In my original post on the Blackberry Storm I criticized the phone for what I saw as two fatal flaws. First, the Blackberry email keyboard didn't work very well (no better than and in some ways worse than an iPhone keyboard). In a Blackberry, that's a problem, big time. Second, the fluidity of the touch screen browsing and user interface was, well, not very fluid. Things you would expect to happen, didn't happen. This original blog is here:
A lot of other reviewers saw it pretty much the same way. Blackberry, not being stupid, immediately released a new version of the software and apparently corrected the mechanics of the keyboard. So, Gadgetman went back to work.
Well, it is better. But better isn't the same as good. The Storm's screen is workable and I'd say maybe it is 10% better than an iPhone keyboard for email and other typing tasks. Since the iPhone pretty much sucks at typing, that isn't enough better in my view to make the Blackberry Storm the device of choice if you do lots of text entry. Not even close.
The new software also makes the Storm user experience less frustrating. For example, scrolling the screen with your fingertip works pretty well now.
But I still find that some software elements are confounding. Take for example, the browser. There is the typical field for entering a URL if you know the address. There is then another field, as there is on all modern computer browsers, where you can enter a search term or terms. Next to that field is a button labelled "Google". Problem is, when you enter a search term and press Google, the first thing that happens is that you are given a choice of Google, Wikipedia or Dictionary.com. OK, I guess, though it seems like an unnecessary step. Anyway, you select Google and...nothing happens! No search, no anything.
I could go on, but you get the idea. The concept of a touchscreen device with a good keyboard is appealing. But the Blackberry Storm with its current software and hardware isn't it. Maybe version 2.0 will fix the fluidity issues. I'm not sure that would be good enough, but it would be a decent device.