BlackBerry 10 boot time should be dramatically better than PlayBook

Catching some Zzzzeees while the PlayBook boots up
By Chris Umiastowski on 4 Sep 2012 05:01 pm EDT

For those of use who own a BlackBerry PlayBook, there are so many things we've come to love about the tablet. For me it's the convenient size, awesome video quality, super fast multitasking and, unlike the iPad, the ability to drop movies onto it from nearly any format.

Unfortunately, the boot time of the PlayBook is not among the features I adore. It currently takes about 3 minutes to boot up a PlayBook running OS 2.0, which compares to about 30 seconds for my iPad. This is a massive difference. If my PlayBook crashes (rare, but it happens), the delay is utterly frustrating. I usually switch to another device instead.

Recently I confirmed through my own sources that this is going to be a whole lot better on BlackBerry 10.

I already knew Research In Motion was putting a big push on improving the boot time, but I didn't have any information on the technical details around it.

Here's what I learned: Apparently the PlayBook OS boot up sequence loads up all drivers that could ever possibly be required by any application. Loading up all of these drivers is one of the big reasons the boot time is so slow. The 4G PlayBook isn't much faster, either, according to this reboot test run by Bla1ze.

I'm told that, in retrospect, RIM realizes that it was a mistake to push everything into the boot up sequence. But it is what it is, and the result was a poor user experience when pressing the power button.

Will RIM be able to get down to 30 seconds? I'd love to know. I can't see any reason why it isn't possible. Even my 6 year old Macbook (running Tiger) boots in 30 seconds. And it's booting from hard drive!

Yes, several members of the CrackBerry team have handled the new hardware. But I'm pretty sure nobody was allowed to do a battery pull, so at this point we're waiting to find out just how much improvement RIM has baked into its newest OS.

When we know more so will you. 

Photo Credit: CrackBerry Goldilocks 

Reader comments

BlackBerry 10 boot time should be dramatically better than PlayBook


Sheesh! waiting for my Playbook to boot is torture! I feel like I have my old OS 4 Curve again. No progress bar or anything. RIM please fix this :)

I think Kevin killed himself while waiting for his Playbook to boot, he looks dead LOL.

Waiting for my Playbook to boot is murder so I boot it as soon as I get out of bed, get ready for my day and its ready. Cant wait for 2.1 and BB10.
Tablets are incredible

I just dont turn it off at all! Never had to wait for the reboot!
And it never crushed either!

Agreed, airplane mode + standby keeps it under 4% power consumption when I sleep (And I get my 8 hours... Usually).

But mine does crash, usually when I least expect it to and was starting to believe it would never crash again. Heh

Hi T_C

QNX is so stable mine has only crashed once since I got it on Dec 25, 2011. (Christmas gift to myself lol) My wife leaves hers on 24/7 and after just joining Crackberry I'm starting to see how many people leave their Playbooks on. I think I'm gonna join you guys and do it too.
Tablets are incredible

Can't agree more. Especially, when I'm ready to do a slide show with a full room of people. RIM, also please throw in a status bar or something while you're at it.

I don't currently have a playbook but waiting for the dev device to reboot is a killer. It'd lessen if there was some kind of indicator/progress bar letting me know how much longer approximately I have to wait.

Sometimes I wonder if it's just hanging there, mocking you, itching to never get to the start screen. it's happened a few times already (on the dev device)

once you're in though, it's a much better experience!

lol funny enough never bothered me ive rebooted my playbook maybe once a few months its so rare i cant even remember last time i did. im a heavy hardcore user of my playbook too so when it did which was rare crash or needed a boot i could deal with it lol.

My wife does that too. The idea of leaving my Playbook on 24/7 kind of freaks me out. Doesn't that bother you?
Tablets are incredible

not at all im a hardcore techie i do the same with my pc and if can handle it with all the fans and parts i know my tablet should be able to as well in standby it uses literally no power or should anyways.

if im gaming i got scared once left it on charge screen didnt turn off and felt like it was gonna burn a hole through my hand when i figured it out 2 hours later that was a bad idea lol.

Ya Im really into tech as well and we leave our PC on 24/7, primarily because we download a lotta movies and have magic jack, and that doesnt worry me.

For some reason a tablet is so small, so I turn it off at night. My wife always razzes me about that. She says ''You putting your baby to bed?'' lol.

