Julian Yap

Blackberry and their lack of battery design

The official Blackberry Help Blog posted some tips for extending battery life on their latest BlackBerry 6 and 7 OS phones. It speaks volumes.

Here is the list:

  • Closing Apps and Games
  • Turn off network connections you aren’t using
  • Use a Wi-Fi network connection in areas of low cell coverage
  • Use a holster or pocket
  • Get a Charging Pod
  • Automatically turn your BlackBerry smartphone on and off
  • Review backlighting options
  • Keep battery connections clean

Blackberry is in the unique position as with Apple where they make their own hardware and software.

The first real Apple device I owned for my own was the iPad. It was also the first time I experienced amazing battery life in a device. I’m not talking about stand by time. I mean actual use. Even to this day the iPad goes through a full weekend of heavy usage without needing a charge.

If you reread the suggested list it just feels user hostile. Why should your mother, grandmother, wife, daughter care about “closing apps and games”? And you can try that test with all of the suggestions in the list.

Apple and ‘design’ gets talked about a lot. But it’s not just design in regards to physical hardware. It’s design when it comes to the user experience. Even as a techie, when I use my iPad, I don’t feel or notice the battery usage. The technology disappears and I can get on with using and not worrying about the device and when it will need its next charge.

To me design means taking things into consideration. And when Apple designs devices like laptops, iPad and the iPhone they take battery life into consideration.

It’s one thing to say that Blackberry phones have poor battery life. But the thing is, they didn’t take battery life into consideration and didn’t design their OS and related apps around extending battery life. And that’s the thing that differentiates Apple and why elements of their products can be discussed and dissected. It is because you know that someone put in design, thought and consideration.

26 OCTOBER 2011 @ 10:50PM


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