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10 Things I Hate About Blackberries.

As most of my friends know, I'm an Apple fan boy - there I admitted it.  But that doesn't mean that I don't see potential in other platforms.  For many years I used Linux on a daily basis.  I still use and recommend it for some things.  But it's a love hate relationship. Linux is a solid platform, but lacks the 'spit and finish' that I've come to expect as a Mac user.

The same principle applies when it comes to my mobile devices.  I expect simplicity, ease of use, and an overall great user experience.  Sadly, I don't get this from my Blackberry.  My problem isn't that the device is unusable, it's that it's frustrating in little ways that add up, and especially so since I am accustomed to using better.  For example, I have grown to appreciate the celebrated Blackberry keyboard, but equally detest the device.

So without further ado, here is my list of top ten annoyances:
  1. Shift + Del - This nifty little shortcut will delete everything before the cursor - with no undo option!  This is useful if you want to get rid of a bunch of text, but it's supremely annoying when you've just typed something really long, and you really meant to delete the last character you typed, not the whole paragraph.  If I did this on my iPhone, I could shake to undo.
  2. Selecting Text - Doing this on a Blackberry is a two step process: first you have to bring up the context menu, then choose "Select Text"; next you have to bring up the context menu again, and choose "Start Selection". Finally you have to bring up the context menu a third time, to cut or copy the text you just laboriously selected. Why is this a three step process?  Some users don't even know that it's possible to do this.
  3. Swiping Annoyance - When reading an email, or a text message, I sometimes need to copy some text.  So logically, I'll want to move the cursor over the text, then do the select routine (which I've already established is a pain).  However, swiping too fast through text messages or emails, switches between message threads.  When this happens, I have to exit the incorrect message, then find the original one again.  Quite irksome!
  4. Un-intuitive Navigation - Having a heavily menu driven interface can lead to convoluted navigation scenarios.  Here is an example of getting to the Timer from the Alarm Clock: 
    • Scroll to the top of the screen, and bring up the slide out menu.  
    • Select "Alarm".
    • From the "Set Alarm" screen, use the back navigation button.
    • Bring up the context menu, and choose "Timer".
    That process is way to long, and not obvious at all.
    • The Trackpad/Trackball - Both these input methods are error prone at best, and imprecise otherwise.
    • The Browser - I dread having to look something up online, using my Blackberry. The browser is clunky, slow, and difficult to use. I also find it unreliable - it often fails to load, randomly dropping me back to a blank black screen.
    • Email - While email has always been lauded as the forte of the Blackberry, I find it quite irritating that IMAP is poorly implemented. When I read an email on my Blackberry or via another mail client, the Blackberry doesn't synchronize immediately with the IMAP server.
    • Camera Shutter Sound - Sometimes you don't want someone to know that you're taking a photo of yourself :)
    • Broadcast Messages - Need I say more?
    • BBM - This final feature epitomizes my love hate relationship with the device. I love that BBM is ubiquitous - once you have a Blackberry with service, you have BBM. It's the only reason I keep a Blackberry. But I dislike that it's a closed platform. I also hate that scrolling through a long contact list, causes pain to shoot through my thumb! No shortcut for jumping to the top or bottom of the contact list.
    So there's my list.  For some, these things may seem trivial.  But for those of us who have used other phones (*cough* iPhone *cough*), we know that things can be done better. The die hard Blackberry fans will no doubt have much to say, in defense of their beloved platform. So, let the flame wars begin!
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