It got that hot? Woah! After hearing how many people leave their PB on, Im Starting to think I should leave mine on at nights too :-)
Tablets are incredible

I have 4 pc's that run 24/7, and my playbook hasn't been shut off in over 3 months. I keep it in an otterbox, and don't even worry about it getting hot.... There have been many a nights its slept on the mattress next to me. So I don't worry.


Mine is in a OtterBox Defender case and I don't remember ever shutting it off - I just put it to sleep or let it sleep automatically. Only reboot when crashed or installing OS. Been working fine for well over a year.

Mine's been on for over a year (since the PB came out) and I only reboot when necessary - software updates, travel, etc. Same goes with my BlackBerry smartphone; it's always on.

LMAO Too funny.. So does this mean that if the boot time decreases, that not all drivers would be loaded after the reboot sequence is completed.. meaning that it could potentially take longer to load some applications or features of your device as you need them or will it continuously load the drivers in the background? Possibly making your device slow for the first 5 minutes of use after a reboot? Perhaps my question is really stupid, if so don't flame me guys.. lol I just want to make sure I understand.. the boot time on the PB definitely sucks.. but I have somewhat gotten used to it I guess..

Lol. That's the "CrackBerry Colt" toy gun that made the end of our Hands-On BB10 post... I didn't even notice it in there till the post went live. Funny.


LOL! How funny you used a "colt"! I see what you did there. Cuz the device codename was colt... BlackBerry colt... Colt 1911... Yeahhhhhh...

I think boot time is great compared to my 9550 that I just stopped using last week. It could take up to 15 minutes to boot. 12 on a good day.

15 miinute boot time 0_o
And we're complaining as it takes 4 min t boot our playbooks?
You just made me feel a lot better LOL
Tablets are incredible

Yeah, my wife got pretty pissed a couple of times when my phone would randomly restart and did it when I left work. She would freak out because I hadn't called and it would finish restarting as I pulled up to the house 13 minutes later. All she knew was I left work but she couldn't get a hold of me. I got a new battery to stop the random restarting. PB boot time doesn't effect me much because it's not necessary for communicating like a phone is. I am glad boot time continues to improve on the phones.

Your wife sounds like mine on how she likes to know where I am. But I've been happily married for 12 years so its nice to have someone check on you.

That's a real inconveinence with the boot time for sure and I know what you mean. I have wifi at work so my wifi Playbook is great for her calling me. Wanna get a 4g Playbook soon though. My wife has a Samsung smart phone with only a 4 to 5 hour battery life, so we have to be careful on how much we talk even though we have unlimited data. Talk about ironic lol.

I hear there is a new 1 terrabyte micro sd card coming in a year or so. Thats gonna be great but like you said how about working on the boot times or better yet work on a battery that has a 24 hour lifespan instead of just 5 hours.
Tablets are incredible

Yup, that's a bad one.

My old 8900 on 5.0 usually took 7-10 minutes. Though it would sometimes hang a bit and hit closer to the 15min mark.

That was pretty normal for BBs pre-OS6.

Kevin, I feared looking at that wallpaper all day might you want to end it all!


How about a Dell Voice app for the PlayBook?

Reboots are too rare for me to care.

What I'm more concerned about, and hopefully someone knows the answer to this, is the length of time it takes to open an app.

Just took 15 seconds to open my mailbox. Compare to virtually instant on BB7.

Can someone confirm this will be fixed/addressed?

I believe that will be re-addressed and it possibly has something to do with Air. I MAY be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's the problem, and it's supposed to be resolved.

On the Dev Alpha, basic apps never take more than 1-2s to open. More importantly, in BB10 the mailbox stuff will be so tightly integrated and ever-present that you won't actually ever open it anyway... it will just be there, ready for the bottom-right corner swipe to pull it up instantly.

Well since I upgraded to the .668 OS Ive had battery issues and my mail is taking a lot longer to open like yours.

Did you upgrade to .668 04Blackout? I resolved the battery issue by leaving my Wifi off when not in use and that puts the battery back to normal. I dont have a fix for the slow mailbox.

Many people have random things happening with their Playbooks since getting .668, so I'm hoping RIM will fix these issues with the upcoming 2.1
Tablets are incredible

No .668 for me yet. And I was just using mail as an example; I feel like all the apps take too long to open and they'd (rightfullly) get butchered if their next generation platform behaved the same way.

