Farewell to Blackberry…

I’m not really a great one for gadgets so I rarely post about technology. I just thought I’d do a quick post because the weekend saw the end of an era. I had been using a Blackberry smartphone for some time, the latest one being a Blackberry Curve, and even did a few posts on here using the WordPress App for Blackberry. I never found that particular bit of software very easy to use, however, so it was strictly for emergencies only (e.g. when stuck on a train). Other than that I got on pretty well with the old thing, except for the fact that there was no easy way to receive my work email from Sussex University on it. That has been a convenient excuse for me to ignore such communications while away from the internet, but recently it’s become clear that I need to be better connected to deal with pressing matters.

Anyway a few weeks ago I got a text message from Vodafone telling me I was due a free upgrade on my contract so I decided to bite the bullet, ditch the Blackberry and acquire an Android phone instead. I’m a bit allergic to those hideously overpriced Apple products, you see, which made an iPhone unthinkable.  On Saturday morning I paid a quick visit to the vodafone store in Cardiff and after a nice chat – mainly about Rugby (Wales were playing the All Blacks later that day) and the recent comet landing – I left with a new Sony Xperia Z2. I feel a bit sorry for turning my back on Blackberry; they really were innovators at one point, but they made some awful business decisions and have been left behind by the competition. Incidentally, the original company Research In Motion (RIM) was doing well enough 15 years ago to endow the PeRIMeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, which was one of the reasons for my loyalty to date. The company is now called Blackberry Limited and has recently gone through major restructuring in its struggle for survival.

The Xperia Z2 is a nice phone, with a nice big display, generally very easy to find your way around, and with a lot more apps available than for Blackberry. I’ve got my Sussex email working and got Twitter, Facebook and WordPress installed; the latter is far better on Android than on Blackberry. The only thing I don’t like is the autocorrect/autocomplete, which is wretched, and which  I haven’t yet figured out how to switch off. The other thing is that it’s completely waterproof, but I haven’t taken it into the shower yet.

I feel quite modern for a change – my old Blackberry did make me feel like an old fogey sometimes – but since I’ve now signed up for another two years of contract before my next upgrade, there’s plenty of time for technology to overtake me again.

 

 

9 Responses to “Farewell to Blackberry…”

  1. Unlike you, I am big fan of Apple products (although I agree that they are expensive), and have never owned anything but an iPhone since I graduated to a smartphone in 2010. I have an iPhone 4S, which was bought in April 2012, and so positively ancient by phone standards.

    With the iPhone 6 and 6Plus coming out, I’ve been toying with the idea of upgrading, mainly because the 4S is now very slow with iOS8. On Friday I took a look at the deals available to me, and had pretty much decided to hold off and just make due for now with the 4S and be more patient with the slowness of apps starting up.

    Then today, as if in a miff with me, the “on/off/sleep” button on the top of the phone seems to have stopped working. Are Apple products so clever that they can sense when their owner is thinking of replacing them??😉 I will give it a good clean (a blast of air used for lens cleaning may work), but I guess if the button really has stopped working I am going to be forced into that upgrade I flirted with on Friday…..

  2. *make do for now*

  3. Wulfgang Hirsch Says:

    You should try the new Blackberry z30 or the new Passport. They beat iPhone and Android in the technology: multitasking, battery life, and usability like typing. They lack native apps, but with the Blackberry OS now capable of running android apps, it’s no longer an issue.

    • telescoper Says:

      Well the immediate problem with that for a lazy cheapskate like me is that Vodafone no longer offer Blackberry as an upgrade…

  4. I seem to remember Peter commenting once that I had the most modern, up-to-date, mobile telephone. Admittedly, that would have been about 12 years ago. I’m still using it.

    • I bought a big Nokia (with a stub antenna) while I was working at Jodrell bank (no, I never used it on site!). Too big, too few features, but better than nothing. (It has an interesting option: a cover with solar cells which charge the battery.) About a dozen years ago I bought a Nokia 3310 and am still using it. I now have half a dozen 3310 and 3330 models so that when mine breaks down I can just move the SIM card to another one. For me, this has all I need, but not more. I really like the menu, which is different from even other Nokia models from the same era. There are only 4 buttons (other than the standard telephone buttons): up, down, correct/delete and default. The interesting thing about the menu is that the most common option is always mapped to the default button.

      I recently bought an eBook reader and have little use for any “smart” device which I can take with me, though if I buy one probably a full-size iPad. For many apps a big screen is nice, and I don’t see the point of having two portable smart devices.

      • Bryn Jones Says:

        I think my ‘phone has Sagem written on it.

        Buying a modern one is on my list of things to do.

  5. For the auto-correct issue, go to Settings -> My Device -> Language and Input and click the cog next to your keyboard (probably “Sony keyboard” or similar). There *should* be an option to turn of auto-replacement, but leave on predictive text. I’m on a Samsung device, but presumably they’re pretty similar, but names of menus may change slightly.

    I personally found the “SwiftKey” keyboard (which you install as an app) to be my favourite (though there are lots available), since the default “Saumsung keyboard” changed at the last update and stopped learning my writing style from texts and emails.

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