About 3-4 years ago, I would have called myself a crackberry addict. Back then, my BlackBerry Bold 9000 was my pride and joy and something I never let out of my sight. I carried it everywhere with me and used it for both my personal and business life. It was my second smartphone I ever owned, but was by far the most stylish and feature rich phone I had ever used. It had a gorgeous screen and one of the best built-in keyboards around. My previous phone was a HTC 8525 and as great as that phone was, it was a giant brick when compared to how thin and sleek the Bold 9000 was. It was love at first sight with this phone and I thought I’d never look back…that is until I bought myself an iPhone 4 two years later when my contract expired.
You see, as much as I loved the BlackBerry and its ability to do things I needed, such as email, web browsing, texting, chatting, and social networking, there was something missing, something more I wanted from it that it couldn’t provide. You see, around that same time, Apple’s iPhone was out and still in its infancy. However towards the latter part of me owning my Bold, Apple introduced the App Store and with it, came the “more” I had been craving. BlackBerry too had apps, but definitely not to the extent that Apple’s iOS garnered. It seemed like every company or relevant site out there were making apps exclusively for the iPhone and had the BlackBerry versions as a distant thought in their minds. Yes we had Twitter and Facebook apps, but they were half-baked versions that paled in comparison to their iOS counterparts. Because of this, after two years of ownership, I said goodbye to my trusted Bold 9000 and upgraded to an Apple iPhone 4.
Fast forward 3 years and what you’ll find in my pocket right now is the iPhone 5. That’s not the only iOS device I own however as I also own an iPad 2 and still keep my iPhone 4 around for testing out games and apps. I love the fact that the App Store has extended iOS far beyond its capabilities. Pretty much anything you are looking for or wanting to do, most likely you’ll find an app for that whether it be a free app or a paid app. There’s hasn’t really been a dull moment yet with iOS and even with competition out there from Android, I never once thought about switching to another mobile OS or even going back to a BlackBerry…until now that is.
You see, as much as I love my iPhone 5, there are still a few things that I really miss about my BlackBerry. Obviously if you were a hardcore CrackBerry addict, the main thing you long for is that hypnotizing notification light. With it, I was always able to see what kind of messages and notifications I had waiting thanks to a color changing LED app and never once had to turn on my screen to see what it was. However, with my iPhone, as soon as you receive a notification, if you don’t look at it right away and the screen goes black again, you won’t know what the notification was for unless you wake the screen. Also, as good as email is on the iPhone, I still think email on the BlackBerry is much better and much faster when it comes to push notifications and instant delivery. Also, as great as iMessages is for me, BlackBerry Messenger just seems much more stable, fast, and reliable.
That brings us to BlackBerry 10 and the introduction of new hardware that will take advantage of the new OS. Unlike others on the team here, I actually had first hand experience handling a beta of BlackBerry 10 and the BlackBerry 10 Alpha C hardware. If you read my previous post here, you’ll know that I was quite impressed with what I saw with both the OS and hardware. Although I wasn’t able to take a look at any final hardware, what I’ve seen around the web of the supposed Z10 look terrific. I’ve always been a fan of BlackBerry hardware as it always has a really classy, sophisticated look about them and the Z10 is no different.
Would I switch back to a BlackBerry?
The main question posed to me however wasn’t if I’d I liked the BlackBerry platform with BlackBerry 10. The main question is would the new BlackBerry 10 software and hardware be enough for me to ditch my iPhone and completely switch back to BlackBerry. That’s a tough question to answer as there would be many pros and cons to weigh. For the most part though, I think my answer is highly weighted on the fact that I am very deep into Apple’s ecosystem right now. That means that I have a ton of money invested on apps for iOS that if I were to switch to Blackberry, I would most likely have to purchase again. That alone would cause me to say no. However, because all the apps I’ve purchased work on all iOS devices and I do own other devices other than an iPhone I could in essence switch to a BlackBerry 10 mobile phone and still enjoy iOS apps.
On the whole, I believe BlackBerry 10 provides a better out of the box experience with better stock apps and really brings something new and refreshing to the table. There were a ton of new ideas I saw with the beta build and would honestly not mind using one as my main mobile device, just so long as I could still carry around an iOS device like an iPad or iPad mini as a secondary device. Not only that, based on recent hardware leaks of the Z10 and even with the Dev Alpha C hardware, I am really impressed with what I see coming from RIMM. So my answer to this question would be yes, I would honestly consider switching to a BlackBerry 10 device as my main device with the stipulation that I would have some kind of iOS device as my secondary device to play with as well.