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Taming Android from the perspective of a hardcore BlackBerry user

As I’ve heard from countless loyal readers, the last few years have been filled with millions of BlackBerry users migrating to other platforms (willingly and unwillingly), with most going to Android and iOS – and BlackBerry 10 has failed to turn the tide. I have been carrying a second phone (iOS and Android) and the experience has at times made me feel like a fish out of water. Critical features that embodied the “BlackBerry experience,” like AutoText, Profiles/LED notifications, proper notes, and advanced PIM are only recently coming to Android/iOS, if at all, and the experience is unintuitive at best.

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That is why I decided to launch a new Android website, AndroidEffect – to share my views on how to tame Android from the perspective of a hardcore BlackBerry user. This will not be yet another Android news site. Instead, we will focus on how all Android users can squeeze the maximum efficiency, productivity, and fun out of their Android devices. With this mission, AndroidEffect is a great resource for BlackBerry expats who want the latest apps, accessories, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of Android.

BerryReview will continue to be the one stop shop for everything you need to know about BlackBerry (and I will continue to post content daily), though there will mostly likely be a shift away from consumer devices as BlackBerry’s CEO focuses the company on enterprise and government. AndroidEffect is a sister site that will provide tips and tricks for acclimating to and thriving on Android.

Please head on over to www.AndroidEffect.com and let us know what you think at info@androideffect.com or @AndroidEffect. Any tips are appreciated and send us a message if you would like to contribute or have suggestions on interesting topics for AndroidEffect.

25 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. though there will mostly likely be a shift away from consumer devices as BlackBerry’s CEO focuses the company on enterprise and government.??

    This logic is flawed. Nobody said BBRY will not be catering to the consumer market, what BBRY is saying is they are going to release high end enterprise and government devices for the consumer market along with the enterprise and government. Once BB10 is properly integrated within the enterprise, as Chen already stated, they will further push into the consumer market.

    Enterprise class devices is the Z10, Q5, Q10, Z30, upcoming Z50 and Q50. Each and every single device BBRY released is enterprise class.

    • Hey Nick!

      Did you listen to the conference call and CNBC interview? That is pretty much what John Chen is telling shareholders and customers. I have spoken to quite a few employees and it’s the same message internally. The focus is enterprise and regulated BES enabled environments. They will only have a consumer device plan for emerging markets through Foxconn.

      That means that BlackBerry well hopefully continue to make BlackBerry 10 a consumer friendly platform but there is no initiative for that. BlackBerry has no planned advertising or efforts for growing their consumer market share.

      I understand why Chen had to make this tough call but it sucks for consumers.

      • Sorry to disagree Ronen. Hey, you don’t have to justify to anyone you opening a new website. After all you have to put food on your family table just like everyone else. Having said that I read the transcript in detail. Two things I took away. One his message has to be what it is so that there is one clear message. He has to ensure BES10 rules. Period. What does this mean? All the legacy features that you and the rest of us have been complaining about that are missing on BB10 become a priority. And even more features that they couldn’t implement using the old system. This to me is a huge win for consumers.

        Second take away. If they do not keep on improving BB10 and it’s feature set how do they grow the emerging market share? Chen is anything but stupid. So they have to continue developing the Android run time, making a deal with Google or Amazon so there is an app store people can go to and downloading becomes simple. The other advantage is they can tell developers who converting android apps not to bother!! And I would hope, slowly remove the android apps from BlackBerry world, so now you only have made for BlackBerry apps in BlackBerry world and rest in the Android app world. Summary, app gap disappears while the feature set keeps on improving.

        All of above are very consumer friendly!! In fact best of bothe worlds!!

        • Ahh Gokulesh you are thinking like me. At least that is what I hope BlackBerry has in mind. There is some truth to this but BlackBerry is planning on focusing on Enterprise and Government but they plan on focusing on “Regulated” business. Regulated is mostly going to be companies that do not even have the personal partition enabled and only have the work partition. They are not able to download Android apps and they are only able to access the apps in App World that are specifically whitelisted among many other restrictions.

          The other thing to note is that BlackBerry has been spending a TON of money to get consumer friendly apps and games to BlackBerry 10. I doubt that will continue. That means very few top shelf games unless BlackBerry really wants to invest the budget. Not a big deal for enterprise but a raw one for consumers.

          In terms of apps we will probably see business friendly apps developed by BlackBerry like the Salesforce app and Sharepoint. Twitter and social apps will probably also stick around but don’t expect consumer apps like snapchat. The Android runtime will help in this regard but once again only for consumers.

          On the other hand I really hope they keep on packing in the features we are still missing from BlackBerry 7. My BlackBerry Z30 or Q10 are my email and PIM workhorses but some things were just simpler on BlackBerry 7.

          • In this new era of BYOD, BlackBerry would be foolish to leave the consumer marketplace. What Chen is saying makes sense – get back to basics, identify pillars of strength, sell those to different markets. In the U.S., BlackBerry has a black eye in the consumer space, so he is avoiding that space for now – focusing on their strengths in the enterprise. He knows that he has to continue to make headway in the consumer space to get the attention of CIOs who favour BYOD. However, he will sell that strategy in markets that still favour BlackBerry as a consumer device.

  2. I just can assume that you Ronen face the same situation as others who have supported BlackBerry of the past years – actually it’s not that only BB have to deal with a drop of 50%+ – it’s also the complete surrounding environment – My BlackBerry related earnings have dropped also by over 55% in the past 12 month.

    I am just in the lucky position that nothing really depends from this drop (it’s just the the kids does not get as much ice cream any longer).

    It’s not only BlackBerry itself that suffers from the situation – and everybody have to make his own decision how he is going to invest his talent.

