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iPhone/iPad 2 vs Android vs Blackberry: Which system should you choose?

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When choosing devices, should you buy a device or look at a whole system? In other words, if you buy an iPad, should you buy it because of the iPad or because of it’s ability to almost seamlessly connect to an iPhone and a Mac computer, and even perhaps an iPod.

You have to look at what you ultimately want to do with the device(s). If you just want a smartphone, your choices are several. Some devices, like an Android phone, integrate well with their tablet counterparts but also to several types of computers (e.g. Windows, Mac and Linux), but don’t play well with other devices. At least not without some more complex workarounds, like third-party software that can sometimes feel like it only works when you type in just the right command, stand on one leg, and whistle Dixie.

Unless you’re fairly tech-savvy, picking a system is usually the best choice. First, look at what you already have. If you have a Blackberry and love it, you may want to look at the Playbook tablet, since the two run nearly identical systems, you’ll already know the interface and apps, and if you sync with your computer (PC or Mac), you’re set up well.

The Android comes in so many flavors (so many different devices) that it may be the most difficult of all to sync, though Google backs it up so well that devices talk well through “the cloud”, i.e. over the air to Google’s servers and back.

I recently had to replace my Android phone, and when the new one arrived, I followed a few screens of simple instructions and my phone was connected to my carrier, synced with my Gmail account and it automatically loaded up my new phone with most of my stuff, from contacts to settings to apps I’d downloaded to my wallpaper. It was an amazingly automatic and easy transition to a new phone.

My calendar and email are set up to sync with my Mac, but that took several extra steps, not as seamless as it would be if I’d have had an iPhone. My first generation iPad plays really well with my Mac, and ultimately I’m thinking I may switch to an iPhone for the fully integrated package.

The Blackberry phones are seamless with the Blackberry Playbook and software for Windows or Mac, and if you like to do Powerpoint presentations, the Blackberry Presenter device is a really handy, amazingly portable device for that.

If you already have devices, your choice may be simple. If you only have a computer and want to get a smartphone and/or tablet, your options are open. If you’re on a Mac, the iPhone and iPad are completely integrated, and play well with Apple TV. If you go with Blackberry, you have several choices for phones and one choice for a tablet. Android offers a lot of choices, and you may do very well to go with one manufacturer for all devices, e.g. Sharp’s Galapagos phone, tablet and HDTV, so they can seamlessly trade content. Running a Sony Android phone, a Motorola Xoom tablet and a Samsung HDTV can work, but if they all run the hardware from the same company, they’re likely to be VERY easy to connect so they talk to each other.

You might guess that this author is a big fan of Apple products, and I am. They tend to work the way I’d expect them to and are very intuitive and user-friendly. I do love some things about each of the systems, but at the end of the day, as tech-savvy and sometimes nerdy as I am, I like things to be as simple as possible.

What system you should choose will depend on what you already know, and ask the advice of friends who use a system and what they like and don’t like about them, and just go into a store or two and try your options to see if they make sense to you. Technology is getting friendlier and easier.


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