What is it about nostalgic feelings that make us think that if we were to get that one thing that we were nostalgic for back that everything will be just like it was before? It’s hardly ever the case. For example, not too terribly long ago I decided that I was going to spend my Saturday morning like I did when I was a child: in my pajamas, eating a bowl of Cheerios, and watching my favorite childhood cartoons until noon. The pajamas and Cheerios were great, but those cartoons just aren’t the same when you’re an adult. The plots are silly, the catch phrases are beyond lame, and it was just something that would have been better left in the past.
You might think that after I ruined Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles for myself that maybe I would have learned. Nope. Although I never revisted any more cartoons, I did recently decide to try out BlackBerry 10 by using the BlackBerry Q10. While I think that giving BlackBerry 10 a serious try was something I definitely needed to, I’m not sure if going with the Q10 was my best idea. In my head, I thought that I wanted to keep at least part of the traditional BlackBerry experience, which meant using the physical keyboard. In hindsight, I kind of wonder if maybe I would have had an easier time if I had just gone with the Z10 instead.
My biggest problem so far, aside from lack of apps, is that the physical keyboard just isn’t as efficient as it was once upon a time. Going back to a physical keyboard now is the equivalent of going back to a flip phone after BlackBerry. Thinking of going back to T9 now is laughable, but T9 was undoubtedly the greatest thing ever invented at the time it was popular. The same can be said for BlackBerry’s keyboard.
Don’t get me wrong, it still gets the job done; however, even on a virtual keyboard without Swype or any of the other fancy 3rd party keyboards available on the market I find that I can still type faster and far more efficiently than I can on this BlackBerry keyboard. I had good memories of BlackBerry’s keyboard because at the time I used it it was one of the most efficient ways to type. Touchscreen keyboards existed, but the type of touchscreen was different; then the touchscreen was pressure sensitive instead of heat sensitive. Pressure sensitive touchscreens simply weren’t as responsive as touchscreens are now. BlackBerry’s keyboard now is like my Saturday morning cartoons - better left in the past.
BlackBerry 10’s software is still something I’m learning, and as I mentioned in my post the other day, the gesture-based nature of this beast is something that I’m actually enjoying. With that in mind, I think if I had decided to go with the Z10 my experience would be closer to what I would expect out of a smartphone today. I get that BlackBerry has an obligation to stick to its roots for the customers that can’t bear to move on from the physical keyboard, so for that I think BlackBerry is doing something right; but for those of us who have moved on from the physical keyboard and have already discovered the efficiency of the virtual keyboard, going back to a traditional BlackBerry device is going to be easier said than done.