I’ve been trying to de-clutter my life, so I’m trying out the integrated communication experience yet again. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to get to an integrated experience but failed because of some issue or other. I’m hopeful that this time will be different.
One of the challenges that any integrated communication device has to overcome is that ever changing array of ways that people want to communicate. Having voice and email integrated onto a single device isn’t really that much good anymore, I expect voice, email, IM, browser, twitter, SMS.
Perhaps surprisingly I don’t yet expect photo or video. I love taking pictures, but I don’t yet use it as part of my day-to-day activity, this means that the 8800 (without a camera) works for me. I know this will change and that video input is really important to many people already. As an example, we went shopping this evening, we got separated from my son, Jonathan, while he went to try some cloths on. Rather than choose there and then, he took photographs of himself in the mirror to look at later, and what did he use for this, the camera on his phone of course. I would never have thought that way, but it was natural to him to use the camera for this purpose.
I have to say, that as an integrated communication device, the BlackBerry 8800 is the best thing I have used by a long way. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some niggles, but that’s not why I write these posts, and I’ll take more time to explain them later. Because the BlackBerry has become such a capable communicator it’s difficult to really explain all of the ways that I use it, so here are some examples:
- The email capabilities are great; now that I have become reasonably efficient with the keyboard. There’s a story behind that, but it can wait for another time. I tend to only use it for short emails, but try to make the short emails meaningful all the same. I find that some others just respond because they think that there is a need to respond, this makes them respond with little meaning.
- Our internal SameTime system is integrated with the Enterprise Messenger and that is a great experience for such a small form factor. The status code are quite limited though, and that can be a problem (active, away, do not disturb). This capability has been of the most use during meetings when I need to clarify something with someone outside the meeting.
- I use twitterberry to keep up to speed with twitter. I suspect that 50% of my posts on twitter are from my BlackBerry. I keep getting caught out by this though, because others are reading my posts they ask me questions that I’m not expecting as soon as I walk in the room.
- The voice dialling capability is my preferred method of dialling, especially when I am in the car. My experience is that it’s very accurate for my contact list which is just short of 100 people, I’m not sure whether that would degrade with more contacts. I love it even more now I have found the lady with the English accent and I no longer have to say “mobil” rather than “mobile”.
- I don’t use voice dialling in the office, that will definitely get you some funny looks.
- My preference for mapping is the Google Earth capability. I find that it downloads the images faster than the built in maps.
- I sometimes use the inbuilt browser, and sometimes use Opera Mini. The difference is in the site that I am wanting to access. Opera Mini gives a really good approximation of the way the page would look on a larger screen. The inbuilt browser gives you a more compact representation.
- NewsGator Go! acts as a supplement to FeedDemon, but the grazing experience isn’t as good, but much of that is a form factor issue rather than an application issue. The power here is that it’s using the same synchronisation engine.
- I don’t use to-do at all, not for technical reasons, because I prefer to mange my tasks via bits of dead-tree media.
- I don’t use many of the media capabilities, because I find that my iPod gives me such a good experience that I’m not sure that I want to operate two different media devices.
- I regularly use the key on the top with the power symbol on it. I believe that this button is an optional extra on some peoples devices, or at least you would think it was by the number of times they actually turn it off.
I’ll write some more another time about some of the foibles that annoy.