BlackBerry Link - Where's the beef?

BlackBerry Link
By Adam Zeis on 8 Feb 2013 09:59 am EST
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The BlackBerry Desktop Software (aka BlackBerry Desktop Manager) wasn't always the most reliable utility, but it did offer a ton of options that were extremely helpful in various situations. You could sync up your data with Outlook or other PC apps, sync files, backup & restore a device and much more. You could even get deep down into clearing out certain databases or performing a selective restore when tinkering (ie. clearing out just your calendar entries and restoring them from a backup).

If you picked up a BlackBerry Z10 or plan to grab a BlackBerry Q10, you may fire up BlackBerry Link and wonder just what gives. Playing around with Link for the last week or so, I've noticed that there are plenty of these features that have seem to gone missing in action. So it left me wondering, where's the beef?

When it worked (I'm on a Mac, so there were times I had big issues) the BlackBerry Desktop Software was great. I can't count the times I used it to clear out a device database, selectively restored something like contacts or BBM, updated my device or just synched up some files. With BlackBerry Link however, the options are slimmed down to the point of not existing. 

The other day I had an issue with my contacts not synching up to my Gmail account. "No problem", I thought, I can just restore them in BlackBerry Link. Bzzzz -- wrong! No longer can you restore a single database -- it's all or nothing. The option is there for a full restore along with just application data, settings or media -- but as far as single databases like BBM, contacts or calendar -- you're out of luck.

This isn't a huge deal given that BlackBerry 10 devices do a great job dealing in the cloud, but as a long-time BlackBerry user it's something I know and I've come to rely on at times, so not having it might prove to be an issue down the road.

As far as synching goes, where are the options? Sure, Link is amazing for managing pictures, videos, music and documents -- but what about sync? As far as I can tell there are zero options for synching off contacts or calendars to Outlook or anywhere else from BlackBerry Link. This too will (much sooner) prove to be an issue for mass amounts of users. 

The argument here again is that using services like Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for contacts, calendar and email can circumvent many of these issues, but I'm sure there are plenty of users who are stuck in their ways and will look to the desktop software for these solutions. Much like BlackBerry Bridge, it seems like Link is really lacking for BlackBerry 10. Hopefully we will see more features added in as time goes on.  

Reader comments

BlackBerry Link - Where's the beef?

126 Comments

It would have been good for BlackBerry to explain the differences in the new software tools compared to the former, along with the reason for doing so. Otherwise it's unexpected and baffling to the BlackBerry community.

The problem could be that they plan on updating the features but didn't have time to do it before the launch. If that's the case they would be called out for releasing it half baked, not ready etc. I hoping that's the case because I would really miss many of the missing features.

Actually, the blackberry desktop software does this right now with the playbook. I've had to restore files and settings twice, and I only have 3 options: Application Data, Media, System Settings.

I am not able to dive in any deeper than that to cherry-pick what I do and do not want. Which sucks.

From a backend perspective, in regards to backup/restore, once the device has an update that includes the ability to backup to the media card, then the backup feature will work for BlackBerry Protect, as well that backup to the media card will then be what's transferred to the computer. From there, full selective restore and the like should work. Whether that comes in a maintenance release or 10.1 or 10.2, unknown, but it's being worked on. With the Java OS, whenever a new device was released, the OS would have to be coded almost from scratch. With the way QNX/BB10 works, that is not the case. BB fell behind because of how the old OS worked. It will in a short time be able to jump ahead because from here it's all optimization to improve speed/battery and apps, as well as feature enhancement and the adding of new features and apps. You'll be surprised at what's coming!

We really need to send a clear message to BlackBerry: BB10 is unacceptably half baked.

It's not usable for anyone that needs a communication device.

Have you used it? It's NOT half baked.
It just doesn't have hardly any customization settings :(
It's been simplified for the average user :(
The Z10 is the iPhone of BB's :(
BUT it's definitly NOT "half baked"!

No that's stupid comment, it is not half baked. Actually as far as Blackberry link is concerned I feel it is leaps ahead in terms of interface and performance from earlier Desktop manager. Also it is much more robust to manage data across multiple devices (in tabbed format), with very good explorer to work with. For sure there will always be some features which are being enhanced and will be available in next versions. But as things stand currently, Blackberry Link is beautiful looking and capable software to serve primary Data sync needs.

It's half baked bb10 do not get things done. For people that get things done it's a step back from BB7 - saved if you use an exchange server which most of professional, small business do not have.

Blacberry Link is useless if you cant sync pim with outlook.

It makes things simple. If it wants to attract iPhone users, it has to be made simple ... because iPhone people are simple. They wait in line for hours to get an iPhone when the simple can pre-order it.

You get my drift?

Who cares about your needs? You're not the average user, the iPhone/Android market is the average user.

The iPhone and Android didn't get to where they are by pandering for techies or geeks or niche markets, they got to #1 and #2 with mass-market strategies. Mom and Pop technology requirements.

Your individual needs are irrelevant to Blackberry; you're the only person that cares about them.

