Last week I helped a friend’s father to move his contacts from his Nokia phone to the his new Blackberry device. And it was not a pleasant experience. It involved:
- Nokia’s PC Suite to import the contacts into the Outlook addressbook
- Blackberry’s Desktop Manager to import the contacts from Outlook.
Note that I had to use three different packages of software to move contacts from one phone to another. Before this, I foolishly tried to use a common data format like a comma separated file to move the contacts. That failed! Because these mobiles do not have any standardized common data format. Not only do you have to use the two proprietary pieces of software to extract the contacts, but also a third application that works as a broker between the two. No wonder this requires help.
This would have been a lot easier if both the devices were accessible through a common interface and data formats so that data could be ported between them using common applications. Considering how critical mobiles have become as data stores, the mobile world should start developing and complying with standards soon to improve portability. I hope that recent interest of mobile vendors in open source drives this. If not, we should start demanding it from the vendors. Or be ready to fight the same lock-in problems that we faced with the desktop software a decade back.