Blackberry or Droid: And the CLEAR winner is?
It depends. Sorry, I was hoping there would be a clear cut winner too, but after using and researching both, it really does depend on how you’re using your device and what features are important to you.
My Own Analysis
I’ve used my Blackberry Curve for years and it’s served me well, but I recently switched to a Droid 2 (after an ill fated attempt with the Droid X). I got caught up in the marketing hype, with all of the “apps” available in the marketplace, I was sure the Droid would solve many of my problems. The reality is that the Droid solves some while others are created.
The Blackberry is currently one of the most popular smartphones available and is the most widely used in business as an enterprise level solution, but it has faced increased competition from “consumer” based products like the iPhone and Droid series that have bled over into the enterprise space.
In the words of Carly Simon, “Nobody does it better.” RIM and the Blackberry have been around for more than 10 years and the company built its name on one thing: secure email communication. They are the enterprise (corporate) email solution standard bearer and are entrenched in business. They are easily deployable, reliable and provide a standard and proven platform for integration and use.
While at one time the device was cutting edge and quirky looking (it got its name when someone noted that the tiny buttons on RIM's device looked like a collection of seeds), its design now looks about as fresh as a 1986 Ford Taurus. Fact is, RIM relied on that design and never changed it because they were selling so many devices in the corporate world.
I am a heavy email user, (hundreds per day). My Blackberry was always on and always in use. Battery life was excellent on the workhorse device and a full charge would regularly last more than one day.
While at one time we all were thrilled at the thought of being able to view the tiniest shred of online content from a smartphone, we now demand that the smartphone browsing experience be as rich as a desktop browser. The Blackberry has a long way to go to meet that expectation.
The screen is one of the biggest reasons people start to stray and even consider switching devices. When a friend shows you a video from his Droid, which plays clearly and smoothly, and then you look at the two inch screen on your Blackberry, a serious case of screen envy sets in.
This was one of the biggest and most baffling issues with the Droid 2. The email push feature did not push emails in a timely manner. (It was even worse on the Droid X). After much research, I discovered that a bug exists between the Droid 2 and Exchange 2007. As a result, I had to download an app called TouchDown ($19.99). Email works flawlessly through Touchdown but it still annoys me that I had to download and pay for an app for my not-so-smart smartphone.
Web browsing is one of the main reasons behind the success of the Droid. The Droid provides a rich browsing experience that very closely resembles what you can get and view on a standard PC. Blackberry doesn’t even come close. Clearly there is a huge advantage over the Blackberry in this category.
Again, even though the Droid 2 has a smaller screen compared to other Android phones, the Blackberry doesn’t even come close. Think: tube TV monitor vs. a high def LCD. You get my point. One drawback though, is that the touch screen is, well, touchy and it’s easy to select the wrong screen item. The Droid 2 offers a slide out physical keyboard but after using the built-in Swype input technology (instead of pressing individual letters, mobile users drag their finger from one letter to the other in a fluid, faster motion), I’ve never used the physical keyboard. It takes some practice and can be frustrating trying Swype the correct word, but once mastered, it is far more efficient than the hunt-and-peck typing on a Blackberry.
Need a file management program? There’s an app for that. Need to book travel? There’s an app for that. Need to view your bank account? There’s an app for that. From the useful (like Adobe Reader and Flash, Google Voice and LinkedIn), to the silly (like Angry Birds, Spark, Steamy Window and Candle), the list of apps is never ending and grows daily. Blackberry doesn’t even come close.
Rich web browsing, flawless video viewing and touch screen capability comes at a cost, not the monetary kind either. The battery on the Droid 2 (although much better than on the Droid X) can get drained quickly, even using a task killing app to manage the process. Be prepared to give it a charge at some point during each day.
So there you have it. The clear cut answer is that there is no clear cut answer. Rather it depends on how you use your device. Sure, everyone has their favorite and there are those that are clearly in the Blackberry or Droid camps, but that’s precisely the point. Your phone is a useful tool, no different from a carpenter’s hammer, and your ability to use that tool most effectively will guide your smartphone preference.
Google flips Android kill switch, nukes evil apps
After clearing malware from store, Google remotely deleted it from phones
After it was made known that 50 or so rogue malicious apps had wormed their way into the Android App Market , Google immediately removed them. But this weekend it came to light that the company went a step further, and remotely deleted the dangerous apps from the phones of users who'd accidentally downloaded them.
Google's own Mobile Blog reported the remote surgery, and said that the company was also "pushing an Android Market security update to all affected devices that undoes the exploits to prevent the attacker(s) from accessing any more information from affected devices." Third-party security app Lookout also pushed an update to its users to curtail any further malware intrusion.
What kind of damage may have already been done? "For affected devices, we believe that the only information the attacker(s) were able to gather was device-specific," the blog reported. This would include "unique codes which are used to identify mobile devices, and the version of Android running on your device. But given the nature of the exploits, the attacker(s) could access other data." Assuming they were successful on all handsets, fixes should have cut off attackers from any further access.
The number of affected phones could be as high as 50,000, according to Engadget.
Google's blog linked to a June 2010 discussion of the "remote application removal feature," aka "kill switch," where they first used it to get rid of some improperly deployed (but not malicious) developer software. Tim Bray of the Android Developers blog remarked, at the time, "While we hope to not have to use it, we know that we have the capability to take swift action on behalf of users' safety when needed."
By now, it's clear that this tool isn't just a precautionary measure but a necessary feature, one that, unfortunately, may get quite a bit of exercise in the future.