BlackBerry Experience to Get an Apple / Microsoft Influence?

By Kevin Michaluk on 10 Apr 2009 02:57 pm EDT

An Applier Vistaier BlackBerry?

What a way to have to start a new job. Don Lindsay will be arriving in Waterloo an internet celebrity by the time this story is through. According to Apple Insider, it seems RIM has hired Don on to lead a new team of designers. Their task? Improving the BlackBerry user experience. A solid ambition, but the newsworthy part of the deal here lies in Don's past, as his previous employers include both Apple and Microsoft where he played a key role in shaping core products.

Apple '94 - 2003: As Design Director of the Mac OS User Experience Group, he led what was called the "Mac OS X interface concept project" and directed the design team responsible for the user experience of Mac OS X 10.0 "Cheetah" through Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther," which included the company's first-generation of iLife digital lifestyle applications. 

Microsoft - 2003 till leaving for RIM: In October of 2003, Lindsay was lured away from the Mac maker by Microsoft for a key software architecture position overseeing future Windows user experience explorations. Many of his key contributions wound up in Windows Vista components, according to his LinkedIn page, such as the AERO Glass interface and SKU/hardware tiering strategy, Glass Colorization, Flip3D, Alt-tab, window animations, and the Windows Calendar. 

Gotta love it. Microsoft steals him from Apple, and now RIM steals him from Microsoft. Let's hope Don can take all that experience and further WOW all of us BlackBerry Addicts in the months and years ahead. If you have any tips/suggestions for Don of what you'd like to see come to the BlackBerry user experience, be sure to drop it in the comments.

[ TheiPhoneblog via Apple Insider via MocoNews ]

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

BlackBerry Experience to Get an Apple / Microsoft Influence?


Cant wait to see what they are going to be popoing out!

Wow me!!!

This is what I would like to see... but know may not be probable

Dream Scene working on the storm

Better browser: similar to skyfire :D

I like the widows mobile copy and paste function. tap and hold and a right click menu pops up to copy/paste with additional options.

I'm a flashy guy. I loves seeing fancy transitions. sliding/fading/swiping. give me more!

I want cover flow to listen to my music! yes! I dont care about copying an ipod...

Haven't I been using Alt+Tab since Windows 3.1??? How'd this guy invent it in 2003? Talk about resume embellishing...

Hi there, I'm a little new to all this applications. Can someone tell me if I can download windows media player to my blackberry storm and how much space will take?

What difference does it make if the OS is official or not? If it works and works better than your current one install it and move on.

now im not one of those people who think the storm is superior/inferior to the iPhone. each has it's purpose and it's strengths/weaknesses. so ideally, i'd like to see something that really makes the storm stand out and surpass the iPhone.

this isn't the game-changing thing i was talking about, but i've always thought it would be nice to have a little tab key on the storm's keyboard. it can be a pain sometimes to have to click the field, type, scroll, click the next field, and so on.

About FREAKIN time!!! lol

I love my BB but the OS is so blah....a little color wouldn't hurt. I know it's more of a business phone....but come on now...they're trying to reach the consumer market now...time to get a little (dare I say it)

I just wanted to say great photostop image. I thought it was an actual theme for a min.

As for changes, I don't think we'll see any major changes for a while

I want to see some fancy dings and whistles. The 8900 is in no way to me a business phone. I want dings and whistles and color and an awesome user interface. Some of the things that must be added to the phone just to get it to do what I want I feel should be standard items already included when I turned the phone on for the first time. By having to add these things, it just makes me feel that RIM is leaving consumers out of the equation.

