How to move from BlackBerry to iPhone


There are no more ardent believers than the BlackBerry faithful who have remained loyal to their Qwerty-keyboarded phones despite the company’s travails.

But when it comes to shifting to an iPhone, these BlackBerry users are filled with fear: in part because of “bill shock” and in part because they feel like dinosaurs entering a new smartphone age.

Switching to Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android (which we will discuss later) operating systems is like switching from the old faithful to something brand new.

Forget your fear. A few pointers will make the transition smoother and pain-free – and hopefully bill shock free.

From paying R60 a month for unlimited data, BlackBerry users are sometimes befuddled by the strange need to buy a data bundle. These generally come as add-ons to a package; although most of the new deals offer sizable data components too.

For the first two months you should buy yourself once-off extra bundles or at least a gigabyte (GB).

Research has shown that smartphones use 35 times as much data as so-called feature phones. The answer to this is fairly simple: from driving a VW Beetle, suddenly you are behind the seat of a Lamborghini. When the traffic cop pulls you over for doing 200km/h, you scratch your head and wonder how the speedometer got away from you…

Substitute police offer for your phone bill, in this case, and that’s what so many first-time smartphone switchers have experienced.

The first thing you do to avoid bill shock, is buy extra bundles.

The second is to be conscious of what you can and can’t do with a smartphone – and where you can jump onto a WiFi network. Many companies now offer them to employees who check their email on their smartphones, while coffee shops and friends will gladly give you their password. It’s a strange sign of levels of friendship, I’ve noticed, with how people share their WiFi at home with different levels of intimate friends. If you’re on the list, you’ve made it.

The third thing you can do to avoid bill shock is download a clever app called Onavo Extend. This works similarly to BlackBerry’s servers by compressing the data you use on your phone.

iPhone 5SSetting up your new iPhone is an easy process, that the phone itself will direct you through. If you don’t have an Apple ID yet, you can create one with any email address or you can get a address, to use Apple own cloud-based services. I’ve only had grief with these, so skip using it for your calendar and contacts unless you aren’t syncing your phone to a computers. Apple only offers 5GB of free storage, and you’ll have to buy more capacity.

Don’t use iCloud for anything more than email. If you already have an iTunes account linked to an email address, it’s still worth getting

When you set up the iPhone, choose to back up to your computer.

Choose the “encrypt this backup” – it saves all your app and network passwords. If you ever lose your phone, or it gets stolen, you can quickly and easily repopulate a new device will all of your old details – from the last time you backed up. The same goes for upgrading your handset. It’s very handy.

A very important thing to do is always have a passcode on any device that gets your email or SMS. Under settings, in the passcode section, choose the option to wipe the phone if the passcode is entered wrong 10 times.

Smartphones with bright touchscreens tend to chew through their batteries, so turn on the battery percentage (Settings > General > About – turn on the battery percentage) and get a car charger, an extra charging cable for your desk, etc. Battery life sucks (as it does on any smartphone with a big screen), just learn to work around it.


About Author

Toby Shapshak is editor-in-chief and publisher of Stuff, a Forbes contributor and a Financial Mail columnist. He has been writing about technology and the internet for 20 years and his TED Global talk on innovation in Africa has over 1,5-million views. He has written about Africa's tech and start-up ecosystem for Forbes, CNN and The Guardian in London. He was named in GQ's top 30 men in media and the Mail & Guardian newspaper's influential young South Africans. He has been featured in the New York Times. GQ said he "has become the most high-profile technology journalist in the country" while the M&G wrote: "Toby Shapshak is all things tech... he reigns supreme as the major talking head for everything and anything tech."

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