Sunday, November 28, 2010

Watching a non BlackBerry/smartphone user become a BlackBerry Torch user and becoming a BlackBerry fan

I actually never really considered it happening to be honest, but it did, and I feel I need to share.

My wife, as wonderful and gorgeous as she can only be, is not a techno gadget loving person. Sure she likes a touch screen camera, but would never really consider a camera in a phone. Email is done on a computer and stresses to me, that she doesn't have to be tied to a smartphone.

One day she decided that yes she would like to get the feel of a BlackBerry; but no, no data, just phone. My BlackBerry Tour 9630 was pressed into service. It was a different move to her, as the phone the Tour replaced, was a candybar Nokia.

Then something happened....a girl friend of hers came over to dinner, and brought with her an iPhone 4. Oh the simplicity of the UI; within no time my wife was navigating all through the various apps and functions. Childs play.

Now if you are Australian, you'll know when I am referring to: the Australian dollar made parity with the US greenback....woot! when it comes to purchasing stuff on eBay. And that's just what I was doing on the couch next to the ladies.

My wife is Indian, and Diwali was a few weeks away, and I wanted to get her a gift: a BlackBerry Torch 9800. Three things about the Torch appealed as the BlackBerry for my wife:
1. Touch screen
2. Operating System 6.0
3. Keyboard just in case (she was used to the Tour by now).

So while she played with the iPhone 4, I hunted for the right Torch (price, condition, seller's reputation). Click, and it was purchased. Good price, considering the dollar's parity. And then the girls realised I was rather quiet, and boy did I cop it from both, when I told them what I had done (at this stage neither knew it was bought for ny wife). I took it all rather well.

So off I go that week for yet another fortnightly stint in Melbourne (2 weeks every month for the company I work for as an International Business Manager, Priority Management ( and waited for the Torch to arrive in Melbourne, which it finally did, on my last day. So on my flight home to Brisbane, I got to play at length with the Torch (no data mind), and even for a keyboard BlackBerry fan as I am, I was impressed.

I arrived home on the night prior to Diwali, via Taxi, as my wife had a prayer session and couldn't leave the house. And so I presented her with the Torch: took her totally and completely by surprise, but the smile grew when she realised which BlackBerry it was (yeah you may of guessed, I just had to tell the girls (on the night I purchased it) all about the Torch and what it could do). She now had the most up to date BlackBerry around.

The weekend arrived and we activated a BlackBerry plan for her (and got 2 months free to boot!); set up her hotmail and facebook and a few other applications. Gave her a preloaded 4gig micro SD card with the type of music she likes and photos I knew she liked.

And it didn't take long for my wife to display some typical crackberry tendencies:
• The wall charger is on her side of the bed
• She is on facebook a lot more
• She hunts through her emails
• She relies less on her laptop (especially with the good rendering of web pages by the Torch's webkit browser)
• The BlackBerry gets checked as soon as she wakes up.

But the most interesting thing was hoiw quickly she became acclimatised to the BlackBerry OS 6.0's UI....much more user friendly to new BlackBerry users.

As for the question regarding keyboard preference, physical or virtual? She has really adapted to, and adopted the virtual one as her default keyboard! And she's quite proficient with it too!

Apart from now each of us having BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), the big advantage for me is now I really don't get a hard time about my BlackBerry usage/tendencies and habits :)

So there you have it....another crackberry added. One by one, they will come to the DarkSide! LOL!

Oh yeah, this was typed on my BlackBerry Torch, which only landed in my hands a mere two days ago (typed on the physical keyboard, thank you).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why I chose the BlackBerry Torch 9800 over the Bold 9780

If anything is perfectly clear, when it comes to me and my BlackBerry preferences, one thing is abundantly clear... I am not a fan of touch screens. In fact, you could say I dislike touch screens.

So the simple question is, seeing as my Torch arrived today (well at least I believe it has (I am in Melbourne at the moment, and it arrived at the Brisbane office today, and I won't get to confirm this, until Friday evening), is .... why?

If you follow me on twitter, you know my perfect BlackBerry device is one with the qwerty keyboard; the type RIM has spent so much time (and no doubt money) perfecting. And that is not a term taken lightly. But I simply haven't come across a better mobile device keyboard, that I can thumb out emails, tweets, etc more efficiently.

I recently purchased a Torch, but that was for my wife (she served out her apprenticeship on a 9630 Tour), and what I can say, is she took to the Torch, like a duck to water, and it is quite impressive to watch her put the Torch through its paces. But she mainly prefers the touch screen.... almost always ignoring the keyboard.

Now my day to day job is an International Business Manager for a global training company, which specialises in time management, workload management, project management and productivity training. One of our signature programs is Working Smart with BlackBerry (, and one that fellow BlackBerry Alliance Members have started taking notice of. The reason? Well, there are phones out there which are more personal devices but have some business tendencies...... and most are touch screens. And there are decision makers out there who prefer the touch screen devices. Our training provides the BlackBerry user with a solid grounding in not only the functionality of the BlackBerry device, but more importantly, how they can save significant time, and plan their days more effectively, by using the BlackBerry as their productivity tool. And a happy BlackBerry user will not have to look elsewhere at other devices. So now, I have fellow BlackBerry Alliance Members starting to refer their clients to myself and Priority Management.

Invariably, during meetings, there will be, as a general rule, BlackBerry users and other devices (touch screens) are normally present.... how to bridge the gap with both? Quite simply, the BlackBerry Torch covers the ground beautifully.

For the touch screen device user, the Torch touch screen walks the walk (and remember, the Torch was specifically designed to operate as 1. a touch screen device only, 2. a keyboard device only. and 3. a combination of both) so we have that type of user covered. For the traditional BlackBerry user (or other lesser keyboard devices) slide out the Torch's keyboard, and let your thumbs do the talking (of interest, apart from the raised lips around the keyboard, the Torch's keyboard is a dead ringer for the Bold 9700's keyboard, and that, my friends, is a good, no, great thing).

So for business, networking and to support our position as a BlackBerry Alliance Member, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 was the most appropriate BlackBerry device, and the Bold 9780 became an also ran.

And that is why a new BlackBerry Torch 9800 arrived for me today (not that I can get my hands on it until Friday evening).