    The fact that the number of Legacy Devices being sold is still outnumbering the BB10 devices is just justify my decision not to invest into native BB10 development.

    • You are right matthias. We have to come to terms with the fact that BlackBerry 10 has not gotten the traction it needs for BlackBerry to survive in the consumer space. What really drove it home was that almost a year after its release it is still being outsold by its almost 3 year old legacy devices models that have no marketing behind them. I have been hearing from insiders that they expect the BlackBerry 10 user base to have reached its height for now until they get enterprise figured out. It’s a real shame since BlackBerry is really onto something with OS 10.2.1.

    • Legacy devices are still selling in select markets because of (1) BIS and (2) the cost of entry into BB10. That is it. Chen plans to fix #2, but BB10 will never support BIS. I think the answer there is possibly a return to BES Express :)

  3. Betrail!!!

    Lol, let’s check it out…

    • Let me know what you think Diego. Its still a work in progress so any tips are appreciated

      • You need someone to help you out with the articles and ideas, this isn’t a one man job…
        I support your decision and wish you the best.
        Btw, if BlackBerry is so enterprise now, why are they giving away free games more than productive applications?

        • Definitely Amir. BerryReview and AndroidEffect are not one man jobs. :) Thankfully we have a great team with some members who left us joining back on for AndroidEffect.

          That is a very good point about the giveaways but I hear those were commitments that were already closed before Chen had a handle on things. Only time will tell how he treats the consumer market. I an still waiting for his open letter to consumers about what we can expect in 2014…

        • Mark my words, the direction is enterprise for obvious reasons, but they are in no way abandoning the consumer space. People are taking Chen’s explanation out of context.

          They may not push Consumer Marketing as aggressively but they will continue to provide devices, not only for the enterprise, but for the consumer space. Once they establish a strong BB10 enterprise footprint, they will gradually increase consumer penetration at a more accelerated rate.

          Enterprise focus doesn’t not mean no consumer support.

        • GOOD LUCK, asking ronen for a job!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

          • Hi Ellas & Kia,

            I truly hope Chen has a plan for consumers. We are going to be covering everything BlackBerry on BerryReview so hopefully they have lots of goodies in store for us in 2014. Maybe they will finally tell carriers to go fly a kite and release OS builds in the beta zone?

  4. It would definitely be a sad thing if they quit consumer support altogether. I personally don’t know what device I would move to if I had to. I do use Apple stuff for some things but my phones for the last 10+ years have been Berry’s. I’ve never owned an Android so I guess I’ll have to start researching for the possible day I have to give up my Berry. I hope that’s still years away, though, I really really do. Regardless I will be checking out the new site. Congrats Ronen.

  5. Nice to see BerryReview expanding. I’ve been a BlackBerry user for years, currently have a BlackBerry Z10, but I recently got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. I love BlackBerry, and Android is pretty good. it’ll be nice to get news for Android from a trusted source.

    • Thanks for the kinds words Matt and everybody.

      @Dana I agree that HORRID marketing played a big part in BlackBerry 10 not taking off for consumers. Sadly John Chen is not planning on marketing BlackBerry 10 to consumers for the foreseeable future. Really makes me wish they had brought in an outsider the first time around.

      @Nick we have not lost faith. We are just listening to what BlackBerry’s new CEO is saying. I have spoken to quite a few of my friends working at BlackBerry and they are hearing the same message. BlackBerry is going back to their core strength in the enterprise and regulated government business so that they can survive as a company. I am really hoping that BlackBerry’s new enterprise roadmap includes some goodies for prosumers but so far that seems unlikely. Chen has not mentioned a single thing about the consumer and prosumer market when laying out BlackBerrys strategy. I just hope BlackBerry plans on creating enterprise devices and services that are also prosumer friendly. That is how I got hooked on my first BlackBerry almost 10 years ago. Maybe that is the magic they need.

  6. They need marketing! No one even knows about the Z30! The only way they can capture the consumer market is come out with some serious over the top phones. People are missing out on the BB10 experience which is very sad! Great OS compared to the others! They have to step up in all areas period.

  7. BB10 never got traction because it was marketed horribly! very poor job by the marketing team! I can see why more older devices were sold as everyone reads all the bad things and holds back on moving to a new system company wise! Consumers believe what they read and hear sadly! All the bad press hurts even more when the company does nothing to counter it! It just snowballs into the situation we see today! Its all perception! That’s the biggest thing Blackberry has to change I hope Chen can turn this around in a hurry!

  8. I will not be supporting your android site! Your into the perception not the reality or the future of Blackberry! Too bad!

    • I’ve noticed this site sort of slip away from BBRY, as if the dev lost all faith or something. BBRY is in good hands right now. Though its too bad they didn’t have Chen to launch BB10 with his chosen team.

    • Dana, isn’t that a bit harsh? I think Ronen is looking ahead and feeling the pinch. Can’t blame him or the BR team. Android support will be required by BB10 as of 10.2.1, so moving in that direction is a big help for BlackBerry.

      I agree with you that the marketing of BB10 was horrendous! Continuing to support BB7 is also a mistake. The quicker folks forget BB7, the better off BB10 will be! How can BlackBerry continue to support both? It is foolish. I suppose when Foxconn starts flooding the market with cheap BB10 devices, that will hopefully put the final nail in the coffin of BB7.

      Sorry for all the BB7 negativity, but it must die or folks will compare it to present day Samsungs and iPhones. BlackBerry cannot continue to sell an OS designed in 1999 in 2014. We’re past that! BB10 is head and shoulders better than BB7. This misguided support of BB7 also shows a complete lack of confidence in BB10 by the BlackBerry Team. It is selling because of BIS, but BBM is also a huge plus for now – soon to be gone as folks discover BBM on Android and iOS.

  9. No more tips for ronen!!!!! LOL

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