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.

Huge Disparity in iPhone 3.0 Adoption Stats – making sense of it

Ars Technica What’s the uptake on iPhone OS 3.0? covers how many reliable reports are reporting different stats for iPhone 3.0 adoption. Ars ends the article wondering why the numbers are so skewed. But it’s obvious, right?

– Apple’s download + 3.0 device sales stats = ~17%
– AdMob reports 44% of ads served are to 3.0
– WeightBot and ConvertBot app developers claim 79% are 3.0

This, to me, means:
– Apple’s stats are probably the most correct, overall, but that doesn’t mean a hill of beans to developers
– 44% of active web browsing users updated to 3.0
– 79% of app downloading owners updated 3.0
– Somewhere less than 56% of iPhone users don’t browse much web or download apps, or at lease not enough to splash these stats.

It’s not really an issue with skewed results, it’s an issue with understanding what these results really mean. As the leader of a team doing iPhone development, the world being around 79% adoption of 3.0 is fantastic. And for our future web apps, it’s very intersting (if it’s true) that less than 1/2 of iPhone users using the web are updated.

What’s really intersting is that 17% are on 3.0, or 7 million devices. If 79% of app users are 3.0, and if ALL of 3.0 users buy apps, there is a cap of 8,900,000’ish app buying iPhone owners out of 41 million (8.9 million times 79% is ~7 million).

The questions that come to my mind are:
– Does this mean 1 in 4.6 owners (41 million divided by the hypothetical 8.9 million) have purchased an app? They would have probably at least downloaded a free app. This is probably why Apple is pushing ads about app downloads… They’d like to increase this ratio.
– How many iPhone owners regularly use the web on the device? 1 in 2.5 (if 44% of web browsing owners are 3.0 versus 17% of overall device updates)?

Flickr + Twitter integration via flic.kr – How to




It was April 6th, 2008 that I posted How to post images to Twitter and Flickr at the same time from an iPhone. It has been one of the more popular posts on this blog.

Flickr now makes it possible to post to Twitter directly via an emailed photo AND via Blog This. Their integration removes the need for TwitPic, and arguably SnapTweet too (though SnapTweet is faster than using Blog This and can be used for multiple images at once).

Images are posted to Twitter with Flickr’s new flic.kr URL shortener.

Here’s how to get set up:

  1. Visit Flickr’s beta testing group’s page (actually, this step isn’t necessary, but if you run in to problems, their page is the best resource).
  2. Associate your Twitter account with your Flickr account here. It leads you through the process and uses OAuth, a safer mechanism than providing your password.
  3. You will be provided with a second special email address to send images to. If your main Flickr image email address is example42test@photos.flickr.com, your Flickr+Twitter email address will be example42test2twitter@photos.flickr.com.
  4. Send away!

Photos sent to your primary Flickr image address will be processed as normal (not submitted to Twitter). Photos sent to your new 2twitter version will be processed and then immediately posted to Twitter. Your tweet will consist of [subject_line] [url], with the [url] being Flickr’s shortened flic.kr url.


After signing up for the Twitter integration you also get a new Blog This addition when viewing a single image. Clicking Blog This brings up the option to post an existing image directly to Twitter. You can post your own, as well as other Flickr users, images via this feature. Very powerful.

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.