Like a lot of people who work in technology, my approach to mobile phones has always been simple: I want the latest hardware running the latest software and I'm content. I own multiple apps on just about every mobile platform, and since everything these days supports ActiveSync, has mature email/calendar/contact support, and since Microsoft has started developing some awesome applications for iOS & Android, I find I can function on just about any mobile device.
But all that's changed in the last six months or so. Today, a bulky communications device is hanging from my belt. This device comes with gasp a physical keyboard and is decidedly unhip and un-modern, with a square screen, no fingerprint reader, and comparatively few apps.
Yes sir. I rock a Blackberry Classic in an era of cloud, AI, and Uber. Why? Honestly, for one reason:
It gives me nearly full control of my mobile from my PC via Blend: I have observed in many businesses that employees often stop what they are doing on their PC, pick up their mobile phone after a notification, and tap out a response via whatever is hip and cool these days.
I have observed myself doing this as well; for instance I might be coding something cool in Powershell ISE but once my mobile beeps, I stop, move my hands from my awesome mechanical keyboard and pick up my mobile. I wonder how much computing mojo I lose as I switch from computing on a real computer with acres of screen real estate to a tiny computer with a tiny screen and awful keyboard, and then switch back?
I think I lose a lot of mojo, way more, in fact, than when I reach for my cursed mouse. I want to keep my hands on my keyboard because that's where I'm most productive. So how does Blackberry help me do that?
Enter Blend, a Blackberry fat client that runs on Windows. Blend essentially tunnels to my phone and allows me to read, respond-to SMS messages, BBM and manage things on my mobile from the comfort of my desktop. It saves me from switching back and forth, in other words, and I find that that fact -incredibly- outweighs all the negatives of rocking a Blackberry in 2016.
There are other ways to make sure your hands never leave your desktop keyboard, but Blend is better than syncing SMS messages to Outlook/Exchange because you won't end up reading the same SMS twice. And it's better than iOS + iMessage + Mac computer because it's agnostic and runs on Windows or OS X when I choose to boot into it. And it's way better than Android's solutions, which involve (where to start?) Hangouts or Push Bullet or AirDroid or some nonsense. Oh, by the way, Blend also has the same UI and fat-client feel on its iPad app.
The way I figure it, the less I'm reaching for and interacting with my mobile device at work, the better. I'd prefer to do all computing & communicating on my workstation as it's built for that purpose and I'm highly-skilled at using it.
When I'm not, Ill, I'll reach for my mobile.