Half done was actually the comment I used to describe the Z10 to a Blackberry tech the other day when I phoned up with another problem. I cannot comprehend how anyone who is used to the intuitive way Blackberrys work, could think otherwise. It literally feels like the developers were interrupted one day and told that the phone would be shipping with what they had at that point. I've had mine a week now, and both I and a colleague have used it 3 days each. He's currently waiting for his replacement sim coming in the post so he can go back to his Curve 9300. He's also having to restrict usage of the phone as the battery just would not make it through the day (a common complaint on the Blackberry forum). My network (Orange) are sending a return envelope as I have a 14-day trial period and they've already been notified it's going back.

Don't get me entirely wrong - it has a lot of nice features, but it's just a pain to use a lot of the time. I'm sure some people will get on with it, but many Blackberry lovers will find it a shock to use.

Totally agree with everything in this piece.
The software rolled out with the Z10 has been disappointing to say the least.
I was really hoping for a fanfare of sorts when I plugged the new device in, and to be guided through my first sync, as well as transfer... NOT the case.
Come on Blackberry, this is how you lose users, by making existing users upset with something they already use. Not how you will win new customers.
PS, thank heavens for my Gmail account which was able to push all my contacts, calenders etc through to the Z10.

Agreed...I would rather have something with a small feature set that works then something which a huge feature set which often doesn't work and is frustratingly intuitive when it does.

The old Blackberry desktop software was garbage, on any platform. I haven't even used Link yet but if it does what it does well, at least it will be a solid start upon which BB can build.

I beg to differ. I have had ZERO problems using Desktop manager on my pc. From DM 4 all the way up to 7 everything just works as expected everytime on win xp, win7 and now win 8.
Remember when dealing with technology its "garbage in, garbage out". RIM/Blackberry is steadily pissing off current users from dropping BIS, watering down bridge, now link. as it stands now aside from the new os and a bunch of gimmick apps (eg. angry bird et al) the current os7.1 "gets more done" than bb10.

Agreed. BB10 is more of a toy (like iOS and Android) and im keeping my BB7 phone just because of the bad Bridge for Playbook on BB10.

The fact that the contacts/appointment can no longer be transferred from computer to BB10 (Exchange needed) is a sore point. If BB runs an exchange server, sync would be great but they would send business MS' way. If you set up a Gmail or Outlook email you send your clients to the Google and MS platform. Not good.

I just dont get this one. How about cloud sync? DropBox or Box-dependent sync?

I was expecting BB10 to be MORE not LESS.

In a way I can understand some of the changes, and I also understand the problems associated with a new OS. But RIM didn't start this project just last week, and remember they add a WHOLE YEAR to "get things right". I'm just wondering what they got right??

Hardware isn't the best.
OS is still considered a beta.
Many of the features that BB users expect are missing.
Many of the Big Apps are still not there.

They must have been in a really bad place last year.

Did Wifi sync ever work well for you? Did syncing movies to your phone or your playbook ever work as expected? The only thing that I ever used it for that worked was backing up the device, which you can mostly do with Blackberry protect, so it wasn't really necessary for my purposes.

Granted there may be some features, such as the MS contacts sync, that did what you wanted, but I stand by my assertion that on the whole, as compared to say iTunes (which by the way I also absolutely hate) BB desktop manager was as half assed as it gets.

If you don't want your phone to do anything other than receive emails and store contacts, then DM might have been fine. For pretty much everything else it was a pain, in my opinion. That's not to say that you couldn't get it to work eventually, but why would I want to spend my time wrestling with an application just to get it to work as advertised.

I agree that the loss of some functionality has been disappointing, but the phone still does what it is supposed to do, and that is be the communications centre of your life.

But I also don't think that they will lose users over it. Realistically, if someone wants to drop BlackBerry are their other choices any different with respect to the points you are commenting on? No.

So if you were a BlackBerry fan but are upset over the loss of some of the customization you enjoyed (which was probably only used fully by the hardcore members of Crackberry, and not the majority of the 80 million subscribers), changing to another OS that doesn't have those options either just because of that doesn't really make any sense. Stick with what you know.

I personally will miss the ability to backup and restore through BBDM.

Example: Recently my wife's 9300 trackpad died. By using DM's option to change phones I could tranfer all of her data through to an old 8310 I'd kept as a spare. Through DM (& att.bb.com) I was able to make it "her phone" and she can now wait it out until BB10 comes to us. But what choice would I have now with Link? DM was very useful to us as we've had 8310's, 8900's & 9300's...each time I used DM to make the switch in no time at all - no tech support required. If one got "bricked" there was always BBSAK to wipe it and bring it back to life. But no more...?

