Jan 24th, 2011

Jeff Dickerson, a moderator known as gobluejd on AndroidForums, is a former BlackBerry addict gone Android.

So you are thinking of moving from a Blackberry to Android, huh?  Well it’s a scary journey, but once you do, hopefully you’ll never look back.

As a former Blackberry addict myself I knew there would be some hurdles and things I knew ahead of time that I might truly miss. Once you decide to take the plunge, there are some obvious understandings you’ll want to embrace. The 3 “biggies”:

  1. Blackberry Messenger

    – This was hard to lose.  I miss the received / sent icons but after a month or so, Google Talk took over.  It’s just as good plus I can use it at any PC I am at as well.  I used Google Talk from the beta days, so it was already familiar.  The hard part was getting everyone else that I BBM’d to use Google Talk.  Most of them already had Gtalk installed on their BB’s so eventually they just started communicating with me this way.  Now a year later there is no problem,  I love Google Talk.

  2. BB Holster Magnet

    – Yep I still miss/want it.  When you un-holster your BB, the screen instantly comes on, the call/email/etc is staring you right in the face.  With Android you don’t get the information staring you in the face but it is much simpler to access, you swipe down the notification bar, select the item and you are instantly taken to that specific app.  It takes some getting used to but if you never used the BB holster feature you won’t even miss it!

  3. Security

    – If this is your personal mobile phone, you really have no worries.  If it’s a company phone more than likely you’re on a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) and your IT department will have to okay the transition to Android.  Keep in mind if you’re on Microsoft Exchange, your emails are secure no matter what mobile device you’re on (Windows, Blackberry, Palm etc).  That being said, non-Exchange emails (Gmail and Blackberry Internet Server aka BIS) are secure from the server to your mobile device.  All other email is not secure no matter what the device.

Here are some quick pros and cons of each platform to further guide your decision/transition:

Performance

  1. Blackberry – Quick and somewhat stable.  Typically I’d have to do a battery pull every few days.  The re-boot time is ridiculous – sometimes 8 minutes.
  2. Android – Quick with no lag or hesitation.  I do not think I have ever had to take the battery out, unless swapping for another one.   Boot time is quick.

Battery

  1. Blackberry – The battery life on a Blackberry is fantastic.  However keep in mind that it is not doing much.
  2. Andorid – Not so good.  I can make it through a full day – sometimes.  However I find that I am doing A LOT more with my phone.  There are threads upon threads on Android’s battery issues.  It all depends on how you use the phone.  If you’re browsing the web for an hour or watching a video (something you would not typically do for long on a BB) you’ll certainly see the difference.  If there is something at which Android can improve, it’s battery life.

Email

  1. Blackberry – This is what RIM / Blackberry is known for.  Gmail on BB is starting to improve but does not hold a candle to Android.  If you’re not on BES this really does not matter to you.
  2. Android – So far email is pretty good.  Emails are almost instant with Exchange.  Gmail however EXCELS (of course, it is a Google!).

User Interface (UI)

  1. Blackberry – Not much to say here.  It’s tried and true.  No glitz and glam.  It does what it is supposed to.  I now refer to this as the DOS phone.
  2. Android – Wow!  What the hell have I been smoking that has caused me not to move us all over to the Android side?  Two words: Love it!

**Note – User interface really is a matter of personal preference rather than a question of better or worse.

Web Browsing

  1. Blackberry – Painful to browse the web.  If you’re stuck with it, at least it accesses the web.
  2. Android – This is where Android DOMINATES.  Web browsing is night and day compared to Blackberry… and by that I mean wonderful.

Apps

  1. Blackberry – More and more apps are showing up, but the iPhone OS is keeping it behind.  It will be interesting to see what Blackberry can do to start competing with Android and Apple OS.
  2. Android – Dominates again.  More and more apps that are loved on Apple iOS are already making their way to Android.  Android is right up there with iOS.

Well hopefully this information can aid in your decision making process.  I certainly had help from our forums, but collectively this info was not available in one place when I was in my decision making process.  A year later, I am now an Android addict and a proud member and moderator here at Android Forums. If you want to find me on AF my user name is gobluejd!