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Old 03-23-2008, 12:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My Impressions on Switching From BB to iPhone 7 Months Later

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So last August I took the jump - went from a VZW 8830 to an iPhone with AT@T.

Was it the right decision for me? Ultimately, the answer is yes. But that doesn't mean I don't miss the hell out of using a BB.

What I like about the iPhone over the BB:

Web browsing. It's not even worth arguing - there is no browsing experience on any smartphone that can touch the iPhone's. If I ever switched back to a regular smartphone, I don't think I'd even bother looking at any sites unless I needed a score, the weather, or directions. The iPhone's browser and UI is incredible and incredibly fun. Even months after the newness of it wears off, I still find myself looking up things on my phone even when near a computer.

Multimedia. Yes, this really is the best iPod ever made. I can't tell you how fantastic it is to walk about town with just a single device on my person. I'll walk to the gym listening to some music. I'll get on a treadmill and watch a movie or TV show, then I'll go work out weights to some music again. Oh wait, wife is calling to remind me of something, bang right back to music - all without missing a beat, pun intended. It woks that seamlessly, that easily.

Calendar. The best calendar I've used. Because of the screen size, you get a monthly view along with that day's tasks. Setting up apps and tasks is super easy. Now, I want to be clear that in this catagory it's almost a push, but the iPhone's screen size gives it a slight edge.

Data package. Only $20/month for unlimited browsing/email. Sure, it's on EDGE but I have to say I've been pretty impressed with EDGE speed. Full websites actually download at a pretty decent clip. WiFi is also fantastic on the device. I strongly doubt the 3G version of the iPhone will charge only $20/month for unlimited, though.

As far as a phone, I've been very happy. This area I'm not going to bother going into beyond what I've just said because so much of it depends on your area's coverage. I will say that switching to AT&T has been problem-free. My coverage is as good as it was with VZW, and call clarity is virtually identical. Merging calls on the iPHone is a breeze, incidentally.

Okay, so what do I miss about my BB?

Email. Sigh. There really is nothing like BB email. However, I didn't need access to time sensitive email, thus it's not enough of a draw vs. the browser and iPod to bridge the gap for me. But I will tell you that for email there is no comparison between the two devices. Yes, I can get HTML email on my iPhone, but it doesn't matter because it's not PUSH and their email is as flaky as hell. Also, have I mentioned I can't mass delete on my iPhone? Granted they're correcting that in June, but it's just insane that so simple a feature wasn't included in the get go.

PIN messaging. My wife has a BB and this feature was invaluable in trading quick messages.

Curve. It's just a flat out sexy device and to this day I look at it somewhat longingly.

So now about the keyboards. Here's the deal: everything you've heard about iPhone's keyboard hasn't been accurate, at least to my experience. I two-thumb it very easily and my mistakes are practically zero. Jobs was right - once you learn to trust the keyboard and the autocorrect, you really do fly. I thought moving from a physical keyboard to a virtual one would be a huge pain, but that hasn't been the case at all. I'm now at a point where it would probably take some time to readjust to using a normal keyboard.

So there you have it from this iPhone switcher. The reasons I switched devices have been reconfirmed during the course of the last few months. I will say though that anyone thinking of switching over in a corporate environment when the iPhone gets Exchange support should think twice. This is a great device, but it is *not* as good as an "assistant" as a BB. That may all change once the App Store opens for business in June, but until there are more productivity elements available for the phone, I can't help but see it as mostly a consumer device, bordering on prosumer.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice review! Thanks
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I just switched back into a curve from an iphone. I don't know why. I just missed my blackberry.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Your assessment is pretty much the same as mine. The BB rules in email, the iphone does just about everything better.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think I have been switched now for 2 months from a BlackBerry 8310. I agree insofar as the email being PUSH is perhaps the best feature the BlackBerry has. I would add to that in all fairness by saying that the BlackBerry seems to have quicker access to email in some cases as well. For example, if you have email downloaded to the BB, and you start to read it, it's just instantly available. On the iPhone, sometimes it feels delayed slightly. But before you write the point down for the BlackBerry in the email department, read on...

I do a lot of design work. And the funny thing, at least it's funny in my opinion, is that RIM touts the very same kind of people on their web site. If you read the types of people that are spotlighted on the BB site, it's designers. And the reason why is that they want to take notes and see layouts via the BlackBerry. Now I can related to both of these functions in a huge way. I am into sales, business, etc. But half my day is also spent in QuarkXPress, Illustrator (mostly), and Photoshop. And I to send PDFs and graphics. And my printers will send me smaller PDF versions of what they see and intend to print for my final approval. I don't care what anyone says, for those tasks, the iPhone is easily head and shoulders ahead of the BlackBerry. Even the add-on services that try to make this experience better are no match for the iPhone in this regard.