BlackBerry's speaking points have been updated, as well the message has been sent via their Twitter feed and other community channels. They will be incorporating Organizer Sync of PIM applications in the near future. Look at it this way, they created their own Sync engine last year when they updated to 7.0 in February, which then was pulled back and then posted again in June. No longer using Intelli-sync, why would a company work for so long to get their own sync engine up and running, and then have it in use, almost, for a year then abandon it. It's more likely that the incorporation of it in Link will take time and why delay the smartphone for one feature in the desktop software? That doesn't make sense. Users who are using DTS to sync PIM information locally on their computers need, in all honesty and respect, to update the way they store their organizer data in Outlook (or other mail clients) so that the information for them is stored in an email accounts mailbox, also connected with Outlook or their respective mail client, that supports wireless sync. Gmail and Outlook.com emails addresses both do this with BB10. It's literally a matter of associating that email with your mail client, if you haven't already, then copying and pasting from say the contacts folder for your local information, to the contacts folder in the gmail/outlook.com email folder. Voila! Over The Air WIRELESS sync. It's a beautiful thing really. :-)

+1
Adam, I spit up my own coffee when I saw that picture! Thanks for my first LOL of the morning! Where'd you get that mug?

Still waiting for the BB to be sold here in the USA so I have no need to download Link. I know that for me some times the BB Desktop Manger often had failures in doing the backup. So I would not say it was perfect. I am sure with time that additional features will be presented.

First apps now the desktop software is lacking? I'm getting cold feet on whether to pick up my z10

Thank you for that one Adam. I am one of those users and this is a MUST for me, local PYM sync with outlook (no way I can have data on my phone up to a server by cloud or Gmail Sync, not an option for me).

I can tell you there are lots of people going on about this one, so I hope BB really listens this time, being on an "all in" bet, we do support but with the premise that we get to have features that have been "default" for BB faithfuls all this time.

Blackberry make this happen, look in forums and you ll see why this is a DEAL BRAKER.
Thanks

+1

It doesn't mean people will therefor leave BB, but I can see a lot of people staying with the os6/7-devices.

So let's hope they don't cut us off there or the future might not look as bright as it did a couple of days before launch day.

Since I am not on a BES, and I do not use Google Apps, or Yahoo contacts/calendar I have to be able to sync to my laptop Outlook, i am not even happy with OS7 only giving me the option of associating my contacts with Yahoo or GMail. The Z10 is looking more and more like a GREAT consumer phone for BES, surfing, social media and multimedia but leaves out the small guys businesses.

+1

This is the first I've heard of this problem. My wife and I use our Bolds to store calendar and contact info that is confidential patient/client information. Syncing with Outlook on a desktop PC via USB has been an essential part of our routine. Going through the cloud (GMail/Google or Outlook.com/Microsoft) is not acceptable, not least because both companies admit they are not HIPPA-compliant for electronic transmission of patient data. Blackberry Link needs to do desktop sync or we can't upgrade to BB10. It's that simple.

These are the issues I have with PB: pretty much all or nothing. Worst thing is not being able to backup/resore URL bookmarks for goodness sake !!! The functionality of PB base native apps don't even come close to OS7. Doubt I will do BB 10 for quite a few iterations !!

CB crew - your time will be better spent finding solutions to problems or at least escalating them to bb rather than re-iterating what's on the forums. Yes, BB Link is crap, but what are the other options? What are the alternatives that can help users fill these gaps? e.g. on the forums people are asking for ways to sync bb10 with desktop outlook. How about a post outlining any possible solutions?

Forget the alternatives, the work arounds, either make the thing work like it is supposed to or put it back on the shelf.

It seems the new software leadership at RIM completely underestimated just what was involved when they deposed the old software leadership.

Maybe David Yach knew a thing or two after all.

However good the new BlackBerry ecosystem may be, it still lacks many features of the old ecosystem. Which makes it as good as the competition, but surprisingly in many respects not as good as BB OS 7. Such a pity they didn't throw the same resources at the old OS they've thrown at the new one.

A better JVM, a TAT designed UI and new hardware and RIM could have released devices a year ago and still retained BIS, DM, apps that start on device start and other features.

Personally, I would have given your stop gap idea a try long time ago. They had so many things right, less apps and hardware performance.

I am a regular user who has a PC and a BlackBerry 7.1 device. I use Outlook on my PC. I have 20,000 contacts (address book records) and am looking to add another 5,000 or so this year. So far I have used Desktop Manager to sync over USB cable. How do I sync with BB 10? Will it be impossible for me to migrate from BB 7.1 to BB 10.0? I don't have any "server" or "Exchange" or whatever that is. Is RIM, oops BlackBerry, looking to guide me as a user into BB 10, or will they tell me to just bite the bullet and go get an iPhone instead?

I'd guess they'll tell you to sync with Google or some other company. Which of course you would already be doing if that was something you wanted to/felt comfortable with heh

I feel your pain, I am on the same train, except I dont have the number of records you do, but if i cannot sync Outlook the BB10 is a failure for me. As much as I love my 9930, and have been heart set on a Z10 I am starting to look around and see what else is there. But I am having a hard time considering anything else do to the secure platform RIM/BB has.

Suggest you look at leveraging outlook.com as a "go between" to sync your info to the Z10 and back to your desktop Outlook.

