I have been a BlackBerry fanatic since 2007. I love the keyboard and enjoy messaging my friends via BBM. The sleek black interface, the red dot notifier, and the short, classy sounds make my smartphone experience smart!
Being on the go all the time, I relied on BlackBerry’s sync feature where I can make changes to my calendar, contacts, and tasks while mobile and was confident that all changes will be reflected on my laptop after the sync. And vice-versa. I could be working on my laptop and changes would be ported to the smartphone via sync.
I felt like my life was in sync!
Having had a fab experience with the Curve, I got drawn to the Bold 9000 because of its bigger keyboard, which was welcome news to my thumbs (the Curve’s keyboard was a bit cramped). It also had a bigger screen, which was welcome news to my eyes. This was the model I stayed the longest time with, and if not for the fact that I can no longer download apps because of a very limited memory, I wouldn’t have upgraded to the Bold Touch 9900.
There will never be a time when you are perfectly happy and comfortable with your smartphone because when that time comes, a better model of the same brand or competitor’s would come along. This better model would rob you of your perfectly happy and comfortable feeling. For the Bold Touch 9900, it was the better, nicer keyboard; the touchscreen; the bigger memory; and the overall sleeker, slimmer, more elegant body that did it for me. Being last in the Bold line in the old OS, BlackBerry certainly knew how to create the best. Kudos!
For a few months I was in smartphone utopia. My 9900 was the best. It did everything you ever hoped a smartphone could and it synced perfectly with my Sony laptop. My personal productivity was at an all time high. I was happy and comfortable. Life was good.
Until I replaced my laptop with a MacBook Air.
My smartphone didn’t sync with my laptop. Gradually, slowly, painfully, like waking up to a nightmare, I saw my smartphone utopia being shred to a million little pieces. I was desperate not to fall into a depression. How can this happen?
A big part of the problem is my assumption that these devices would sync and “communicate” with each other. Had I spent a little time reading the chat forums I would have learned of the connectivity issue between the 9900 and the MBA. These big companies don’t play nice with one another, much to the customer’s detriment.
Because I was stuck with these top-of-the-line devices I had to cope; I really didn’t have any other choice. Even though I had my smartphone and laptop with me most of the time, it was easier to update items on the 9900. I can easily add a new meeting schedule, a new phone number, or a task I suddenly remembered had to be done. Without the connectivity all these updates resided on the phone but not on the laptop. But there were times when I would be working on the laptop and had to update information there, usually from websites or emails. Likewise, the updated information stayed on the laptop only.
My life was no longer in sync. I was working from two devices and sometimes I was looking for information on one when I saved it on the other. It felt like walking two parallel streets at once. Frustration was an understatement. My smartphone utopia has come undone!
Shakespeare once said “Parting is such sweet sorrow…” I had to make a choice. I needed sync and utopia to be part of my life again.
Goodbye, BlackBerry Bold 9900.
Hello, iPhone 5.
Now I don’t even have to sync, iCloud does everything for me. Once I set up my calendar, address book, tasks, reminders, mail, etc. to iCloud, all I need to do is sign in using the same account on my MBA and iPhone, then voila, the sync happens over-the-air. When I add a new calendar entry to my phone while at work (with my laptop at home), I don’t have to worry about syncing devices because when I turn on my laptop, the calendar entry is already there. I love Steve Jobs!
I know some friends who have been really good BBM buddies will miss me there but hey, there’s WhatsApp, Skype, YM and Viber. Friends who are already on iOS will welcome me on FaceTime or iMessage. There is no dearth of messaging channels on the Internet.
I miss the BlackBerry keyboard and am still learning to type on screen. The letters are smaller and I make a lot of typos. I don’t know if I can make the letters bigger for my eyes. I miss BBM too, but life has to go on with or without BBM.
Now I understand why these big tech companies are not friendly with one another. It’s all about the money. In my experience, Apple won because I was forced to ditch my BB for the iPhone. Had my 9900 synced with my MBA, no issues. I even bought Office for Mac 2011, hoping that the sync can happen via Outlook. Negative.
My dream is to see the day when everything is interconnected. Apple syncs with Microsoft, BlackBerry and what-have-you, and all documents are saved in one platform but accessible through all channels. A day when I can save an Excel spreadsheet on Google Drive in Toronto; send a copy of the same spreadsheet to a friend’s BBM in Manila using iMessage; have two other friends (one in Dubai and another in Paris) work on the same spreadsheet using their Android and Windows 8 devices; and have all changes happen on Google Drive in real time. A day when consumers don’t have to get frustrated that a Windows app doesn’t work on the iPhone or the Mac; or an Android feature is not supported on iCloud. A day when syncing is no longer an issue but a given.
Now that would not be smartphone utopia; that would be technological bliss!
(P.S. I checked the BlackBerry 10 devices before going for the iPhone 5. Likewise, sync issues.)