As you will know, I have been trying to use the BlackBerry Passport as my daily driver for the past few weeks. I’m now on day 17. In this video, I wanted to update you on some of the things that have been frustrating me daily now that I’ve been using iPhone and Android for the past few years. I’ve not really had a BlackBerry device for a prolonged period so obviously there are going to be some things about the device and about the software that are going to get up my nerves a little bit because it’s not what I’m used to.
So I wanted to share some of those with you and I was going to try and list about ten things but I could only find four. So here are my four frustrations and also something of a surprise revelation from my time with the BlackBerry so far.
So number one on my list is the battery. It’s huge, which is great when it comes to battery life because it would generally last me about two days. But what’s particularly frustrating is that it takes hours to charge. Now not such a problem when you’re charging it at night and you leave it plugged in. it really doesn’t bother me because I’m asleep. But in the daytime, when the battery runs out and I want to be using my phone, it’s quite frustrating that I have to have it plugged in for quite a long time to get it back up to 100% again.
I’ve tried it with quite high power chargers and the regular lower powered ones, and it really doesn’t seem to make any difference. So that’s quite frustrating. It could do with some of that magic turbo technology that Qualcomm’s developed and just let Motorola and other companies use their devices.
Number two on my list of frustrations is probably no surprise has to do with an app. I am quite a regular, almost daily user of Instagram. You can follow me if you want. I’m Instagram.com/cambunton. But the point is, I like my photographs to look good. I tried downloading the Instagram app for Android onto my device but every time it launches, it just crashes so I can’t use it. So I have been using the BlackBerry alternative which is called IGRAM.
But the problem with IGRAM is that the resolution, once you have uploaded the photos, is quite frankly terrible. All my photos are blurry, they look horrible. And when you want to go back and make your changes, it’s impossible. You have to take the photograph again or at least it seems counter-intuitive. It’s not a very nice experience. So it’s frustrating to use and the result is frustrating too. So if you’ve got any better alternatives for IGRAM for Instagram, I would love to hear your suggestions on that.
Number three sort of starts with a positive. The BlackBerry Passport is a great two-handed device. I can’t remember the last time that I had a phone that felt so good when you’re holding it in two hands and you’re typing away on the keyboard. But that also means that it’s rubbish at being a one-handed device. Sometimes you just want a phone that you can pick up with one hand and do something without having to take your whole attention in both palms.
Number four: the keyboard is fantastic and intuitive and I love that it has gestures built-in. but the one thing that’s really quite frustrating is when you’re swiping upwards to select a predicted word on one of the top rows when you’re typing. Now if you get it right, it’s no problem. But more often than not when I’m swiping up, I’ll touch the bottom of the screen and select whichever symbol is shown there or punctuation mark.
So you have to be really careful and accurate. It doesn’t make for a very fast typing experience if you want to use those predictive words. So on most occasions, I just end up typing the entire word out because it’s better than having the wrong thing on the screen.
So those are my four frustrations and the biggest surprise that I mentioned on the beginning of the video and probably in the title up there. The biggest surprise is that I’m not missing my iPhone but rather I’m missing Android. Now the iPhone was my daily driver but what I miss about Android is something that you don’t really get on an iPhone. It’s the Hangouts and Google Now experience because Hangouts is sort of built into the operating system or at least it feels like it’s built into the operating system. It’s really nice to use. And I use Hangouts a lot to contact all my colleagues and friends. We use it for chatting on the fly, we use it for video conference calls. And yes, some of you may say that BBM is just miles better. But the truth is, I really liked BBM as an app on the way it looks and the way it works. But it has a huge problem: nobody that I know uses BBM anymore. So it’s kind of pointless for me.
And Google Now really isn’t an alternative to that or any platform. And the reason I say that is because it gives me all the information I want to know n the most importantly especially this time of year with Christmas coming up. It tracks all of my packages that I’m ordering from Amazon or whatever. Whenever I get a confirmation from my Gmail inbox, I get a little card from my Google Now screen saying when it’s been dispatched and letting me track it from there. And also if I’m traveling to events, I need to be able to see travel options, I need to be able to see what my flight is doing—whether they are being delayed and Google Now just gives me that information when I need it. I don’t have to do anything except make sure that all my information is going into my Gmail inbox and it does everything else itself. There really isn’t anything else like it around. And I do miss that. And I miss Hangouts. Surprisingly, I’m not missing my iPhone.
I will update you again in a couple of days’ time but I won’t leave it for as long as I did this time because I’ve got a video planned I want to show you all the things that I really liked about BlackBerry Passport and BB10. But that’ll come in a video soon, perhaps on Monday.