Another option will be to wait for CompanionLink to come out, hopefully soon, and will provide the USB sync ability with the Z10.

http://www.companionlink.com/

I do not have as many contacts as you but I was in pretty much the same boat boat last week. I had already preordered my Z10 and then looked deeper into the link issue to find that it most likely would not USB sync my contacts and calendar events. This was almost a deal breaker for me as well. But there is a "solution" that involves outlook.com, a Microsoft @live.com email address and Microsoft Outlook Connector ( a bit of software that sync between your PC and outlook.com). Their are some good posts in the forums that get into the details of how to set it all up. I just want to let you know that it does work. I add a contact on my Z10 and it appears in my outlook on my desktop and vice versa (you do have to configue the way you use outlook slightly)same goes for Calendar entries.

I was pretty upset when I first found out about the lack of USB sync to outlook, but I must admit this setup works very well now. Something I should have moved to long ago.

Hope this helps!

PS you will bang your head against your desk with an iphone too...I can't imagine managing 20000 contacts thru itunes...

Amen to your post. As I mentioned in the forums, USB sync is yesterday's technology. The vast majority of Android and iPhone users are syncing their contacts, calendars and tasks using a cloud solution. I wonder how many of the individuals who have an extreme lack of trust in "the cloud" choose to shop online and use internet banking.

The cloud is about redundancy. If your computer/laptop crashes or is stolen, you are covered. And I can guarantee you this, the cloud service providers have spent WAY more on security and backup than you have.

"Let go Indiana..."

Or another scenario I saw [posted the other day where a use was adamant about this issues stating he would never use the "cloud" and uses POP to download his email to Outlook. This sounds reasonable until he stated that he has his Outlook set to leave the mail on the server????

I dont know what people are complaining about. I used the ActiveSync to sync my BBZ10 to my outlook and it works fine. Emails, contacts, calander, events, tasks all sync perfectly. This is not done through the desktop which seems to be what everyone is focused on. Also i know there is the option of using BES 10, which should sync with outlook as well, but not 100% sure how this works.

I, for one understood that most of those niceties we love so much about our BBs would be gone. BB hasn't had the 15 or so years with BB10 to put all that stuff in. To that end, I have been moving my email, calendar, contacts, media and documents to the cloud in anticipation of the change.

Yes, us "real" BB users will be very disappointed with the bare-bones reality of BB10/Link/BES10. However, those users coming from that other fruit will not notice anything missing except the need to install an app for everything. Those coming from android will miss the millions of things they can play with, especially if they rooted it. That disappointment might be offset by superior performance and a smooth, slick interface.

this about bb10 not having 15+ yrs growth is rubbish. When your auto manufacturer is going to make an "all new" version of their current model do you see them going back to horse and wagon, abandoning what got them to the point they are today? No. They take the best of what they have now, improve on them and add new innovation. as a bb user from the days of os4.5 the jump from os7 to 10 seems to be going backwards in too many areas.

After all the buildup I have put out there about BB10, and all the family and colleagues that have bought PlayBooks based on my excitement, they are now asking me what is going on. I have been so excited and now my stomach hurts. BB10 is obviously oozing brilliance, but did BlackBerry forget about non-enterprise business users? I have confidential data and cant use the cloud. There must be thousands with similar needs. BlackBerry listened to the wants of those who wanted a physical keyboard, but it seems as tho easy functions that already exist are being forgotten. Yet Z10 is still marketed as a device for "those that do."

I know bringing BB10 to market was a huge undertaking with endless facets. I also have time, since the Z10 doesn't come out until March and we don't have a time on BB10 for the PB. BLACKBERRY YOU HAVE TO DO THIS. I have believed in you. Don't blow this, please!

I feel your pain, I was soooo excited about the PB I pre-ordered one, then when I got it found out that it is pretty much for playing games on, but had hope because RIM/BB promised frequent updates and fixes, which has evaporated.
Then they began to hype BBX/BB10 but it too is following a very similar path of the PB it gets pushed to market, is a great toy, but the business functionality is lacking and maybe promised in future software updates. Is BB10.1 going to be the Z10 equvilent of the PB OS2.1? a great update but still doesnt bring the business feature everyone has come to know and depend on RIM/BB delivering?
Maybe this is why they have delayed production of US units because the publicity/comparisons to the PB would kill BB10?

I hope BlackBerry listens and does something quickly. Small business users who don't have IT departments or work remotely in the field with laptops or remote office locations use sync and need it to continue. How is this not possible....not all play games, stay glued to twitter or FB and other social apps. CB should be our voice since they get closed door access to all at BlackBerry. This is very important and should not be brushed off or under the carpet.

Being able to sync to Outlook is a principle reason I have not switched to iphone/android as a corporate user. If it was just a personal phone Gmail, etc would be fine, but for a business user this is unacceptable. The phone seems great and I want one, but it seems to be migrating towards being a toy/personal use phone like the others. As an early adopter of Playbook it was very annoying that after we got native email I could not sync to Outlook for contacts and had to create a Gmail account for contacts only. Very annoying. Blackberry needs to get this straightened out, or allow os10 to be compatible with BB Desktop software.

there must be an easy way to sync with my Thunderbird on my MacBookPro and with Calendars and Contacts from iCloud

The sad thing about BB10 is that it was built to attract new users not give us long time users a more feature rich robust new BlackBerry. Its made for social and entertainment. Trying to sway Android and Iphone users.

