It’s no secret that I love my BlackBerry devices. I have a BlackBerry in my hand for a good 60% of the day. One of the things I love most about BlackBerry is how easy it makes it to work on the go. I wrote about my Blackberry Classic and how much I loved it and the difficulties in choosing a case for it. I’ve found the same thing with my BlackBerry Passport. I love the Passport even more than the Classic. At first I thought it was going to be too big. I looked down at the device in the box and thought “I’ll probably be using the Classic again within a month”. Well, I was wrong. So very wrong. The Classic has found a new home in the hands of my dad, and the Passport is mine, all mine. I mentioned with regards to the Classic how much I had missed the physical keyboard even though I had loved my Z30 with all my heart. Well the Passport takes the keyboard experience to a whole new level. It just feels right. The screen width on the Passport makes reading text a breeze – the wider screen allows more characters which reduces scrolling (and makes me a happier reader). Contrary to what I thought before I had a Passport, the Passport does fit in my pants pocket, and in my purse, so it goes pretty much everywhere I go. I have a BlackBerry hard shell case on it 90% of the time and a Folio case with a credit card slot the rest of the time (It’s an aftermarket one, but needs improvements if it was going to be a daily driver).
It seems that practically everybody I know is either on vacation, planning for a vacation, or just back from a vacation. Currently my father is in Arizona, visiting friends of his and golfing, while I’m home shoveling the seemingly never-ending snow and hanging out with the adorable but slightly neurotic Bichon Frise.
Once in awhile the universe surprises you with something so wonderful, there are no words for it. Then again, I make my living with words so I’m going to find them. I belong to some fantastic groups on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). One of them, Team Z30 is a group of people from around the world who chat about pretty much everything. Yes, we are all using BlackBerry devices but we talk about our regular lives as often as we do about devices and upgrades and technological stuff. The members of the group have become like family to me – I worry about them when they’re going through stuff, I enjoy hearing how their day is going, and occasionally, I want to give some of them a good swift kick in the rear.
With all the hubbub recently about Facebook Messenger and the myriad of permissions it requests just to be able to run in the background, I was curious as to what permissions I have given some of the apps on my BlackBerry Z30. (Okay, the real reason I wanted to know is that I accidentally connected an app to BBM after an update and didn’t want to leave it connected but also didn’t want to delete it and reinstall it if I didn’t have to – Once again, my mistakes become blog fodder.)
I think as a society we focus too much on the negative and not enough on the positive. This applies to BlackBerry too. We are all too eager to jump all over the company for a perceived misstep but rarely do we stand back and thank the company and their employees for all of their hard work and dedication to the principles that make BlackBerry the great company that it is.
Today BlackBerry rolled out Channels for BlackBerry Messenger. BlackBerry could have done what other companies have done and said “screw legacy users, if they want Channels, they should upgrade to a newer device”. The fact that they didn’t says a lot about the corporate culture at BlackBerry. Instead of releasing Channels for the new, flashy BB10 operating system and leaving legacy device users hanging, BlackBerry employees working on channels worked long days, nights, and even weekends in order to roll out Channels to everyone at the same time. To me that says that BlackBerry values all of its customers and wants to bring them all the best experience. Yes there was an error in the app world description of channels where it said that OS 10.2 (which at this time is still unavailable from US carriers) was required to load the Channels instead of requiring BBM 10.2. To their credit, within 20 minutes of learning of the problem, the problem was fixed. No company is perfect, mistakes will be made, but the speed with which the mistake was corrected shows that Blackberry cares about their customers. Would BlackBerry like everyone to upgrade to the newest devices? Of course they would. (If you’re reading this and are on the fence about upgrading to BlackBerry 10 – do it! It’s an amazing operating system with both touchscreen and keyboard models.) But BlackBerry also respects their customer base enough to realize that not everyone can afford to upgrade, and that even those who haven’t upgraded to a new device or operating system deserve the best possible mobile computing experience. For that I give a heartfelt thank you.
Thank you BlackBerry for caring about all of your customers and for providing user experience that shows that your customers are more than just faceless sources of revenue. The next time someone questions my loyalty to BlackBerry, I will direct them to this post.
P.S. If you’re an Android or iPhone user, you can still get the best messaging system on the planet by heading to bbm.com, Channels isn’t available for Android and iPhone yet but will be released in the coming months. In the meantime, enjoy the awesomeness that is BBM! (#BBM4All on Twitter).