Whenever I whip out my BlackBerry Bold in public, someone will undoubtedly say, "Oh, how cute. You still use a BlackBerry." Yes, I do, and I'll use it until the day I die.
My love affair with the BlackBerry began when I bought a shiny red Curve in 2008. Three years later, I upgraded to the Bold. Now that BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion) has announced its Q10 will be available in April, I've got my eye on a new one.
My devotion is not unlike that of the hardcore Apple fans. I've fallen hard since that first Curve, and I can't imagine a world without a sleek, shiny BlackBerry smartphone.
Calling Walking Dead
Don't try to replace some people's BlackBerrys with another mobile device. They get a little angry. (Source: Queen1990)
Without further ado, here are the top 10 reasons you'll need to pry my BlackBerry from my cold, dead, zombified hands.
Security: With the slew of Android malware out there -- most recently, the Windows Trojan horse in the Google Play store that looks like a cleaner app but wreaks havoc on both an Android device and a Windows machine -- I'm happily passing. Because the BlackBerry has its own tight security controls, and because hackers don't think it is cool enough to develop malware for it, I feel pretty safe downloading BlackBerry apps from the App World store and plugging the device into my, yes, Windows computer to back up data.
Enterprise superiority: There may be no stopping the consumerization of IT, which leads to BYOD programs that create headaches. But BlackBerrys are the only smartphones with the tools to manage them in the enterprise: BlackBerry Enterprise Server, Mobile Fusion, Balance (which encrypts only corporate applications), and a unified management console. Combine these with BlackBerry's security track record, and there's no reason for any enterprise to eschew BlackBerrys in favor of BYOD, unless it likes keeping the IT department hopping.
The physical keyboard: I actually groaned when I saw the BlackBerry Z10 with a full touchscreen. I'm one of those people who actually need to feel the keys while typing texts and emails. I was relieved when I learned that the Q10 will have the keyboard I know and love.
The trackpad: I know I'll lose my beloved trackpad in BlackBerry 10, but for now, it's very comforting. A quick swipe of the thumb takes me to the next screen or down the page, and a click brings my screen to life. It's smooth and elegant, and I will miss it, though BB10 promises to be every bit as sleek as my trackpad.
It means business: Android devices and iPhones are cool. I will admit they are stylish and beautiful, while BlackBerrys are the suspender-wearing, Initech-mug-carrying Lumbergh. But when I pull out that phone over a business lunch, you know I'm not texting a friend or checking Facebook.
Simplicity: The BlackBerry is harder to load with distractions, and the world has enough distractions already. As I write this, I have no fewer than 10 tabs open in my web browser, and I'm restraining myself from fiddling with the TV (or grabbing my BlackBerry). My BlackBerry doesn't have room for distractions like Angry Birds or other games. This helps me focus in social and business situations. For me, it's too tempting to grab my phone and start firing birds at belligerent green pigs, so not having that as an option is much smarter.
Capabilities: The device does what I need it to do -- and well. Here's what I need a smartphone to handle: phone calls, email, texting, my calendar, my address book, tweeting, very light web surfing, taking unexpectedly cute pictures, and getting directions with Google Maps. The BlackBerry does this all very capably with either built-in tools or apps I can download for free.
BlackBerry Messenger: I primarily text only one person, but we text each other frequently. Fortunately, we both have BlackBerrys, so we can text each other through BBM and save money, because we use our data plans instead of the text messages allotted us by our mobile phone company. That feature alone has probably paid for the cost of my BlackBerry.
Durability: I can't tell you how many times I've dropped my BlackBerry on my driveway, on the tile floor at the mall, or in the kitchen. Yet all I have to show for it are a couple of dings on the sides. The screen hasn't cracked. The functions haven't been compromised.
BB10: This is going to be a game changer. Once I get used to the absence of navigation buttons and a bit of touchscreen on my Q10, I will be able to operate my phone with one hand. When I'm lugging my carry-on through the airport, I'll be able to check my email and text my loved ones to let them know the first leg of my journey went without incident. I'll have a Hub that will let me view all my communications (Facebook status updates, LinkedIn updates, tweets, emails, texts, BBMs, and missed calls) in one place. I'll even have a cool Time Shift feature on my camera to help me get the perfect shot -- never easy with my small children as subjects.
In short, I'll still be using my BlackBerry even when I'm a zombie. It strikes just the right balance of seriousness, functionality, and a little bit of fun (hence the single emergency playlist on my media card). I'll be holding my Bold until I stumble across Rick Grimes and his crew, and only when Michonne lowers the katana will I drop it for the last time.
@shehan, give it time. My firm that I am the owner of is developing VoIP apps at the moment for Android and iPhone. We plan to develop for the BlackBerry 10 OS within the next few months as well. If developing on BB10 is as easy as BlackBerry claims, it should be a snap.
I think physical keyboards are more limited than touchscreens b/c touchscreens can be changed with software (you can get a split touchscreen keyboard or a DVORAK touchscreen or some funky Swype-enabled keyboard screen). So it's sorta like using a joystick instead of an Xbox controller... it looks a bit outdated and is functionally inferior in certain ways.
Obviously, physical keyboards can be easier to use... but I think touchscreen-ophiles might argue that the software in adaptive typing (autocorrect software, etc) is getting better and if you know how to use a touchscreen keyboard well... it can be faster than a physical keyboard.
I understand people who like physical keyboards on phones... but I think I adapted okay to touchscreen keyboards. And I have a nagging suspicion that ppl who use physical keyboard phones are considered "old"... like they'd still be using a flip-phone a la 1960's star trek communicator gear...
@cparizo – I too still use my blackberry because I like the QWERTY keyboard, I simply love it. I could close my eyes and draft a mail. You really feel the importance of the keyboard when you move to a touchscreen device.
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