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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.

5. Gear Up With BlackBerry Accessories
One downside of being the underdog smartphone platform on the market is the small number of available accessories. That said, you'd be wise to purchase a high-capacity microSD flash memory card micro HDMI adapter for your BlackBerry Z30. The latter is important if you expect to make presentations from the smartphone, as most projectors and televisions today are equipped with standard HDMI connectors.

6. Enable BlackBerry 10 Security
The first five steps will get you started on a BlackBerry device; the next four will help you realize the full capabilities of the BlackBerry 10 platform.

password
BlackBerry Z30's photo password in action.

BlackBerry continues to enjoy a stellar reputation for security. Like its predecessors, the BlackBerry 10 platform offers both device encryption and media card encryption. Enabling the latter means that encrypted media cards will only accessed by the device that encrypted it; data becomes permanently inaccessible should the smartphone be put through a security wipe.

In addition, a device password can protect against unauthorized access. Of course, a password is of limited use if the device isn't locked, so be sure to set a reasonable timeout period after which the device automatically locks.

There's a numeric password option if you prefer something simple, but BlackBerry 10 adds a picture password feature (shown at right) that deserves special mention.

When enabled, the system loads a preselected background picture overlaid with a grid of numbers. To unlock the phone, you need to drag the grid so that the previously selected number is positioned at a predefined point on the image. The number grid changes after every try, making it impossible for even a careful observer to work out the correct number and position.

7. Set Up BlackBerry Protect
One service to set up as soon as possible: BlackBerry Protect, which works like Apple's "Find My iPhone." Once enabled from the BlackBerry Protect app on the smartphone, users can log into the BlackBerry Protect website to map the current location of their BlackBerry smartphone, display a custom message on the Home screen, lock it remotely or even permanently erase all data from the device.

Android Apps on BlackBerry Z30
A screenshot of BlackBerry Protect in action.

8. Link Social Networking Accounts
BlackBerry 10 supports the top social networking platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), so be sure to add them; you'll see them integrated into the Hub. The more interesting feature, though, is how BlackBerry 10 downloads various bits of data (profile photos, birthdays and their latest social media updates) and automatically shares them with the Contacts app. It's not uncommon to pull up a contact number or email address in the Contacts app and find that he or she came from a social networking source, not something that was manually added into the address book.

 

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