Today marks the highly anticipated release of the BlackBerry Torch 9800, the newest incarnation of the BlackBerry model that is supposed to compete with the iPhone and Android smartphones. There are two notable upgrades for seniors to note.
First of all, this new model is the first BlackBerry to have a sliding keyboard as well as a touchscreen. As wonderful as the iPhone happens to be, many aging adults with subpar eye-hand coordination aren't able to effectively use the touchscreen. For that reason, the BlackBerry's dual option is quite notable for seniors, who will now have the ability to navigate the phone with whichever interface is preferred. If you want to send a long e-mail, then a keyboard might be the more appropriate choice, but to send off a quick text or to engage in internet browsing, then the touchscreen will likely suffice.
The second major alteration happens to be the processing system, the upgrade to BlackBerry OS 6. It is a lot more intuitive and user friendly, not to mention faster, than previous BlackBerry models. Additionally, the folks at BlackBerry aren't shy about parroting Android and iPhone features: there is an attractive homescreen, an effective browser, a multi-use media player, and a number of quick efficient commands.
These sorts of add ons are definitely a step in the right direction for BlackBerry, a smartphone brand that has lost some luster amongst seniors lately. However, BlackBerry is still light years behind its competitors with the availability of great apps for seniors. This site has spent over a year chronicling useful, meaningful iPhone and Android apps for seniors, and suffice to say, BlackBerry is still lingering behind.
While the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is a great phone, until a series of comparable apps for seniors become are available for BlackBerry users, it seems as if iPhones and Androids are still the top smartphone choices for seniors.
BlackBerry Torch 9800: So This Is BlackBerry's Dark Knight