Letters to Redmond

August Reader Letters: Phoning It In

In his July column, "Time to Dump the BlackBerry," Redmond Editor in Chief Doug Barney asked readers: "Should I be a Redmond loyalist and go with Windows Phone, or bow before the Cupertino gods?" Here are some of their suggestions.

I've gone to the dark side with Android and, even worse, tried the iPhone for a bit. They're both awesome, but they lack too many subtleties of BlackBerry that make meproductive. I'll be moving back to a BlackBerry device due to such things.

I miss the BlackBerry device's many styles of notifications for different occasions: church, home, out to dinner, visiting family, work, driving. For me, the biggest issue is the BlackBerry bedside mode, which neither Android nor Apple can duplicate. Why can't a smartphone automatically turn off all notifications except the phone when on the charger? Why do I have to use a third-party app to do that? Why does that third-party app only do what it's designed to do three out of four times?

On my BlackBerry, I used the LED to notify me of missed calls and work e-mails only. I could place the BlackBerry on a table and ignore it unless the red LED was blinking -- then I would check it. It was so much less intrusive than the iPhone or Android devices, and I couldn't depend on iPhone or Android to notify me properly of missed calls or important work e-mails.

The big screen and fast browser are nice, but for excellent communication with e-mails and phone calls, RIM has the competition beat.

Bob Collins
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Barney's perspective squares with my experience. I'm waiting for the Windows 8 phones, which are due out who knows when? With the expected tight integration with Windows, the Windows 8 phone should be a slam-dunk for major corporations that are concerned about other devices bringing security holes along with them. Plus, it's sure to have some sizzle without being a toy. Hopefully RIM will stay in business until the Windows 8 phone becomes available through Verizon!

Bob Oxford
Manchester, N.H.

Barney should wait to see what the new iPhone has. I don't say this because I use an iPhone and want everyone to use one (I don't care what people use as long as they're happy with it and it does what they want), but rather because Apple will have one phone coming out, whereas Android and Windows will have several. Android has a new phone every week, so you can always get something better and newer -- but with the iPhone, you have one shot per year to see what the newest model will have, and if it entices you.

With that said, my last phone before the first iPhone was an HTC Windows Mobile phone. It was decent, but after using the touchscreen on the iPhone I've been sold on Apple ever since. Not just because of the screen, but because of the whole ecosystem. I have the iPad too, and I know I can buy most apps once and use them on all devices (including my wife's and boys'). Programs just work, the screen resolutions aren't varied like on Android, and the platform is solid. I use hosted Exchange on all of the devices and it works well.

Frank Boecherer
Monterey Park,CA

I used to be very anti-iPhone -- and anti-Apple in general. "I'm never getting an iPhone," were the words my converted wife and friends used to hear on a regular basis.

I ate these words with humble pie a short while ago.

Like Barney, I loved the BlackBerry. Its messenger service, its e-mail system ... wow, it was a great product. But not so much anymore. Who wants to pay for BlackBerry Enterprise Server if you can get corporate e-mail on the Android and iPhone for no extra charge?

When the iPhone 4S was released, my mother-in-law upgraded and left behind an iPhone 4. I was the lucky charity case to receive this gift. I find iPhone apps far superior to the Android ones, hands down. Now I have configured five e-mail accounts on my iPhone 4, including Microsoft Exchange, POP3 and Webmail. They all work seamlessly. The camera is great, the Web experience is great and the apps are second to none.

Shiraz Nasiri
Received via e-mail

About the Author

This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at letters@redmondmag.com and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.

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