Was BB Link developed by BlackBerry or did they license the software from someone else? If BB developed it, I can't see how hard it would be to add manual Outlook syncing via a BB Link update. Unless there is something in the BB 10 OS preventing it..?

I think BlackBerry link was designed for the simple user solution for transferring Media to and from your device. There are very few settings and options. I think this was by design. We have a sales environment where our BB users #1 did not care for using desktop, for backing up or updating their software. The biggest complaint was that it was too complicated.

Do I think it was too complicated, of course not. But they see me as a techie and therefore have the magic knowledge that they could never have. Right?

This was another major bone head move by BlackBerry with each day since the :"launch event", BlackBerry is acting more like RIM.

More wait wait wait - and more oops kind of nonsense.

Honestly unless they make some major changes or have some major announcements I may be an Andoid user by the time March rolls around.

It's really bad when your snazzy new phone can't handle the job of the old JAVA phone. At the very least the Z10 should have shipped with all the features people expect from BlackBerry. I just can't even believe that WE THE CONSUMER HAVE TO POINT THIS OUT TO THE MORONS AT BLACKBERRY.

THOR & BB GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR COLLECTIVE ASSES!

I agree, after 1 1/2 years of hearing the promises for PB, the hype on 10 and all the short comings I too am looking for another brand that is at least proven. Read an article that said it best, "if BB 10 produces all that it promises is still a year behind rest of industry", getting pretty fed up. Phone works but when can't sync to outlook is no value to me. PB has become an expensive reader. Bridge so slow quit trying to manage emails long ago. Browser sucks. Native PIMS never worked right and notes/memos was conveniently left off. What would make me think it will get better, certainly not the hype from CB and I do not need a new mug. Why not tell the truth instead of always painting a rosy picture, CB has lost as much credibility as BB. Only reason for reading was to hear about updates and most of those are wrong, where is the bridge update anyway? Oh right, was going to be shortly followed by PB update. My contract is up in April and will not be replaced by any more Blackberry products. Will use my 9930 until I figure out what to try next.

They said BB10 was for BlackBerry People, but seem to have not implement a lot of legacy BBOS features that BB People use and rely on!

+1 on this comment. I was thinking the same thing. Thor was all about the idea that they wanted to maintain and please their core BB user base, and not be a "me too" company. Yet, all they seem to done was tick us off and dumb the features down to what the other OSs are doing.

I mean, offering some of the features of the other OSs is fine - EAS is a great addition and long needed - but taking away other features that differentiated BB in the first place is the wrong move.

Co-sign this article. There is lots I love about BB10; Z10 and BB link but a few things that frustrate me and that I feel have been overlooked. I'm glad I kept my 9900 and put it on my 2nd line so I have the best of both worlds whilst BB take on our feedback and hopefully add features/fix bugs.

Z10/bold 9900/Playbook 64GB Tmobile/Orange UK. Crackberry addict since '04

Wow, one of the KEY features of the Z10 is no more need for two phones.....well how is that working for those who made the leap...of faith? Not a bash but for the many to have to keep their older phones to maintain sync ability kind of defeats the purpose. How does BB explain their way out of this one???? Why is it taking them so long to respond to this when before the launch you saw responses from BB on these posts???

The absence of Outlook PIM sync ability via either USB or Wireless is very surprising. Hopefully it will come in the near future.

indeed. This is a no-brainer IMO. Both computer (Link) and phone (BB10 Carrier) are connected to the internet, yet they cannot talk to each other and sync automatically (calendars, contacts).

Hey Adam, not sure if this has already been adressed....waaaay to many posts to read each, plus i'm at work..haha...so..i was able to restore a single database...you just have to scroll down through a list...it is not the easiest to see, but it it is still possible. it's just that the calendar wouldn't restore for some reason.

Adam where is the beef.???? Just read all the hype on the internet. I sure hope BB management does. This issue is not going away.....look at the General Discussion under " Z10 won`t sync outlook-has blackberry lost touch with realty"....over 7800 views in only 2 days. Blackberry surely didn't consider their existing faithful users when they took away our Outlook sync-that is why millions of existing users have a BB and will probably stay with their existing units. I know I am and I was so looking forward to my new Z10-Desktop Manager has done an excellent job for me and will continue

Blackberry Link did not work for me at all. I could not transfer my music using a Win7 x64 PC. I then thought, "that's ok, I will just use mass storage mode". But apprently there is no option to do that for internal memory. Mass storage options exist only for microSD (if present). As a former Android user, I am missing mass storage (or at least MTP) modes.

Finally, I transferred my files using wifi file sharing option (i.e. Samba) and pulled files from my Box account.

Same mine. Old device transfer to new device doesn't work. Say turned on connection on with new device. Was called support but wanna me pay 49 dollars for tech support. Oh well. It getting dark here.

