Transitioning to BlackBerry Z10
I've been using BlackBerry since 2003, and I did not abandon the ship when it started sinking. Two weeks ago, I put down my venerable Bold 9800 and replaced it with Z10. I had some mixed feelings about switching to BB10 at this time, because I was always a big fan of the physical keyboard that I felt was indispensable. I said "was" because I think this is a thing of the past for me. My scepticism of the the Z10's on screen touch keyboard evaporated quickly once I had a chance to try it for myself. It really is as good as they say; I definitely like it much better than the iPhone's keyboard.
Because Z10 does not have the physical keyboard, there are a few things that are just no longer possible on this device. I found workarounds for some of them. Here's my to 10 list.
1. Speed dialling.
I loved this feature. On the Bold you could assign a different number to each letter on the keyboard (except W and Q which were preassigned to voice mail and silent mode), and you would just press and hold that key to dial the assigned number. Very efficient. For obvious reason this is no longer possible on Z10 (I hope they will retain it on Q10). The closest I found to this feature is a bar in the Phone app that features three speed dial spots. The first one is already preassigned to your voice mail, but you can assign your most frequently dialled numbers to the other two.
2. Switching to Silent with Q
As mentioned above, to switch between the "Vibrate Only" and "Normal" profiles on the Bold, you just pressed and held the Q button on your keyboard. On the Z10 switching between these two modes is much more involved. After unlocking your screen, you have to swipe down to get the menu, then tap on Notifications. This will actually open the section of the settings app, where you will need to switch your mode to the desired one, and close the settings up. Lot's of steps. Too bad that they did not put a special button on the device similar to what the iPhone has.
3. Convenience key
Although there is a button on the side of the Z10 device between the two volume buttons, I don't seem to find a way to customise its functionality as it was possible on the Bold device. On the Z10 it is hard wired to Voice Control app.
4. Menu key
No keyboard, no menu key (the one with the BlackBerry logo on it). On the Z10, you just need to swipe down to reveal the menus. If you are inside an app, you will get the app specific menu for most of the apps. In some places, like the Hub, you need to touch and hold the screen to get the menus, or tap the on-screen button with the three vertical dots.
5. Escape/Back key
No keyboard, no escape key (the one with the curly arrow on it). To get out of your app, swipe up to minimise your app and display the active frames section of your home screen. Up to eight apps can be running at the same time and will be represented by their avatars on this page. To close an open document within the app (e-mail, article), swipe to the right.
6. Hide the keyboard, keyboard shortcuts
Sometimes the on-screen keyboard gets in a way and you need to close it without exiting the page that you are on. On the Playbook, you would swipe diagonally from the bottom corner. On the Z10, you tap and hold the space bar.
"Sym" key was a shortcut to special characters on the Bold. On the Z10 just swipe down on your keyboard.
Holding your key on the letter to capitalise it, and double tap on space to end a sentence with a period and a space still work! Unfortunately, they don't on the PlayBook.
Rebooting sequence: lock your screen and tap Reboot
Flashlight: video camera and space bar - could not find the equivalent on the Z10 :(
7. Universal mailbox
This is now called the Hub and can be customised more extensively than it was possible before. Don't waste your time swiping down to get the menus, in this case you need to touch the screen and hold your fingr down for 2-3 sec to reveal the vertical bar with buttons; one of them will lead you to the options. You will not find these options included in the global device options app.
8. MemoPad and Tasks
These used to be two separate apps that the BES server was able to synchronise with Journal/Notebook and ToDo list in Lotus Notes. The Z10 has an app called Remember which seems to be the merger between the MemoPad and Tasks. Traveler 8.5 is not able to synchronise this app with Lotus Notes, hopefully version 9 will have this functionality since the upgrade pack allows it on the iPhone for the ToDo list (although the separate app has to be downloaded from the App Store since iPhone does not have a native ToDo app). My colleague who attended the IBM Connect 2013 spoke to the developers who told him synchronising with Notes iPhone app (ironic choice of name by Apple) is high on their priority list for the future versions of Traveler. Hopefully Z10 will be included as well.
9. Missing apps
Besides the two mentioned above, no RSS reader by BlackBerry.
10. No holster included!
Every BlackBerry I ever had, always came with a holster. It just shows had desperate for additional revenue RIM must be that they decided to not include it with the basic package. I had to shell out additional 39.99 for a "Made in China" basic pouch which probably costs a dollar or two to make.