For years now at PhoneDog, we’ve been doing 30-day challenges—taking one device and seeing if we can make it through an entire 30 days without using any other; or at least just using one as our main device while we’re still testing and reviewing the other stuff that we have to do because, you know, work. So I decided to take on the challenge and this is my first one so I wanted to make it extremely challenging or at least as challenging as perceivably possible.
This is the BlackBerry Passport. It’s been designed with a specific aim in mind and so I wanted to see if I could actually use it as my daily driver without using my iPhone or my Android device, except for when I’m reviewing various features on those. And seeing what challenges I’ll come out with and what solutions I can come up with to those challenges and seeing if I can actually last thirty days before packing it in and going back to my iPhone.
So as part of this instruction video, I wanted to show you how I actually set up the device to make sure I was good to go right from the outset. Now I’ve been using the iPhone for years now. And what that means is that almost everything I do is managed through iCloud. So I’ve got an iCloud email address or my calendars, contacts to sync through iCloud. But for setting up with other apps and other devices, what I had to do was go to my Apple ID management site, create an app-specific password, give it a name like “BlackBerry Passport” and then use that app-specific password on my BlackBerry Passport. So I can’t just input my regular password and go through the usual two-factor ID stuff verification. What I had to do was create a specific long password that’s never going to be used again.
And so I’ve done that with my BlackBerry and I’ve put it in. and now I have all my contacts, my calendars, everything is ready to go. And with my email, of course, I’ve got work email as well, and it’s all managed through Google apps and that’s much easier to add. I just used all my regular passwords for that. Now whenever you add an account into the BlackBerry, what you have to do then is to choose which of them you want to sync contacts for or email for or calendar for so you don’t get everything all in a big mish-mash of stuff that doesn’t really make sense.
Also, when you’re trying to manage BlackBerry Hub, you have to try and prioritize the stuff that you want to see in a generalized Hub and stuff that you want to separate from that in its own account. So with stuff like Facebook and Twitter that you get notifications for all the time that aren’t that important, what I advise is switching them across to your own separate app and not having them in the generalized stuff so I have to go through all these process to make sure that the BlackBerry is set up the way I wanted it to be.
I swap my SIM card out of my iPhone into the Passport so now my main number is in the BlackBerry so I don’t really have a choice but to use that phone now when people text me or call me. Of course, part of the setup again was to make sure that iMessage was switched off of my iPhone so that text messages don’t just get lost; which sometimes happens with Apple because iMessage is managed so incredibly well! That was sarcasm, by the way.
So I wanted to reach out to you as well as part of this challenge get involved. I wanted to know if you’re into BlackBerry or have any app suggestions that you think I should try out because that’s going to be the biggest part of the challenge—it’s finding apps to replace the ones that I’m so used to using on my iPhone. Because it’s just not all there with the BlackBerry App Store. So give me suggestions, let me know what I should try out, what’s the best way to manage my BlackBerry.
So this is a challenge partly because of the user interface and the way of controlling it and the app eco-system. And all that stuff is different but also the hardware is entirely different. It’s got a huge physical keyboard; which is something I haven’t used for a very long time. However much I do like physical buttons so I’m actually looking forward to this.
I would say the ratio to looking forward to and being absolutely petrified by this challenge is probably about 50-50. I’ll let you know if I’m surviving, I’ll keep you updated.