How to Bring BlackBerry’s Best Email Features to iPhone or Android

RIM looking for the best email experience for mobile create, and it did. Unfortunately for them, smart phones now do much more than email. Yet it is worth pausing to look at what brought BlackBerry mobile e-mail, and to point out how the iPhone and Android users, some of the best features RIM's to replicate. VXGAZN6E4NA2

The Core Difference Between BlackBerry and iPhone/Android: Email

In full, I started writing this post after a group of former BlackBerry users moved to my email notification service, AwayFind. I started to dig deeper into this AwayFind had to do with BlackBerry, and it all makes sense: BlackBerry is a tool for server to server corporate email with a mobile device using the interface. Android and iPhone are laptops with email clients as one of their applications.

What these different architectures mean for Smartphone users:

1. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) is behind a firewall of a company and speaks directly to a mail server in real time. It stores all the parameters of mobile devices, and therefore does not communicate with the BlackBerry when it is something he needs. The BES is designed to make email on the BlackBerry as quickly and efficiently as possible, and using the phone (and its battery) only when necessary.  

2. Android and IOS devices check the mail from the mail server directly from their company, on the Internet. What happens in one of two ways, the phone asks for a few minutes apart, "is there a new message?" or the phone does its best to maintain a connection to the mail server (s) directly, pending a change in the Inbox. In both cases, it takes up the battery life, and is neither as fast nor as reliable. Without a server in the middle, the phone doing the dirty work. 

The reason is simple: BlackBerry is an enterprise e-mail device, Android and iPhone are consumer devices with software that monitors e-mail. If you ever traveled with a laptop, you know that e-mail software works great and sometimes works sometimes unreliable e-mail is not in the center of the universe on laptops. And that includes on Android and iPhone. Without a server-to-server mail environment, iPhones or Androids will never perform the same as BlackBerry devices, but the difference in potential is smaller. There are now both native and third-party ways of the worlds together.

How to Replicate Features that BlackBerry Users Miss on iPhone and Android Devices  

Autotext/Word Substitution 

BlackBerry has a robust shortcut-> sentence common tool that even allows you to insert variables such as date / time. For example "LMK" can automatically turn into "let me know." With iOS5 is now relatively easy ... but Android still has not quite caught up.

IOS, go to Settings> General> Keyboard> Shortcuts. Type the full expression of the "phrase" and the abbreviation in the "shortcut". You can see some of my examples in the image below:

On Android, you most likely will not find automatic text with the keyboard that comes pre-installed. Even Swype (the most popular third-party keyboard) does not include it. Auto Text keyboard is one of the most popular applications for it. Just be aware that when you install a tool like this, you change the keyboard of your phone, not just adding text automatically.

Once you have Auto Text available, I recommend you take a few minutes to insert common phrases. As you can see in the picture above, I have shortcuts to my e-mail and common phrases. For example, "afloc" turns into "I'm at 169 11th St, San Francisco" (which is my office address).

Blinking Indicator for New Emails 

BlackBerry is perhaps best known for his multi-colored flashing LED, which let you know of different states for the phone. By default, red means "new message," green "battery low", and the medium blue "Bluetooth". People were particularly keen to display the red (more on that in the next section, in particular video). 

On Android, there are many applications that allow you to customize the color and behavior of the LED, but not all work on all phones. A popular application is called Blink (pictured right), which displays an indicator of a particular color for a phone call or SMS. Although it will not let you know about new emails, you can use a program that converts an email into an SMS to accomplish this task.

On the iPhone, you can go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Flash LED Alerts and turn it on. If you place your phone face down on your desk, you will see the light LED flash once for each notification. There is no way to put a wink persistent (without jailbreaking and using a program like FlashEnhancer).

Notification of Only Certain New Emails   

The BlackBerry, you can even customize their LED flashes for only certain emails from specific people. This is one of the most popular BlackBerry, because it can be embarrassing to see a light that flashes whenever an email arrives. If you use Gmail and Android, you can send specific senders to specific labels. Then on the Android Gmail app, you can define specific tags to trigger a notification. (On the Android Gmail, go to Settings, click your mail account and click configure email notifications of the two labels and notification.
Currently, iOS is not proposing that. However, the iOS6, they introduced a VIP email feature where you can feature specific people. Then, when people send you an email, a notification will appear with the message context. 

Keyboard Shortcuts for Compose 

On the BlackBerry, it is always fast to create a new email. From the Home screen, you simply press C (because it is a physical keyboard!) To create a new email or SMS. There are all kinds of shortcuts for things like that.

While this may be possible with new AssistiveTouch IOS, it is certainly not designed for it, and I would not recommend trying. Fortunately, pressing the Home button, click Email, and pressing Compose should not take more than 2 seconds. Compose button is available from each viewpoint display e-mail (unless you are already composing an email).

On Android, it may take a little longer to reach Composer (about twice the number of clicks in some cases), but you can use a gesture to navigate directly to the Gmail application. My gesture shortcut launcher is an application to try, to be reduced at least a few steps.

BlackBerry vs iPhone and Android for Email    

 If you spend all day responding to emails on the go, BlackBerry will be faster. But not because of the above features it comes down to the keyboard. Swype for Android can help, and the IOS keyboard is very good, too ... but nothing beats a physical keyboard.

On the other hand, if you spend more time reading and processing e-mail, then the larger screens and easy navigation will make the experience more pleasant email, and perhaps as productive.
And it goes without saying that the iPhone and Android have a much wider range of both productivity applications and games. Multimedia for news management tasks, and even maintain the device in sync (with other things that business mail), BlackBerry has yet to catch up.