When I first thought about things that really make BlackBerry (and by extension BlackBerry 10) stand out, my first instinct was to go with the Hub and old school Message feature, push notifications, and such. However, I’m going to save that discussion. I’d like to crescendo to that point. Instead, I decided to start with something that is so intuitive, so natively built into the framework of the OS, and such a simple function that it astounds me that other OS builds are just now “catching up.”
Let’s begin, once again, with where the competition lies…
Apple built the functions within iOS to be proprietary in nature. This means that if you only use iPhones, iPads, and Macs… the availability of features will increase exponentially. The issue I have with this: It’s a blatant cash grab. Everyone is aware that Apple stays proprietary to keep making money. It’s why they’ve created special screwdrivers and cancel warranties for any work done by anyone other than a “Genius.” [BTW: Way to dumb down the expectations on intelligence, Apple.] I don’t want to have to bargain hunt for specific brands just to make my life easier. Sharing files, saving received files, it’s all dependent on specific apps. It doesn’t matter if the app is preloaded or free. If the availability isn’t there outside of the app, then it’s lacking. There’s no native build or file manager in which to store such things. You have to access your files through your respective apps. There is no way to dig into the build of your phone to find something.
The little time I’ve spent with Android I find muddled and confusing. Like iOS, Android is most efficient while paired with Google and all its services. While this can’t necessary be considered a cash grab. It’s certainly a data grab, as Google outsources its mining to Android OEMs. Build it and I will e-stalk. However, Android does boast a file manager app, it’s apparently a hidden feature. Why hide it? And oh.. it just came out in October. Furthermore, sharing is a study in patience as the Android OS tries to “simplify” things by showing what it thinks you want to see in the Timeline. This may just be a personal preference, but the UI feels clunky. It feels like it was made for an inaccurate child with large graphics and lots of swiping to and fro. There’s no finesse. No elegance.
I’m going to go back a bit to the legacy days, because that’s how long file management and sharing has been built into the native OS. Maybe I’m spoiled because I’ve only ever owned a BlackBerry, but in researching how-tos and playing with others’ devices to learn the abilities of the other OS builds, I’m amazed that such simple features require apps, workarounds, data transfer cables, etc. The only difference in legacy functions and BlackBerry10 functions is the increased UI ability through the use of gestures. Otherwise, it’s mostly just appearance. It’s already been there for years.
If I want to attach a document to a text message, done. Sent. It can be done from the message hub, the file manager, the messaging feature, or just start typing (whether on a VKB or PKB) the name of the file. The search assistant will bring it up and you have options to share there. That’s the beauty of BlackBerry10’s native build. The only frustrating part is when sharing a file with another OS, and the user can’t open, access, or even save the attachment. What?! In today’s world of mobility and ease, this is a gross oversight. Not with Blackberry: productivity is so intrinsically threaded through every fiber of the OS that there are several ways to accomplish the same goal. It fits the personality of the user. You. Don’t. Need. An. App. For. That. Even amid the sharing and scrolling there’s a side menu in the file management to switch from device files to files stored on your SD card to synced devices or available cloud apps. Everything is just a few taps away. No troubleshooting, queries, or workarounds needed. Intuitive. Efficient. BlackBerry10.
Think you know more or have suggestions where to go next? Comment below or get involved in the discussion!