Anyone who knows me can tell you I'm a huge BlackBerry fan and have been so for a very long time. If you spend anytime reading tech blogs or the news, Research In Motion (RIM) has taken a lot of criticism over the last year or so for not "keeping" up with the other mobile platforms. The complaints are the usual sort you may hear about any mobile device: CPU speed , lack of dual core, small screen size, lack of developer support and so forth, low RAM and so forth. The latest wave of BlackBerry OS 7 devices have put to sleep a lot of that criticism, they are armed with 1.2ghz CPU's, have plenty of screen real estate, more memory, and the promise of better, faster, more robust applications.
The PlayBook Tablet has also had it share of praise and critique: gorgeous screen, greet hardware and portability, but lack of native PIM apps and 3rd party support has been it's downside. Every device has it's pro's and cons and they same goes for the different platforms. I don't want to get to much into that, I have my own thoughts and feeling about each, and so does every other user out there. Personally, I have kept my BlackBerry around as my "business" side and on the personal side I have been an iOS diehard and occasional Android user.
So you may ask "Why go through this at all, if you have been happy where you are." The honest answer would be that I'm a little tired of what I have been using and I wanted to try something different, and I really like the direction RIM is heading and I believe that they will come out of this time of "perceived adversity" with something spectacular in the QNX platform.
My Objectives for this experiment are as follows:
- Replace my current mobile devices with RIM/BlackBerry Products.
- Compare and contrast the devices with what I am currently using.
- Document software and the application of the devices.
- Attempt and document workarounds, tips, and tricks to share with other users.
- Validate the experience from both the "fanboy" and practical perspective.
- Appeal to the user base of all the devices so that a sound and concise decision can be made without propaganda or flair.
- Finally; on a personal level, cure myself of habitual device switching just to try the latest and greatest and driving my wife nuts.
I have several challenges to face during my experiment, the first is to change some work flows and day to day activities that I have become second nature and habitual for me. These are habits, years in the making, that will not be easy to change. There is also the literally hundreds of dollars and countless hours invested in training, tweaking, and developing a dependance on those devices and software. Now that the pity party is over, the good news is that I'm doing and other will not have to, I hope I can pass on my experience, my time investment, and my tutorials to give something back to the community, the users, and valuable feedback to the folks at RIM who work so hard to keep their customers happy.
Here is a summary of what this great switch will involve:
- My Main phone will now be my BlackBerry Bold 9930, no more Android or iOS device.
- My secondary phone will be a Torch 9810, perviously it was my Bold.
- My Tablet will be a PlayBook, I had used an iPad2 for this purpose.
- I don't use a laptop, I will either pick up a MacBook Air or use my iPad with a BlueTooth Keyboard as a laptop replacement (what I do now) but I really want to go with a MacBook Air, finances permitting.
- My media player is an iPod Touch, I plan to switch that to a Torch 9860, it's perfect for a Media Player with it's widescreen display.
- I'm a Mac user and I boot into Windows when I have to, but I do not like to. That presents a few other challenges software wise and I will document them as well.
- Software and apps are going to cause some changes in the way I do things. I will replace my "tool box" with apps from the BlackBerry App World and compare them to other apps on other platforms as I make the transition.
That is a lot to overcome, and that is why I decided to take an entire year to document and make the change in full. I'm hoping for some support from a few companies in exchange for reviews and other compensation, I will make do as best as I can. Once I replace my existing devices, I am going to use them as auction items to support a charity scholarship I am involved in and bring a little exposure to that.
So there you have it folks, it's going to be an interesting ride to say the least. I already made the first switch tonight, I called AT&T and swapped my plan and SIM cards around and my Bold will not leave side for the next year. I have un-bookmarked my non BlackBerry fansites and replaced them with the BB Beta Zone, and the BB community site and have already started planning app switches. I will post at least twice a week during the week and follow up with a week in review on the weekend. I do have a family, a career, and a hobby farm to take care so it will be a challenge to fit it all in. Most of my Social networking will revolve around my project for the next year. The first few weeks will be the most difficult, but I'm resilient and committed. Let's see what happens!