Long-time webOS user - first impressions on using BB10
Tired of using an OS that will never get an update to fix bugs and add new features, I finally made the jump from webOS (Pre3). I LOVE webOS, despite it's age and imperfections, and until BB10 i didn't see anything out there that i was interested in, so planned to stick with the Pre3 until it died and then perhaps cry. BB10 borrows enough from webOS IMHO but brings some new things. I wanted a physical keyboard but didn't find the Q10 aesthetically pleasing, so took the plunge on the keyboard-less Z10. Note that I've never had a BB device before.
What I miss compared to webOS:
- multi-tasking on the Z10 is great, but it still feels like one extra tap/swipe than webOS. but still better than any other OS out there IMHO.
- the up-swipe gesture to reveal running apps feels like you have to drag rather than flick, it feels slower than it could be. hard to explain but i think webOS users will understand. i think they need to tune it.
- webOS notifications are still better. having the miniature pop-up at the bottom of the screen was great because you know what the message was and who it was from, without interrupting what you're doing. with BB10 on the Z10 you have the red indicator only, and the peek to see more. again it's an extra step. but still a very good notifications system, don't get me wrong. if the "peek" gesture took you to the default Hub pane, or perhaps the pane associated with the source of the latest notification, that'd be helpful. currently it takes you to your last message or whatever, which is of course useless unless the latest notification happens to be from there. if they did away with all modal popups and added a webOS/iOS style notifications ticker at the top or bottom, and they then hid away but you could reach them in the Hub, i'd be happier (but i'm quite happy with it as it is anyway).
- i miss the unlock screen outlining your outstanding notifications. with BB10 i can see the fact that i have notifications, and their source (FB, email, etc.), but not the sender or the contents. it's not very useful as it is. looks nice though.
- wireless charging! more of a Z10 thing than a BB10 thing, but after using the touchstone for years i find myself plugging in my phone at putting it on the bedside table in a way that the cord hangs off the edge and the phone spins to sit perpendicular with the edge of the table as a result and i think "really?? this is so unsatisfactory. i feel like i'm back in the 90's" (an exaggeration, of course; i'll get used to it).
- dismissing apps with a gesture would be great. tapping on the X is a bit finicky. you'd probably have to have a vertical one-column list and side-swipe to dismiss (think android has that). not a massive problem of course...
- docs to go needs google drive integration (and other cloud services i guess, but that's what i use).
- the search feature isn't as good as webOS' 'just type' feature. i want to tap search and punch in a web address and have it understand what i'm trying to do (but no i can only tap 'search google'). i also want to be able to search in apps like just type does. i saw a video about the Q10 having an improved search which is closer to webOS just type, so hopefully it's coming to the Z10 too, just with the added step of tapping on the search button or two-finger-swiping to bring up the keyboard. if this comes to just the Q10 i'll be upset.
- i miss a physical keyboard (but see below). but i manage just fine.
- automatic nightly backup over wifi. no setup or PC required.
What I love about BB10 over webOS:
- the Hub is a great concept. takes some getting used to though. it seems to be a little buggy sometimes, in terms of telling you that you have a notification when you've already read it, but i guess that'll get ironed out.
- the calendar app is great. similar to the webOS one but very nice.
- the browser is great.
- many nice little touches everywhere through the OS (e.g. swipe up in hub for calendar events), designed to give you quick access to everything. a lot of thought has really gone into this and i'm glad they didn't release it early and half-baked.
- clock/alarm app is great. nice UX. multiple alarms would be nice though.
- remember app is great, too. although more finely-tuned alarms would be good, so i could use it as a simple 'reminder' app as well.
- again more of a Z10 thing, but the battery life is considerably better than my pre3.
- timeshift camera.
- photo editing.
- 'night mode' is nice. it's like webOS exhibition mode but with the ability to turn off notifications whilst you sleep. exhibition mode was great but it was too bright when sleeping. you could turn the screen off but it would light up again when you get a notification.
- settings pull-down from the top of the screen is nice.
- not having a back button/gesture actually works well. i thought i would miss it. webOS newbs found it unintuitive (and it is but you love it when you get used to it). BB10 has the toolbar back button which is nice but you can also just swipe back to push the pane across (in most places, sometimes it's odd when it doesn't work).
- ...which brings me to the whole flow/cascades thing: it's really nice. you can drill down into a hierarchy yet still jump back to the overview by dragging the bottom-left button slowly to the right (in most places). and with the swipe-from-the-top menu and the 'overflow' menu that appears on the right- it is all well thought out and you can 'just flow' (yes it sounds cheesy but it's a good word for it).
