Despite Torch failings, why I reluctantly upgraded to BlackBerry OS 6

Summary:I dropped an BlackBerry operating system upgrade because of one small nitty bug which drove me to madness. What made me upgrade in the first place?

I have been reluctant to upgrade to BlackBerry OS 6 since my less than ideal experience with the OS 6-preloaded BlackBerry Torch. It was weighty, clunky and in short, I would not recommend to my business-minded peers.

But when I settled on the Bold 9700, I was far more content with a simple BlackBerry, with no flashy features or sliding keyboards, touch-screen technology or any of the 'faff' that the Torch has.

And then it occurred to me how very boring I was. Why do I not want the flashy technology? Why am I, and so many of my generation happy with a standard, candy-bar phone that doesn't slide, twist or wobble when you open it?

In the end, perhaps one can dismiss the complicated sociological hyperbole, and settle on the simple fact that the Torch is an awful house brick phone.

But this week, truthfully, I want a change; to spice things up a notch.

This is a long-standing 'feature' of my generation. The need to try the new, the want and desire for change and short contracts on their devices.

While I did not want to trade in my now stupidly considered 24-month contract, for which I still have over a year and a half to go, I became rather bored of the standard, the normality of the operating system and the need to add an extra pizazz to my mobile life.

I wanted something new, but within the BlackBerry range. I am to the BlackBerry like every iPhone user is to Apple -- except without the zealotry and the religious-like connotations.

I like the iPhone a great deal, personally. I just prefer a hardware QWERTY-keyboard on my phone. I can't say it any simpler than it is.

I backed everything up; I saved my contacts and wrote down all the applications that I had installed -- just to be on the safe side. I performed the upgrade and everything was wonderfully intact; except the folder structure.

Regardless of this, the thing that had bugged me from the start, when I used the Torch and the new OS 6 to begin with, was the default resting home screen.

The home screen feels like it's driven through a mountain of steroids with the windows down, and really not in a good way. It is flimsy, there is too much going on, and for non-touch devices it's a nightmare. I still haven't worked out how to access the main folder menu without tapping the menu key twice.

But relief and respite came in form of a suspicious-looking theme at first, which enabled an OS 5 theme on the OS 6 device.

It's quite amazing to think I dropped an upgrade on the most part, besides the hardware failures, to avoid the home screen of an updated operating system. Now that's fixed, I've discovered longer battery life, better data and signal retention and some rather groovy applications which I all but overlooked in the first place.

In short, OS 6 is a great operating system. Whether or not it will be better than the upcoming QNX-based OS 7, we have yet to see.

Regardless of the poor, non-touch considerations of the default screen -- arguably the most important screen there is on the device -- it will be something I shall keep.

Until, this afternoon at least, when I give the leaked OS 7 a try.

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Topics: BlackBerry, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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