Some thoughts on BlackBerry 6 one week later

By Adam Zeis on 25 Aug 2010 02:46 pm
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BlackBerry 6

I've had over a week now to play with my new Torch 9800/BlackBerry 6 and simply put, I love it. I've always been a "BlackBerry Guy". I didn't set out to compare the device to other smartphones to see what better fit me. I know BlackBerry works for what I need, and RIM's latest creation fit the bill perfectly. I love the features that the Torch has to offer, as well as the great updates in BlackBerry 6. That being said, there are a few fairly big downsides with the software as well that leave me scratching my head. As you read this, keep in mind it's just a rant in hopes of getting some things fixed up. I encourage you to play around, see what you can find as well and leave a comment below.

Social Feeds

One of the things I looked forward to most in BlackBerry 6 was the Social Feeds app. To have RSS integrated with my Twitter and Facebook would be ideal I thought. Well now that I've had the chance to fire it up I have to say I'm not that thrilled with it. If you were to use AIM, Gtalk, MSN, Yahoo!, Facebook, Myspace and BBM all on your device, sure, I can see how it would be handy to have. As it stands I really only use Facebook, BBM and Twitter so the Social Feeds app isn't really worth using in my opinion. I find that using the Twitter app is much easier and I rarely check BBM status' or Facebook updates from my device. Along with that, the RSS reader is very cool. I love that it easily pulls feeds and keeps them where they need to be on the device. At the same time, I've become a big fan of the Google Reader iPhone site that seems to do a much better job of RSSing me. I said in the past I was super excited to have integrated RSS, but I think it needs a bit more "polish" before I convert full time. It really comes down to what you like and what you do on your device (so each person will be different) but I found that I'm really not a fan of the Social Feeds app and don't think I'll be using it any time soon.

Views

Media

I get where RIM was going with the Views. Having different places for different items is a great idea, having them set and totally not customizable however isn't. Firstly I'm not a big media guy. I use the camera every now and then and look at photos once or twice a week, but I rarely never watch videos or play music on my device. Why? Thats just me, I don't have the need. So for that reason I really have zero need to have a Media view on my device. I'd be fine with just having a media folder (as I had on all my other devices) and leave it at that. 

Downloads

This one just left me asking why. I download and install apps all the time. I know what I download and where it goes, so having a Downloads view really confuses me. It essentially doubles up my icons, so even if I have an app on my homescreen (All view) it still shows in my downloads. Want to hide it from downloads? No such luck. Hide the icon in the Download view and it hides elsewhere. Want to clear your downloads? You can try using the Clear Downloads menu item but it won't get you anywhere (this is a software thing, as I am not able to clear downloads in .141 but I can in .161). So basically your icons just sit here in another erroneous view waiting for you to want to use them. 

Favorites

This view I like ... kind of. I love that I can throw in some favorites for my BBM and/or address book contacts and go right to them. It helps speed things up and keeps me close to the people I contact the most. I do like the ability to add other things like browser bookmarks here as well, however I find that most times I go straight to my browser and just pick a bookmark as opposed to scrolling to my Favorites and launching from there. What don't I like about Favorites? Plenty. I don't like that just like downloads I get icons all over the place. If I want to have Kevin's BBM show in my favorites I can do that, but I also end up with an icon somewhere else too. Hide the extra icon and it hides the other. Dumb. To somewhat get around this issue I created a favorites folder on my homescreen and stuck all my favorites in there. It doesn't solve the problem completely, it just fixes it. I shouldn't have to fix it. The worst part? Favorites get ordered in the view in the order you add them. If you have 5 contacts already listed and add a 6th that you want to show first, too bad. After you reboot they'll rearrange and stay in the order in which they were added.

Frequent

This view I kind of get. It keeps my most used app nicely organized so I can get to them quickly. The only problem? I don't use the many apps. I typically keep the dock on my All view pulled out to show 8 icons with the apps I use most. I know where they are and they never change. So for me, the Frequent view really serves no purpose. I know its there, but often forget and I don't think that I have launched a single app from it yet. 

All

This is where it gets good. My All view is where I live. Its there for the taking, allowing me to arrange my icons how I wish, and my constant landing page. Just like every other device homescreen, this is where it all happens and that's all there is too it. Out of the 5 views this is really the only one I need or care to use -- and that's that. 

So now what?

Now granted the Views and Social Feeds are just a small part of what is BlackBerry 6, but they are also the most obvious if you will. They are a main selling point/feature of the OS, and really the start of either a good or bad BlackBerry 6 experience. There is much more within the OS itself (which I'll get into more as I keep using the device) but I feel that these two features alone can make or break a users experience.

When it comes down to it the Torch and BB6 are a great combo. The more I use the device however, the more I think BB6 on other devices would also be a great combo. While I love the Torch's keyboard and screen, I think that some productivity is lost in the process. Having BB6 on a 9700 or 9780 would be killer in my opinion. I can easily see the 9700 moving back to being my favorite device when BB6 graces us. I don't doubt that using the software on other devices won't change my view, but I think that it will obviously be a totally different experience. 

