While I have been a long-time Android user, I recently got a new BlackBerry Q10 and it’s been an amazing experience for a lot of different reasons. Apart from a handful of Android apps I miss on BlackBerry OS 10, I’ve installed most of them (click here to learn how) and I am loving how the OS works. In this post I am going to be writing about 6 things I feel the BlackBerry OS 10 does better than Android.
#1. Swipe Up to Wake/Unlock/Advanced Interactions
I know we can get swipe to wake on Android (or double tap to wake) but it isn’t something that is available across the operating system or on all devices. The BlackBerry OS 10 however supports this feature natively and I love waking up my Q10 without having to press a key. You just have to swipe upwards from the base of the screen and it wakes up.
Similarly, regardless of which app you are using, you can simply swipe up from the base to minimize it instantly. That’s it, you don’t have to press keys, there is no delay – you simply swipe up. It’s quick, simple and efficient.
BlackBerry OS 10.3 even has new ‘Advanced Interactions’ which allow you to wake up your phone when you pick it up from a surface.
Since the new 10.3.1 update is here (read this for our full coverage and review), the BB OS has gotten even better. The advanced interactions settings allow you to wake your device by simply picking it up from a flat service, mute it or go into battery saving mode by flipping it over and prevent it from sleeping as long as you are holding it up.
Note: If you want to use gesture control on your Android you should check this out.
While it took a little getting used to, multitasking on BlackBerry OS 10 is much better than it is on Android I feel. Any app can be instantly minimized with the swipe up gesture and is then accessible as a small tile on a separate screen.
You can then go back to any app you minimized by simply tapping on its tile or choose to close it properly by tapping the ‘x’ in its title bar.
Moreover, multitasking is quite smooth and I have personally experienced no noticeable lag whatsoever, even when multitasking between several different apps.
#3. BlackBerry Hub
The BlackBerry hub is something you learn to love in time. It unites all your text messages, IMs, emails, social network feeds, call records and voicemails in one centralized place. This allows you to get all your notifications in order and view them and respond how you want.
With the Hub I don’t really have to worry about missing an email or a message and even when I am busy, I know I can always get back on top of my incoming mails and messages when I get time. It just gives you much more control over your communication, something all smartphones should really do.
Moreover, you can easily access the Hub by swiping towards the right from the left edge of the screen. What more do you want?
With the new 10.3.1 update, the BlackBerry Hub gets even better. It is now faster, gives you more control over your communication and prioritizes the most important and useful actions.
I love the BlackBerry OS 10’s search feature. You don’t have to open up a dedicated search app or function for it. Just start typing your desired term from the homescreen and the search window opens up automatically.
If I type ‘Hello’ for instance, the search app instantly shows me a variety of results, including those in my contacts, my emails, my text messages and my IM conversations along with extended search options in services like Bing, Google, Yahoo and Twitter.
You actually have to try this to see how truly useful it is. A surefire winner in my opinion.
Notifications are also done superbly on BlackBerry OS 10. Regardless of which app or screen you are on, all new incoming messages and notifications are shown momentarily towards the top edge of the screen with a quick reply option.
While there are several apps on Android which provide the same functionality, they don’t work well with all apps like games etc. where notifications can only be checked if you minimize the running app. Here they work on every app and have virtually no effect on performance.
While Android phones can be flashed to bypass the security lockscreen and get access to documents stored on the internal memory (unless it is wiped), the same can’t be done on BlackBerry OS 10.
If you use a security password for locking your BlackBerry, it gives you 10 attempts at unlocking it. If you enter the wrong password 10 times, the phone automatically shuts down and starts shredding your digital files.
There is no way around it if you forget your password, so be careful.
Even though I feel someone with a bad sense of humour could use this to give you a heart attack, it is still a great security feature giving you peace of mind in case your device gets stolen or lost.
Writing this post doesn’t mean I no longer love my Android devices, but the truth is, there are certain things Android could do better. The features I have mentioned above really make the BlackBerry OS 10 shine and aren’t just gimmicks. They are actually useful and provide real-world benefits and advantages.
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If you’ve got something else you’d like to add to this list, please feel free to comment below and let us know!