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Why Do Blackberry Apps Suck So Much?

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 7 years and 81 days ago. Viewed 1,483 times. #2
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The Problem

(21 September 2011)

The problem with the Blackberry App (or AppStore App (or whatever)) is that the apps version churn.

It seems like every week or two you get a notification that one of the four free apps you've downloaded has an "update", and you are encouraged to do the upgrade.

What's wrong with that?

Well, in my case I don't like doing the necessary reboot as part of the upgrade.

I also have not seen any improved functionality through any of the app upgrades I've done.

But the two big problems are:

Preference Loss

Every time you do an app update (or at least, every time I've done an app update) I totally lose the preferences. And it is a pain to set them up again.

Seems like most apps erase their preferences out from under you when you upgrade, which looks like an uninstall-then-install process.

If I had a lot of apps, this would get to be a serious pain.

The second big problem is:

Permission Creep

Not only do you lose your preferences, but you get to re-apply the list of permissions granted to an app every time you do the upgrade.

And the apps are getting sneaky about it too.

Exhibit A: a Free Flashlight program. Neat program. What it does is use the flash/videocam-light as the light source. Turns your phone into a nice pocket flashlight. Very usable. But since it is free, it wants to show you ads; and since it wants to show you ads, it refuses to run without the "connect to the network" permission granted.

Exhibit B: The WeatherNetwork's weather app. Not only doe this need the "connect to the network" permission, but it dies with a java security violation at startup if you have not granted it access to your location.

Now I don't want to use the "my location" for weather information, because the app almost always insists that I'm in Vanier when I'm really in Kanata. Which maybe I wouldn't care so much about if the "My Location" had useful information like "current weather" and "forecasting information", but when the app is guessing where I am, it doesn't. I'd much rather set the location to Ottawa and be done with it. Which actually I've done. But no, the app won't run at all if it can't see where I am. I have to open my privacy to The Weather Network to get this information.

Maybe that's more "incompetent" than "sneaky". Whatever.

Sour

Add in other problems like

  • I never seem to see any new functionality to these upgrades, or at least anything I'd use;
  • The bug list is either vague or stupid (one recent TSN.ca update said something to the effect of "rolling back fixes from the last release" and nothing else)
  • Anything new seems to benefit the vendor, not me
...and the whole thing has soured me on Blackberry as a platform

Frankly I'm considering getting off.

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