So how can this all be fixed? Well keep in mind it's really a "to each his own" thing. I'm sure there are loads of users who have no issues at all having all 5 views. While others love maybe 3 and not the rest. I personally think the best route here would have been to let the user customize them, at least in some aspects. Make them act more like folders - give us 5 or 3 or however many views that we can rename and/or delete as we see fit and use them how we please. Let me make an Instant Messaging for my IM apps. Let me make and Applications view for random crap I don't want to look at. Don't have favorites show in more that one place. Let me clear my downloads. The Views tried to do so much, but really need a good revamping to be what they need to be. I appreciate the thought process behind the layout, but I think they really cater to a certain userbase, or a few various users, and not to the BlackBerry user as a whole. What do you think? Do you use all the views or are you with me on this one? Leave a comment and let us know.

111 comments

chriskaboo

Haven't installed it as yet. But as soon as I do ill keep u updated ..lol

Illuminated_A

I ordered my device the other day, can't wait to play on it!!!

UN4GTBL

I'm disappointed to hear that the views aren't customizable. I had assumed that they would be, because, like yourself, there are apps on my 9700 that i just don't use (password keeper, etc) and i'd hate to have that showing up in some view all the time.

isteal

You could always hide the icons you don't use. I hide all kinds of crap that VZW pushes to my device.

KPMcClave

You could flat out remove some of those apps you don't use, either through the "normal" channels of Desktop manager, or using something like Shrink A OS.

omaralfa

There's a ton of stuff I don't use on my 9700 too. I created a single new folder and moved them all into it, then hid that single folder. That way if ever I do need one of them, I "show all" to make that folder appear, then go through it as I normally would.

I have yet to use BB6, but I imagine it's that simple.

asylvia

i was interested in the views, so good writeup. the fact that if you create a favorite or something, and it shows up in other views is ridiculous. this would seemingly make your all folder much larger than it needs to be.

Ebscer

I am starting to think that the new homescreen is not as good as the Precision Zen theme that used to come on the devices.

I really have no desire to ever look at my wallpaper...

phinx404

So far i love OS6. i have had the 9780 for 5 weeks now with no complaints beyond the 602 boot up error but hey the OS is still beta and in the works.

as for the OS. its so much faster and easier to navigate around. i like having the favorites tab. because lets be honest. there is 5-6 apps used all day.

batrad

Reading your review kinda sums up my fustrations with the device

Wish the RSS reader would have an option to integrate with Google Reader..

The contacts app is broken as well (if you save your contacts with a +1(555)555-1212 number it will not show you the name on the phone when you get a call from the contact..
Worked fine under OS 5..

Also if you have a ring tone stored on the SD card, after a few calls, it will cause the media library to hang and all your future calls will be silent, till the next reboot..

McNooberson

I thought it was just me. It's the strangest thing...

bacardilimon214

Im excited to fully use Blackberry 6. Toyed with the Torch in an ATT store and I must say I am pleased however I'm on VZW and I don't know if I should wait it out for a better Blackberry to eventually come to VZW or switch but thanks for the review. makes me so much more excited

rlhammon

The more I read about OS6, the more I'm happy it's not on my Storm2. It seems like come Nov. 2010 (when my contract on my Storm2 is up), that I'll be looking for a new phone... non BB that is, unless RIM seems to be able to pull out a miracle and provide a good phone + good OS all in one package. I've only been a BB user since the Storm... but RIM hasn't hit it out of the park just yet in my opinion.

Coda24

I'm with you a 100%. I started w/ Storm, got Storm 2, and am not impressed. So-so for personal use, but no way I could use for work. And why do you have to take the battery out so often to reset? Maybe all the Smartphones are as temperamental, but it's very frustrating.

scalemaster34

STORM was my first BB... RIM hasn't hit one out of the infield in my opinion.

Haven't seen anything in 20 months that indicates that RIM even has a clue what to do in the consumer market. I've heard a lot of "just wait" or "their going to get it right". But I also hear a lot of "it's good enough" or "it does what I need", so apparently many BB users are happy with their devices - and that seems to be RIM's attitude also "it's good enough" so pay top dollar and get ready to upgrade next year.

Agent00J

I agree with all of the above. The Storm (9530) was my first BB, and I liked it in the beginning... but the device has not aged well at all. And when the Storm 2 came out, I wasn't impressed enough to think it was worth swapping to either... and I still feel that way. Also, OS6 just doesn't seems like it's my kettle of fish. Sounds like the same tired OS to me, now with a non-customizable 'views' panel that gets awfully repetitive.

I'll miss BBM, but that's really it. So far I'm still on track to join the Android family. Would be nice to see RIM pull a rabbit out of their hat, but OS6 isn't it for me.

Also, the Torch is only on AT&T right now. No thank you!

jayemmbee

well it doesnt help that you started with a storm
i had a storm and i liked it but it had its issues, i went on to a Tour and Im loving that much more that I feel the torch fills my love for touch screen and a good keyboard, thats the only reason I got the storm cuz I was a sucker for a the touch.

