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How to switch from iPhone 5S to BlackBerry Z30 (and why)

Paul Mah | April 16, 2014
Spend some time with a BlackBerry 10 device and you just might put your iPhone away for good. CIO.com contributor Paul Mah did. Here he outlines the nine steps it takes to move from an iPhone 5S to a BlackBerry Z30.

BlackBerry has been getting a lot of bad press in recent years, mostly because the company got off to a very late start rebuilding its antiquated BlackBerry OS with BlackBerry 10 and roll out a new generation of touch-enabled smartphones.

On a technical level at least, the company appears to have gained some success. Under the hood, the QNX-based BlackBerry 10 operating system is a fast, responsive platform that has been steadily upgraded since its release at the start of 2013. Meanwhile, its built-in Web browser, widely considered inadequate in the past, is now regularly rated as the fastest browser on mobile devices.

Why Use a BlackBerry Instead of an iPhone?
BlackBerry 10 smartphones offers a number of capabilities not found on other mobile platforms. There's BlackBerry Hub for quickly viewing and responding to all alerts and messages from a single location without having to tap multiple app icons. There's the ubiquitous LED light that signifies a new message. There's the capability to unlock the phone by simply sliding a finger up from the bottom edge of the glass screen.

The company's flagship BlackBerry Z30, launched at the end of 2013, also comes with a host of features not found in the Apple iPhone: A large 5-inch touchscreen, an expansion slot for adding flash memory, native HDMI out, the capability to function as an external USB storage drive and 25 hours of battery life.

iPhone 5 and BlackBerry Z30
A side-by-side comparison of the iPhone 5 and the BlackBerry Z30.

I've used both an iPhone and a BlackBerry for more than five years - and the Z30 impressed me so much that my iPhone 5S lost its appeal. I've stopped using my iPhone and now use the BlackBerry Z30 exclusively.

If you were likewise disappointed with the latest iPhone, worry that Android phones aren't secure or have always remained true to the BlackBerry, here are the nine steps you need to follow to make the switch to a BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

1. Migrate to BlackBerry Using Device Switch
If all you need to transfer is contact data, then you can use the Device Switch app from a British company called Media Mushroom, which is recommended by the BlackBerry support site. The app requires the appropriate version of the software on both the source and destination device; it works by transferring the data over a Wi-Fi network. Supported data types for the iPhone include only Calendar and Contacts records, though.

2. Move Email, Contact and Calendar Entries
Unlike earlier versions of the BlackBerry, the BlackBerry 10 platform eschews the company's proprietary BlackBerry Internet Service and instead works over a standard Internet connection. This means that the BlackBerry 10 smartphone can work with Exchange ActiveSync directly and also offers device-level support for popular services such as Gmail, Outlook.com and Yahoo.

 

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