March 11, 2011
A Sad But Historical Day: Migrating from my Blackberry to the iPhone
The Apple fan boys get to you - you know, that nagging effect that makes you 'feel' inferior. The innovators snarl at you as if you don't 'get it.'
The early adopters call you a dinosaur and keep asking you when you're going to move into the next century. Your blogger friends make fun of you because you have no cool mobile apps. Your media pals have more than one mobile device and they wonder why you don't too. Your clients keep developing apps that you need to test even if you're not their target market.
It took me long enough to move from a simple phone to a smart phone, one that did what it was supposed to do well - MAKE calls, text and store an insane amount of contacts, a priority for me. The Blackberry was a smart phone compared to my LG, Samsung, Palm and Motorola experiments, yet no one in the industry will likely agree.
It did what I NEEDED it to do really well - text, contacts, email and phone calls, ones that didn't drop several times during a conference call. That said, the Blackberry did NOT have an easy user interface for apps I would likely use abroad, like Skype and Google Maps or ones that I'd use here, such as Yelp, movie sites and local sites like SF Gate when I had a need to look up a restaurant or cafe.
You could look at this blog post as a nostalgic parting of ways post more than anything else. While it hasn't been quite two weeks, everytime I look down at my cool new bright iPhone screen with its purple cover, I can't help but long for my Blackberry. Everytime I have to type a text message or an email (OFTEN), it takes me three times as long. Yes, three, not two.
Apple fan boys and iPhone addicts will say that its only a matter of time and I'll be whizzing along on my new slick device with the mega memory and boat load of apps, yet what I'm realizing is that I simply don't need a boat load of apps.
Sure, I spent a few hours within the first 24 hours downloading cool apps that would make me more productive, such as Errands and 2Do, the latter I even paid for though I can't seem to see the benefit yet even after tinkering with it for a few hours.
I downloaded cool photo apps, the Wifi-Finder which has yet to work for me in 3 different cities, and all the social apps I might possibly use: Bump, Twitter, Plancast, YouTube, Facebook, Tungle, LinkedIn, Seesmic, My6Sense, and Hootsuite. Then again, I used the important ones on that list on my Blackberry with great ease anyway.
I have folders now with tech blogs, media sites, cool travel and resource references, 6 travel maps, and apps that revolve around music, spirituality and finance. I have icons for my favorite conferences and the sure, the DEMO and TED apps were useful recently and no doubt, the SXSW Go app will be useful this week in Austin.
YET....I used to fly through emails and text messages on my Blackberry. While I was sitting on the runway waiting for the plane to take off, I might send 50 emails that saved me time later on. I could check into Foursquare in a heartbeat while somehow on the iPhone, it seems like I need to go through an extra step. As for tweeting, don't get me started.
While on the DEMO floor, I snapped a photo using the very cool Instagram app everyone has been raving about (which I like a lot btw, but after four days of it, the novelty is already wearing off), and it took me 8 minutes to get the tweet out. No, I'm not exaggerating.
I realize the new 'toy' is just that - new. And, I have no doubt that my iPhone and Apple fan boy friends and early adopters who may no longer glare at me, may be right on the learning curve. In a few weeks time, I may very well be fixated with the beauty and zillion apps my Verizon iPhone gives me, but it doesn't mean I'll be any faster at churning out data.
Let's face it, I'm not a gamer or a mobile web surfer. Deep down, I'm a productivity whore. Seriously, I love things that reduce the time I'm tethered to my PC or to a radiation-ridden cell phone, whether its floating through data one screen at a time, listening to music or watching a video on a 5 inch screen. It's just not for me.
While there's no doubt, mobile is exploding and as barriers come down, and bandwidth and battery life improves, we'll be using our devices for more things, more often and in more places.
That said, right now, I need my phone to do 3 things really well: have a strong signal in as many markets as possible so calls aren't dropped and I can get online, churn out messages as text or email as quickly as possible, and have an interface and keyboard that allows me to spit out tweets in seconds, so I can focus on the content before me rather than trying to get the accuracy right using a keyboard that isn't a real keyboard. God help those with large hands and fingers.
Note the consistent need throughout: as quickly as possible. Productivity whores love efficiency and when they don't get it, they get cranky.
Here's the other thing that my Verizon iPhone won't give me that my Verizon Blackberry did. In December, when I went off to Paris, I turned on an unlimited data plan that allowed me to surf, text and do email as often as I wanted in Europe for a mere $3.00 a day. No can do with the blocked iPhone. Pals on that same trip ended up paying $300+ by the time they got back for what cost me just under $30.
Toys might be fun, but productive and inexpensive they are not. For fun, why not get an iPad and forget a phone that simply doesn't work well as a phone? Sorry geeks, early adopters, design freaks and Apple fan boys alike, I just don't get it. I'll report back in a couple of months so we can see how little or much I've evolved on this new slick toy you all love.
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