the river (smart-ass answer, supposedly clever but irritating)

The right answer:
Go to Contact, Options. Type “rset” and select OK. Voila.

Measurement proving at SGS

Today I was in SGS PD for a turbine meter proving. It was an awesome experience.

The 4000 liter prover tank.

Diesel tank and 2000 liter prover tank.

Kerosene and petrol tank.

Compact prover.

But half way through the setup, office called for some emergency offshore. I drove back at ease, knowing that at least the proving was initiated properly.

On the side, I updated my Google Maps on Blackberry and the arrow shows where I am on the map. That’s GPS. Woot!!!

First impression on Blackberry Bold

Finally, my Blackberry Bold is loaded with BIS (Blackberry Internet Service). It’s not as charming as I thought it would be. But being able to run more features is not bad at all.

Simple usability check:

  1. Capital button and alternate keys will always be interchangeably mistaken for one another.
  2. The delete button doesn’t progressively accelerate as you hit and hold it.
  3. The ‘H’ button is not as responsive. Maybe this is specific to my Blackberry only (manufacturing).
  4. I can count the number of useful Blackberry apps on my fingers vs 140,000 apps for iPhone.
  5. The user toggle up or down button on the right side of the phone is not functional outside the related app – small scope. In iPhone, that will modify the volume regardless of the app you’re running.
  6. The sync sucks. Although I’m using the Blackberry Desktop Manager – the simplest of unchecking synchronize music checkbox did not remove the music that I previously synced into the Blackberry.
  7. Browser experience is definitely not as good as the iPhone’s.
  8. Scrolling from top to bottom for a long document / website is not natural. No page up or down function. Scrolling up or down the page using trackpad is as if you only have the up or down cursor on the keyboard – that’s bad.
  9. Selecting is ridiculous. Hit capitalize button to start – and hit Blackberry menu button, select Cancel Selection to cancel: That’s a lot work!

Steve Jobs was, and still is right. Small button on a small phone is not very appealing. Huge touchscreen surface with natural stylus and endless apps? Now that’s a game changer.

Nevertheless, I got this Blackberry for a few reasons and they’re justified:

  1. To test what Blackberry fuss is all about. RIM still holds the lead in smartphone market. It’s most likely because companies provide such phone for employees to run business, get notifications and emails. And not listen to music, watch movies or play games all day (iPhone).
  2. To test whether Digi owns up to their claim of likely average speed of 700kbps and that broadband is about consistency.
  3. To test the shock in everybody’s face to discover that I’m using Blackberry – since I’m such a Mac/Apple pro (pun intended)
  4. To throw away those who showed off the company’s Blackberry in front of me. I know la you have some position in the company. Trying to make it more obvious by scrolling Blackberry in front of me? I’m not impressed at all.

Syncing looks decent upfront.

Then it starts to feel ridiculous. I never have conflicting information when my iPhone syncs. Synchronizing is supposed to be a smartly coordinated event – not keep asking the user what to do every time it detects a glitch.

And the best part of all – download Blackberry App World first – to enjoy the rest of the apps.

In summary, Blackberry is a business machine. Full stop. iPhone and Android will continue to fly as the more complete (and yet flexible) smartphone solutions.

Blackberry Bold 9700 offer by DIGI

I was supposed to pack everything and complete the moving today! But this Blackberry Bold 9700 deal was very distracting. I couldn’t ignore it.

Intan and I were in MidValley Megamall for the BBB (BlackBerry Bold) deal. It was a mad house! Plenty of people were signing up for the deal.

After sending my wedding ring for an adjustment in size, due to the nature of my finger (uh-oh!), we checked out Bose speakers at Atlas over in the Gardens. Beautiful sound! Bose manufactures the best speakers on earth. I managed to obtain its catalogue too.

You must be scratching your heads right now… why Blackberry, Zidni… why? I thought you’re all for an iPhone!!!

I’ll explain why later. : )

BlackBerry Bold

Bold 9000 and 9700

blackberry_bold

I could think of a few reasons why I would choose BlackBerry over iPhone for now:

  • The screen is gorgeous, second only to the iPhone 3G S.
  • It runs on BlackBerry OS. Any phone, regardless of how smart you label it, is not smart enough if it runs on Windows Mobile. Maybe not as fluid as Mac OS X on iPhone and the many apps, but enough for normal use.
  • The iPhone in Malaysia is ridiculously priced. Shame on Maxis to take that advantage as a sole distributor.
  • It’s only better than the iPhones in terms of battery life, business apps (like Word/Excel PDF), and sync to IBM Lotus Notes. But iPhone is already linking up to Microsoft Exchange now.
  • It now has BlackBerry Desktop Manager software to talk to Macs. More details here.

Even Volker Weber gave BlackBerry Bold a green light, except for the fact that the Mac support was terrible. But not anymore, with the BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac sync above.

Picture source: crackberry.com

***

I was in the office for a while. Returned home after Friday prayer. Tough days ahead.

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