- the virtual keyboard is excellent. not as good as a physical one (of course). but i can't imagine anyone bettering this. shame the Z10 fibreglass back is slippery in the hand, because it makes one-thumb typing difficult, but that's not an OS thing. hopefully they sell grippy replacement battery covers (i don't want a case to cover my nice white Z10!).
- BBM seems like a good feature, although I don't know anybody else with a BB phone so not much use to me personally.
- having 'rotation lock' on the pull-down menu is fantastic. webOS phones don't have that and i always wished they did. the touchpad does.
Gripes unrelated to webOS:
- the 'up-swipe to unlock' gesture isn't recognised half the time. think they need to tune it.
- pop-up modal dialogues are an INEXCUSABLE UX SIN. every time i get a wifi hotspot popup i want to strangle someone from RIM who was responsible for this. see unobtrusive webOS notifications note above. (yes i know i can turn it off but that's not the point; again, see my comments on notifications above).
- maps: awful. you know it. latest webOS phones had bing maps though, so can't say it was any better.
- twitter app sucks. at least keep a marker of where i'd last read up to. it's nice and sleek and uncluttered though.
- reminders app keeps a list of emails in the 'unfiled' section, which i assume is meant to be flagged or important emails, but it isn't right. i've cleared the flag on emails that have appeared in there and those tasks haven't gone. not sure what they're trying to do here. could be a useful feature if they got it right or made the intent more clear.
- BB world needs a way to see new apps, not just trending (which i assume means "promoted"). UPDATE: it does exist, you just have to drill into Applications or Games first, it isn't on the All page.
- i like to keep 'rotation lock' on, but it forgets this setting on reboot.
I won't go into a list of apps i want, that's another thread entirely (spotify, good twitter and a good google reader app are the only things i really can't live without, don't need anything else). Don't use FB or LinkedIn so can't comment there.
Overall, I'm loving BB10 and my nice white Z10, and I'm looking forward to future updates to iron out some minor kinks, and to new apps.
Last edited by gastr; 02-14-13 at 10:55 AM. Reason: a few typos, forgot one or two things.
- CrackBerry Genius
02-14-13, 08:10 AM #2
- 2,300 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to share..... good to keep getting feedback from users from other platforms....nice to see the op made this their oppinion not stating observation as facts... this is what differentiates these posts from trolling....
- 02-15-13, 11:22 PM #3
Hey great post. I like seeing the breakdown of your user experience.
To address your apps, there is LauncherX for Twitter which might tide you over, looks like it wraps the website and gNewsReader which is $.99 but looks nice and uses a one of the sdks. I don't use google reader so I haven't really a reason to try it. But maybe follow up.
- CrackBerry Genius
02-16-13, 01:33 AM #6
- 1,977 Posts
Good post, op. A couple of things I want to note:
Docs to go does integrate with cloud storage. You can save documents from docs to go onto box or Dropbox. Hopefully they wrap up the deals to add sky drive and other cloud service providers.
On wireless charging, I have a touchpad and really like using the charging stand. Only problem is that it makes the phone a bit thicker (see lumia 920), and I don't think rim could afford making the z10 heavy.
I also miss using the swipe up gesture to get rid of apps. The problem is that because of the way the home screen is set up, you can accidentally close apps when you are just moving from the first multitasking screen to the other.
Posted using CrackBerry App on BB10
@novaone thanks for the Google reader suggestion. I'm using that now and very glad to have an app for it. I'm sure more will come.
@jdhooghe yeah at writing time I didn't think about that but I suppose I was critical at times and maybe people won't like that. Like the thing about the wifi popups haha. That was probably a bit harsh. At the end if the day I'm very happy with BB10 and i hope people see that.
@greatwiseone ah didn't spot that. Yes hopefully they add others. Good point re thickness of device with wireless charging.
Thanks for the comments. Looking forward to hanging out here.
Posted using CrackBerry App on BB10
- Dragon Slayer
02-16-13, 04:38 AM #10
- 10,874 Posts
Generally speaking, I also think wireless charging is probably vastly more inefficient than direct cable charging, and in most cases you can accomplish the same thing in other ways. For example, classic Blackberries had charging contacts on the end/bottom of the device, you just gently drop it into a special charging dock and it charges. (and switches modes if you have it so configured) Much simpler, more energy-efficient, and doesn't preclude the magnetic-sensor mode switch feature. The Z10 doesn't have charging contacts, but there already is a dock for it that holds it in landscape mode and charges it via the regular micro-USB port.
