30 July 2009

Kicking the CrackBerry Habit

Finally, after a number of months of waiting patiently (I can, sometimes, be surprisingly patient), circumstances have finally allowed me to purvey myself an iPhone 3GS. I haven't yet started to peruse the weird and wonderful apps that will soon be available to me but I did decide I ought to read a few blog posts and reviews before I went ahead and clicked the "order" button (actually, made the "order" phone call as I want to upgrade my existing phone). There weren't really any surprises in there--many people, obviously, adore the damn thing while others complain about the short battery life and various other minor issues.

It was only then that I recalled a comment made by one of the iPhone owners I know (probably either Papa or Monsieur Exquisite) that unlike with the CrackBerry, you cannot easily get your Gmail account "pushed" to your iPhone--not to the same extent as on the CrackBerry, anyway. At the moment, I often feel my phone buzzing with a new Gmail message a few seconds before it pops up on Gmail or Google Talk on my computer, which is pretty fast. It also gives me options to sync the mail on my phone with that on the Gmail server--this means if I have read an email on my phone and want to bin it, I can delete it from the server via the phone so that I don't have to get rid of it again when I log onto Gmail on my computer.

Of course, this is hardly essential but I have got used to the comforting little buzz and sometimes it's useful to hear the phone vibrating when I am expecting a message without having to actually go over to the phone and check that the message has arrived. As far as I can tell, the iPhone doesn't do this. You can download the Gmail app to your phone and tell it to check with the Gmail server at regular intervals (up to once a minute, I think) and to download the messages but a) I'm used to real time emails now and this ain't it and b) it uses up precious battery life for the phone to be constantly checking Gmail.

I think it is a sign of my addiction to the CrackBerry (which I would never use to push my work emails) that even though the iPhone is all-round awesome and has loads of cool features and even though I've been waiting to get one for months, I have--temporarily, at least--delayed my upgrade while I do further research. This will probably consist of asking Papa if I can check out Gmail on his iPhone so I can see how much of an arse the lack of push will be. Either way, I'm sure I'll be going ahead with the purchase soon, fond as I am of my little CrackBerry, which satisfied me for so long with its compact design, Google compliance and QWERTY keyboard that it only took me about six months to learn how to use at speed!

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