A colleague of mine that happens to be an iPhone user but had to get a Verizon BlackBerry for work decided to write down his thoughts on the BlackBerry Storm.  I posted his commentary below and would like to know what you guys think…

I am what Apple people would call a recent switcher but I converted  from the Apple iPhone 3G to the Blackberry Storm.  I have been an extremely happy iPhone user since it released nearly 18 months ago.  I suffered through all the bugs, dropped calls, user interface issues, and many other  issues.  I got the Blackberry because I had to switch to a corporately managed phone plan on Verizon and the Storm is the closest experience to an iPhone I could get.

The Calm before the ‘Storm’

While I waited for my Storm to arrive  I used a BlackBerry 8830..  In the following paragraphs I’ve chronicled my initial experiences, both as a business and casual user of my BlackBerry Storm.  I am tolerant of technology and understand that bugs are part of technology and I trust that good companies will sort out the bugs quickly.   In many cases I’ve outlined where I feel the Storm/Verizon could have learned from its iPhone/ATT competition.

The User Interface Experience:

For starters the BlackBerry is by no stretch of the imagination a good multimedia device.  If you have used an iPod, Zune, or even a DVR you will see the flaws within seconds of using this device.  Let’s start with syncing, using the Blackberry Media Manager  leaves much to be desired.  My goal was to have podcasts sync to my mobile. Something I frequently did with my iPhone.  Syncing did not work so I had to manually copy content to the SD card.  There is no visual indicator in the player for what content is new, which is critical when managing podcasts that update on a scheduled basis.    The iPhone managed podcasts almost like a playlist where all new episodes from specific show are displayed under a single node.   On the Storm you have a flat list view.  This would be great if all podcasts followed a universal naming convention thus order of new to old shows exists rather randomly.

Fast Forward and Rewind are not obvious or accurate.  To access the control, tap the glass and media timeline appears.  Now press the glass and move the slider to the desired location, another press sets the position.  For me this second press often jumped the track forward or backward 2-5 minutes.

Most podcasts have a setting to ‘remember playback position’ thus if you jump between shows it will always resume there you left off.  This is not available in the blackberry player thus all shows restart from the beginning.   These shortcomings are driving me to purchase a Zune or iPod touch for mobile media, so much for the 8GB microSD card!