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Sunday, November 28, 2010

3 Reasons to Switch from BlackBerry to iPhone 4 (and 3 Reasons Not To)

I knew this day would come. In fact, when I first purchased my BlackBerry Bold, I informed my provider that I was not willing to commit to the BlackBerry service for an extended period of time. I did that because I knew that at one point or another, I would be making the transition to iPhone. However, the first iPhone to come out after I started using the Bold was the 3Gs. As impressive as that extra speed was, I was not going to give up on the BlackBerry email experience for a little more processing power. So, I waited.

Then came the iPhone 4 and I now plan on ending my long lasting relationship with my BlackBerry. However, before I break up with my Bold, I will say to it “It’s not you, it’s me”. I loved the Bold, no scratch that, I love the Bold. However, it has one too many shortcomings for a heavy user like myself and with the new iPhone out, I see no reason to stick this out.
The following are the reasons I plan on getting the new iPhone next month followed by a few reservations I have about jumping the BlackBerry ship:

Camera: There are a lot of great things to be said about BlackBerrys, and it is not for no reason that RIM has such a huge market share. However, when it comes to photography, well let’s just say, this is not a selling point for BlackBerry. For some odd reason, and the general target audience might be that reason, RIM has not yet caught up when it comes to cameraphones. It is beyond me why there are 8 and 12 megapixel cameraphones on the market and BlackBerrys are still 2 and 3 megapixels. However, the iPhone, until the latest iPhone 4 had not caught up either. Now, with the iPhone 4′s 5 megapixel camera and the addition of a second camera and an LED flash, I plan on actually taking advantage of having a good camera on me at all times. Granted this is not a good enough reason to buy a phone, but read on, there is more…

 Web Browser: OK, this probably should have been first on the list… The Bold’s Web browser, which I am forced to use as the default browser to open links, could not possibly stink more. OK, maybe I am exaggerating just a little, but not only is it slow and lacking features, it almost always makes my phone freeze up. I am going to miss many things about the BlackBerry experience but that famous hourglass of the phone freezing up, is not one of them. With the new processor on the iPhone 4 combined with the unparalleled display, Web browsing on the iPhone 4 might actually replace my laptop. This leads me right into my next point.

Memory: OK, this is by far my biggest issue with the Bold 9000 and the reason I was considering upgrading to the 9700 until I tried its keyboard. The Bold 9000 has 128Mb of app memory. Subtract the memory allocated for the OS and the preinstalled apps, and you are left with 30-40 Mb of memory to install apps. Now, don’t get me wrong, with the sad BlackBerry App World, that might be more than enough, but I use a lot of apps, and having to delete apps constantly to free up memory is not exactly a convenient process. I, for one am very much looking forward to some freedom when it comes to installing apps.

Now, this point was there before the latest iPhone, so why am I mentioning it now? Well until now, I could not install as many apps as I would want even on the iPhone since there was a limit on home screens. Now, with the iPhone iOS4, there are app folders,which enable you to install over 2,000 apps on your iPhone. That should pretty much have me covered. However, when it comes to apps, there was no way I was switching to iPhone prior to this release since there was no multitasking. That was a complete deal breaker for me since at any given moment, I have at least 10 apps running in the background on my Bold. Now, I can install as many apps as I want, run multiple apps in the background, and thanks to the enhanced battery and Apple’s implementation of multitasking, still have some battery juice left. What else can a man need, right?

Having said that, and so as not to sound like a complete fanboy, I will say that I have my concerns about going over to the dark side. These concerns are being put to rest by my fanboy friends on Twitter, but I am still a little worried of missing these aspects of the BlackBerry experience:
Email: There is no debating the pure awesomeness of BlackBerry email.  It is fast, easy to use, and very reliable. I have asked many iPhone users, specifically people who made the transition from BlackBerry how the email on the two platforms stack up, and they almost all told me I had nothing to worry about. But I am still worried. However, with the new email interface on the iOS 4 with the unified inbox, I want to believe that the advantages of the iPhone will overpower the  inferior (hopefully not by too much) email experience.

Keyboard: Oh man, am I going to miss my BlackBerry Bold’s keyboard. I type faster on my phone than I do on my computer and that is not an exaggeration. However, I prepared myself for this and have been using an iPod Touch for a few years now and the large on screen keyboard (compared to Android) combined with the advanced corrective software allows me to type pretty darn fast. I never actually timed myself on the two devices, but I think my typing on the iPod and my typing on the Bold are pretty similar in speed. There is no question that there is something to be said about having physical keys to press down on, but like I said above, this is something I am willing to give up on for the advantages I get with iPhone.

BBM: While this is not as big of a deal as the prior two concerns, I am most definitely going to miss the always-on easy-to-use BlackBerry Messenger service. For those who do not know what that is, it is basically a free texting service for all BlackBerry users. However, there are some iPhone apps out there that provide the same functionality, such as WhatsApp, so I plan on getting those apps and enjoying everything the iPhone has to offer.

In conclusion, the first things I plan on doing once I get my shiny new iPhone 4 is changing my Twitter profile, which states that I chose BlackBerry over iPhone. The next thing I am going to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the quiet of not having to explain to people every day why I am using such an “old fashion” device and not an iPhone. Once I have done those two things, I am going to open my iTunes and go on an app shopping spree. Why? Because I can!

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