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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.

As such, an easy way to migrate email message, contacts and calendar entries to the BlackBerry is to ensure that these data are stored on one (or more) of the above services on the iPhone. In my experience, email, contacts, calendar, tasks and notes data stored on an Office 365 account were automatically downloaded to the BlackBerry once the account was added. Note that this approach doesn't copy text messages or other miscellaneous data such as browser bookmarks, Wi-Fi network settings, photos and phone call logs.

3. Keep Your iTunes Library in Sync
Longtime iPhone users probably possess of a large library of audio and video clips. Fortunately, you can synchronize them with your new BlackBerry smartphone using the free BlackBerry Link desktop app available for both Windows and Mac OS X.

To transfer music to your BlackBerry, download and install the BlackBerry Link software. Connect your new BlackBerry to your iPhone with a USB cable, or be prepared to wirelessly transfer files over the Wi-Fi network. An option at the bottom of the Home menu shows the music sources detected on the current device. Select iTunes, and click on "Music" to create a sync association to your BlackBerry device. This will see all non-DRM songs and their associated album artwork copied over.

4. Open the Door to Android Apps
The Achilles' heel of the BlackBerry 10 platform lies in the dearth of quality apps when compared to the competition. While it's almost guaranteed that any iOS app for the iPhone will have a corresponding Android version, the same just isn't true for the BlackBerry.

To alleviate this issue, BlackBerry 10 smartphones have a built-in Android player that lets them run third-party software. Specifically, the Android player is capable of running Android apps that have been put through a file conversion process. As of software release 10.2.1, the Android player has been substantially beefed up and can directly run most Android Application Package (APK) files.

Android Apps on BlackBerry Z30
Screenshots of the Android apps Pocket, Google Maps, Instagram and Flappy Bird on the BlackBerry Z30.

There are several ways to get APK files; you can download them from an intermediary website such as APK Train, or you can use a free app called Snap created for just this purpose. Coded by developer Jim Muir, Snap connects directly to Google Play for users to browse and download Android apps. (As Snap isn't on the official BlackBerry World, it must be manually sideloaded. A CrackBerry write-up explains how to sideload a BlackBerry app.)

The Android player is a computer engineering feat, but there are instances when it won't load apps. The culprit tends to be the presence of hardcoded dependencies or the use of Google-only features.

 

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