I miss the BlackBerry Hub that showed me on my lock screen if I had new emails, texts, voicemails, and other new messages. On the iPhone, there's only space for three or sometimes fewer alerts on the lock screen.
Did I idealize that first phone? Is my memory off? Do I just need to spend more time setting up my phone the way I like it?
It's possible. But looking back over time since my first iPhone, I can make a couple of observations about my current disappointment.
First, I was so enamored with that first phone because it was so radically different and awesome compared to anything that came before. I've been writing about cell phones since the Motorola StarTac. I've tried every miserable attempt that Nokia made to develop a usable smart phone. When I got my hands on my first iPhone, it was a lovely piece of hardware that automatically worked in ways I didn't even know I wanted.
Now, however, the differences between phone platforms are more subtle. Back then, there was nothing that even compared to an iPhone. Now many phones are in the same ballpark.
It's not just the iPhone that suffers because of this. There was a stretch of a few years when friends asked me for advice on a new cell phone, I'd always advise them to buy the latest and greatest. It wasn't worth it to buy a slightly older model just because it was on sale. The phones became obsolete so quickly, if you wanted to keep it for two years, it was really worth it to buy the most expensive model on the platform you wanted.
That's not the case any more. While I'm not as enamored of my iPhone 4S as I hoped, I'm convinced I wouldn't be much happier if I had a 5S. I couldn't care less about the fingerprint scanner or the color gold. I know the 5-generation is supposed to offer much better performance, and the 4S can't connect to higher-speed LTE networks (I'm stuck on 3G, which AT&T rebranded as "4G"), but I actually haven't noticed any particular slowness with it.
I do love that I have loads of apps that I didn't have on BlackBerry. I can deposit checks using my bank's mobile app, order a Lyft ride, or find the nearest Car2Go.
But with the BlackBerry Z10 still in recent memory, I can say that my ideal phone would have the BlackBerry Z10's form factor and some of its software capabilities, plus all the apps available on my iPhone. One can dream.
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