Oct 29, 2009

Storm 9530 with OS…my take

I’ve posted recently about how the Motorola DROID might cause me to break up with my BlackBerry Storm 9530. I wrote that BEFORE I first installed leaked and then installed the Official Verizon To sum up, I re-like my Storm…mostly.

Install overall feelings

I used the Desktop Manager for Mac to install the update from to Official .328.  The install itself was fairly painless from an interaction point of view.  I hooked my storm up, it recognized the device model, and that there was an official update.  I clicked a few things, mostly to have it make a backup and then let it do its thing.  There was two (three?) reboots involved and after that, I was rocking Official .328!

Things I like

There’s a lot to like about OS 5.  First and foremost: the load screen.  No longer am I subjected to a bland white screen with a loading clock.  I am now greeted by a black screen, with the BlackBerry logo and nice white progress bar.  Granted, this really isn’t that much, but it feels more RIM/BB like.

Along those lines, I have noticed it take less time to boot my Storm now.  I clocked in at under 2 minutes and 30 seconds…which I can’t empirically compare to my storm on 4.7 as I never really noted the time other than it too longer than I expected/wanted it to.  I do like that I have a progress bar that seems to be reliable as far as “I’ve gotten 3/4 of the way there, I have another 30 seconds and I’m up.”

The speedier Boot up is accompanied by speedier transitions from portrait to landscape.  It seems to be almost instantaneous.  I haven’t had any issues with it being too sensitive.

One of the big pluses for me is in appointment creation.  When I make a new appointment and need to adjust the time, it now shows up like a spin wheel, showing me the upcoming or previous number.  For example, I create a new appointment but I need to change from 1pm to 2pm.  When I go to edit it, I see 12pm above 1 and 2 below on a spinning cylinder.  (I was going to have a picture in here, but apparently captureit isn’t working is OS 5…or at least I can’t find it right now.)  It makes it easier for me to quickly adjust appointments which I love.

The best part of OS 5 (and BIS 2.8) is Google Contact Sync is now part of the official BB experience.  I don’t need google sync to push my contacts up and down anymore.  I still need it for my calendar…but I’m hoping in time the enhance Gmail plug-in will do that. I think part of this is because I installed the mail accounts again after a clean install of .328.  It says the plugin supports OS 4.5 and better, but I didn’t see it until I installed 5, so I’ll give the praise to 5…because I can.

Things that lack

While I find the overall experience now to be enjoyable, there is at least one major thing that still lacks: The BlackBerry Browser.  The OS 5 browser does seem a bit snappier, but I still have this overwhelming feeling like I’m using a dated browser.  I feel like I’m running IE 3 or something while everyone else is on 8.  Sure, I can get to pages, and text is displayed, but I feel like it has been stripped down.  I know mobile browsing is NOT Desktop browsing, but I get this when I go to mobile optimized sites.  I would love to do a speed test with another mobile browser device, but unfortunately the Storm 9530 does not have Wi-Fi, and my other VZW capable smart phones are old…like Moto Q Launch day old…and that would enter in too many variables for me to be satisfied with the results.  I know RIM is working on a new browser…or at least they should be after their acquisition of Torch Mobile, but a new browsing experience can’t come too soon.  Would this browsing update be applied to my now, almost a year old 9530?  In the mean time, I can use opera Mini beta 5 to get a better Browsing experience, but I want it native, since BBB can’t be turned off.

Another Gripe I have with RIM is the Overall feel of OS 5.  While it is a better experience, I feel a lot like OS 5 is RIM’s version of Windows mobile 6.5.  This feels like Window dressing more than REAL improvements.  I would love to see a new from the ground up OS from RIM for my 9530, but considering its age in Cell Phone circles, I’m not going to hold my breath.  Building a new OS takes time, resources, and you have to draw the line somewhere as far as compatibility goes.  Seeing OS 5 will officially be supported on some older phones, like the 8330 does give me a little hope.

Overall thoughts

I really do like my storm.  I do have DROID desires, but I think that would have happened no matter what.  If/when I get the droid, I’m sure I have a post up a year or so in talking about how I am lusting over the next iteration.

I can’t wait for that to happen.

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