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BlackBerry Diaries: day two

In which Nic receives some polite and helpfully worded tips from the BlackBerry community.

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Well, let it never be said that BlackBerry is without a vocal and dedicated user base.

After the day one Diary, I was rather inundated with suggestions in the comments, via email and on social media. The main suggestion being, of course, "learn how to load Android apps".

So that's what I'll be doing tonight and tomorrow. The ability to easily load and run Android apps is one of the big features of BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, albeit a slightly hidden one.

I'm going to try the suggested method of using the Snap APK Downloader to test out a few Android APKs. If that's all working fine, I'm going to install App Backup and Restore on my Note 3 and then export the lot and see how that works. Check back in tomorrow for a progress report.

The other great tip — and one that's been very helpful — is the pinch-in pinch-out function on the Hub. Pinch in and you just see unread messages, pinch out and you get the lot. It's simple and really useful, like a lot of the BlackBerry functions.

So, thank you all for the cavalcade of convivial comments.

I am, however, noticing that in some cases there's an extra step here and there when I'm using the hub. For example, in the native Gmail app, I can select multiple email messages by tapping on them. In the Hub I need to long press a message to open a menu to select the option that allows me to select multiple messages. It's only two extra presses, but if anyone does have a solution that I'm missing, please let me know.

In terms of daily use, I am finding it hard to get used to the small screen on the Q10. It's great for email and Twitter. But my morning routine often has me catching up on news and Facebook while still in bed and the 3.1-inch screen doesn't have quite enough real estate for me. Again, I'm coming from a very large-screened phone, so it isn't a big surprise that this is a bit of a sticking point.

(That said — and while we're talking about size — I'd forgotten what it was like to have a phone that comfortably fits in a pocket. It's a little strange.)

In fact, I'd call today another success story. There are still a few issues — no luck fixing the calendar issues I flagged yesterday, and for some reason I have one contact that refuses to allow itself to be edited — but nothing serious.

I'm actually quite looking forward to day three and the great Android experiment.