Ok thats cool. My apps are generally working the same, its just the battery drain for me, and the email like yours, and sometimes on You Tube the videos lag a little. (Flash issues.) Seriously my Playbook is awesome and is the best tablet Ive ever owned. Looking forward to 2.1 and BB10 big time.
Tablets are incredible

What's Dell Voice? Is it like Skype, but with hardly any users or it an equivelent that lots of Dell users use?

Not sure veii, but I heard Microsoft is developing a flash web based version of Skype, so that will eventually take care of all the Playbook users like me who are dying to get Skype.

Here's what Microsoft said in the Article, and it was written in April 2012 so I'm hoping its now close to completion.

Microsoft working on web-based Skype for Browsers

Google might be doing everything it can to turn Chrome into a full-fledged Skype competitor, but it looks like Microsoft has been planning to challenge them in the cloud all along. Based on what the Skype team is searching for in a handful of new job ads, Skype will soon offer a cross-platform communication experience to users from the comfort of their web browsers.

Really, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Skype for Browsers is in the works. This is, after all, the same Microsoft that released web-based versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and lets us use them free of charge.

So, what can we expect from a Skype web app? The job postings mention developing a rich user interface using HTML5 and JavaScript, as well as the fact that the app will tap into “backend services” that have been “built from the ground using [the] latest Microsoft technologies.”

As is the case with the Office web apps, it’s a good bet that Skype for Browsers will work nicely with just about any standards-compliant web browser — as long as it supports desktop mode. Skype for Browsers probably won’t be unseating the Skype app on your smartphone for quite some time.

Beyond the brief coding-related notes, there’s nothing else revealed in the numerous ads for developers and QA testers based in Prague and London scattered about the Microsoft Careers site. Most of them are fairly new, however, so we’ll be hearing more about Microsoft’s plans to bring Skype to the web in the coming weeks and months.

Tablets are incredible

Hey veii,

Yes, it is a bit like Skype and is free for Canadians. It doesn't have video. On the other hand, you get your own dedicated phone number. You get to make free phone calls to anywhere in Canada and the US. There are versions for Android, some BlackBerry phones and other devices I will not mention. There is also a PC version. Alas, no version for the PlayBook... YET! You can get more info right here:

Hopefully, with the BlackBerry 10 OS, that phone version will work with the PlayBook.


How about a Dell Voice app for the PlayBook?

lol i don't have a problem waiting for it to boot up. i can do something else while i wait, like BBM or something. its not like it has to be rebooted often but its totally bareable

While I never really reboot my Playbook it does take quite awhile. What I'm hoping is that this will mean a smaller memory foot print for the OS, it uses way too much right now. Hopefully (I'm sure) that the messaging app will always be open like it is on BBOS, it takes way too long to open up.

OMG YES. As soon as I saw the title, I didn't read. Eventually I did read it. But I had to comment in absolute agreement!

You can reboot the playbook? Its very very rare that I shut off or reboot my playbook. The thing just works. I leave it on 24/7 but I do turn off wifi and bluetooth. Just upgraded to 2.1 beta and love it. Battery is much better than 2.0.1.### android apps run in a seperate window so I can have 3+ android apps running at once.
I purchased my pb the day it was relased and I think I have rebooted maybe a dozen times.

That said boot time improvements are always good. Should be no reason to wait for a device to do anything in this day and age.

I never turn mine off. I use it as a nightstand clock and all through the day. I never notice a degrade in performance like I do with my Windows laptop if I go too long without a reboot. Just for fun, though I do hit the restart button about once a week.

Surely RIM can't be that behind the times for OS design? Loading all the drivers during boot up? What is this? Windows NT 3.51? Holy crap... makes me worry...

That's an awesome photo of K-Mich...I feel the same when I restart my PlayBook (especially when I had the developer beta)...

3 minutes maybe 3 or 4 times in the past 9 months? Doesn't bother me at all. Could think of a lot of other things that are more important to me.

The only time I reboot my PB is after I run it out of power. I would likely reboot it routinely if the reboot time was less than a minute.

/Device agnosticism or bust!

0_o I think some other guy in here has the same problem. That's unreal for sure.
Tablets are incredible

I've never shut my PB off since I got it in May 2011. QNX is not supposed to be shut off. I've rebooted after a bad app or a big update but that's it. You ipussies and your reboot envy. LMAO! Love swiping the PB to life in front of ifad owners and others.

I've discovered so many tricks and taken my PB on so many adventures. I'd love to post my photos, tips and PB knowledge but I got banned for quoting other members so, well, good luck to you all. QNX is not iOS. It is the next level in mobile computing.