Unfortunately for various reasons Blackberries historically didn't offer apps like that, in part because of all the secure parts of the filesystem that couldn't be backed-up or even viewed by a regular user. That may be a key reason why we may not see on future Blackberries the same sort of "WiFi backup" utility like the one you describe.
In any case, thanks for your post, you made a lot of very good observations.
- 02-16-13, 08:06 AM #11
Thank you for the objective and informative post! We certainly need more of this.
One gesture I wish had been brought over from the PlayBook is the left or right swipe in from the bezel to task switch between apps. This was probably something that they felt wouldn't work well with the phone form factor I guess.
As a long time BlackBerry user myself and app developer I am super pleased with the changes to the notifications on BB10, especially the ability to peek at notifers and the hub without switching out of your app, but I do like the perspective of someone coming from another device. I've personally nevet used or seen WebOS but am interested in hearing more about how notifications work there.
Welcome to the CrackBerry community!
Posted using CrackBerry App on BB10
- 02-16-13, 11:57 AM #12
Didn't see anyone else comment on dragging up to minimize an app. You can also flick up quickly. Drag to peek, flick to minimize instantly. I hadn't actually thought to try that until reading your post.
Posted using CrackBerry App on BB10
- 03-07-13, 02:10 PM #13
Great read. I'll go back and look over it again actually.
Like the OP, I constantly find myself comparing each phone I use to the Pre Plus. It was intuitive to use, had a great notification system and the form factor was near perfect. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a slider BB10 device in the future as I think the software is an ideal companion to that type of form factor.
- 03-07-13, 05:25 PM #14
BB10 isnt perfect and sometimes it needs to be pointed out for it to be fixed.
There are a few fanatics on here who would have you believe that any problem is because of you and not the phone. Dont let them get to you if you ever come across them
- 03-15-13, 09:01 PM #16
Question, can you open multiple texts at the same time for different people? I miss having multiple cards(windows ) open, one for every member of my family. I really miss my Pre but I am looking forward to a Z10 or better yet a A10 on Sprint
- 03-15-13, 09:22 PM #17
This is the kind of review that's great to read, others just go on a rant without any real usage and expect readers to not hit back, they list all the problems but no perks,
Well written review
Posted via CB10
- 03-16-13, 12:34 AM #21
Interesting, thanks for sharing. I'm an ex-Pre and now Pre3 user + Torch 9800. webOS UI was the most intuitive. Maybe they should have bought and used QNX as platform. The Palm/HP drama is just history now... I'm strongly considering a BB10 device. Tried Android, not happy with it. iOS is a no-go, unusable (made for idiots?). Let's see, monitoring BB10... Seems I have a heart for "underdogs"
- 03-16-13, 07:37 AM #23
Really enjoyed reading your post. Having had a couple blackberry devices, it's cool to see the different ideas you come up with because of your other devices. I like the idea of the peek gesture always showing the hub and mot where you left off, the main reason I never use it at the moment.
Regarding the swipe up which is inconsistent, I've noticed it doesn't work when in a message. Other than that it works well.
I also agree there could be a few more gestures like swiping up on a framed app to close it, or swipe left or right in an app to switch.
Posted via CB10
- 03-21-13, 10:33 AM #25
First post after coming over from the webosnation side. I've been on a webOS addiction that's lasted about 2 years and I've got a Pre Plus, Pixi, Pre2, Pre3 and a Touchpad to show for it. Still think it's the best OS to use and if it ever makes it on to a modern phone I WILL be back without hesitation. I could rant for pages about rage for HP dropping the ball so badly but I will save us all the trouble.
With that out of the way, I am very excited about my VZW Z10 preorder (white! still checking shipping status every day). Trying to figure how contacts and everything will work coming over from my other accounts. Looks like all my contacts are in under my Google account. Will those get picked up and brought in? I also make use of the calendar feature on my google account which I certainly hope I'll be able to do. My last phone before going on my webOS binge was an 8830, so I've been able to completely avoid the Android / iOS ecosystem, aside from fixing family phone issues, dabbling with CM9 on the Touchpad, and getting my wife on an iPhone 4 after her Pixi bit the dust. So coming from webOS I don't expect there will be a huge difference in apps for what I'm expecting to see. Heck, there should be more apps on the BB World coming from the HP App Catalog and Preware. Maybe when the Q10 comes out I can convince the wife to give that a shot
Is there much going on in the homebrew area on BB10? Curious where I should be looking at once the phone gets here.
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