So you're thinking of switching your Android phone to a new BlackBerry 10 device?
You've come to the right place. Here we'll lay out what you need to know before making the leap. BlackBerry 10 can give you nearly everything you already have on your Android phone so making the switch shouldn't be too hard. Keep reading to see how it all pans out.
We'll go over the big things here that you'll be thinking about before you switch devices.
The main uses we look at are e-mail, contacts, calendar, apps/games and a bit on customizing.
There are some big differences and some not so big differences when it comes to changing over from Android to BlackBerry, so we'll help you weigh the decision.
The purpose of this is just to inform you on what will be different so you know what you're getting into before jumping in.
A LOOK AT BLACKBERRY FOR ANDROID OWNERS
In this video, Kevin gives a first look at BlackBerry 10 the Z10 to the Android-owner audience at CrackBerry's sibling site, Android Central.
E-MAIL, CALENDAR & CONTACTS
BlackBerry 10 can give you all that your Android phone already has with a few exceptions. Since you're already using a Google e-mail address, you can easily set that up on BlackBerry 10 with little effort. If you don't use a Gmail or Google address as your primary e-mail, that's no problem either. You can use any e-mail address -- Yahoo!, Outlook.com, a work address -- with BlackBerry 10. In fact, you can add multiple e-mail accounts to one device and have everything easily accessible.
If you sync your calendar with Google then you are halfway there. All you need to do is choose to sync your calendar when setting up your e-mail account on BlackBerry 10 and your calendar will sync up as well. If you have a calendar on a separate account or even multiple calendars, you can use either CalDAV or Exchange ActiveSync to pull those in to your BlackBerry 10 device as well.
Again, if your contacts are already in the cloud with Google, you can pull them down along with your e-mail account and they'll load up on your BlackBerry 10 device. Same goes if you have a separate contact list - you can use CardDAV or Exchange ActiveSync to pull those in as well.
APPS & GAMES
While Google has the Play store, BlackBerry has BlackBerry World. Both offer up a large selection of apps, games, music and movies. Where BlackBerry might let you down is in the "big name" app category. Being such a new platform, you won't find some bigger-name apps you may be looking for after your switch. BlackBerry 10 has basic apps like Twitter, Facebook and foursquare built-in with apps like Skype and Whatsapp on the way. EA, Gameloft, and Halfbrick have already dedicated themselves to platform, and a few popular games like World of Goo and Angry Birds Star Wars are already available. There is Dropbox, Box and Evernote integration, but no official "apps" just yet - just baked-in BB10 integration. Holdouts like Instagram have yet to become available for BlackBerry. The good news is that you can sideload a large number of Android applications and they'll work fine on BlackBerry 10. It gives you a bit of a customization and allows you to use apps that aren't available in BlackBerry World. We have great tutorials on sideloading both from a Windows PC or Mac.
The movie and music selection in BlackBerry World should be enought to keep most media-hungry users satisifed as well.
BlackBerry 10 features the Hub - a central inbox for all of your incoming e-mails, SMS, BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), Facebook & Twitter messages and more. Unlike Android where each app requires you to launch in order to follow up or reply, with BlackBerry 10, you can reply to all of these alerts right from the Hub. Meaning you don't have to go into different apps to reply to notifications such as e-mail or SMS.
BlackBerry 10 hasn't had the time to become as fractured as the Android OS, so the overall experience is going to be highly standardized. There are no rooting procedures, custom ROMs, live wallpapers, themes, or widgets here. Though you might miss that part of the tinkering process, it also means less work for you. With the manufacturer owning the operating system, you'll get one standard OS across a handful of devices so everything is on the same page. If you like it simple, then BlackBerry won't give you any problems.
Also, you won't find any button navigation here. The BlackBerry Z10 is all touch and while the BlackBerry Q10 has a physical keyboard, there are no navigation buttons. So you'll have to adjust to using gestures over a dedicated home, back, menu and search key.
So while you will be make the jump to an entirely new platform, you won't really be losing too much from what you have now. Your device choices will be far fewer, you may not find a few apps you currently have on your Android device and there is no ability to theme the device. You can still sideload apps however, which is pretty awesome. Plus, instead of having to choose from a multitude of keyboards, you get one amazing BlackBerry keyboard (virtual on the Z10 or physical on the Q10).
When you're ready to make the jump, check out our getting started guides.
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