The origional 1.x firmware version booted much faster. I wonder if it's al lto do with the Android stuff? If so I'd prefer if you could select 'no' and just boot without any Android emulators as i don't use Android apps.

Forget the Colt. If you look closely, i think Kevin's hair grew three more inches during that three minute reboot Ha! Ha!
Seriously, I almost never turn either of my PBs off. The boot time hasn't been an issue. If I am doing any kind of presentation I boot up and have apps open before I enter the building.

I didn't know we suppose to turn off our devices. Never have a problem with it. Especially after upgrade to 2.1 beta. It's a better tablet now.

I got impatient and bought a nexus 7... And tonight im using the playbook again for the first time in a month. All i have to say is that my playbook is getting left behind on many fronts including the bootup time. Come on RIM hurry up already.

That picture is hilarious, thanks Kevin!

I keep my playbook on standby, just make sure you turn off the wireless first so the battery won't drain that fast.

Not pre-loading is fine so long as the PlayBook is actually use-able once the interface appears. Windows is annoying in that on a machine with a lot of startup services that need to run you are booted in and really can't actually use anything until most all that junk loads.

Meh, I don't care about reboot times. As long as it boots up, does the background processes well and works like it should, that's all I care about.

Fear not vidit...we all get the BB10 upgrade free of charge when it is released.
Tablets are incredible

Would be an improvement, but not mandatory to me. I barely never reboot my PB.
Yet, it would erase an recurrent con argument.

67 comments, and not one of them is about the boot-up time of the Dev Alpha devices! WTF!

So here it is, from a developer....It's horrible! And several of us Devs are pushing RIM to sort it out....And yes they are on the case.

You can picture the scene, video recording the unboxing ceremony and then painfully slow boot-up as the opener to the new flagship product. That would not be a good start, but that is what the world saw with the Playbook when it came out.

With flow, the new keyboard, tricked out camera to name a few new toys, it would be an absolute crime if RIM didn't sort out the BB10 boot-up times.

Good isn't good enough. It's time for greatness.

Oh, I don't know.... Yes, the Playbook (and Dev Alpha) take time to boot up; but like Keven said, "It is what it is..." I tend to think the 3 to 5 minute boot time gives me a chance to sit back, grab a coffee, play with the dog, get in a load of laundry, work on a story or two and contemplate about life. Ahhhh... Life is good. Thank the RIM for Playbook and free time ;)


The drivers thing makes sense. i havent times it but i noticed if you power it up plugged to a power sources it comes on marginally quicker. I take it the power management system would have been running already. Try it.

Thank you for the explanation for the long boot time. I did wonder why it was such a wait. It is really the only complaint I have with the Playbook. I have yet to have it freeze or crash on me and I've had mine since December 2011- let's hear it for firesales.

like a lot of people here, I only turn it off when I know it won't be used for a while - like if I'm going away.... or if I'm gaming on it (usually with volume way down, or off) and it just shuts down on me. That's the biggest annoyance for me. There's no visual when it's about to power off. How about a little pop up or corner notification that says, "connect to a power source!" grrr Otherwise, it's on standby ALL of the time then requires a little swipe to turn it on. Love that.

Also, I've had some pretty weird glitches in all versions of the software. Like, the keyboard not coming up at all either when in a text box, or when I try to swipe to bring it up. It's like the keyboard "module", is just gone. Of course, this happens when the screen is locked and I can't enter the password... requiring a hard boot by holding the power button down.
The only other "major" problem is the web browser crashes often. I think it's more because of Flash or JavaScript, but it still hard crashes and sometimes locks up. Often while surfing on :/

boot up is a drag. i have 2.1 beta and it is the same. hope they change this sometime soon. now after the boot it is "Game On"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TBH i dont mind the boot time. Can i ask if anyones knows: does loading all of the drivers upfront have any effect on my PB fantastic performance? Because if so i will take the slow boot and keep the performance.

Maybe its me but why do people turn off their PB when they can just put it in Stand By mode? i've had mine since day two and only crashed on me 4 times. Not too bad huh, that's about once every 6 months. Just keep the thing on and put it in stand by it will be fine. :)

One of the things that drives me crazy about this board is the reflexive impulse of many BB/PB fans to recast obvious negatives into "product features."

My PlayBook takes 170 seconds (that's 2 minutes, 50 seconds for those of you in Rio Linda) to boot. I love my PlayBook, but I don't care if it's caching the phone book -- we're talking flash memory chips and data moving at nearly the speed of light. Nearly three minutes is too damn long.

