The past week I’ve been obsessed with my new gold BlackBerry Pearl. I’m a Mac guy so I was quite skeptical about the BlackBerry’s charms. I don’t have an iPhone, but I have an iPod touch. It’s essentially the same as an iPhone minus the phone functions (SMS, voicemail, camera).
I wasn’t sure I’d appreciate having a BlackBerry on me at all times. I’ve learned a lot about my BlackBerry in the past week. There are some really great things you can do with it. I think it does some key things much better than my iPod touch.
- texting: my previous blog post “I” typed using the iPod touch. Had I typed it using a BlackBerry, it would’ve taken half the time. The SureType predictive text does a bang up job. The iPod touch “touch” screen does alright, but it’s not fast. I can hammer out emails and text messages on the BlackBerry like nobody’s business. I will give the iPod touch credit for ease in using accented characters.
- copy & paste: I’m relieved this exists on the BlackBerry. It makes life much easier. It’s absent on the iPod touch, yet you can do screenshots and email them to people instead.
- size: my BlackBerry Pearl is tiny. It fits comfortably in my pants pocket and can be easily disabled to avoid any pocket dialing. The iPod touch is small too, but it feels a bit bulky in a pants or coat pocket compared to the BlackBerry Pearl.
The Pearl does fall short in four key areas: music, web browsing, applications, and photos. The iPod touch does those things damn well and has created a niche in the market. Web browsing on my Pearl is just like it was on previous cell phone, painful.
Overall I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I like the BlackBerry. It’s really nice to have instant access to your email, calendars,and my newest vice… Facebook wherever you are. (more a knock on my previous Samsung phone than the iPhone). I rarely launch Yahoo! Mail or MSN since I’ve got direct to those accounts via the Pearl. There’s a cool tethered modem feature on many BlackBerry models. If you don’t have wifi internet access for your laptop while out and about, you can configure your BlackBerry as a modem. Connect the cable (or activate the Bluetooth) from the BlackBerry to your laptop and you’ve got internet connectivity for your laptop.
Friday Forestry Fact: most of us know you can count tree rings to calculate a tree’s age. A tool called a corer is used by foresters to safely remove a core sample. When counting the rings, you typically add seven years as it takes about that much time for the first ring appear. When you look at the rings, you can tell how fast (or slow) a tree grew based on the distance between each growth ring.
*tree photos courtesy of Oklahoma State University and Henry D. Grissino-Mayer