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.