I'm back! Sorry for the long hiatus, but I had a two-month battle with writer's block. Now, on Oct 26, 2011, I am back and ready to write! About Giants baseball? That will be coming up, but another interesting issue has boggled my mind.
In the past year, I have owned each of the two competing phone operating systems--Android and Blackberry. I neglect to mention the iPhone in this mobile battle because I think it is in a league of its own (R.I.P. you great innovator Steve Jobs).
Each phone has its advantages. The Android has its user-friendly, touch-free operating system, while the Blackberry is a businessperson's dream.
Let's take a look at each phone. Which phone is better? We'll let you decide, but I'll put in my two cents in the end.
The Blackberry was introduced in 1999 by Research in Motion (RIM) as a two-way pager. The device has come a long way from its beeper days--it is an all-in-one phone, palm pilot, entertainment center, and mini computer.
The easy-to-use QWERTY keyboard on this mobile device stands out. This is an advantage for those who e-mail on the go or frequent texters. Since texting is becoming the dominating use for the cell phone, a good keyboard layout is invaluable to customers.
Imagine you have to send a three-paragraph, 150-word e-mail to a client. With the Blackberry, you can whip out the text almost as fast as you can type. With the touch screen phones, it could take twice as long, as you struggle to hit those small on-screen keys about half the size of your fingertip.
Another advantage of the Blackberry is that you can put multiple e-mail accounts into one app. Have two separate e-mails for work and personal use? Expecting multiple e-mails from different accounts? This is not a problem with the Blackberry. You will receive them all at once on the same application.
Despite its business-friendly interface made for easy word processing and typing or texting, the Blackberry has its flaws. The internet browser is slow and the phone crashes frequently when trying to load complex web pages not loaded with mobile sites.
For a working person looking to read PDFs, send e-mails, and easily communicate with others quickly and efficiently, this phone would more than suit a professional's needs.
After I traded in my Blackberry, I was excited to receive my new LG Optimus Android phone. Gone were the days of slow internet connections and random pocket-dialings, and here came the touch screen revolution.
My best description of the Android is it's the poor man's iPhone. It has some of the same features as Jobs' prized creation, but the iPhone is a bit faster and more user-friendly--and let's face it. The iPhone has the Apple logo so popular in today's mobile market.
The Android's touch screen environment makes the Android what it is. It is much easier than the Blackberry when it comes to navigating through menus or finding a feature or app. You just point your finger on what your look for, and the program will open at your fingertips touch.
Another cool thing about the Android is you can have multiple apps running at the same time. Want to listen to the radio on your phone and play poker at the same time? The Android will let you do that--without crashing too. The Blackberry would allow this for some apps, such as some radio apps, but if you wanted to listen to streaming media, you could not do anything else on your phone because the media player would be all that could run.
Lastly, another advantage of the Android over the Blackberry is web browsing. Don't like eBay's mobile site? Not a problem. With the Android, you can view a web site's regular online web site in addition to it's mobile companion site. This gives the consumer even more options and choices. All this happens at speeds faster than the Blackberry.
As mentioned earlier, the touch screen falls a bit short when it comes to texting or e-mailing. It is almost impossible to not mess up when typing. Too many times you would have to push the delete button because you pushed that "w" key instead of the "e." Once you get used to it, it is not that bad, but it will take a few weeks to get acclimated to the virtual keyboard.
I will have to choose the Android as my winner. Although I do text a lot, and I like to text fast, the faster internet browsing speed and the ability to run multiple applications (and without crashing) does it for me. The typing problem can be dealt with over time with a little practice.
Apparently, I am not alone in my decision. According to the latest Nielsen report, 29 percent of Americans are using Android phones, 27 percent are using Blackberries, and another 27% are using iPhones.
However, if I was in the working world where I relied on my phone to send e-mails or read documents, I might have a different opinion. For now, my Android will charge up as I head to sleep, ready to entertain me for a whole another day.