So my outlook will not work with BB10 for syncing contacts and the such on a standard PC????? If so what a disappointment. I run my business off of just a few PC'S. This is the not good for BB. I have always used DM for keeping things synced. I'm not a google fan by a long shot. Grrrrr.

I wonder if RIM ever included any sort of analytics tools in the desktop software to find out how many people used these features that are missing. Even so, something like restoring the data from a single database would be infrequently used, but very important when needed.

I hope BlackBerry got things right for the vast majority of BES users and general consumers. This brings back memories of the past when certain details gave me the feeling that they developed for BES users and others were more of an after-thought. Now they're including typical consumers, but (as others above mentioned) leaving out certain options for other segments of their user base.

Still, I can believe the number of people not syncing contacts with some cloud service has shrunk dramatically.

I believe BlackBerry is focusing on the mobile. So they are trying to make everything wireless. As Thor said, they are about mobile computing. They don't have a desktop system so I'm sure they are putting all their efforts into wireless syncing and making it so you don't have to use a laptop or desktop.

Wireless syncing, great. Mobile computing, great. Trying to eliminate my laptop, no. Won't happen. Backing up to the cloud, sorry, not for me. BBRY should not try to force everyone into a "one size fits all" shoe.

I think it's a very smart move to clear out the dependencies on any kind of a desktop software.

Looking back, Ive only connected my phone to the desktop is for a backup/sync or for Internet access.

If you are having problems syncing.. Just upgrade your services to something relevant or use free web based services which work well.

Are you kidding me!!!!! No sync with outlook. Seems to be a basic task. Not everyone works for a big corporation. Some of us self employed individuals use outlook and a phone!!!
My stupid iphone syncs my contacts, calendars etc with no issues. I do not want to use my iphone anymore. Blackberry better not forget us who want to come back.

One step forward, ten steps back?

We've waited on BB10 for years only to be told that we have to wait even longer (March, at least).

Not only did we NOT get BB10 for the PlayBook, we don't have any clue when it's coming.

For those lucky enough to get a BB10 phone (and have a Playbook), the bridge has been reduced to little more than a tethering app.

Some of the most important features of Desktop/Link have been totally removed.

One of the most popular apps in the world (Skype) although FINALLY coming to BB will not be native.

As some of the others have posted, I'm really getting nervous about the prospect of committing two years to an ecosystem that will in all likelihood take at least that many years to mature and become stable.

It just sounds like an awful lot to give up after having waited this long...

So I bought a new Z10, first day, got home that night, downloaded the Link software, plugged in my Z10 and then sat there baffled, where is the sync option. Scan the web, ahhhhh, no sync. This is going to be a decision maker for many I believe, this device is not easy to use for a non-tech person in my opinion. Having to get a outlook.com or gmail address and syncing that with outlook is a pain for most. Then no Skype, no native Evernote. No bridge, Playbook is really degraded now, no BB10 for Playbook, they think I will buy another upgraded one? Why does this company make it so hard to love them or even cheer for them. Right now, without the USB sync, we won't be getting any additional units, too much of a headache. Sad, when this gets out and more people hear about it not syncing, I think it will be bad.

Remember there is also no Outlook desktop USB sync for Windows phone, iPhone and android. This is the way it is moving...I had my issues and days of panic but outlook.com and active sync works very well and I am MORE than satisfied with the solution.

Microsoft makes Outlook and Windows phone and they decided when they launched WP7 that there would be no desktop sync with outlook and it's their product!!

BlackBerry LInk sucks, I have a mac and require an up to date version of IPhoto to upload pictures etc. BlackBerry screwed the pooch on this one because before with BlackBerry Desk Top Manager I was able to ether upload photos, music, etc through or directly swipe and drop in the BlackBerry icon on the desk top.

I spent three days trying to sync my Contacts list from my Storm to my sparkling new Z10. Three days which distracted me from running my (tiny) business. BlackBerry need to understand that we are not all IT experts, and some things that they may take for granted (such as moving to the cloud) are not adopted for years by many for the simple reason that we are too busy running our business or our lives to keep up. I find systems or gadgets that solve a problem then stick with them until there is a compelling reason to upgrade to something better. I do not upgrade simply because everyone else is doing it or because it is "the latest thing".

I have found things in the BlackBerry ecosphere that have solved problems for me, such as the PlayBook and the Storm on OS 5.0, and I have found ways of integrating them into my business life. I thought that things could only get better with BB10 and the Z10. WRONG!

Eventually I found by accident that the Gmail email account that I had set up some months ago for some totally unrelated reason would sync my contacts. Having belatedly set it up on my Z10 my Contacts list became miraculously populated. I didn't set up Gmail immediately on the Z10 because I hardly use it, already had my daily business email account set up, and was exploring other features. I didn't need all that Contacts hassle. I just wanted to plug into Link the old-fashioned way, sync my contacts, calendar and the rest from Outlook, and go. It should have taken me about three minutes. Instead, it took me three days. Not happy.

