Monday, April 14, 2014

things I miss now that I've turned off my BlackBerry

I recently switched to Android (Moto X) from BlackBerry (Q10).

I'd used a Nexus 4 for a while as a back-up phone so nothing was new to me but I'd always also used a BlackBerry. Now I'm sensibly down to just one phone. I don't regret the consolidation but here are a three really big things that BlackBerry, amazingly, still wins on:

  • Sound profiles. Incredible that you need an extra app to manage sound profiles and that all that's baked into the OS is Silent, Vibrate and Sound. On a BlackBerry it's been easy, for years and years, to customize and create custom sound profiles so that you can manage exact what notifications of what you get and in what form (flashing light, sound, vibration). The app that seems to be the top provider of this functionality for Android is called Sound Profile. It seems to work fine but features icons that make even the old BlackBerry OS7 look modern in comparison. I cringe every time I use it.
  • Unified InBox. I know that there are apps like Dropbox's Mailbox that provide unification of different e-mail addresses and some great additional functionality. But my BlackBerry 10 also integrated Facebook, Linkin, Whatsap, text messages, and other messaging into one, single interface and stream of messages.
  • Phone calls. BlackBerry is still so much better at making phone calls (as long as the physical device works--which is why I threw mine away in frustration). The integration with the address book and calendar is so far superior. Hyperlinks to do one click phone calls are so much better, including most especially connecting into a conference call with a dial-in code.
And a smaller thing:
  • BlackBerry Travel. I know that there are lots of other Android options, but the BlackBerry Travel app is just so perfect.
BlackBerry 10 is very hard to figure out at first and truly wonderful for one handed use once you get the hang of it. Android feels old and simple in comparison. But hey, now I can use beautiful apps like VSCO Cam.

BlackBerry can truly make the claim that it's the device that helps you get things done. Unfortunately, that's not enough anymore.


My Moto X has a nice little app that allows set-up of automatic profile changing for Work, Driving, and Sleep. The Work profile is particularly helpful, scanning your calendar for meetings and putting your phone into a silent mode during meetings with auto-texting options for important contacts. But this is still not a replacement for the centralized notification and profile management system that BlackBerry has had forever.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Will the last BlackBerry user please turn out the lights?

I just couldn't take it anymore. After replacing my keyboard on my BlackBerry Q10, the headphone jack failed. I'm done.