Where the BlackBerry is clearly superior is in the text of the email, not the graphics. The text comes through easily, and quickly, even under slow access. I used AT&T for both so I am good judge of this. iPhone mail can feel delayed in just reading it, and I suspect it's not totally downloading it, or is needs improvement in caching the email in the device. It's not a deal breaker, but it could stand improvement.

Two days ago I was reading Metal Swarm by Kevin J. Anderson on my Kindle. I was on a train when I finished the book. I could have listened to music to pass the time of the rest of my trip, but I really wanted to read something. I used the free EDVO network built into the Kindle to browse other books. I found a new book, where the first few chapters are free so you can decide if you really want it much the same way you would experience buying a book in a real bookstore by flipping through it and reading a little. I found a great book, and for just $6.39, and so I bought it and it downloaded in less than a minute, and I have been reading it ever since. Why do I mention the Kindle? Well, because the iPhone can be just like that. At the present time I have purchased close to 100 songs directly over the iPhone. When I think of a portable device, I really want it to be portable. I want it to be convenient. I don't want to feel restrained at all. And I think the iPhone is closer to that than the BlackBerry is. I also think come June, it will leap much further in that same regard. I just bought Cascada, Jordin Sparks, and Leona Lewis all from the iPhone while totally away from my computer. Wile waiting for my order in a deli with free WiFi, I just browsed the iTunes store, listen to 30 second previews, and bought a few albums. Come June, I'll be able to buy software exactly the same way. The trick here is ease of use. Buying the album on a device intended for the purpose is so much better than buying something on a device where the purchase OTA feels like an after-thought.

I still have my 8800 and 8310. And like the prior poster I too know what it means to see the old device. I miss my BlackBerry too. It truly is a great device. And when I see it, I think about how well it worked, how often it helped me, and how much and how often I said it was perfection. But times change. So far, I keep running into little things, like PDFs or graphics in my email that are so much better that my decision to switch continues to feels right. If it weren't for the iPhone, I'd still be on the BB. It took a company like Apple with its extremely good engineering to one-up a company like RIM. I don't think anyone else could have.

As others have said; when it comes to pure business people, I can see them sticking to the BB. But if they are designers, like those I saw on RIM's site, I don't see those same customers staying with the BB. The reasons they state on the RIM site are better served with an iPhone than with a BB. I use the Notepad app on the iPhone and I love it. I have pages and pages of notes on it now. You can email them too. And the graphics are simply stunning, which is what a designer needs to see.

-Alex
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Old 04-13-2008, 03:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackberryer View Post
Email. Sigh. There really is nothing like BB email. However, I didn't need access to time sensitive email, thus it's not enough of a draw vs. the browser and iPod to bridge the gap for me. But I will tell you that for email there is no comparison between the two devices. Yes, I can get HTML email on my iPhone, but it doesn't matter because it's not PUSH and their email is as flaky as hell. Also, have I mentioned I can't mass delete on my iPhone? Granted they're correcting that in June, but it's just insane that so simple a feature wasn't included in the get go.
Very nice accurate summary. I hope you mean for "simple a feature" to refer to "mass-delete" and not the full blown enterprise solution promised for June. That is the big "if". Is the iPhone enterprise solution competitive with BB?

I ditto just about everything you point out. But I still keep reaching for my 8703e when I leave home. For me it all hinges on the simple trade off: browsing v email.

I was irked from the get go when Apple promised and still promises that iPhone browsing is just like real browsing. We all know that can't be, if for no other reason than the size of the screen. But the ease and fluidity iPhone brings to mobile browsing defines a new plateau for all others to match. And finger scrolling is on par with the invention of the mouse, the wave of the future. iPhone throws down the gauntlet. Put up or shut up.

Back to business. I am happy Apple concedes the glaring omission. iPhone's promise to compete with BB over state-of-the-art email, will be the deciding factor if they can do it. It is a daunting challenge. But when smart people turn from trying to prove who is best and learn to cooperate for the common improvement of techno-life, wonders can happen. RIM has relaxed on its side so that the technology can move to other platforms. And Apple says it's all up an running, just finishing up a couple more months of Beta. We'll see.

But "daunting" may be an understatement. RIM isn't just idly standing by hoping iPhone is just a bad dream. Technologically, it is far simpler to add music and graphics, than to reinvent enterprise email from the ground up. I had been holding my at&t contract upgrade to see which one would be first on the block with 3G or something comparable. But wound up with an iPhone anyway through other channels. It is exiting times, and the breakneck speed at which new tech arrives on the market will only exponentially increase.
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