boring: not interesting; tedious.
There was a time that people proclaimed BlackBerry boring. Back on our old Java powered legacy BBOS devices, I might half agree with those that said it. Why would I, a self proclaimed super-fan agree with such a thing? Well, because I read the definition above. By the time we got to BBOS 7, the platform wasn’t very interesting anymore. We had gone through much of the major updates, only to see small rudimentary updates. The majority of the OS remained the same, with typically visual cues changing on the stock OS. Honestly, many of us would immediately load those so loved themes on to our devices in order to add something new or exciting to it. Yet our BBOS devices weren’t tedious. They were far from it. In fact, there was no other mobile device more efficient than our BlackBerry phones, and that was the reason most of us stayed on the platform while so many exciting things were happening over in the worlds of Android and iOS.
But times have changed. BlackBerry has created a new OS. Tossing aside the framework of the legacy BBOS, BlackBerry created a whole new OS from the ground up. BB10 suddenly brought the exciting features of the other platforms and combined them with the efficient communications of BlackBerry. BlackBerry users were no longer bored.
And in the world of iOS and Android? Well, they became boring. The operating systems are now old. iOS is currently the grandfather in terms of mobile OS’s. It is the oldest of the current OS platforms on the market, and much like BBOS before it, it is showing it’s age. While BBOS 7 just wasn’t capable of running the apps which it’s competitors were, iOS is finding itself limited in terms of capability. Now, much of those limited capabilities are limited by design. Apple chooses to limit those items that can make Apple money, to only being utilized in such a way that it makes Apple money. But the end result is the same. iOS users have phones who are stuck at one moment in time, while competitor platforms race past them. While iOS seems to be unconcerned with catching up, it seems that Google has decided that catching up is the way to move forward. Looking at Google’s
latest I/O conference is all the proof you need. Security improvements, a new messenger app, a new video chat app, an assistant along the lines of Amazon’s product that’s now entering it’s second generation. There was just nothing new.
I know what you’re thinking, these are just the ramblings of a BlackBerry fan spreading his bias that the other platforms just aren’t as good. The problem with that assumption is that I’m not the only one saying it.
Earlier this week Mashable posted an article very succinctly titled “Android is boring” In the post the author longs for the “sizzle”. She points out that such things as the new security enhancements in Android are a welcome addition, but that there is really nothing to be excited about. She points to something that should make us realize Google agrees with her. The author states that the Google I/O conference presented some “compelling” new products, while recognizing the fact that these products are Google’s response to competitor’s products. An Android user, after Google’s event giving a sneak peak of what’s to come, is left wanting. She’s left wanting the sizzle, that her platform of choice is now lacking.
Meanwhile over in iPhonia Yesterday CNET posted an article with a very lengthy title, “I’m ready to ditch the iPhone for Android N (and I want Apple to show me why I shouldn’t)”. This iPhone user had a very different reaction to Google’s I/O. And of course this is understandable. iOS, as I stated before, has been left behind. Yes, this has been by design, but the end result is the same, iPhone users are now left behind. The iPhone using writer of this article puts it in very blunt terms. “The iPhone SE looks like a great gadget, but I’m not convinced that it’s the upgrade I’m looking for. It’s just a faster version of a phone I’m already bored with, right down to the form factor — and I’m reluctant to double down on a device that already feels dated.” And iPhone users are left justifying their choice in phones, sounding much like BlackBerry users four or five years ago. If you don’t believe it, simply look at the comments in the CNET post. It’s very eye opening. When we BlackBerry users were arguing why we chose to stick with legacy BlackBerry, we had a very valid reason in that we prioritized communication, and yes, even legacy BlackBerry beat the other platforms in that area. While many of the comments by iPhone users in that post will make you realize that there are many iOS users that are obviously clueless about the functionality of other platforms, you will also see that their best argument for sticking with the platform is that iOS gets some apps first.
And what of BlackBerry? I’ve seen so many BlackBerry users over social media upset that our two upcoming BB10 updates are security based. People wanting new features, claiming that BlackBerry has given up on BB10. I’d like to suggest a different way of looking at it. BB10, as we all know, is amazing. Nothing else comes close to it in terms of speed, efficiency, or security. No other UI is as intuitive as BB10’s. Those are the very areas that Google is attempting to improve on Android. With all their resources, Google, whether they realize it or not, is trying to catch up with BB10. Apple should be hoping to catch up with Android.
We know that the mobile market is currently infatuated with certain apps. Some of those app developers, most notably Facebook, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, have chose not to support BlackBerry, and that has been a major strike against BB10 since the beginning. BlackBerry has chosen to support it’s users that want those apps by providing users an Android option, while third party developers have given us very nice apps to access those social networks from out devices. Times are changing. Those fans of Android and iOS are growing bored. Apple has recently seen a double digit drop in sales. It is only a matter of time before these users start to look elsewhere for a better experience, and we can be here to point them in the right direction. The direction of a platform which places user experience and security first. A platform where they can do everything that they are doing now, but do it better. That platform is BB10.