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The blog is no longer being updated: http://stillbold.wordpress.com/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!
Last edited by Newfangled; 09-06-14 at 01:12 PM.
- 07-31-14, 12:41 AM #2
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Looking forward to reading about your year with the 9930.Retired: 8703, 8130, 8330, 9630, 9800, 9900, PlayBook
Current: Z10, Nexus 5, iPhone 5s, iPad mini retina
- 07-31-14, 01:08 AM #3
Funny your comments about Windows. I agree BlackBerry ? should be working harder on more native apps. Still hate android apps. But my sister just switched from a Nokia lumia to z3 3 days ago and she is so pleaded about the app selection (I actually laughed when she said BlackBerry ? had an awesome app selection cos we all know how everyone feels about it)
Posted via CB10
- CrackBerry User
07-31-14, 01:44 AM #4
- 38 Posts
This is an awesome experience you're taking on! Unknowingly I've actually chosen to do the same. About two weeks ago I purchased second-hand a Bold 9930 QWERTY in tip-top shape and have been really enjoying it. Though I do use a Q10 for work, I've chosen the Bold 9930 for all my personal stuff: RSS feeds, Twitter, FB, blogging and all-around mobile and also to discover a BlackBerry legacy device. This choice lets me leave the Q10 and all my work emails at home in the evening & at the weekend and still stay connected.
I completely agree with your reasoning: the BlackBerry Bold 9930 embodies "the ultimate communication device" without all the modern paraphernalia.
I've been posting a bit on it as well sharing some challenges and how I've resolved them:
Discovering the BlackBerry Bold 9930 - a few years later
and am adding when I can a few resolutions I've found myself or on the net:
BlackBerry - Tips / Astuces ? Blackberry Desktop Software Failed to validate your blackberry device
BlackBerry - Tips / Astuces ? BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930: Update "My Number" on the Call Screen
I've also set up a Channel C0029424C kept up to date solely avec my Bold.
Will be following and participating in this thread as wellChristopher
Passport & iPhone 6 • BBM Pin: TopherK • Twitter: @christopherk67
Sent from my iPod Touch (3rd gen) using Tapatalk
I think it's great that you have also discovered the Bold 9900 series and what a powerful communication tool it still is.
I will be following and participating in your channel!
Sent from my iPod Touch (3rd gen) using Tapatalk
A very basic but useful app I found is called WiFi Manager: WiFi Manager - BlackBerry World
It allows you to create a "white list" of locations where your phone's WiFi is allowed to be turned on. When you save these locations, the app bases it on the cell phone towers in the vicinity.
So, for example, I've added my home as an allowed location. When I'm near home, my WiFi connection is automatically enabled so that my phone can connect to my home WiFi router.
But when I'm at work, my WiFi connection is automatically disabled, so it's not constantly checking for available connections and draining the battery.
This is great because it saves me the hassle of manually enabling or disabling WiFi.
When you install the app, it doesn't actually add an app icon to your home screen. It adds an extra option called "Wi-Fi Manager" under Options >> Third Party Applications.
- CrackBerry Abuser
07-31-14, 10:40 PM #11
- 252 Posts
Good for you. I'm looking forward to your journey. My Bold is the best phone I've ever owned and just cannot give it up. Recently picked up a Z10 as their prices have come down so. Experimenting to see how it works. So far much more pleased than the Q10. And loving the browser and camera. But give up my 9900 completely? Not yet. Not at all. I'm seeing my needs so much like yours and that legacy device just meets it so. Might just keep the Z10 for when I need a better camera! Not at all sure I will move to the Classic now that's see how large it is. So choices....choices...good though we have the Bold tool we have that fits our needs, yes?
- 07-31-14, 11:04 PM #12Posted via CB10 on my amazing Verizon white Q10!
I'm sorry, I never looked for a similar app on my BB10 devices.
The main reason I use it on my 9930 is to conserve battery life, and I didn't have as much of an issue with WiFi draining the battery on my Q10 or Z30.
If there is such an app for BB10, hopefully someone will chime in with the info!
Sent from my BlackBerry Bold 9930 using Tapatalk
- 08-01-14, 06:29 AM #15
Many thanks for your continuing great contributions. I'm a bit confused by your last statement. Would you give up a physical keyboard for an iPhone? From using my wife's iPhone from time to time I could not do that.
Right now, though, I'm in physical keyboard heaven!!
Sent from my BlackBerry Bold 9930 using Tapatalk
The Q10 Experiment: Using a BlackBerry Q10 for 30 Days
At the time, I was still of the mindset that I had to have only one device that met all my mobile needs, so I ended it half way through.
Sometimes, the right accessories can greatly enhance the experience with a mobile device. They can even breathe new life into an older device and increase its usefulness and longevity.
Such is the case with the Bold 9900/9930 OEM Charging Pod.
I own two of them: one on my desk at work and another on my nightstand next to my bed at home. They're inexpensive and a joy to use! Not only do they help me easily charge my 9930 without having to fiddle with cables, they stand the phone up so that I can see the clock while it's charging.
I really wish newer smartphones had this feature. Some of them do support wireless charging like the Verizon Z30, but it's not a very efficient method of charging a device. And frankly, I'm not so sure having that kind of electrical field near my head every night is a good thing!
Some newer smartphones have third party charging docks that are bulky, look weird, or have fragile charging connectors.
The Bold 9900/9930, on the other hand, was built to be docked!
Whether you are planning on keeping your Bold 9900/9930 a while longer, are considering switching back to it from another device, or even thinking about getting one for the first time, I strongly recommend picking up a charging pod or two. You will be so glad you did!
- CrackBerry User
08-02-14, 12:14 AM #22
- 38 Posts
Thanks for sharing! I noticed this dock on eBay last week but only ordered one as I wasn't sure of the quality. I'll actually need two more. I agree that this should exist for other phones as well such as the Q10.
Last edited by christopherk67; 08-02-14 at 04:55 AM.
- CrackBerry Genius
08-02-14, 06:58 AM #24
- 4,099 Posts
Now you are committed to the Bold for a year might I highly recommend Advance OS and LED which I have found to be an essential app.
I can also highly recommend the BL Hybrid OS's.
Just coming up to my 3rd anniversary of getting my 9900 and it's still my daily driver and probably will be until it dies.Passport SQW100-1 10.3.2. but I can't tell you which one
If I've helped or amused you feel free to use the Liked or Thanked buttons
- By Anubhav Nagpal in forum BlackBerry 10 OSReplies: 6Last Post: 08-03-14, 06:33 PM
- By nitin kumar singh in forum Ask a QuestionReplies: 3Last Post: 07-31-14, 06:26 AM
- By CrackBerry News in forum CrackBerry.com News DiscussionReplies: 0Last Post: 07-30-14, 11:25 PM
- By TriMag1 in forum BlackBerry PassportReplies: 1Last Post: 07-30-14, 11:12 PM