BlackBerry To Android: Confessions Of A Convert


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:


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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!

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  1. It’ll be interesting to see how many BB fanboys attack you for this & try to defend it with the “but os6 is better!” argument

  2. but i agree. i was BB for a hwhile too. haven’t ever looked back & NEVER WILL — android for life

  3. btw, if disqus was used here, i wouldn’t have had to make 3 separate posts to edit/add/post the above;)

  4. Cool but now that BB fans have this great info, lets not ever speak of Blackberry again. :P

  5. I guess there is one thing you are missing that was a huge consideration for me moving from BB to Android. There is no good Outlook/Notes synchronization on Android. Android also does not come with a default, notes and task app.

    The lack of these products held me off until I came across a solution, not as nice as BB but works well and is OTA where the BB required me to connect my phone to the PC.

    However I have not looked back since the switch. Android keeps on getting better and better and BB is getting better but still out paced.


  6. Bb user won’t get this info cuz its posted on a android site.

  7. Two solutions to add to the post:
    1. Buy an extended battery or a battery back charger. These are essential and can save your life in a pinch!
    2. Instead of Notes, use Google Docs! Not only is it Google based, it is available outside of your phone.

    Take care

  8. Great article! Thank you!

  9. @realdeal – so true – its like singing to the choir

  10. Yeah I too moved from BB to Android, but I have to admit that if I ever worked in a corporate environment again I’d pick one up just for email. It’s just hard to beat as a messaging device.

  11. @John
    +100, I wish this site also uses disqus. This is silly not to use something that is becoming more common now. Not even FF or Tw. Wonder why would they want to manage everything by themselves

  12. I went from BB to G2… best move I could have ever made.

  13. + 100% in agreement. This comment system honestly is what makes this the last stop for me in Android news. Androidcentral then droidlife…then engadget…then here. Comments on this are awful. Pretty much an indication as to why each article only has like 4-7 comments.

  14. this article not withstanding..although if you edit down the multiple posts…for lack of editing….well you get the idea!

  15. UI is not just personal preference, that’s laughable. There are too many dimensions to it to just boil UI down to a single number though which makes comparisons very subjective and nitpicky.

  16. I’m thinking (wanting really) to go to Android. I love my BB, but after getting hands-on with my boyrfiends Android, I just see everything it’s lacking in regards to interface and Apps.

    Great review, and very helpful
    Now the real question, which one????

  17. I made the switch 6 months ago. I still think the standard BB email app is better than the Gmail app on Android. I also very much miss the keyboard.

    Having said that, Android offers way more in terms of an overall experience and I don’t think I will ever switch back.

  18. I too made the switch from the bb9700 to an mytouch 4g for tmobile when my bb broke. At first i missed my bb, the texting, notifications, email, but then i got the android..OMG web browsing great, GPS turn by turn navigation, 5mp camera w/a flash, went on my honeymoon and used the phone for everything, from GPS to pictures for sightseeing. I also do my banking on there, its great for work, battery life isn’t great, but keep a charger at your office and in the car and you’ll be fine…After using an android phone, i realized that i was just being too loyal to the bb…

  19. Personally, I still us my BlackBerry(BIS); its messaging capabilities are superb, without question.

    This article is on the money with listed reasons to switch to Android. I really like my Android, but it bothers me that I have to keep a charger at the ready, because the battery will die on you by mid-day if your a power user. Its something I have not gotten use to after Nexus One and Galaxy S.

    I’m not an apps whore, but its nice to know they are available if I need them. With that said, BB has all the neccasary apps I need to make life easier. When BB releases a quality touch-screen phone (3.7″ – 4.3″) I can see on-the-fence-users sticking with them. I would give up an Adroid if the specs are right, because messaging is #1 at the end of the day for me.

    Great article though!

  20. I friggen love andriod and Im not a troller, but the boot time on my phone is not quick to say the least (this is device dependent)as well as lag, I have a mid range phone and I have a TON of lag,so the lag is also very device dependent! Get a high end phone (like the atrix) and you wont have a problem with either, but just making a point that android isnt perfect although it is my mobile love and kicks BBs butt!!!

  21. Wow! I remember making that same journey from BB to Android and making those same discoveries. It brings back a lot of memories. Good memories!

  22. I switched to Android from BB after about 10 years of using BB almost exclusively and can hardly believe I liked BB after the change.

    This is the first time I’ve seen anyone point out using GTalk as a substitute for BBM and it is exactly right. I’ve been saying that for almost a year now. Thank you for getting out to the masses.

    I do disagree on the holster, however. For my Android (Captivate) I cannot find any specially designed holsters or cases that I like in general and end up usually carrying in a pocket. I have some somewhat sensitive emails that I occasionally receive and have some local public figures (politicians, cops, etc) that I have the contact information for and who obviously do not want their personal email, home phone, wife’s phone, etc. getting out, so I have locked my phones with security for years anyway. Being able to simply put back in holster to have it lock was great. Plus the battery savings, profiles that changed the way it behaved in regards to ringers, etc., all of that made the magnet holster/cases a fantastic option with RIM devices.

    But I am not looking back. 99.7% satisfied with the change and am just nit-picking on “what could be better.”

  23. bb just doesnt offer enough to switch or go to it. Android just keeps getting better dual core high res market growing recording high def BB just cant keep up and will be obsolete in time

  24. Sounds like the best way to improve battery life on a phone is by making it so painful to use that you never want to do anything with it…

    Incidentally, for note-taking I use GTasks. It’s not quite right for general-purpose notetaking but it works well enough, and it’s readily accessible from the web-based calendar too. Docs would probably be a better choice, I guess.

