BlackBerry® is in Season

By Marianne Reid Anderson

Blackberries

A little over a year ago, my husband was recruited by Research in Motion, the makers of BlackBerry to come onboard to help roll-out their new SMART phone that was going to be a more original and innovative phone than any other. When I first heard that BlackBerry was coming out with a new unbelievably innovative SMART phone, I was skeptical – very skeptical. Then, I got a sneak peak and it absolutely blew my mind. But then I wondered if the company was even save-able – even with the best technology? Then, I heard that they had replaced the majority of the executive staff and that the company has over 3 Billion (that’s billion with a “B”) in the bank with absolutely no debt. So I decided to take the plunge and give up my beloved iPhone and now I’m absolutely hooked on BlackBerry and know I could never go back.

               Why? What’s so great about the new BlackBerry 10? Well, it has to do with the new QNX kernel – or in laymen’s terms – the technology that makes it work. First and foremost is the security, it has the best system to stand up to hackers and cyber terrorists the world over. Second, it was designed for the typical BlackBerry user – the on-the-go, professional. The BlackBerry is not a toy. It is for the busy, multi-tasker who needs to get stuff done and done in a hurry. Third, it’s just plain cool.

There are currently two BlackBerry 10s on the market, the Q10 and the Z10. For those of you that were, or still are, a fan of your BlackBerry and its famous keyboard, then you want to get the Q10. It has the keyboard that you love but with a bigger screen and all the cool BlackBerry 10 features. If you have moved off of BlackBerry but would like to come back, you are not alone. According to a recent market study published by BlackBerry, two-thirds of former Blackberry users are planning on returning. My BlackBerry, however, is the Z10 which has a virtual keyboard, because I was moving from the iPhone.

Both phones have a touch screen that you can use for many of the cool BlackBerry 10 features. Some of the features that I can no longer live without include:

One-handed operation – The other day I was in line at the store, stopped for a latte and dragged my carry-on through the airport. With each task, I was able to text, email, check flight times, set my out-of-office message and everything else I needed to do without ever having to put down my wallet or latte or stop dragging my carry-on just to work my phone. I could do it all with one hand. This was possible because the way to operate the new BlackBerry is with “Gestures”. Gestures enable you to slide, tap, and flick your way around and all with one hand.

Intelligent Anticipation – as you type, whether your keyboard is physical or virtual, the BlackBerry learns the way you tend to communicate so it doesn’t just anticipate what you are going to write next, it KNOWS what you are going to write next. So as you type, words appear that you can then select and flick into your message with your thumb. Gone are the days of embarrassing text messages because autocorrect didn’t know what you wanted to type. It takes about three days for the system to learn what you like to write but then it becomes very rare to ever have to spend typing a whole word. Instead, it’s just type a couple characters, then flick, type a couple characters, then flick. The time savings doing texts and emails is incredible.

Peeking – with peeking, I can be in any app and when my phone dings regarding a notification, I can part-way slide the screen to see if it is important and something I need to deal with or if I can ignore it for now and slide back to continue working in the app.

Photo editing and story-maker – The camera recognizes faces and so you can alter the shot with a couple gestures to make sure everyone’s eyes are open. Then, you can select the photos you like and with story-maker, put them all together as a video slideshow complete with music.

BlackBerry Messenger with voice and video chat – This is huge – I can text, call, or meet face-to-face with any other BlackBerry user anywhere in the world – with no roaming or long distance charges, just the data plan costs. The savings-oh my-the savings.

The Near Frequency Chip (NFC) – Not used much here in the U.S. but used a great deal in Canada and Europe. With the NFC, I can transfer information, such as contact information or pictures, just by pressing two BlackBerry phones together. But in other countries, for additional hotel security, my BlackBerry becomes my room key by transferring the information at check-in to my phone and then I use my phone to get into my room. I no longer have to worry about losing those electronic keycards.

Even the clock app is cool – I can set the alarm by dragging a small orange dot, and put it into bedside mode so that it glows in the dark and with the new cases I can sit it up so it becomes my travel alarm clock.

I could go on and on about the cool apps and features. Actually, I have only started to scratch the surface, there are so many time-savers developed into the BlackBerry 10 phones. So if you are in the market for a new phone, I recommend heading to one of carriers (AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile) and giving it a try. Oh and just FYI – the Q10 sold out in Great Britain in only 90 minutes – the fastest of any mobile device ever.