"Loading every conceivable driver" is a great explanation, but what engineering nimrod thought that was *necessary*? If the PlayBook OS and its programs never, ever, ever crashed, I'd be more willing to listen, but please.

My browser locks up and refuses to release on average about once a week, which honestly doesn't bother me. It's a computer -- computers crash. That I can handle. What bugs me is then having to feel my mortality slip away while my PlayBook reboots.

But yes, I suppose I should look on the bright side -- my friends in Waterloo wanted me to have the chance to spend more time with my children, or read more classic Russian literature. Nothing to do with engineering incompetence or cluelessness about real-world users.

I'm cautiously optimistic about BB10, but I dread hearing the justifications for every obviously ham-handed glitch -- errrrrr, FEATURE.

Look at it this way BPMurph. You could be in 1990 where the only mobile entertainment you have is a transistor radio. Would you rather have that than a Playbook? Didn't think so.
Tablets are incredible

OMG, this reply illustrates my point exactly.

Vic_Franklyn, it's not 1990 and we have many, many competing options for mobile entertainment. The choice is not PlayBook or nothing -- there's iPad, iPod Touch, Galaxy Tab, Nexus 7... need I go on?

I understand that no tablet and no OS is perfect, and I love my PlayBook, but the point of discussion here is an unreasonably long boot time, which is, in fact, a differentiator -- no other device in its class takes nearly as long to boot. And no matter how you spin it, that's not a positive.

BPMurph this is just my personal opinion but the point I'm making is not to take things for granted. The reason this world is in such a corrupt state is individuals are many times unhappy and greedy for more and never fully happy with what they have.

For me something as minor as boot time is a rediculous thing to measure the standard of a great product like Playbook. I would love Playbook to have a fast boot time, but it is what it is. Hopefully BB10 will be faster.

If you're unhappy with the boot time either leave your Playbook on 24/7 as most do, or perhaps purchase either an iPad, iPod Touch, Galaxy Tab, or Nexus 7, but personally I've tried both iPad and Samsung Galaxy, and their OS's can't even compare to QNX in terms of multitasking, speed and business applications.

Complacency and patience build a strong character for a good moral foundation and make you a strong individual, while being discordant and uncomplacent turns you into an ungrateful individual who is always nitpicking. Think about it.

PS I may disagree with your opinion but I will defend you have the right to it. Just for the record most leave their Playbooks on in stand by mode 24/7 for instant access, as QNX is extremely stable and was designed not to be turned off. QNX (not IOS or Android) is the Shuttle's OS. You can't get more stable then that.
Tablets are incredible

Proud member of the BlackBerry community. 9670 Style and PlayBook owner.

As I have to agree that the PB boot time is initially painstakingly long. I too find a more suitable time to reboot if I feel it needs it. It's never crashed on me. Nor has it ever froze. Have had mine for nearly a year and a few times it's seemed to be running a little slow. So now I reboot every few weeks just to keep it fresh. Definitely looking forward to bb10 and 2.1.

I would certainly hope BB10 boots faster than its predecessors, fast boot up (or even acceptably slow boot up) has never been something that you could pair with the word "blackberry" the phones take an eternity, the playbooks take too long, I understand that it can't just BOOP it's on, but, seriously, 12 minutes to boot a 9550 from battery pull to security test complete (and then about 2 more minutes of device is worthless because it's focused on trying to re-establish connections) is terrible, and 3-5 minutes for a reboot on a tablet (and 2.1 is no improvement here), also terrible...I love my BB's but, when the new iPhone comes out, I'll be adding another device to my mix, I'm keeping my blackberry and holding out for BB10, but, I've tortured myself long enough trying to hold out for a mythical "device that lives up to its expectations". The 9850 almost was one, but then I couldn't get comfortable with its keyboard, so it failed, and had software problems that had to be patched almost right away. I'm truly hoping that RIM gets it right with these BB10 devices, otherwise......

Meh. This would be nice to improve, but I don't see it as that big of a deal personally. I'd rather they get BBM on BlackBerry 10 instead.

On my old 9900, the reboot time was killer because the device would usually reset when I installed an app. The software also had issues and would either reset itself (not that frequently) or I'd do a battery pull.

On the PlayBook, it doesn't need to reset when installing an app and the software seems much more robust, so I've only reset it a handful of times in the last year. A reset doesn't factor into regular use.