  25. I went from BlackBerry to Android, and to this day, there are still features I miss. But, Android gives Crackberry a run for its money.

  26. I’ll be moving from the Blackberry Storm 2 when the HTC Thunderbolt hits. FML until then!!!

  27. Went from a BB Storm to a Droid Incredible and haven’t missed on thing about it. Holy Crap this thing is soooo much better. I can’t believe I would do “Batt pulls” all the time and accepted that as a normal part of having a “Smartphone”!

  28. No DISQUIS because then i couldnt enjoy these comments im on this site all day at work reading everyone comments an disquis is blocked by my job :/

  29. THIS ARTICLE IS AWESOME!!!! I have a blackberry right now and I keep this page bookmarked on my phone cause I haven’t decided which android to upgrade to yet! So many to choose from. But I 100% agree with Android. Blackberry is nice and simple but very outdated for the times. What kept me away for so long was the touch screen, which sounds stupid, but I’ve gotten used to touch screens, or maybe the quality has just gotten better. I hope to read more like this! LOVE IT!!!

  30. p.s. I hate my blackberry and can’t wait to switch…no worries I’m not loyal to it, it was just my first smartphone cause years ago, thats all there was really!

  31. To anyone who doesn’t know which android to switch to I say Nexus S, MyTouch4G, G2, LG Optimus T because these are among the most fluid android experiences completely optimized and how android should be.

    I rock that Nexus S its superb. Outstanding device.

  32. I love my Android! Shame I have to give it up for my new company phone. Mind you they’re footing the bills for me to use it for personal use and it is a BB 9800 Torch, so it could be worse. On the plus side, I’m converting my wife from Iphone to Android by giving her mine! :)

  33. Love my Androis, but when do we get freakin Netflix? Were better then Applr in software, but our App Store is not on par yet. More like a bogey, but better than double bogey.

  34. Blackberry early adored here. In those days, I was in love. If it wasn’t for this article, I would have forgotten.

  35. Adopter*

  36. I use to be a Blackberry fan boy but those days are long gone.

  37. Disqus blows, please never use it.

  38. “All other email is not secure no matter what the device.”

    What?! Never heard of SSL?

  39. As a software developer/IT geek, Android is everything and more that I have ever wanted in a phone. I think most people hold a special place in their hearts for BB because it was their first smart phone. I have a company issued Bold 9000, it gets the job done, but it doesn’t hold a candle to my Incredible. I came from a Storm I to the Incredible, I don’t even need to elaborate on the differences there.

    For market competitiveness sake, I really hope RIM steps their game up. At their current rate, I just don’t see them keeping their heads above water in the consumer/non-enterprise market. I can remember the look of disgust on my co-workers face when he read the specs for the torch, which was supposed to bring RIM back into the game.

  40. @Jawman

    Ya, you’re right. Why would every other tech blog & some of the other largest websites on the net utilize it. Must blow pretty bad /s

  41. on the lack of sync for the notes, most notes apps i have used have a web sync\web edit built in. For better battery life you can always root your phone and use an undervolted kernel, it works wonders.

  42. Why would you post this on an Android site , doubt that there’s many bb users here.

  43. It’s posted here, cause this is where I came for information. You do not learn about Android on a BB site. It is posted at crackberry forums as well.

    Do you think a Blackberry site would publish this? LOL

  44. Good point :)

  45. I am a blackberry lovers, but i just wanna realize that if my ‘idol’ vendor doesnt wanna make a significant improvement, probably i will not be the only one who has to be ready that this handheld will be outclassed by Andro,,, :D

  46. Frankly, it was more of a Fanboy sorta post. I agree that Android beats a BB hands down on browsing. But this article would have been much more worthwhile had you considered comparing Android’s browser with the new Webkit browser of OS 6.

    Secondly, a BB too is more than adept at web browsing and video playing. The experience is much better on Android because 95% of them are full screen touch phones. With the BB, it’s just 3 phones, while 2 of them suck real hard. Had you compared a Torch with any other Android phone, you’d have realized that there ain’t much more an Android phone does, over a BB.

    However, one of the major factors that I love Android is that it’s open source, has much cheaper and varied apps at its disposal, and I don’t have to be locked down into one single OS flavor.

    Speaking of multi tasking, have you ever noticed that Android keeps kicking applications on its own, and gives you no power in that department, whatsoever, unless you are using third party apps? Well, when was the last time you opened a browser tab the previous day, and it still stayed open, at the very same state, the next day too? BB can do that. That way, a BB is a better multi tasker than an Android phone.

    I use both a BB 9780 and a HTC Desire HD regularly. And frankly, as far as actual usage is concerned, I can swear by my BB. The only reason I have a Desire is ‘coz I am an Open Source fanboy.

  47. Btw, it’d have been good if you guys had email notifications for the comments.

  48. One last thing (despite the fear of being branded as a BB fanboy). Have you tried a piece of text off an Android device? Let’s say, your email. If you haven’t, then try selecting a range of text that overflows from your screen. Do lemme know if you even manage to succeed. And also lemme know how long it takes you to select a piece of text from *anywhere* on a BB ;-)

  49. Me and my Dad both have HTC Evo’s, and we are absolutely in love with them. no phone compares. my dad is a blackberry convert, and he didn’t want to, but when he did, he was amazed. we fixed our battery life issues, so all is good. my mom doesn’t want to switch from her old blackberry curve though… Say’s it’s “What she wants” out of a phone… :P

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