When our editor asked the motley crew of ZDNet bloggers if we had a particular item that we'd consider "dead finger tech" (i.e., a bit of technological goodness that you'd only take from us by prying it from our cold, dead fingers), I immediately thought of my BlackBerry. I love my BlackBerry. A lot. My wife would say I love it a little too much.
Of course, fellow blogger, Jason Perlow, took a little different approach. When I thought about it a bit more, though, I realized it wasn't so much the BlackBerry I loved. If you traded me an Android phone or even an iPhone, I probably wouldn't fight you to the death. It's the content and varied means of communications I can access. Nowadays, most of that content/communication comes through Google Apps.
Now that we've moved our whole district to Google's Educational Apps and even my Luddite wife accesses my schedule through a shared Google calendar, I use Google Apps constantly. I even uninstalled OpenOffice, in favor of keeping 90% of my work in the cloud, accessible from said BlackBerry or any computer at which I happen to be sitting. The other 10% is the stuff for which I would have used Word or Excel anyway.
While I still use the built in messaging/mail application on my BlackBerry since it does such a nice job of managing SMS, phone, and email, I increasingly use the Google Mobile App. At a couple hundred emails a day into both my personal and school accounts, as well as easy access to personal and school calendars and personal and school documents, the effortless search capabilities built in make it a no-brainer.
Of course, this means that when I leave work, there isn't much separation between my personal and work life. I'm still working, emailing, and communicating when I'm out of the office. What that means, though, is that Google Apps allows me to be very flexible in my schedule and very responsive to the people I support.
You can have my BlackBerry, but Google Apps has become essential to the way I work and communicate, both in and out of work. By using Google Apps for our educational domain in conjunction with the Google Apps associated with my own Gmail account, I'm a Google-guy. It'll be the smartphone with Google Mobile Apps installed that you'll be prying from my cold dead fingers, regardless of the manufacturer.