Storm vs. iPhone 3G: 8 reasons to pick the Storm

With the new BlackBerry Storm set to hit US stores, many smartphone enthusiasts looking to go the touch screen route will have to make a decision between RIM's first touch device and the iPhone 3G. In this second installment of a two-part series we offer up eight reasons to embrace the Storm

The BlackBerry Storm.

The BlackBerry Storm.

3) Touch screen provides tactile feedback

One longstanding complaint about the iPhone's touch screen is its lack of tactile feedback--in other words, the screen offers no response when you hit a key, making it difficult to type without staring directly at the screen.

RIM listened to the frustrated iPhone users when it developed the Storm's keyboard, which uses "Click Through" technology to provide both audible and tactile feedback whenever you click the screen. In fact, the screen on the Storm is really just one large button that actually depresses when you click it.

I recently spent some time with the Storm, and though the device I experimented with was a preproduction unit and the software was buggy, it was easy to see how the small amount of feedback the new screen provides could potentially improve typing efficiency.

If rapid typing is a must, you might want to consider a device with a full QWERTY, physical keyboard. But if your mind is set on a touch screen smartphone, choose the Storm.

2) Copy and paste

Perhaps the most notable feature lacking in the current iPhone 3G is a copy and paste function. Copy and paste might not seem like such a big deal on a mobile device, but just try transferring a URL from a Web page to an email message without it, and you'll soon see why such a simple function can be so important.

BlackBerry Storm users will be able to cut and paste text by simply pressing a finger down at the beginning of a selection and then another finger at the end to highlight the text. And after you make a selection, the BlackBerry Menu key shows options to copy the text and paste it at a later time.

Smartphone users who frequently share links with friends and colleagues might want to pick the Storm over the iPhone because of its ability to copy and paste text.

1) Multitasking champ

My final reason to choose the BlackBerry Storm over the iPhone 3G is its ability to "multitask." In the smartphone context, multitasking means running multiple applications in the background while using your device for other--though possibly connected--purposes.

Because recent versions of the BlackBerry handheld OS allow for multitasking, if you use just about any RIM device you can, say, leave your AIM instant messaging application open and active while surfing the Web or playing a video game. That means IMs that you get while using the device for other purposes will still be received and, depending on individual settings, you'll be alerted.

Right now, the iPhone OS does not allow for multitasking, and as such, you can only run one third-party application at a time. (Some default Apple applications, like the iPod, can be used while other apps are running.)

If you ever want to be able to leave an IM client active while reading your news and/or checking sports scores via separate apps, you'll want to choose the Storm over the iPhone 3G.

That wraps up my reasons to go with the Storm. If you haven't already, be sure to check out "8 Reasons to Pick the iPhone Over the Storm."

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Al Sacco

CIO (US)
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