| | 02-05-2013, 08:12 PM Thread Author #1
My 'power user' Z10 experience/review (aka keeping my 9900 a bit longer)
April 20 update: OS 10.1.0.1483 on simulator does not fix any of these issues.
- Profiles (cannot add new profiles or set volume for individual alerts)
- No email filters
- No Level 1 Notification
- Show 1st line of email if no subject
Remember - all I'm asking is features on OS7 be in BB10. Because HDR pictures take priority.
But a great feature is you can bring the keyboard up with a swipe from the left bottom bezel! No more two-finger swipes that does something else first or doesn't register to bring up the keyboard.
In my work, I receive several hundred emails a day while driving, carrying 30+ pounds of camera gear and being frozen in harsh outdoors environments to pin-drop quiet situations. Efficiency and ergonomics is key in any tool I use so I have whatever device suits the task best - I have a Mac on my desk and a Toughbook laptop in the car, carrying a Blackberry Bold 9900 with an iPhone on my lap while flying around in a Cessna.
I’m not going cover tech specs and such, Kevin and many others have already done a great job. What I will talk about is how well the Blackberry Z10 has worked for me. In short, if you’re an average consumer Blackberry user doing email, text, BBM and browsing the web perhaps thinking about switching to another smartphone, you’ll enjoy the Z10. However if you’re a Blackberry power user, you should hold off a little while yet before going to BB10 as there are some missing major features in the new Blackberry.The issues aren't showstoppers and I eventually plan to get the Q10. But for now, I've gone back to my 9900 as my main phone.
Keyboard: Initially skeptical about the Z10’s on-screen keyboard, I became fairly proficient with it. While vastly better than that of an iOS keyboard, it still doesn’t trump the touch and tactile feedback of a physical keyboard of the Bold 9900.
Email: Migrating my Bold 9900 data was quite the chore. The legacy Blackberry Desktop Software is no longer compatible, requiring the new Blackberry Link to transfer my email, contacts, calendar and other data. Memos and Tasks go into a unified Remember app on BB10. Email accounts and logins are not transferred because BB10 does not use the Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) for email anymore. Email does not go through the Blackberry network but connect directly to your email server. This means there will be no more mass-outages that Blackberry has sufferred in the past. However, this benefit comes at the cost of data usage - Blackberry’s famed data compression is a thing of the past unless you are connected to a corporate BES server. My ~500MB of monthly usage has skyrocketed to 200MB in a week with the Z10 (caveat: I did browse and use YouTube more often.)
The bad stuff about Blackberry 10
Some of these features are (unofficially) being considered for implementation in the future, but I’m looking at the Blackberry in its current state as of today's public launch. To me, these features are what differentiates the Blackberry with all the other smartphones on the market.
Profiles and Alerts:Perhaps the single most disappointing feature (or lack thereof since it was in OS7) in BB10 is the inability to assign alerts and ringtones to individual email accounts. One alert serves all email accounts. This also goes along with the lack of Level 1 Notification, which highlights specific high-priority emails in red. There remains the ability to assign email and phone rings to individual contacts. There also lacks the ability to have different volume for alerts in each profile (eg. messages at 4, while priority emails and phone rings at 7, BBMs are softer at 5.)
No email filters: The removal of BIS also removed email filtering capabilities, another key Blackberry feature. As a user who gets hundreds of emails a day, not all of them are important. I had many silent alert filers for emails that do not require my immediate attention.
Change "from" email account on forwards/replies: In OS7, the "from" field is a dropdown menu if you have multiple email accounts and can easily change where you want the email to originate even if you received the original from another. In BB10, the dropdown menu only appears on a new message.
Bedside mode, all alerts on or off:In bedside mode if you use your Blackberry as an alarm clock, the bedside mode only allows you to turn all alerts universally on or off - so you’ll be woken with every email, BBM and phone ring, or you get silence. (Crackberry Kevin says this will be fixed in the next OS update.) UPDATE Feb 28, 2013 OS 10.0.10.85 added a "phone calls in bedside mode" feature. However, it still doesn't give us back the old OS customization - I want Level 1 Notifications to ring too! Oh wait, there's no Level 1 Notifications yet.
@blackberry.net email will be gone in one year: BB10 does not support sending or receiving @blackberry.net emails. With BIS going away, blackberry.net emails will only be allowed to be forwarded to another email address to be received on BB10. Instructions should be provided by the carrier.
