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RIM BlackBerry Torch 9860

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

OK – so I’ve finally had a chance to play with this now. And it looks pretty.. and it feels nice too… it is certainly more solid than the torch released this time last year. But is it enough??? My short answer – no. My reasons:

  1. Not enough apps – you cannot compare the BB app world with the iOS App store or the Android marketplace.
  2. OS7 – Shame on you RIM. You deliver nice hardware with a really horrid OS. You should have stuck to the alleged plan of making OS7 QNX based… Building apps for the blackberry is not nice using  place to play.
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Categories: BlackBerry, Torch

Now it’s time to bitch about the iPhone.

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

OK – I may ave finally reached the end of the honeymoon period with my iPhone4. I had some teething problems with it when we first got together, things like not being able to accept ICS invitations etc – but all those issues are in the past, but this week… my rose tinted glasses may have finally been removed…

Two major problems have finally worn me down:

  1. BATTERY
  2. HEAT

So I got used to the fact that I’d be lucky to get more than 24hrs worth of battery life out of the iPhone4, with moderate use – and provided I didn’t let my children near it but I’m now down to around 10 Hours tops. This is a MAJOR problem, as I’m not glued to the phone all the time in fact in terms of phone calls today I’ve made a total of 4 calls each less than 5mins in length, I used it to listen to podcasts this am for 1hr total and I’ve checked emails a they have arrived so today would be a low usage day. Oh and it was charged overnight.

As for the heat, well if I used the phone for more than 2-3 mins either to make a call or for apps the screen would get very hot. I’ve never had this issue before and my first attempt at fixing the issue was a full reboot – no joy. Eventually I closed down all the open apps and repeated the reboot and this seemed to fix the issue. This was a real surprise I’d not been doing anything that different in terms of my usage (or that of my children who seem to take control of it every weekend!)  and I thought that the concept of backgrounding apps on the iPhone was that the apps were put into a state of suspended animation so as not to consume resources – is this no longer the case?

I’m blaming iOS4.3.1 for my troubles – 4.2 presented me none of these issues. Am I now returning from the dark-side and the cult of Apple? Is it time to move to Droid – or horror of horrors back to BlackBerry?  Well I will be trying out the new BB devices when they come out over the next few months but before I issue divorce papers to my iPhone I will see if iOS 4.3.2 will repair my relationship.

Why I’ve divorced my blackberry.

March 30, 2011 2 comments

So the background is that I’ve been using the blackberry in anger now since 2003-4, my first was a 7100 – I think… I can’t say I loved it to begin with – more suffered it – as I had to have access to email all the time and living in an area with no broadband was an issue.  I was working at Parlano – and our whole way of working was based on using group chat so I only had email contact with customers. It was when I moved to Reuters (now Thomson Reuters) that I discovered the blackberry crack – and soon became addicted, due to the integration with our mail and calendar system (Exchange) – Reuters had an email culture and it was the defacto way of communicating.

So, roll on a couple of years to July 2010, now working at Formicary. I got a free upgrade opted to go for an iPhone – I wanted to see how the other half live, and as Formicary are RIM partners we get the new BlackBerry devices just before launch so I would still be able to get a new RIM device from work so it seemed sensible to try something new.   So swapped to using the iPhone and HATED it…. there was no way to accept calendar requests, the email delivery was slow, so I bought a SIM card adapter and went back to my BB Bold and I used the iPhone as an iPod… and my children loved playing games on it.

Then the Torch arrived on my desk…. here were my findings:

Negatives

the home screen -when I unlock the device I have to expand the menu tray, this adds an extra click which is a click too many.

touch screen – the select functions are pretty inaccurate, in fact it is fairly inaccurate for touch sensitivity for all functions.

screen keyboard – is unusable for writing messages, in portrait mode you get about two lines of visible space to type and in landscape you have about two lines. Also the keyboard is pretty clunky to use on-screen it would be better to use Swype style keyboard.

switching between menus- appears very slow to switch from one screen to the next – for instance from the ‘all’ to the ‘favourites’.

Voice calls – the mute button doesn’t seem to function 100% of the time when on calls you think you have clicked it and you don’t hear the audio indicator yet it is muted and the other way around too. Also I seem to accidentally end calls when I use the handset pressed to my head – not sure why…

Pinch/stretch – not very slick, seems to be a bit hit and miss, often you end up selecting instead of stretching/shrinking

Always calling people by accident – made myself very unpopular when I was working in the USA for two weeks and kept calling home or other random people

Positives (well there was one at least!)

I like the new style phone keypad (on the screen) for making phone calls. – much quicker for dialling numbers.

Desktop Manager 6.0

Couldn’t even get the thing to start – despite 3 re-installs… ended up having to revert to DM5.

All in all I found the user experience far better on the Bold 9000 – and as the Torch was touted to be the challenger to the iPhone I was very disappointed.

Fast Forward – iOS 4.2 was released and I could accept meeting invites on my iPhone4, I stopped using the Torch. I got used to the screen based keyboard and started adding apps like RSS readers and other productivity tools.  I liked it. I then lost it…. it was the first phone I’ve lost in years and I was genuinely gutted. I then had to argue with my insurance company (the lifestyle group) and went back to using the torch 100% of the time and realised how much I’d grown to love the world of iOS. I was in mourning.

Finally my claim was resolved and I was able to replace my iPhone 4 – and we had finally implemented exchange 2010! woo hoo – it wasn’t even my birthday!- I am now VERY happy – So much so that I have now handed over the BB Torch to be used for testing in our lab.