Switching from BlackBerry Bold to iPhone 3G S

It’s almost been an annual pilgrimage. Each year since Apple’s release of the original iPhone I’ve jumped in and gotten one, only to get fed up with lousy messaging features and switch back to a BlackBerry.

The phone trail: BlackBerry Pearl 8100 -> iPhone -> BlackBerry 8800 -> iPhone 3G -> BlackBerry Bold 9000 -> iPhone 3G S

I really like the iPhone 3G. I lasted almost a full year, but something was missing. The push, immediate arrival of email, when one can blast messages out and get responses like an instant messaging client, is what I’ve always come back to on a BlackBerry.

This time there’s something different. It wasn’t as impressive with the BlackBerry email. And that must really suck for RIM because I know I’m not the only one who has grown out of their email awesomeness.

Gmail + push based IMAP and Exchange on the iPhone made BlackBerry email much less exciting when I switched back. If RIM can’t own the messaging space, they’re in for some trouble.

The other reason is that my team is doing some great things with the iPhone at Ingram Content. Customers can transfer their downloads through iTunes quickly and seamlessly. I’m using our own product on a daily basis and enjoying it (yes, I’m biased, but it’s still a good sign that a developer wants to eat the comapny’s dog food).

This post was written on the BlackBerry Bold 9000 during my morning train commute. I’ve been listening to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on the iPhone 3G. The upgrade to 3G S is this afternoon. You can download using our Ingram Media Manager for free through your public library.

Switched from iPhone 3G to Blackberry Bold because of two features

Blackberry Bold 9000

I’ve switched back to a BBerry instead of an iPhone. Again. This is the second time I’ve found I’m working less productively on the iPhone. This isn’t a switch because I enjoy working on a Blackberry. The Blackberry simply handles messaging more quickly and seamlessly, and that’s my impression even after using the iPhone 3.0 OS with copy/paste, etc, for the last couple months.

Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is the best phone on the market for consuming information. Browsing, the many apps and games, media consumption, appearance, performance, etc, make it the best platform. Ever (imho).

But it still sucks for Gmail and IM and these are the two most important features for a lot of us web jockeys. The native Gmail client on Blackberry enables Gmail searching of multiple accounts instantly. This is a feature worth switching platforms for. The web based Gmail on the iPhone enables such search, but it is web based and takes a lot longer to navigate, even with 3G, and can’t run in the background and perform alerts for new messages.

Background processes enable IM and immediate text communication on Blackberry. I’d gotten by on the iPhone with AIM’s SMS features, which is a nice way to work IM on any phone, but it didn’t cover Jabber and other instant messaging services.

I keep the iPhone in my bag, and continue using it on wi-fi for development and testing. And I can’t wait to get to WWDC and attend the iPhone dev workshops. When the 3.0 OS is out of beta we’ll get to see how these services affect a transition for me, and many others, from Blackberry to the iPhone. Again.

Lunchtime mobile test post, nothing but water to see here…

Twitterlike post…

Grabbing a late lunch and testing a blog post via email. Early this morning I finally set up a cron to check for posts via email.

This post traveled from a Blackberry Bold to Gmail, then the cron ran and the email was pulled by Postie and imported as a post.

Along the way, I ran in to the following problems: – Postie Gmail support – Hosting provider had outgoing ports 993 and 995 blocked – Cronless Postie vs standard (now running cron rev)

BlackBerry Bold in your region

BlackBerry Bold

Just got an opt-in email from BlackBerry on the new BlackBerry Bold. Not sure if this is a “keep you hungry” note or more along the lines of “we’re almost launching.”

In the email:

“Stay tuned for more updates – we’ll let you know when service providers in your region begin offering the exciting new BlackBerry Bold smartphone!”

Now it’s down to “in your region” – no mention of carrier names and obviously no official release date. Curious if we’ll see a July 11th iPhone 3G vs. BlackBerry Bold cage match.

Mobile Phone GPS – Where are we going?

BlackBerry 8800 GPS

Most smartphones slated for release over the next 12-months include a GPS receiver, built in. After that, it will be a marked failure to not include a GPS in a phone. The functionality that comes with GPS is outstanding – mapping, directions, location based experiences, etc. We’re about to enter an age of advancement in technological capabilities that we’re just beginning to imagine.

Consumers are moving to smartphones. The hottest smartphones (iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Bold 9000, most of Nokia’s Symbian and HTC’s Windows Mobile offerings) all include GPS and an exposed API for developing applications utilizing their hardware. Anything people can conceive of for location based mashups will be coming (more on these mashups in later posts)…


Here’s a first application…

BlackBerry is a leader in mobile phone GPS. Recently a few services that announce the location of one’s phone emerged. Initially these were billed as a sort of low-jack for one’s phone, a security service for the insecure (or those who want to spy on their kids, etc).

I decided to try a few of these. Most felt slimy, like, “you always know where your phone is, and you could also know where your wife is!” … I don’t know about you, but my phone is loyal and doesn’t run off with strangers… And I trust my wife far more than a phone.

My goal with trying these services was to mash Twitter, Pownce, Facebook, and other social networking services with my location. Such a mashup will allow me to share my real-time location with all friends. I came across BlackberryTracker.com. Much like the others, the idea is to provide you with the location of your phone. However, they have something the other’s don’t… Facebook and Google Earth integration (as well as a drop-dead-simple semi-RESTful API).

Friends can pinpoint me down to the meter on my Facebook profile, updated every 30 seconds. To be honest, it feels strange to openly publish this data. Security, and lack thereof, has us believing we shouldn’t share such information. But this fear is caused by the exception and not the rule. And in reality, my location in public isn’t private. Additionally, there are laws and common courtesies we live by, and I trust that people are inherently good.

Soon these services will be in the mainstream. Everyone will be able to pinpoint the location of anyone. Let me emphasize that… Soon everyone will be able to pinpoint the location of anyone. Not publishing your location will be like not having a mobile phone.