As a proud owner of a Verizon Blackberry 9530 Storm, I have to assume RIM is well aware of current OS issues and well on the way to improving well-known problems. I would hope RIM is taking time to look at popular forums and extracting comments from the first wave of Storm users who represent the pioneers best suited to help identify such issues. If not, shame on them. For my part, I have collaborated with other friends and we offer the following thoughts:
1) The device seems to always be orientation confused when called into action. The is like someone waking up from a deep sleep and stumbling when standing. I am always afraid to show off the phone to someone for fear of not knowing what orientation it will try to take. Common sense tells me upon wakeup portrait orientation should be assumed and held there for seconds after which the user can indicate change is desired. I would imagine most users leave or restore the phone to the “today” screen status before holstering. There is always orientation confusion when the phone is laid flat. Why can’t this flat position keep the orientation as it was when laid down?
2) Let’s remember not every app needs to be capable of rotating. In some cases it is plain dumb to waste CPU resource best used to serve the app’s interest. The phone app itself is a case-in-point, after all it is a phone. How many times I have gone to answer the phone, expecting portrait presentation, watching the phone wakeup disoriented and paying too much attention to reorient rather than allow the user to actually answer the phone since a screen push might be futile. The green button push is reliable here but the phone might not react right away. The phone app should never be allowed to rotate from portrait. Other apps fall into the same category and should be left alone. Maybe some apps could even have an option to prevent or establish an orientation, or just an overall on/off for the accelerometer?
3) Using the Storm as a phone is more difficult than with keyboarded devices. What I enjoyed so much before was entering a contact name (from Today screen) with a fast automatic search followed by an almost immediate dialing selection. Alternately some other contact activity could also be accessed via the menu button. From the Today or Home screens I should be able to gesture up (or menu up) the keyboard and perform such activities. Would be like riding a bike again.
4) What a surprise to find out holding the menu key down brings up the task switcher. I was worried about this since it is a valuable app for the power user. How about allowing a hold down of the escape key to clear from memory all apps other than core ones which must remain in memory? As you well know, the phone can act very strange when low on memory.
5) Tabbed browsing is a great feature. It is a major flaw to only be able to have one web page open at a time.
6) Increase application memory to 256MB to increase performance and speed. There appears to be other on-board device memory which could be reallocated for this item?
7) Ability to lock screen when using the telephone is in order to avoid accidental ear/shoulder press from making an erroneous selection. Something simple such a slider to right to unlock in order to use screen features could be implemented Why do we need to utilize a 3rd party application for this simple task?
8) While on the subject of the phone app, it appears as though the default screen after call connection is useful for the majority of possible next actions EXCEPT for those situations where it is necessary to enter digits. Programming pauses and waits certainly allows connection automation but it is typically those connections which need further manual digit input. How come we can program distinctive rings for contacts but CANNOT program which screen is active AFTER a connection? Whenever I connect to voice mail I have to manually follow-up to the keypad in order to delete messages or move forward to the next message. I don’t look at Visual Voice Mail as the work around because there are other situations where the keypad is needed after a phone connection.
9) Ability to perform soft (hard??) reset without having to remove rear cover and pull battery. Using the built in Options/Advanced/Applications to remove apps results in the OS asking to reboot so there must be some way to do this. By now you should realize that removal of this ability may not have been a wise decision. Reinstating this feature would be an asset for call center support as well.
10) Option to properly delete (or move to MicroSD Card) the stock wallpapers and ring tones to free up valuable internal memory space. Some sample files are also taking up precious memory and these are not easily removed. Relying on forum based tips to accomplish this seems foolish.
11) A software fix to actively correct memory leaks as they always seems to build-up as the day progresses. Why must I depend on a 3rd party app to achieve this result? The built-in memory cleaner does not appear to do the job. When the phone starts to really run slow a reboot to correct the memory situation solves the problem. Yet it appears as though the 3rd part app works continuously and it is not necessary to perform such a reboot. A reboot which requires an inconvenient battery pull. In fact, since a reboot appears healthy for the phone why not provide an option to perform such a reboot at a specific time during the middle of the night when the phone is not in use? There is an auto off/on why not an auto reboot?
12) Allow users to have better control over removing nonessential system and/or core software items via the Desktop Manager. There are third-party apps which allow this anyway. Again it cannot be emphasized how important memory availability is to smooth phone operation. The educated user should be able to easily perform this activity.
13) Eliminate the lag on the camera between auto-focus and actual image capture. Greater than three seconds is way too long. There are other lags, such rotation, which really frustrate the user.
14) There appears to be discrepancies between phones when it comes to the mechanical clicking action of the screen. Get whatever design change is required to make this action work as advertised right out of the box. We have seen other phones where such screen action is different and know it can be adjusted from the inside back of the phone. After all this is the biggest selling feature of the Storm!
15) When reading new messages the app should open at the start of the list showing the new messages. I really hate scrolling back to the top of the list.
16) When reading messages there is no indicator showing how much of the message has been read or how much is left to read. In other words, there is no vertical scroll bar. There may be no way to actual fat-finger the scroll bar but it does keep you informed as to where you are in the message.
17) What’s with the Media Player? It certainly operates differently depending on the type of media. Why does pictures allow selection of items within folders and videos display a length flat file list? Why can pictures be marked hidden and videos not? Why can we directly launch music and not videos, ring tones, pictures, and voice notes? A direct launch of the Explorer would enhance file management. This tidbit is hidden on the Media menu. It appears as though this player is a last minute add-on to an Enterprise phone breaking into a major feature set of the Consumer market.
18) Use of the messages app is confusing since it is a container for all types of messages including call log items and SMS/MMS (which can be removed via option settings). Although other message types can be segregated, BES mail cannot. Although it is possible to change the border color of BES messages and “other” messages, the message must first be opened to determine its border color. How come the banner of the message can’t have this color distinction? Why must we use a third party app to segregate BES messages (not to mention its unreasonable cost?)
19) There are times when the “*” indicator for messages and/or the red flashing LED is not valid. Why is there no simple way to simply reset these indicators without having to pull the battery?
20) When on a phone call and another call arrives, there are situations where answering that second call, returning to the first call and hanging up on that call results in wrong call tag information shown on the screen.

