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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BlackBerry "Doomed"?

The current wave of Research in Motion naysayers all seem to point to one primary reason for the future demise of the BlackBerry: the relative lack of apps for the BlackBerry as compared with the iPhone, and that, caused by it being much more difficult to develop those apps for the BlackBerry.

The people making these claims are typically developers, American, or both.

If you were Canadian, and in particular, a Canadian consumer, this would seem like no big deal to you. It's about having the patience to wait for things, because quite frankly you have no choice. Even though you're tantalizingly close to a place where you don't have to wait for things, and at least one or two cities that never sleep.

Want Google Voice in Canada? Can't have it. Yet.

If you wanted an iPhone in Canada... you had to wait. Until you could get it.

The Kindle? There's no carrier deal in place yet. Ergo, no Kindle for Canada. Yet.

BlackBerry users (not just in Canada, but globally) are pretty loyal. So - there are only 5,000 apps for the BlackBerry. And 85,000 for the iPhone. Maybe next year there will be only 7,254 apps for the BlackBerry and 41,000,000 apps for the iPhone. For me personally, as a user, this won't make much of a dent in my thinking. I figure that BlackBerry will improve that aspect of their business, while maintaining their solid understanding of the needs of the corporate user. I figure that sooner or later, the apps I really need, made by companies like Google, Yahoo, Yelp, and the PGA Tour, will become available. As a consumer -- whatever the frustrations may currently be for the developer community -- it's not enough of a catastrophic issue for me to switch devices.

Sure, not all the apps for the BlackBerry will live up to the coolest iPhone apps. They won't vibrate, shake, and blink in quite as satisfying a fashion. But there's a solution to that, too: my wife has an iPhone.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Sunday, April 08, 2007

Geek Stuff: 37 Mixed Signals; I Got the 8700

I'm a user of Basecamp in part because other people seem to know what it is, and it works well for cheap project management without conflicting with various other logins (eg. Google's free stuff). I was a bit taken aback by Douglas Karr's post that stated he'd canceled his Basecamp account because he didn't like (1) their attitude on their blog with the f-bombs and all; (2) the substance of one post about offline web applications; (3) the substance of another post about email marketing and scrolling; (4) oh yeah, his colleagues weren't using Basecamp... only he was.

Hmm, so tell me again, why did so many people sign up for Basecamp in the first place?

--

To provide some closure on my Blackberry dilemmas, see if you can recognize yourself in this situation. I went up to the Rogers Wireless storefront near me, because when it comes to stressful three-year relationships with monopolists, I need a lot of pampering. I was dead set on getting the 8800, as it sounds really cool, etc., and the 8300 isn't likely to be for sale in Canada until August at this rate. Problem was, depending on which plan I got, the device itself cost $350-375 more than the 8700! Even the Pearl was significantly cheaper. That's when I started to really ask myself what I needed it for. Don't need a media player, don't need GPS, and we're kind of running out of reasons to pay $350 more for cachet...

At that point, I thought: well, one of my main reasons for getting it is to use it as a phone also - so why not just get a Pearl even though I didn't like the Pearl's keyboard.

Then I came to my senses: I wanted a proper QWERTY Blackberry, with good phone quality, smaller than the old ones, for a newly-rock-bottom price. Ergo, the 8700! I began using the device immediately and am impressed with all facets. I've also downloaded several Google apps for Blackberry, including GMail proper and Google Talk, which could put a strain on my data plan. Good thing I saved $350 on the device.

P.S. to friends: I think this means I'll be on time for lunch!

Labels: , , ,

Posted by Andrew Goodman




Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Which Blackberry?

One finicky poster at Engadget wonders why the Blackberry 8800 was even made. I mean, it may be super thin, with a better phone in it, GPS-enabled and much much more, but no flash camera! I mean come on!

Answer: believe it or not young Jedi, traditionally the majority of Blackberries were always bought for employees, so they could be better leashed to the office. Then free agents and bohemians found a way to convince themselves that the devices were kind of liberating. This doesn't overcome the underlying fact that the basic reason for a Blackberry is to keep your cube following you around the planet.

So the reason that some of these devices don't come with cameras, I suppose, is similar to the reason the new line of Steelcase office equipment doesn't come with complimentary snowboards hanging from the units.

And if your work/play does involve photography (which for many it does), either you'll need a better piece of equipment, or you'll buy one of the Blackberries that does.

Spend too much time on the blogs and you start to overlook the fact that not all time is free time. Present company excused.

I was going to be holding out for an 8800, but now I'm holding out for an 8300. If this indecision keeps up, I'll be free forever.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




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