I'm happier now, because this exercise has taught me things that will be useful from now on, such as the virtues of cloud-based services. But from a marketing point of view for BlackBerry this sort of thing, including the destruction of the very useful Bridge functions on the Playbook, is an absolute disaster.

I am very happy with the Z10 so far. It is a technical tour de force and could well give the iPhone and Android devices a run for their money, but angering users by removing key functionalities is stupid beyond belief. I don't know how BB design their products but I suspect it is by committee. Just as in politics, where government by committee never works, and which needs someone like Margaret Thatcher to drive things through, design by committee is usually a disaster. It needs someone like Steve Jobs, someone who understands his customers, someone who would say "I don't care that you say it's impossible, our customers won't stand for the removal of USB syncing., MAKE IT HAPPEN!" "AND QUICK!"

So BB10 is supposed to enable me to carry around a single phone. Between Bridge and Link (among other things) it sounds like I'll still have to carry around two phones. A BB10 phone for the fun new features and my BBOS 7 phone for getting work done. I sure hope they get that fixed.

PLEASE xmasberry figure out how to sync thru outlook.com...my Z10 is now the BEST business phone I have EVER had not to mention the new life I have given my Playbook because it syncs to outlook.com as well and now all my contacts and calendar events are perfectly synced between my devices. Haven't needed the bridge app yet because of this.

I loved my old BB and the desktop sync but that is gone now and it is time to move on. It can be done!

well this is f'in shite. i do rely on the fact that they follow crackberry and make it up to the standard we're used to asap.

------
Rocking my two berries:
Torch 9810 OS 7.1.0.402 and Playbook OS 2.0.1.358
Twitter: @mr_theend

I'm in the UK and I have to admit when I got my Z10 last week I was looking forward to finally having the new Os we'd all seem the demos of. But within hours of getting the device home and finding that I have to use this Link software because BB10 doesn't work with DeskTop Manager. Then finding no sync options to my outlook programme I was a bit annoyed.

No problem I thought I'll restore from BlackBerry Protect......er no you can't do that as BlackBerry Protect seems to be a locating programme only now. So after backing up to the Sim and using the transfer to new device in Link still not working properly in transferring contacts I resorted to manual entry on every contact.

After these 2 blows yet another blow when I figured out BlackBerry Bridge has had the unique features removed making it almost purely a tethering programme I was left wondering what the hell are they playing at BlackBerry. They had long enough to sort it all out as they delayed the launch from 2012. Yet it feels like they have released a new Os before its totally ready. By this I mean that I don't expect the new Os to have less than the Os it replaces. I want to be able to do everything I can do presently with my old device with my new device whilst possibly having some new enhancements and improvements.

I'm no expert yet within hours of owning, 3 major flaws had become apparent to me as I used these regularly. Thats without the few email, facebook & twitter problems I have had with the Z10 that necessitated a re-routed phone call from my network to the BlackBerry helpline left me thinking I should have maybe stayed with my 9900. Things have settled down now but I've still got some phone issues with twitter and facebook and still its not as connectable as my 9900.

Thorstein should be having some serious words with some people at BlackBerry in my opinion as the link, protect and bridge issues are home goals BlackBerry didn't need.

First, let me say having used both there is s distinct difference between the Windows versions ot the old DM and the Mac version. The Mac versions were late and they never realy got it right so if all you know is the Mac version I could see why you would believe the DM was a poor experience. The Windows DM was the one that was first and I cannot remember the time I had a problem with it. Because they have the same names from the same company, doesn't mean the software was the same. IMHO there was no comparison between the 2 versions an as such even to this day with my 9810 I don't use my home Mac to sync with the DM.

Second, I will simply never understand this constant "well if I don't need it why would anyone need it" beat that goes on on this forum. The USB sync was as much a part of BB for many of us who have been using BB devices since the 7520 for me and back further for others. Active Sync does not work for anyone with a personal POP3 account for the PIM.

While I don't have trouble using the cloud services, I can respect those that do. BB is a security device and that there are folks who don't want to compromise that security by using Google or MS should not be put down.

In the end, it was BB turning a deaf ear to the things their customers were demanding that got them in trouble in the first place, the belief that they knew better was a certain arrogance of the Co-CEO's. I had hoped that changed when the management was changed. I still believe that and believe that they listen more than the previous generation and as such might address this- though down the road.

The CB guys say the guys at RIM didn't expect this as they don't use the service - ok I believe that. But I think there is a sufficient number of folks who have complained about it missing here that they could do something about it. My one concern is that the folks who knew how to do this are gone now, it's like building a Saturn 5 rocket again I fear.

@ selosindis

I'm not afraid of the cloud. I have a smartphone because I want to run my business and my life efficiently. I am eager to adopt new technology. I had computers in my business long before most small businesses. But I also have a business to run and I have already wasted days and weeks browsing Crackberry in search of solutions to BlackBerry gadget problems or failures that I should not have had to deal with. They should just work, and work in a way that is most convenient to the user, whether or not they have their head in the technological sand. Apple understand this perfectly.

That is why they have nearly 50% of the US smartphone market.

