As a BlackBerry user people pretty regularly try to tell me about my phone. It seems I can’t go anywhere without some iPhone or Android phone user trying to explain to me why their phones are better, or tell me something that for some reason they think my phone cannot do. I thought that this might make a nice recurring feature here at UTB blogs.
BlackBerry Myth #1: BlackBerries are only e-mail machines
This is something I hear especially from iPhone users. For some reason they tend to believe music and movies can only come from iTunes, and well, for them, that’s true. However, we BlackBerry users know different.
BlackBerry made a name for itself with unparalleled mobile e-mail. They were the first, and they were the best. Legacy BlackBerry phones put messaging first, and were pretty much no frills every where else. And I loved them. Even while my friends were buying iPod’s that could make phone calls, I stuck with my BlackBerry, why because of the messaging. But even on legacy BlackBerry, I wasn’t missing out on media consumption. I could still attach my Torch to my computer, load movies on it, load all my music on it, and stream music from Pandora. As far as media consumption, I was doing the same thing that my friends were. I just wasn’t paying Apple to do it. But people didn’t seem to realize or care that as far as media, I was in the same position as them. They had apps, they had games. Actually, everyone I know, only had games, I still to this day do not know many people on iPhone or Android that take advantage of the productivity features of their respective OS. They do however play tons of games.
Now BlackBerry 10 is here. Now I have all the media functionality I used to in legacy BlackBerry, plus the amazing e-mail, and now apps and games.
As far as media, that world has exploded for me. Previously, BlackBerry web browser… well… it worked. I could say that about it. Now, it is a totally different world. It is quite literally the best mobile web browser out there, as we saw on tests that made all the tech news a few weeks back. It is the real internet, meaning, it is the same internet, the same websites, you see on your laptop or your desktop. Not even an Apple iPad will do that, thank’s to Steve Job’s resentment of Adobe. And with this real internet, I can do things Apple users cannot, such as head to an online store front, buy music or movies, download them to my phone, and play them. All without ever touching a computer. Apple people are quick to point out they have iTunes and can buy media directly on their phones now. Good for them. But there’s a difference, I can go to BlackBerry World and download, just as they do with iTunes, or I can go anywhere else and do it also. This is a concept few of them can even understand.
Now what to do with that media? I can Bluetooth my music to my Jambox speaker, or my AfterShokz headphones, no problem there, we can all do that. I can plug in a cord to connect to various other components or cars, we are all equal there. Huh oh though, iPhone users can buy Apple TV and stream movies from their device to their TV! Eek! … oh wait… no eek. I can (and have) buy a $2.00 hdmi cable, plug that to my phone and TV, and watch those movies from my phone on my TV. And what’s nice about that, is while I’m doing that? I can continue to use my phone as I would if I wasn’t plugged in. I can also connect via a DLNA device and play my media that way (Xbox anyone?). Now I have a Z10, the first of the batch of the BB10 devices, so some luxuries such as Miracast came about after my phone was already produced, but the new ones have it. So, what I’m getting at, is there are so many ways to obtain and use your media on BlackBerry 10, that, in all honesty, it trounces iPhone in it’s little walled in garden.
Next up, e-mail! Now, e-mail has changed from legacy to BB10. We are no longer using the NOC on BB10. Our e-mail comes to us as it does with other devices. One of the aspects of BlackBerry e-mail I used to brag about, is now gone. But, the interface, the usability, that is all BlackBerry. I quite literally don’t use e-mail on my computers anymore, preferring to use my BlackBerry for all my e-mail needs. It is worlds apart from the iPhones way too simple e-mail client, and the absolute mess of android’s various e-mail clients. But at least they admit that BlackBerry’s e-mail wins. Well, at least the bright ones do. I hear tell of some telephone dispatcher in Belfast that has still not figured out his e-mail, and claims to have deleted all his e-mail through no fault of his own. But really now, we know different.
And finally apps. Well, I’m fairly certain if you’re a BlackBerry user and you’re reading this, you’ve already had to defend your phone on the app topic entirely too many times. So let’s make this simple for non-BlackBerry users that just might be reading this. We have BlackBerry World, our own app store for BlackBerry. There are a ton of great apps in there. But yes, many of the top name apps are missing. Many have arrived, and hopefully more are coming, but most of the big ones that people immediately ask about, simply aren’t there. But there is more to the story. There are several amazing third party developers that are developing for BlackBerry 10. For instance, iGrann in my opinion, is actually a better app experience than Instagram. And yes, all our pics do go on Instagram, you’re friends will still be able to see what coffee you ordered from Starbucks. And not to stop there, BlackBerry 10 now allows direct install of .apk’s. So now, not only do we have access to BlackBerry World Apps. We now have access to Android’s apps.
So, the next time someone tells you the BlackBerry is just an e-mail machine, try to hold back the fists of fury, and just show them how wrong they are.
update: So I thought I was being sly… oops. I was just contacted by Belfast Dispatcher who informed me that he is not a telephone dispatcher at all! He is a motorcycle dispatch rider. I’m not entirely sure what that is, but it sounds much cooler than a telephone dispatcher.
He also provided a link to BlackBerry Support forums of other people that have had the same issue as him, you can read the posts here. However, it won’t be a surprise to him that I believe this is user error. And many users can have the same error. However, this is a topic that has been debated ad nauseam at another site, and I really don’t want to think about it anymore.