Battery life is similar to other smartphones: Long battery life is no longer a Blackberry special. Given my 9900 just barely got me through the day without charging, I have to plug in the Z10 at least once through my workday. I expect the optional external battery charge for the Z10 to be quite a popular accessory. However, battery swaps aren’t as painful in the past as the bootup time of the Z10 is very quick at just over one minute - not the 5+ minutes legacy Blackberries take! The custom gang charger that Blackberry has at their conferences didn't used to be so popular with legacy BBs. UPDATE March 1, 2013 OS 10.0.10.85 WOW... whatever Blackberry did to improve battery life - it's vastly improved. Still need a boost charge at the end of the day but nowhere near the charger scramble after 5 hours like before. There's hope that the Q10's battery life will be even better now!
No physical phone answer/end buttons: With the removal of all buttons and trackpad, you must use your finger or special touchscreen-compatible gloves to operate the phone. In cold weather or when your hands are unavailable, it was great to use an object or glove to push the call answer and end buttons. The trackpad was also dependable in bright sunlight when the touchscreen becomes unreliable.
Blackberry Hub only shows Name and Subject of emails: In OS7, when the subject is blank, it shows the first line of the message body. This is important for automated email notifications or even people who just didn’t type a subject - a simple glance allows you to decide whether it demands your immediate attention.
Wrong consolidation of duplicate contacts (same name, different person.) Blackberry 10 contacts attempt to include your contact’s social media information. However, on migrating my large address book from my 9900, it turns out that people with the same name have the wrong social media profile automatically associated with the contact. You’d never know until you check each contact individually.
Geeking it out
There will be no mass-outages that haunted RIM in the past. Blackberry Messenger (BBM) will be the only service utilizing Blackberry servers. All other services connect directly to the Internet. This also means you do not require a specific (and sometimes more costly) Blackberry-enabled data plan. Theoretically. Some users here have been complaining that Bell in Canada is forcing people to go with a BB-specific plan even for the BB10. It doesn't appear that way with Rogers and Telus, I've swapped my Rogers iPhone 4s SIM (plan does not work with older BBs) to the Z10 and it works just fine.
Not connecting via BIS will also impact users in restrictive countries. Previously, because all data transferred through Blackberry’s servers, apps like Twitter, Facebook and blocked websites were accessible with a Blackberry. Without BIS, your access now is limited to your Internet connectivity. BB10 does allow for VPN access so you are still able to work around such limitations.
Legacy Blackberry users on BIS may be using Outlook Web Access (OWA) to have work email sent to their personal phones. This is no longer an option in BB10. You can have multiple Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) accounts but requires IT approval.
Are battery-pulls really a thing of the past?
Nope - I had to pull the battery almost once a day the first few days for wierd crashes and behavior including phantom unread messages, frozen black-screen and once when half the screen froze.
Google disabling Activesync?
Google disabled Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) access for all but its paid Google Apps for Business users. Push email (Gmail), contacts and calendar syncing are still available with other open protocols and still seems to be near-instantaneous or just a few seconds delay to get new mail.
This is what and how I understood info from the Blackberry Experience Forum for Enterprise.
Blackberry Enterprise Server 10:large companies & regulated/high-security businesses
Exchange ActiveSync: smaller companies with standard security concerns
Hosted BES:third-party hosted Blackberry Enterprise server for small-medium sized companies
IMAP: standard consumer-oriented push email
Blackberry is positioning its corporate Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) for large companies and those requiring regulatory and high-security communications with increased encryption capability to AES-256. Smaller companies using BES Express (BESX) would transition to Exchange Activesync (EAS,) offering push email, contacts and calendar but IT administrators would lose device control (eg. IT policies, remote wipes, etc.) Third-party hosted BES would be an alternative. EAS is how iOS, Android and Windows Mobile devices connect to a corporate server. EAS, Internet connectivity and browsing through an encrypted VPN is possible for increased security.
BES10 gains the ability to mount shared drives on the Blackberry - that is, your Windows shared drive on the office desktop computer is now able to be accessed by the Blackberry and apps such as Docs to Go are able to read and write Word, Excel and Powerpoint files.
Blackberry 10 requires a new BES10 server separate from (but still supported) BES5 for legacy Blackberries. Despite a unified management console, this still means companies will need to take time to evaluate and train IT staff to support BB10 and it may be some time before we will see corporate rollouts of BB10 devices.
Businesses with existing Exchange infrastructure who could not afford BES + CAL licenses stand to benefit from EAS on BB10 as EAS does not require individual CALs for users.
Consolidated questions & answers:
How does email display attachments, by Darlaten: My 'power user' Z10 experience/review (aka keeping my 9900 a bit longer)
Inline graphics are shown in-line in the body of the message and attachments are shown just above the body of the message. Attachments are not downloaded until you tap on them to open. PDFs are shown within the Hub and a button at the bottom allows you to open it up in Adobe Reader. But an MP3 file I attached to a demo email saved but did not open... and I can't find where it saved it to even doing a search in the file manager turns up nothing.