For those of you who are saying "Why don't you just move your contacts to the cloud?" -- fine. Let's say that we would be happy in principle to move our contacts to the cloud. How does one do it? Which of these cloud services handles 25,000 contacts? 30,000? Which of these cloud services supports all of the address book fields in Micrcosoft Outlook? Think carefully before you answer -- is there an exact field-to-field correspondence between the various phone, email, address and other fields, between MS Outlook and the cloud service you have in mind? Do they have the categories field in/from Microsoft Outlook? I'd like to know. If you can tell me how I migrate to such a service, tell me precisely how I do it, because I'm not against the cloud at all from a security or whatever perspective. I just don't know how to do it and retain the data and functionality for my 25,000, plus or minus, number of contacts.

use outlook.com it syncs directly with outlook on your desktop. It will keep all the address book fields you have setup.
You will need...
1. an outlook.com account (which really is a @live.com email address)
2. Outlook connector -Download from Microsoft
3. Outlook on your PC.

There are plenty of tutorials online to get all this setup.

Glad to see i am not the only one unhappy about syncing (or not) with Outlook, though i really wish we were all glowing about the prospect of getting a BB10. Per the thread I started last month on the forum, i have gone from an excited, loyal BB user to being really disappointed. I tried the W8 route and using outlook.com and it stunk! It is a pain to set up, messed up my calendar and you need a dedicated hotmail or live email account (ick). if the BB was getting rave reviews, i would be willing to use companionlink, or a third party app, but with a crummy map app, etc...it seems less and less like i will stay a loyal RIM customer. As i mentioned in the forum, my daughter syncs Oulook with itunes for her iphone and it is seamless. i have always resisted using Apple products, but it looks like i might go that route. if there was a BB solution to the cloud, i would use that too. BB - how could you not address this out of the gate??????????

Would I be able to restore my OS and data from the cloud should my z10 get corrupted and need a complete re-load? I'm thinking, not.

It's all new, so I'm gonna say...work in progress?
And, yeah, as an owner of 2 Macs and one MS, gotta say, it has always been better on MS.
Chances are, if Apple didn't make it, it won't work well on Apple. Why they weren't popular in the first place. At Apple, 'open standards ' is profanity...

#BB10Believe

Wish they made the Link for Linux. - that's what I've installed on my Macs to make them more useful...

#BB10Believe

Blech, I never used Desktop Manager too much anyways. I find it a hassle and not too overly useful since there are third party apps that can wirelessly sync files, pictures, videos, contacts. As long as there are a bunch of apps to fill this role on BB 10, this won't be a huge issue, at least not for people like myself.
So is the Link just a name change from Desktop Manager but fulfills the same role? These days, a physical link is not as important anymore with cloud storage that you can access remotely. I find myself hardly ever using Desktop Manager with my PlayBook, which is only a plus :)

Just a thought, but surely when you desgin and build a new Os wouldn't it have been a thought to use the old Os functionality as the base level ?

To clarify the problems we have seen with sync and bridge should not even be experienced as they worked pretty much perfectly. But also I personally send group text messages quite regularly and had my 9900 set up so I could do this within seconds. Now BB10 doesn't have a group contacts for text messages so I find myself spending a minute or two to now do what I was doing in seconds.

I hope BlackBerry do read these Blogs as at the moment Z10 is not 'keeping me moving' (as the advert says) as much as my 9900 was as now and then I'm stood selecting contacts ... :)

BlackBerry Link won't let me sign in to my BB ID, concerning, thinking i may have to create a new account which i dont want to do. i click sign in and just nothing happens.

Pretty useless to me...mostly because i've integrated everything in Gmail so it's available everywhere...so 'synch' isn't something i've used in quiet sometime.

I don't want my contacts, calendar and tasks (reminders) stuck in the cloud. Would you? I work in security and privacy.

Calm your jets people.

BlackBerry will make everything just right. The are too busy selling millions of BB10 right now. Give them some slack , will you.

It's not the end of the world ..... just maybe the end of Apple.

My roomate installed Blackberry Link on his macbook, he wanted to transfer his contacts, etc. from his 9700 to his new Z10. With his macbook, he wasnt having much luck.

We plugged the Z10 into my PC, it requested to install Blackberry Link, after it was done, we plugged in the 9700, transferred the data to the Z10 with ease! Not having to download Blackberry Link on our own was a bonus!

Well, I don't sync my calendar or anything like that into the cloud or use outlook, so I'd say blackberry link will be fine for me. I'm no longer going to be anal about device data, just back it up and go. :)
So many complainers. Geeze.

So who made the "decision" that MS Outlook sync-via-USB was "not needed" ??

I for one was horrified about this...

Link is still not working as per the latest update - pulling outlook calendar appointments across via usb into the Z10. It begs the question, is someone actually validating the updates?. Or are they just releasing on the hope that it works. If this is happening, BBRY need to stop what they are doing.

I just bought a new q10 & I need all of my files, etc from my old torch. Is bberry link my best way to do this? if so, which device do I plug in 1st; the torch or the q10? PLEASE HELP!!