Not that I disagree with anything that you stated here but it seems like everyone feels that the storm is that only phone that RIM makes.... They still have a full product line to work on.

Yup, one word summarizes me pulling out my phone;;;; Embarrased, half the damn time i can't even answer the call! Yeah i like showing off this phone if i don't have to wake it up... My 6-year old wakes up better than this!

On number "9", I see what your talking about. and it could very usefull, but isnt thier a free app that does that already? i think crackberry just posted that its been updated a day or two ago.

on Number "16", I much agree. that would be a nice function. Somethin similiar to the one in the browser.

on Number "17", If blackberry starts acting more like a windows/mac OS then wouldnt that mean that this could be a very likely posibility that the media player would act the way you described it should?

while i agree with alot of what youre saying, can you tell us what you do like about your storm?

about #19 if you have "fox news" or "weatherbug" downloaded and you get an update, you will get the notification of a new message, albeit not a new "IM" or email, but a new notification.

Damn, just what I didn't want, an iPhone. I have a BlackBerry because it is not an iPhone, now we have a developer once from apple making an BlackBerry OS... Palm here I come.

SERIOUSLY, is this just another marketing scheme from RIM. I don't know if it is Irish-Luck or what, but I am on my third STORM in 6 months and I HATE THIS PHONE. They are all junk - here is my suggestion to DON:

DONT WORK THERE! And if you can't resist the 7 figure signing bonus then take some of your bonuses and quarterly profits and build a STORM that works and isn't a piece of crap. Then, take that phone and give one free to every customer who was suckered into buying this worthless joke of a phone.

If you can't tell, I HATE THIS PHONE.

Don, Don't listen to the previous post. I have a Storm and came from the Curve before that. I love my Storm, it is a great phone and I have yet to have any major issues with it.

if you don't know how to run the thing, why get it? i have had one for a while now and yes there are its issues to be worked out but the leaked OS with continual updates are significantly better. don't be so emotional because you are too ashamed to read blackberry 101 and don't know how to not break the thing....ground and phone don't mix, nor booze or water or pithy nags.

The photo in the article is exactly what I have been wanting my BlackBerry to do! If you could operate more than one window at a time that would be keen!

you all should be happy cuz Don Lindsay will help blackberrys to improve and take care of the problem so be patient as he will work on it. if you are a blackberry users, then don't worry about it and move on as you should enjoy your blackberrys.

1- Make sure you ship the device with a working, stable, and fast OS....too many people got burn with the first storm.

2-You need to improve the fact....just straight up copy the iphone's browser.Oh, and get flash support.

3-Make sure there is a lot more app memory

4-Pop up keys on the keyboard (like the Iphone or just about any other touch screen phone) and flick scrolling(makes it much easier to navigate web pages, music, contacts, ect.)

5-Please give the option to disable the accelerometer on the home screen

6-Always have the status bar (with the coverage and battery indicators) on top; I don't know how many times I've been in the browser, and wanted to see my battery life, but couldn't cause it wasn't there. I should be able to see the coverage and battery indicators in any application on the phone

7- Built in Podcast app......I listen to a lot of podcasts.

8- Better Media Player

9-Have an Amazon music store app (like the G1)

10- Better youtube app

11-Faster Camera

12-No more memory leaks

13- In general, make a more touch friendly, and attractive OS

That would be cool for them to make a browser based on WebKit. I don't care that it would be copying the iPhone, Google already did it with Android, and I think Palm did with the Pre.

I like the status bar idea, but it should be configurable.

Would love for you to find a way to receive radio stations currently streaming on Windows Media Player on my 8330 curve...Thanks!

I am ready to give up on Blackberrys. Something I was addicted to for years with the 7130. Thumbwheels are so vastly superior to trackballs in terms of durability and ease of use. My 7130 never had memory leak. Blackberry also has a problem with being unable to buy phones without switching carriers. Two of the new phones are unavailable in most of the country geographically because TMobile's limited footprint. Heck, I know i live in a small town, but there is no Verizon here either if I wanted to get the touch screen. What I really want is an updated 7130e. Something that is solid, can add a few programs to and not have to take the battery out twice a week to keep it from going into the low memory mode!

