I moved onto the Blackberry Passport phone from the iphone 5s recently. It looks gorgeous, is shaped to capture eye balls (it’s the only square phone on the market that I know of!) and the reviews swear its battery wouldn’t fail you on a stroll through the Sahara desert (so why even talk about a corporate day). So like I said, its a cool gadget. I took it therefore – all new and shiny – to an important meeting, all suited and ready to be the envy of the crowd. The meeting began on time – and all of us freshly brushed, voices toned and what not – put our phones on silent (there’s always a little button sticking out for this on the side right?) and got ready for some deep discussion. And five minutes into the meeting, a big “DONG” sounded – like a hammer coming down on a rusty nail in a whisper-quite room. All heads turned to me – for I was the offender and I realized to my horror that whatever the button on the side was for – it wasn’t to turn the phone into a silent tomb. Flushed and sweating, I walked out attempting to turn the thing off (and ended up shutting it down). For the record, the DONG was from an email marketer who wanted to sell me a farm – house on the outskirts (around 100 kms from anywhere) complete with cows, hens and so on.
Cursing freely, I set down to analyze how the blackberry could be asked to feign laryngitis on demand – and I discovered to my delight that not only was it equipped to go silent, but had the capaility to make my life so much better in many, many ways. Instead of just features (silent,normal and so on), the blackberry team had also added “day in life” modes – “bedside”, “meeting” and “do not disturb”. Its these that we will discus today (and I am sure when you are done reading, all of you are going to storm your neighborhood store for blackberrys – time I got myself some of their stocks I guess!).
“Bedside” mode: This one makes the blackberry don its night pyjamas and turn itself into an alarm clock – literally. It dims the clock (a big analog one – not the smallish digital ones you see on the competitors), turns off all notifications (you can choose to turn something on if you’d like), and waits like a rooster to herald in the new morning. Sweet undisturbed sleep is what you are guranteed – I’ll tell you its lovely! The only thing it dosen’t do today is take you in the arms and rock you to sleep singing a lullaby on the side. But given the massive number of updates form blackberry, am sure these feature somewhere in the fall roadmap!
“Meeting” mode: When you choose to accept a meeting (or a conference call meet), the one thing you don’t want is to appear to multi-task or look insensitive (like I did in the scenario at the beginning of this post!) and get the speaker all upset. I do know though that you, I and every average meeting-attender does multitask (I am an old timer, no point in giving me that “holier than though” look!) – in fact, on the lines of “I know what you did last summer”, let me recount what you do in a typical meeting (take that!) – its all neatly tabuled by Intercall:
No matter which of the aforesaid stuff you are doing, the phone will go all silent (while bringing in the latest cricket and soccer playoff scores, recipes, whats app and facebook updates etc. – silently). As a bonus, every time you accept a meeting it goes silent, you don’t have to repeat all the “search and mute” dance – its all taken care off by the geniuses at blackberry!. Truly a godsend huh?
“Do not disturb” mode: Imagine your name is Mr.Dhoni. You and your boys have promised the nation that as far as the cricket world cup trophy is concerned, you #wontgiveitback! But turns out the Australians have other plans and beat India all ends up. A very angry Mr.Arnab (from #TimesNow of course) is calling you on behalf of the nation (cue to him bellowing “the nation wants to know..” ) – it seems a very sticky time to hang around. The question is what can you do? You can take off to the Alps (unless there’s a bollywood shooting going on there in which case your pictures will still reach the remotest Indian villages!) or you can simply sit tight in your room, lock the cup up and turn on the “do not disturb” mode on your blackberry. The phone will turn into somethign like the deaf adder from the scriptures – and deny access to everyone no matter where – next door, in the himalayas or in Jupitar. Unreliable rumours are on that should folks still try to reach you, the phone will threaten to effect collateral damage (perhaps they’s take some advice from Mr.Schwarzenegger’s Collateral Damage days).
So there you go – instead of just features (silent, not silent, vibrate and so on), Blackberry has just upped the game by providing real life scenarios. Way to go blackberry. I am confident that over time it will add more scenarios – just a few that come to mind:
- boss mode on Friday evening – so your boss can’t reach you on the cusp of leaving for the weekend and shove some tasks which will keep you working through the weekend!)
- Appraiser mode which will automatically sends messages notifying you are on vacation and effectively render you unavailable during the critical phase of the performance cycle for your team
- Subway/ Starbucks mode that automatically answers the 100s of questions both of these wonderful stores ask for every product you order (eg.cold/hot/skim/cream – and this is just for milk!)
I rest my case. When are you getting your berry?