I have been playing with the first smartphone to run Ubuntu for Phones, the BQ Aquaris E4.5 (See specifications and hands-on) for a few days now. The 4.5-inch smartphone is an interesting device. It is interesting because it is the first smartphone I am holding in years that lacks both of the instant messaging apps that I use on a day-to-day basis – BBM and WhatsApp. Using such a phone simply leaves me with a feeling of being disconnected from the world. Remember my March 2015 article, The question of apps and services for Ubuntuphones.
There’s a Twitter app. There’s Facebook too. There’s even also Google Plus. So social sharing isn’t non-existing on the platform. But 95% of my personal communications happen on BBM and WhatsApp. At first, I kept wondering how anyone in 2015 is expected to be able to comfortably use a smartphone without BBM and WhatsApp. It took a while for it to filter in, but it did. There are people – lots of people – who do not use either of these platforms. Ubuntu OS has Telegram installed, but something tells me that a person who does not use WhatsApp or BBM is not likely to be aware of or even use Telegram.
Anyway, back to the point: there are people who would be at home with the Aquaris E4.5. I eventually began to ask myself if I could. Could I live comfortably without my IM apps? Perhaps life would be a lot less noisy. Perhaps a lot more quiet and focused. Would good old email, SMS and phone calls do in 2015? I suspect that it is quite possible. I just am not sure if I am ready to test it out. So, for now, my primary SIM card stays in a phone that has my instant messaging apps running.