As usual these days, let me preface this post by reminding people that I’m speaking for me, not for Google, in this post. As some of the readers of this blog know, I’ve been a die-hard Blackberry user for a very long time (I actually talked to a TV station about how cool Blackberry was in early 2001). I strongly suggested to Nokia that they could learn from the Blackberry in 2002/3. I’ll never switch. Until last week that is. I bought a SideKick to use for my month off (August) and became an instant addict. First of all, it is fun! The graphics are engaging, the camera works well enough for trivial shots and then it is totally easy to email the shots to someone or make them the default picture for a contact meaning that if that contact calls you, the picture shows up on your screen. The IM to both AOL and Yahoo work really well and they let you change your status easily. It is amazing to be walking down the street and using IM with your friends. The SMS is really well built in as is the email so you can see from the main screen if you have new SMS or mail messages from people as well as if your friends are logged onto IM. The tasks UI is so intuitive that my daughter is instantly becoming organized. The phone is so cleverly managed that you can call call people you usually talk to without ever using the keyboad and like a cell phone it has a green phone icon on the spinner to connect and a red one to hang up. The browser is the best browser I’ve seen on a mobile device. It is well organized. It is reasonably fast. Multitasking is a breeze. There is a key on the lowerleft called the jumpkey which will instantly bring you from any app to anyother without stopping the call you’re making or the mail you’re writing or the chat session or the page you’re browsing. You can completely customize the rings when people call you to play the music appropriate to each one and the sound is OK. This is the social version of the Blackberry. It is the Blackberry for the rest of us (well it would be if the price went down a bit). All the keys you really need for email addresses are separate non-shift keys at the bottom of the keyboard! It is the Mac of mobile devices. I gave one to my daughter for her graduation and she loves it.
To you guys who built the Sidekick II, first thanks and kudos. I love this machine.
Secondly some suggestions. I should be able to use pictures anywhere meaning what if I receive one in email, I can add it to my gallery and I can send them over IM and I can set my status profile in IM to show them and make them a background to the main screen. Alt and the spinner for editing text within text needs to be more clearly explained since fixing typos is a common need. Blackberry’s editing has two features you really need, holding a key down should shift it, not repeat it, and the spinner should go through the international versions of it. Also two spaces should put a period after the prior word. You need to beef up your spell correction. “youl” ought to become you’ll without me having to tell the machine. When looking at long pages or messages, “t” should take me to the top and “b” to the bottom. There should be some trivial way to add entries to the address book over email. These days, storage space is really cheap. I have 1gb on my Canon camera for $80. Let me do this here and store ALL my mail and a lot more photos and some MP3′s please. 100 mail messages isn’t enough. Build a decent calculator for school kids with sin and cos and so on. This can be the killer phone for the IM generation. And again, take advantage of pictures. Let me put the pictures people mail me into my gallery and, with 2 clicks add to a person or to my IM status or as the background for the home screen or send to someone over IM. Give me a replaceable battery and a way to charge from Firewire or USB.