Archive for August, 2010

The Thrill Is Gone

My love affair with the Blackberry Torch was short lived.  As promised, this is my one week followup.

The BAD …

1.  It’s never a good sign when the price drops after just a few days on the market (was $199, now $99).  When did selling 150K devices in the first three days become grounds to call the launch a failure?  If the iPhone is the new benchmark – let it be the benchmark for consumer devices.  Corporate customers don’t stand in line for 24 hours every time a new device comes out.  Refreshes happen gradually over time.

2.  The touchscreen “lags” several times each day.  It isn’t any single application or function.  The only consistent lag seems to come after the device has seen long periods of inactivity (greater than 30 minutes).  It almost seems sleepy when you go to pick it back up and start using it again.  Perhaps some sort of power saving function is going on under the covers?  Maybe it just needs a faster CPU.

3.  Social Feed notifications lack awareness of user interaction with the device.  Let me explain.  A new message arrives (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, RSS, etc) and the device notifies me.  I click through to read the new message in the social feed aggregator.  While I am there, one or more additional social messages arrive.  So I go ahead and read them since I am already there.  When I exit back to the main screen – it tells me I have additional new social feed entries to read.  Wrong.

4.  My RSA SecurID application still doesn’t work, but I participated in a forum discussion over at Crackberry where a crude workaround was identified.

5.  While so many websites work really well in the new browser, CNN continues to suck from an accessibility perspective.  No Zoom at all, and no respect for minimum font size preferences.

The GOOD …

1.  Although you can “pinch” to zoom in the browser – you may end up scrolling around to view text that extends off screen.  If you double tap instead, you get zoom and wrapped text.  Ran across this by accident and then spent a few minutes trying to figure out what I did to make it happen.

2.  Universal Search is very handy.  I usually know what email I am looking for, and now all I have to do is type in the name of the person.  All contacts and emails are automatically narrowed to display just the relevant data.

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Blackberry Torch – First Impression

I got the Torch today.  I have been a Blackberry user for many years now, but the anticipation of opening up the box this morning was almost magical.  And after one full day – I can say I am pleased with device.  Favorite things so far:

  1. The larger screen size is fantastic (especially with my visual impairment)
  2. The touchscreen seemed foreign at first, but now I can’t imagine using a BB without it.
  3. The AT&T U-Verse app is outstanding!  It is a HUGE step up from the simplistic web interface I was using previously on the Bold.
  4. Social networking isn’t just added on anymore – everything comes installed.  The “social feeds” from FB, Twitter, MSN Messenger, and BB Messenger are all integrated together and easily accessible.
  5. The new BB desktop manager makes it easy to synch music, videos, and photos.

There are still a few things I am trying to figure out.  I don’t know how to move applications to other … not sure what BB is calling them (folder, tabs, etc).  I also wish I could change the behavior of the top left “screen lock” button to be a full device lock function (prompting for password).

This device probably will not satisfy the true die hard Apple iPhone lovers, but it is a great leap forward for any Blackberry user (assuming you are okay with AT&T’s network).  Now If I could just get them to throw in a free femtocell for the house.  More detailed observations to come once I have used the device for a solid week.

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