Be bold. Eclipse the competition.

iPhone vs Blackberry – why I’m jumping ship

Friday 22nd May 2009, 8:15pm

I’ve been using a Blackberry Bold since November last year and for the most part I have considered it to be a viable rival to Apple’s iPhone. However, after using one every day over the last six months to organise almost every aspect of my life, I have finally come to the conclusion that the Apple iPhone is just better – sorry RIM.

The differences between the two devices in terms of spec are easily found all over the net so I won’t bang on about them here. I want to simply focus on how the two devices compare based on their raw usefulness, usability and overall functionality to the average chump.

1. Severe lack of Mac support from RIM

RIM (Research in Motion), the manufacturers of the Blackberry are still yet to provide formal support for the device with Macs. This means that you have to rely on the glitchy and somewhat unreliable PocketMac for Blackberry which still doesn’t support music synchronisation for the latest range of Blackberrys. One key functionality that is lost for me here is the ability to get my latest podcasts and listen to them on the move without the aid of an iPod! This, alone, renders the Bold’s 1GB memory a bit redundant for an Apple user.

2. The Bold’s browser is good, but not great

While the Blackberry Bold sports a vastly improved browser compared to that featured in the Curve, it is considerably overshadowed by the scaled down Safari found in the iPhone. Although you “sort of” get a proper web display on the Blackberry, it fails to properly support javascript (even when you specifically enable javascript support). This means that I can’t login to most of the day-to-day websites that I use, including my online banking and admin areas of WordPress sites. Coupled with the fact that sites often don’t render correctly, the Blackberry’s browser is plainly inferior and can often cause a lot of frustration. For example, if you do try and visit a WordPress admin area, the screen just goes blank. Furthermore, while you can get a mobile version of Opera for the Blackberry, it’s very time-consuming to use and just feels generally clunky and difficult to operate.

3. There is a distinct lack of third party apps and those that do exist aren’t great

Again, the Blackberry falls down on its third party apps and the new Blackberry app store isn’t a patch on the Apple one. Since getting my iPhone, I now have a beautiful National Rail app that can tell me the live departures of any train station in Britain as well as tell me the location of almost every single train in the nation, and for good measure plan my route from anywhere to anywhere. I also have a fantastic application that can tell me the latest status of the London Underground and, once more, tell me how to traverse my way across it if there are problems. I can read eBooks, listen to my music, check my eBay, and actually view a compact version of Facebook (without having to open a browser). On top of that, I’ve got apps that tell me where I can get free Wi-Fi, enable me to listen to the radio, enable me to watch BBC iPlayer AND entertain me endlessly if I find myself cooped up on a delayed train or bus.

In summary then…

Everything about the Blackberry is second-rate. It “sort of” has Facebook (but you’ll need to change your settings so that you start receiving all those bloody emails again – it needs them). It “sort of” allows you to view the web and it “sort of” allows you to listen to music.

However, when it comes to the crunch, if you want to be totally in touch with the world and be able to do your day-to-day tasks without any hassle and with as much beauty and efficiency as possible – get the iPhone, and not its decrepit rival.

Posted by Jack on 22nd May 2009 in Blog, Gadgets

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