Musings on personal and enterprise technology (of potential interest to professional technoids and others)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why BlackBerry users will love the Storm (and iPhone users won't) - DVICE

A common-sense and informative summary of what to expect (and not to expect) from RIM's new Storm blackberry device [available in US, but still a ways off in Canada].

DVICE: Why BlackBerry users will love the Storm (and iPhone users won't)

"We've had a couple of days to play with the BlackBerry Storm, Research in Motion's answer to the iPhone. It's the first all-touchscreen, no-keyboard BlackBerry. And let's be clear: It's no iPhone. Its web browser is slow, and you can't pinch to zoom (as with the T-Mobile G1, the Storm doesn't have multi-touch). It doesn't work with Macs (though it does have an application that lets it talk to iTunes for non-DRM songs on PCs). And though it may have some great games to download when its app store opens sometime in the future, it doesn't strike us as the kind of device that you'll use to drink an iBeer.

But that doesn't mean this phone won't be a huge success. The now-cliched term "crackberry" got coined for a reason, and we've found the BlackBerry Storm to be just as addictive as RIM intended. <...> within months, this phone will be in the pocket of every lawyer in the country.

It's All About Typing

iPhones are hard to type on. They just are. That's why the first Android phone has a slide-out, Sidekick-style keypad. Instead imitating a Sidekick or having a haptic feedback (that's when a touchscreen vibrates back at you when you press it), RIM has done one better: The BlackBerry Storm's entire touch screen is a button. It feels just like the mouse button on any laptop

If you're used to a BlackBerry already, the typing experience on the Storm is the closeSt you'll get to having a keypad with real buttons on a touchscreen phone.

Why would BlackBerry addicts want to give up buttons for a touchscreen typing system that is almost, but not quite as good? The trade-off is for the big, beautiful screen that you get when you're not using the keypad. It's far better for reading emails, using GPS or playing BrickBreaker than any BlackBerry that's come before

If you've used a BlackBerry before, you'll get the Storm's menus, symbols and buttons immediately.

Instead of comparing the Storm to the iPhone and whining grumpilly about the Storm's lack of multi-touch, consumers will compare it to other BlackBerries. And when they do, they may find that they like what they see: A big, fun to use touchscreen, a 3.2MP camera that takes video and has a bright flash, a respectable Web browser and a typing system that really works."

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