Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Apple and Google have nothing to fear from BlackBerry 10 -- but Microsoft does

Galen Gruman | Feb. 1, 2013
Hands-on review: BlackBerry 10 is a big step up, but it's awkward to use in key areas

The Hub's email "app" is adequate, but not as easy to use as iOS's and a little less easy than Android's.

The BlackBerry's text-entry blues

Given the BlackBerry 10 OS's messaging focus, I was frustrated by its painful text entry and text editing.

The good news is that the onscreen keyboard is nice and clear, and I appreciate the numerals row at the top -- you even get a standard keyboard's symbols when you tap the Shift key. The ability to swipe the Delete key to delete the word to the left of the cursor is also a nice convenience.

But text selection is very difficult, both to move your cursor and to select a range of text. The text cursor is very faint when trying to position the cursor, and it can be hard to exit that cursor-movement mode. To select text usually requires double-tapping it, but often you get the cursor instead. iOS is way better at text selection; Android is notably better at it than the BlackBerry 10 OS as well.

Although you can adjust the size of text in the overall UI, you cannot do so in emails, and the text size is barely legible for many people. Perhaps the reason for the tiny text is BlackBerry's desire to seem young. Tiny text is a hallmark of 20-year-old programmers, who don't understand that much of the world doesn't see as well as they do (and don't care enough to let you change the default size). Keep your reading glasses handy.

I was also frustrated when composing emails. If you have multiple email accounts, you always have to choose one before composing the message, even when you're working in a particular account. Other OSes assume it's the account whose emails you are reading or let you set the default account. As in other mobile OSes, the BlackBerry 10 OS lets you change the From account before sending an email -- as long as you swipe up at the top of the message to reveal the menu for doing so. It's not as intuitive as in iOS or Android.

The contacts lookup when addressing emails was often very slow, and after you type part of a person's name to initiate a lookup in your contacts list, the BlackBerry 10 OS leaves the partial entry you typed for you to delete. Why?

 

Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.