I would like to see a lot of animation on the when changing screen orientation, browsing photos, opening new applications pages, etc

The Blackberry product in it self is a great deal (Curve, Pearl, so on). The Storm may have been rushed to the public and needs to be corrected very soon. I am sure they are busy with other phones but the Storm is where the entire buzz is. It’s a shame that such a good idea is getting such bad press. The OS needs to be released soon because the word on the street is that the Storm is a piece of crap. I really like the phone but I know my way around BB software. I think someone else who has never used BB phone would through this thing across there room. I believe it’s a matter of time and the Iphone will make another deal with another carrier and blow up!

All I can say is that this is the best news I've heard in a long time. Hopefully we see him combine his ideas and we get a Blackberry AppleSoft look ;)

Don Lindsay ftw!

really want to be able to watch video on my storm and maybe someday my netflix stuff but first baby steps will be very happy with a flash browser

The most important thing RIM has to do is to NOT abandon 1st-gen Storm users if the Storm2 rumors are true. It would be really awful if all the things we've been complaining about here were fixed, but only for people who buy new phones. Especially because I'm sure many Storm users used up their Verizon discounts to buy this one, so shelling out full retail for one that works the way this one should is out of the question.

Great - so now we'll have an OSX wannabe Vista Wannabe in our pocket.

The only way to really improve the "Blackberry Experience" is to buy an iPhone. The Storm (for example) needs a complete re-think - but copying the iPhone won't get it done.

Anyone who calls the current storm a "Great Phone" has either never owned a really good phone, or is too f'ing stupid to realize that a touchscreen phone that you can't actually type on... that won't wake up... that has 5 ways do do the same thing depending on which app you're in or what direction you're holding it... that won't let you shut stuff down as you use it.... that requires a month of constant study to figure out.... and I'd go on, except I'm just repeating someoene else's long-winded post.... is _not_worth_fixing_.

You can only polish a turd so much, and the Storm just needs to go away - it's a blight on the Blackberry's otherwise decent line of handhelds.

Scrap it and start over.
- Get rid of the push-button screen.
- Make the touchscreen something you can type on
- Make ALL the applications conform to some standard
- Give it a browser you can actually use (with a way to click those pesky "submit" buttons for instance)
- etc.

Oh wait... someone has already made that device, it's called an iPhone. Except the iPhone has WiFi and the Storm doesn't. But... I can swap batteries in my Storm, so really all we need is an iPhone with a removable battery.

So make me a removable battery iPhone that will run on Verizon/CDMA, and call it the VerIphone. How's that ?

wanta know what would instantly make the storm better....much better.


OK, OK....You could also make it where you could run a netflix download on it to....NO ONE ELSE CAN DO THAT.

ability to disable the click would be nice, like when using opera mini its all touch no clicking needed..
some free good quality themes..

I stick with VZ cause they do have the best service. I like my Storm, but yes it is very glitchy and i am willing to deal with it, would I buy it again "No" unless they fix it. Why does the 9500 get official updates and we just sit hear like idiots and wait. If they do indeed come out with a Storm II so soon yeah I would be quite dissapointed. Hopefully they will offer a special upgrade for all of us who put up with the glitches and keep on trooping. At least one good OS update would be nice.

This could be a very good thing. I just hope he can implement some major enhancements to the Storm...such as the accelerometer...and more apps!!!

Hello Don. I say kudos in your attempt to make blackberry better. I have a suggestion would it be possible to configure tones for messages phone calls, emails, etc? This is my 1st bb so let me know something

I myself think that it would be a nice addition to the OS if we would have more than one app running and flip thru them like the palm pre is able to do. Or just work off more than one web page like the iphone. That is all I want. Other than that, I love my berry for life. And yes its a storm. Lol. Eat ya heart out.

I suggest it to have flash player.

I suggest it have lot of memory like over 2 gbs

I suggest it to have 3d and hd\

I suggest it to have webcam and great battery

I suggest it to have light alert like sidekick lx with custom color

I would like a Blackberry that could use Satellite transmission for the phone and the internet upon request when cell tower reception is poor or non-existent.

can we start to see the OpenGL libraries get used for the interface on the Storm?! its a little ridiculous that the hardware is there but nobody bothered to utilize it. and especially where theres so much room for improvement on the Storm.

Morning!!! Blackberry World!! Don I would like to see the ability to use some sort of flashplayer app with the blackberry because a lot of websites deal with flash.

Doesn't have to be just about the phones. What about a desktop manager for Mac, or Blackberry Unite! to work on Mac. Just compatability in general would give RIM a nice boost in sales, because you have so many Mac users that still prefer a BB. After compatibility comes integration. I personally use a BB, but am wowed at how the phone integrates with the OS from Mac, ie calendar, mail, contacts, etc.... Blackberry Unite! does all of this on a windows computer, but there isn't a version for Mac. Just my $.02.

hey! itd be nice to be able to change the led indicator when you get an incoming message from blackbery messenger.Also for aim..