| | 07-31-14, 12:34 AM Thread Author #1
A Bold Experience: Using A 3-Year-Old BlackBerry Bold 9930 for 1 Year (Aug '14 - Jul '15)
Follow the ongoing experience via the BBM Channel: C003C2D50
The blog is no longer being updated: http://stillbold.wordpress.com/
Back in April of this year, I conducted "A Bold Experiment": A Bold Experiment: Using a BlackBerry Bold 9930 - in 2014 - for 30 Days
In my concluding post (A Bold Experiment: Using a BlackBerry Bold 9930 - in 2014 - for 30 Days) I chose to return to the Z30 and listed my reasons why. Among my reasons for ditching the 9930 were poor app quality and selection compared to current smartphones, small screen, battery life (compared to the Z30), the horrid camera, and the lack of ability to sync multiple calendars from a single account.
It's amazing how much circumstances and perspectives can change in a few short months.
Since that Bold experiment, I've gone on to test a Q10, gone back to my Z30 for a while, and most recently had been trying out a Nokia Lumia 822 for the past month.
My experience with the Lumia made me realize what I had been missing in terms of good native apps in BB10. Windows Phone is doing much better than BlackBerry in that area. BlackBerry had to concede defeat in trying to develop its own robust native app library and latch on to the Amazon Appstore and the Android runtime in BB10 to try to make up for its dismal failure in this area. Meanwhile, Windows Phone is slowly, but steadily gaining market share in most areas around the world, and big name apps are starting to make appearances in its app store more frequently.
My experience with Windows Phone was good enough that I didn't have any desire to go back to BB10. I was fully prepared to commit to Windows Phone long-term. But I quickly realized that I probably just needed to do what I had been resisting all along: return to the iPhone. It's really the only platform that seems to have enough of what I'm looking for in hardware, OS, and apps all in one device. Is the iPhone perfect? No. Far from it. But if I had to use just one device, it's what I'd choose.
However, I've come to a startlingly obvious realization this week: I don't have to use just one device. In fact, it's probably better that I don't.
A different perspective
I've been thinking that I really need to cut back on my social media usage, particularly Facebook. It's hard to do that when I have a computer (smartphone) in my pocket with a persistent connection to the internet that notifies me when so-and-so posts a picture of his food, or when a page I follow posts a video of some jerk exploiting a homeless man to draw attention to his YouTube channel.
Facebook isn't the only electronic drug I'm guilty of using to distract myself. Netflix, Twitter, half a dozen games - there are so many things that draw my attention away from what is really important. I don't want to be one of those people that buries themselves in a smartphone to avoid having to actually interact with people. But sometimes that's exactly what I have done. I feel like I need to change my habits in this regard.
So I asked myself: what are the bare essentials I absolutely need in a smartphone? It needs to be able to make phone calls (obviously). It needs to be able to receive and send emails from my personal and work accounts. It needs to be able to send/receive SMS and IM messages. And it needs to be able to run some useful apps for when I'm traveling for work like GPS navigation and weather apps. Anything beyond that - for me - is fluff and distraction that I don't absolutely need in a smartphone.
In short, I decided I need my smartphone to be an excellent communication device. Nothing more. Nothing less. And it just so happens that I have such a device - the ultimate communication device - a BlackBerry Bold 9930! I can blast out email, SMS, and IM in stunning fashion with the Bold's best-ever physical keyboard and trackpad. And phone calls are a breeze with the physical call buttons. I can also use BlackBerry Maps and BlackBerry Traffic for my GPS nav needs, and Acccuweather to check on current weather conditions wherever I may be traveling. Based on my new perspective and requirements, the Bold is exactly the kind of smartphone I want right now.
A secondary device
Now there will be times when I will want to distract myself with Facebook or Netflix, and it will be perfectly fine to do so. There will be times when I need to get something productive done with an app that I don't have access to on my Bold. So I will supplement with a secondary device. It will be either an iPod Touch or an iPad Mini to take advantage of the vast iOS app library.
My reasoning for using a secondary device to supplement my ultimate communication device (Bold) is thus:
I carry only one mobile device on my person in my front right pants pocket, and that device will always be my Bold. It is just not practical or desirable to carry 2 devices in the same pocket. My other front pocket is occupied by my wallet and my keys. My back pockets remain empty, because I find it extremely uncomfortable to sit down with things in them. So if I want to bring a secondary device along with me wherever I may go, it will need to be in a bag (probably my laptop bag).
Instead of my secondary device having an always-on internet connection to feed distracting social media and entertainment apps, I will need to depend on having reliable WiFi to make use of them. I feel a lot more cautious about using the WiFi connection at work to check Facebook or watch Netflix. I'll wait to do that at home.
For now, my secondary device is an ancient (but trusty) 3rd gen iPod Touch with ever decreasing battery life and an outdated OS that will never be updated. But it still runs enough quality apps as to be not entirely useless. And it also does well as just a good ol' iPod that plays music. If this arrangement works like I hope it will, I will probably upgrade to a latest-gen iPod Touch or iPad Mini.
I'm really hoping this arrangement removes the distraction and temptation to grab my smartphone whenever I'm bored or whenever I have a spare moment. I'm hoping I can make better use of the time I would have spent staring at my smartphone and engage in more productive, healthy, and meaningful activities.
Why do this for an entire year?
So why do this for an entire year? My contract with Verizon is up at the end of July 2015. At that time, depending on how this arrangement works out, I plan to sell my other devices and save money to either get the latest model of iPhone, or get a BlackBerry Classic and keep using an iPod/iPad as a secondary device. Also, I anticipate the Bold will continue to lose functionality over the coming year, as it is already 3 years old and most legacy users will likely migrate to the Classic over the coming year, negating the need to continue support legacy devices. So I can't see myself using the Bold for years to come.
In this thread, I plan to share my ongoing experiences and observations with the Bold 9930 over the coming year. I have also set up a BBM Channel that I will update with links to my posts here: C003C2D50
I welcome comments, questions, suggestions, encouragement, and all-around participation! Let's do this!