Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

My last Blackberry

I consider myself an early mobile adopter. I had Casio PDA, Sharp PDA (the first to sync with the PC), a Psyon, the original Palm, a Nokia communicator. Finannyl I ended with a Blackberry 8707. It did eMail very well, the big keys matched my big hands and live was good. Of course even I fall victim to perceived obsolence. The 8707 showed its age. All the new applications like Quickr, Facebook, Tripit etc. wouldn't run and first and foremost: no wifi and no option to keep the phone running while roaming but switch the data off. So I decided to treat myself to a shiny new Bold2 9700 (mostly since Android hasn't been cleared by IBM security yet, at least not here).

It had all I wished for: applications, camera, memory, wifi, roaming. Others praised it as their parachute. Seems mine has a few burn holes and it will be my last Blackberry unless things improve dramatically very soon.
  1. BES jail: I paid for the unit. I foot the monthly bill (and to connect to a Enterprise Server Singapore's mobile provider require the premium plan). Nevertheless I'm not in charge. The configuration settings are hidden in what Blackberry calls "Service books" which only can be issued by the BES admininstrator. Lets say he is trying very hard.
  2. Browser confusion: there is the Blackberry browser, the hotspot browser and the Gee browser (the later courtesy of Starhub). Depending on connectivity one or the other works or doesn't work. And they suck all together. The 8707 at least didn't try and resulted in ugly but readable pages. The new browsers try hard and render unreadable small pages. There are only 3 zoom levels and the browser forgets them graciously between pages
  3. Network reliability: I don't want to care if I'm in a hotspot or mobile ot inside my firewall. Once I teach a device how things are it should work behind the scenes. The 9700 doesn't. Messages are not sent without explanation. It only tries for a few seconds - sometimes, sometimes it sends and receives within the blink of an eye. Services are not network flexible. Some work on mobile but not wifi (e.g. the Blackberry marketplace), some on wifi but not mobile, some only if only one is on. Behaving like this I don't consider it a trusted device anymore.
  4. Keyboard: The 8707 is superior to the 9700, so I expect a further detoriation
  5. Buggy software:Incoming and outgoing calls are associated with random numbers. E.g. notification I get from TripIt (a UK SMS) is linked to my aunties German handphone number. I called a cab, the log later says: "Call to cab" but listing my wife's number as destination
  6. Desktop software: I use Linux as my day to day OS. For a lot of functions I need a BB desktop client. It is mainly Windows, so I need to keep either a VM with working USB or a separate machine around
  7. Not my problem: The phone company tells me it is a BES issue, the BES admin blames the phone company, nobody I can visit and sort things out and the hardware guys (maybe my unit is faulty?) don't understand a thing about networks.
I don't know if I just experience the perfect storm of mishapt, but I'm not surprised that 33% of the Blackberry users want to switch to Android and 40% to an iPhone

Posted by on 30 March 2010 | Comments (5) | categories: Technology


  1. posted by mark hughes on Tuesday 30 March 2010 AD:
    As an admin, i hate the the new BES 5 admin console, web based, very slow, confusing as hell when it comes to policies.

    Traveler on the other hand for the admin is simple and easy, it works Emoticon shocked.gif

    I cant wait until all of the blackberries are gone from the company
  2. posted by Dev K Menon on Tuesday 30 March 2010 AD:
    You should get an iPhone and get traveler on it with companion ;)
  3. posted by Craig Wiseman on Wednesday 31 March 2010 AD:
    The browser is underwhelming.

    See, I thought whole "hotspot/internet/etc" browser switching was just me, and that I had screwed up something somewhere. Surely, I thought, I could tell it to "use Wi-Fi, unless I don't have Wi-Fi, then use 3G." But nope....

    I'd have to recommend Opera mini. Not perfect, but it renders pages better and has much better zoom options.
  4. posted by Giuseppe Grasso on Wednesday 31 March 2010 AD:
    same here, early adopter, now on blackberry. I'm considering switching to android for my personal mobile. iphone looks like another jail to me. blackberries still rocks on the business world anyway, mostly 'cause of BES I think.
  5. posted by Stephan H. Wissel on Wednesday 31 March 2010 AD:
    @Dev: Apple are the absolute control freaks. While the devices are nice you have even less control. As long as it works - fine. But Apple has the tendency to go into denial on issues and send their fan boy troops you round you up if you criticize them. SWMBO got an iPhone for XMas and it's the right device for her purposes. But for writing eMails nothing beats a proper keyboard. The 9700 is still good (better than the old Nokia Communicator, but less than the 8707). I tried the iPhone keyboard and it doesn't work for me.
    Emoticon biggrin.gif stw