Dear BlackBerry, what happened?

I have been a devoted BlackBerry user and developer since the earlier days of RIM. The first app I ever wrote was for a BlackBerry 7250. BlackBerry has always been good to me. The first time I made money developing a smartphone application was because of BlackBerry. My company started with some high profile clients that had a BlackBerry infrastructure behind them.

I’ve had almost every BlackBerry under the sun since the 7250. For the last few years people had tried to convince me to switch to Android or Apple over and over again.  I have always loved my keyboard laden device. I had purchased a Google developer account before most people knew what an Android was; but I never really fell in love with the operating system.

That all changed today.

I bought a Nexus 5. I had the full intention of trying it for a week and then giving it to one of our developers or selling it on kijiji. I just wanted to try it, I swear. I took it out of the box and turned it on. The screen flaunted the familiar Google colours and the device prompted me for setup. I strapped myself into my computer chair thinking “these new gen smartphones take hours to setup” – because that was my experience when I purchased my BlackBerry Z10.

In 20 minutes, I had 9 email addresses setup, calendars synchronized, contacts ready, bbm downloaded and 3 or 4 apps I always wanted to use but never had the chance (Instagram, Candy Crush, Vine, Snap Chat.. to name a few).

So many questions started ringing through my head; How is this possible? Has it always been this easy on other smartphones?  Have I been in denial all these years? Have I been using a “dumb phone” this entire time?

Ii literally took me an hour to fall in love with the Nexus 5. KitKat is refined. Android isn’t the open source mess I used to think it was. In fact, it’s a year or so beyond BB10 in both design and usability. I’ve used the Samsung S3, but I felt like a “hacker” using it. I felt I needed to modify it to make it work for me. This isn’t the case with the Nexus 5. I haven’t needed to download an app yet that puts functionality into the device that the doesn’t have yet.

I find myself still reading the top BlackBerry blogs such as CrackBerry, but the articles that used to excite me don’t anymore. “Run and Install Android apps – Coming Soon.” or “Headless Apps around the corner..” Why am I waiting? I can do all of this on my Nexus 5 and then some. I’m very annoyed that I spent so much time with the BB10 platform only to be let down time and time again.

I’m sorry BlackBerry, but please give me a reason to come back to you. I’m a true believer in you, but it’s hard to justify after using this Nexus 5.


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