Call it Spark or Splat (or whatever you want), this BlackBerry symbol means Action!

BlackBerry Action!
By Kevin Michaluk on 15 Aug 2012 08:05 pm EDT

We set out earlier this week on a CrackBerry quest to give a more fitting name to BlackBerry's asterisk-on-circle notification icon than "splat", which is the nickname it has been referred to in the past internally by Research In Motion employees.

Hundreds of suggestions later, we narrowed it down to the best five and then we put it to a vote by CrackBerry Nation. The winner? Drum roll please.... the icon formerly known as the Splat is now known as the Spark! Congrats go to CrackBerry member black.rhino for suggesting this one. The voting was pretty split between the finalists, but Spark took the leading winning by a margin over double the next runner up. We'll be hooking up black.rhino up, as well as the other finalists, with some spending cash at for their creativity. Nicely done!

So that's that. If you're a Research In Motion employee reading this, be sure to spread the word that the Splat is now the Spark! It's fitting too - a spark sets off a chain of events, and this symbol definitely does just that - seeing it on your phone is the spark that ignites your thumbs into a messaging blaze.

Now we know not all of you reading this were fans of the suggestions - we knew that would be the case, and that's fine. And we also knew, as many of you pointed out, it's not even that big of a deal that a symbol like this have a name. Most of us, myself included, have gone years without giving any thought to what this symbol was called. Afterall, most normal BlackBerry icons don't have names. And even now knowing that it has a name, it's not like it's one you're going to be putting into regular use all that often. Honestly, the only time it enters conversation is when you're talking about the graphic specifically, as we are doing in a post like this. But still, we like to finish what we start here on CrackBerry... splat needed some rebranding.. so we followed this one through to the end. Long live Spark!

The bottom line: It really doesn't matter what you call the icon. Call it spark, splat, noti, nova, burst, splash, star, asterisk or whatever you want, what matters is what it means, and this BlackBerry symbol means ACTION! 

Reader comments

Call it Spark or Splat (or whatever you want), this BlackBerry symbol means Action!


I like Spark..usually on a BB it's a sign of a conversation so it's like..sparking a conversation.

@Bla1ze somehow I knew you would favor spark.. That was my fav too.. Like Spark it up!! Actions cool tho.. Like Action Jackson we got Action Splat..

Spark is good, like "spark of action", but I fear the votes were split because none of these ideas were exciting enough to catch attention. Maybe a second round of votes? I nominate the name "doer" as it's the notifier of those of us who do! Personally, I'm not sure that's a great idea either. If Spark isn't it, I'm sure that the answer is out there (so says X-files). Hopefully spark really catches on now that it won.

Congrats to the Rhino! I like Spark (even though I liked my suggestion of 'the Rock Star ') and will heretofore refer to it by that name.

The BB7 docs don't really name it. They just say: "When there is something new, an indicator (for example, a red asterisk) is added to the icon to indicate that "new" items are available."

However, the BB10 docs do explicitly call it a "splat". There's a function called "setIconBadge()", and one of the values you can pass it is called "SplatBadge".

So I'm pretty sure that RIM is now officially calling that thing a "splat", and CrackBerry really can't just go off on their own and make up a new name for it.

Well done black.rino

@ dkonigs
Sure we can; it doesn't mean that RIM / BlackBerry has to listen to us lol

Call it whatever you want.. After all its not such a big deal. Ok " Spark " it is.... Congratz! Black.rhino, sad they didnt pick my suggestion SEED. Anyways, im a Sport. Lets get some ***SPARK ***

Hey Kevin:
This is the type of graphic you put on a T-Shirt, bumper sticker, coffee mugs, etc. All it needs is the words BlackBerry underneath the three logos. Think you could "encourage" Frank Boulben or his staff to put out some material with this on it?

I also recommended notice only I spelled it differently and I was beat to the punch :( I guess I should have read all the comments. Oh well I'm always beat to the punch in some form or another :p and I still like noti but I also like spark too!!

Did I mention how ssshhhwwweeeeeaaaatttttgg BlackBerry10 is gonna be!?

That's the only reason I'm still using a BlackBerry. They make me efficient when communicating but they don't please me with the bugs. I'm sure BB10 will be a blockbuster.

A quick USPTO search suggests that Spark cannot be used on its own as a trade mark; it must be part of something else, stylised, or a variant spelling. I imagine it is simply too generic. But, in conjunction with the alert symbol, I guess it might be trademarked.

I still like Noti. If RIM doesn't use it I may. Thanks seb.hebert.

Torch 9860 & PlayBook (Life is good)

Second round pick - BLAST- The BlackBerry Blast - BlackBerry Loyalists Are Super Typers.. I'm bout to send out a BLAST.. I'm bout to BLAST off.. O hold up wait I just got a BBM BLAST - damn my BlackBerry's gettin BLASTED

Congrats to black.rhino and all the other contributors.

Spark is a good name. :)

Oh and thatnks CrackBerry for the hook up in the shop: much appreciated.

Question for you Kevin: Will I get contacted via email, or PM, or how does that work? LOL don't want to miss it.