Monday I ended my relationship with Sprint. I spent a whole 8 hours as a free man then signed my soul away to AT&T. It’s been one of the best purchases I’ve made.
I had a BlackBerry Curve 8300, and it was a very frustrating phone. It did text messaging and email well enough, but using the internet was nearly impossible. Opera Mini was the only usable browser; the BlackBerry browser took several minutes to load even simple sites. At some point the phone decided enough was enough and I lost the ability to install applications. It would start the process then claim it was out of memory after 10 minutes or so.
I’ve always neglected the social side of the internet, and this didn’t help. There was a Facebook application, but using it was a pain and I never quite got the hang of it. The Twitter app was obviously not designed for the trackball-based BB phones, and I was probably at the very bottom of the requirements because it generally took a minute or two to load individual tweets. I had a data plan but every time I tried to use data I was foiled. Perhaps that’s why Sprint sold me unlimited data.
I’ve used my iPhone constantly since purchasing it. It’s been very liberating. Twitter’s usable. Facebook is a breeze. I can use Gowalla and a ton of other silly apps I could only glimpse through cracks in the smartphone wall. Now my music’s always with me, I can always take a photo, and I can always take a quick note if I need to. This was all *possible* with my Blackberry, but it took so much longer to get everything done I never did.
Time to fire Chekhov’s gun; how did this phone change my life? It’s caused me to expand my social interactions by a teeny bit, and this is a breakthrough for someone who usually doesn’t leave the house. My wife’s been out of town for a week. Usually when she’s gone my weekend schedule consists of waking up, playing video games, then going to bed. This weekend was a triumph. I went downtown and worked on some Gowalla trips. I wouldn’t have gone to the Zilker Kite Festival alone had it not been for the desire to liveblog the experience via tweets (unfortunately AT&T’s network wasn’t up to the task; I hope for their sake they do better at SXSW.) In addition, my increased Facebook use has reopened connections with people I haven’t talked to in years. I noticed someone was coming in for SXSW and we’re going to meet. If I still had my BlackBerry I’d have been ignorant they were coming to Austin. If I’ve had this positive an experience in a week, I can’t wait to discover what other great experiences are in store.