It has been a few weeks since I wrote Part 1 of this story, and I am still quite happy with the move to the iPhone. What is often touted as Blackberry’s core strength, email, is quite capable on iPhone. It has a few features I like more (it is significantly easier to navigate around folders and generally does a better job with HTML email) and a few I miss from Blackberry (mainly some of the keyboard shortcuts) but the email is competent enough that I would call it a draw between the two devices. I have even become fairly effective with a screen keyboard, although I have sent my share of strange comments due to iPhones occasionally baffling auto-correction feature.
I had heard that Blackberry’s push email service was faster than iPhone at receiving email, and I can confirm that is indeed the case but the order of magnitude is 1 or 2 seconds at best when synchronizing to my Exchange server. With the Blackberry I would hear its email beep, then my desktop beep a half-second later. With the iPhone, its beep falls a half-second after the desktop. If you are that important that a one second delay is a matter of life or death than I certainly don’t envy you. For a small business like mine, I’ll readily sacrifice the half-second since iPhone connects directly to our Exchange server without any additional setup, unlike Blackberry which requires additional (free) software that must be installed, configured and maintained (not free).
So, do I miss anything about the Blackberry? Not really. The shortcut I find myself missing most is the ability to post pictures from the camera application directly to Facebook, but this is something that I did fairly rarely. I really don’t miss Blackberry Messenger, or the superior notification system of the Blackberry all that much when it’s couched against the smooth navigation and general speed and ease of use of the iPhone. The mythology states that Blackberries are business tools and optimized for speed, but I have found that is not really true. With the wildly compelling selection of business applications, there’s really no comparison.
So where does RIM and its Blackberry go from here? I’ll cover that in the next installment…