Commentary

An update on that "Storm" business ...

Late last year Verizon and Blackberry released the touchscreen Storm to the masses. I've previously written about the phone here, and felt obliged to give you an update.

Why the update? Well, the phone dropped down the proverbial chimney on Christmas Day, and we've been getting to know each other since. From my understanding, I'm playing with a newer release of the software than what I got my hands during the first front.

A few thoughts:

    • In meeting a few other storm users post-holiday, my phone's tendency to like landscape display over the portrait mode is not unique. The Storm continues to - without reason - switch over to landscape mode even when I'm holding it upright. Getting it back to portrait mode is no easy task. I often look like I'm having seizures when my subtle phone shakes yield no results, causing my to shake the handset harder in frustration.

      After using the Storm and jumping to a friends iPhone every now and then, I deeply enjoy the click-screen. It's a calming level of control I have over the phone. Trying to grasp that at first, however, was odd. It's still amusing to watch friends pick it up and try and comprehend the difference between just touching the screen and actually clicking it.

      I want the app store. Now! I'm also eager to see more applications developed for the phone as time goes on. I continue to remind my braggart, iPhone-using friends that their phone has been out for 1.5 years, plenty of time for new apps to be developed. Among the software I downloaded: Google's GSync and Gmail apps, Twitterberry (not perfect, but it works), Facebook (worthless) and a few of the IM clients.

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      The typing I've gotten used to. Between seeing "Seven Pounds" and getting this phone, I'm pretty convinced I'm done texting when behind the wheel of a car. These touch screen phones make it too difficult to type a message without looking, a flaw in some respects. That's more time off the road, and a risk I'm not willing to take. (True, I shouldn't have tried with the older phones.)

      Verizon charging for Visual Voicemail? Ick. I dig the service, but stop this à la carte crap, VZ.
  • Overall, I'm pleased. I'm willing to stick out the next few months to see how Blackberry evolves the software. I've heard of a leaked released that's much faster, so here's hoping for a valentine from my new favorite device maker.

    Anything is better than that WM Treo...

    Any Storm users out there? Let me know what you think ...

    2 comments about "An update on that "Storm" business ...".
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    1. Alicia Inman, January 19, 2009 at 12:21 p.m.

      I love my Storm. It's a great product with the potential to be excellent. The click screen was a stroke of genius, in my opinion - typing emails and filling in form fields online is easy to do. The browser's no slouch either.

      I love the integration I can have with my GMail, GoogleTalk, and GoogleSync. The applications are simple to use and virtually copy the computer program versions. They don't leave anything out. I also love the new AP Mobile News application. Since they optimized it for the Storm, it works brilliantly. The thumbnails next to each article are crystal clear, cycling through news categories is simple, and it doesn't slow down my system.

      My only complaint is the seeming lack of sophistication in the accelerometer. Answering phone calls is somewhat of an issue for me. If the phone is lying down when it rings, it always takes awhile before the Storm recognizes I've picked it up, it's right-side up, and yes, I have pushed the "Answer" button. Normally I push the button 2 or 3 times before it actually orients itself, stops ringing, and picks up the call. Hopefully, the next OS release addresses that!

    2. Tom Goosmann from True North Inc., January 19, 2009 at 1:06 p.m.

      I'm sorry, but the Storm is a handheld disaster. I've been a mac guy forever, but avoided the iPhone. I didn't like what I heard about email, touchscreen typing, and AT&T. So after being a faithful, yet always perturbed Treo owner, the idea of a touchscreen blackberry excited me. When I finally got my hands on it, I wanted to love it. I was patient through the first promised upgrade. I was patient when I had to send it back because it completely ceased working. For both phones, the click screen was uneven. And eventually tedious. The rotation issue was a mess. The same spot where you "answer call" on upright become "ignore call" when the phone decides landscape suits it.

      And slow. Clunky. No apps. And for the apps available, like navigation, expensive. Monthly fees? On top of this contract? So I bit the bullet and got an iPhone. God. Simple. Bountiful. And the training I got smushing that blackberry screen for every letter gave me a little finesse on the iPhone screen. WiFi. Simple.

      But to those Blackberry owners who could never see themselves with an apple, that's fine. Just don't waste your time with the Storm.

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