Agent00J

I got a Storm because 1) I liked the larger screen, and 2) I hate BlackBerry's traditional keyboards. Only one I was remotely able to use was my g/f's Bold 9000. I was even considering getting the 9700 but I find that keyboard to be sooo tiny it's annoying to use. And that phone is on AT&T. *rolls eyes*

This is why none of the other BBs interest me. And with no real word on a possible Storm 3... I don't think I can be bothered to get another BB.

R1cE

GET A KEYBOARD BLACKBERRY. I've used a Curve 8900 before I bought a Storm 2, and even the Curve was a much better BlackBerry. I'm currently waiting on my uncle's Bold 9700 to replace my Storm. Storm is a decent device, but it is a shame to the BlackBerry name.

anotherxyz

I went from a blackberry storm to a curve, and it is still the same tired OS. I will say that it is quite a bit better with a physical keyboard, but RIM is really behind due to the lack of compelling and interesting/innovative apps. Even after switching to a bold for a short while I can definitely say that RIM really needs to play catch-up. They are great for business but they have no idea how to handle average smartphone consumers. I get my droid incredible tomorrow and I will never look back. I recommend other storm to do the same.

Agent00J

I don't see how the keyboard could make the experience of the OS any better. Physical keyboard or not, the OS is the same.

Besides, as I stated in my comment above, I got a Storm because I can't stand BB's tiny keyboards. If RIM ever makes a horizontal sliding version of the Torch, and puts out a more modern OS... then I'll gladly jump back on the BB Boat.

pastaturbo

I'm in Canada and am waiting (impatiently) for the Torch to get here, so I haven't had a chance to touch and try the device out but from all the videos I see posted it seems as though the software/touchscreen is very slow and/or numb, for lack of a better word. Can anyone address this?

Bob G

Nope. IMHO, the touch screen is plenty snappy. And the touch screen sensitivity is customizable too.

Marc_Paradise

Haven't had any slowness problems with the touchscreen. I think there are a couple of points at which sliding 'sticks' y design, which might make people think this is the case? for example, when sliding a view up to expand more of the screen, it pauses briefly at the point at which two rows of icons are exposed, as this is somewhere you can stop sliding.

this doesn't happen if you slide faster...

Bob G

I agree. It would be nice to have the option to disable the Favorites, Media, Downloads, and/or Frequent views, and also to have the ability to make a few views of our own. I suspect that the release of Theme Builder 6 (followed by some custom themes) will eventually take care of this for us.

There are two new features that I really like that you didn't mention:

1. You can click on the date area and get the Manage Connections options.

2. You can click on the notifications area and get recent notifications (like the Today screen).

Very wise use of screen real estate, IMHO.

gorith

for the clicking of the date area to bring up the manage connections...storms do that. you click the connection bars and it comes up. click the time and its a shortcut to your clock/alarm. i am in NO way saying the storm is better, just these things are old news to me. the notifications thing is a good idea. i have OS6 theme on my storm and that happens when you highlight sms or calendar or emails if they are on your homescreen. very handy.

md12

I keep forgetting that people actually use ATT other than with an iphone. Why?

Bob G

Rollover minutes. GSM. Good prices. All things Verizon doesn't have. And I rarely don't have coverage (i.e., as good as Verizon).

StormJH1

Upgrades, preexisting contracts, familiarity, and phone selection. For awhile at least, if you wanted a 9700 (which most believed was the best BB available), it wasn't available on Verizon. I think the 9650 is now available on Verizon, but that wasn't an option several months ago. Also, if you had a preexisting phone contract and simply wanted to switch phones on that service, I think a lot of people end up staying with AT & T that way. Also, it isn't exactly common knowledge outside the tech community and sites like this that AT & T has worse service. Much of that is based on anecdotal evidence, and it's not like consumers get to "try out" all the different phone networks before deciding upon one.

meske

Contrary to many iPhone users experiences, AT&T has a solid, fast, reliable network. Plus, I can use the phone overseas, easily move from one phone to another just by moving the sim, and their hardware is nicer than anything on the CDMA networks (ok, some of the droid devices are nice on the CDMA side, but that's recent...). Heck, look at the difference just in berry's - the VZ version of the Bold is bigger and has a crappy battery life compared to the 9700.

At the end of the day, the AT&T vz. Verizon argument is like the Pepsi vs. Coke argument. It's all a matter of personal taste.

G.4

I am currently using a Bold 9650 on Sprint, which is CDMA. It rocks- I'm not sure what you mean about battery life. I use this device for business on a day to day basis for long hours. I usually work for 10 hours a day, with heavy data usage, phone calls, and use the mp3 player a lot. I take my phone off the charger at about 7am everyday aand when I go to bed around 11:30 I generally have about 30-40% battery left. I don't know about you, but that's pretty good for me. As far as coverage, in my area I never loose coverage and never have dropped calls, even in the elevator in my building. All in all, Bold is a solid device- can't wait to see OS6 on this puppy :)

garybyrider

Where I live (west central Indiana) AT&Ts coverage is far superior to any other carrier, vzw included. Plus they have the best BlackBerries. And with the new tiered data plans I can cut back on my bills somewhat since most of my browsing is done over wifi.

Kevin Michaluk

Sooo... i don't disagree with any of Adam's thoughts on the homescreen experience, but I have to say that for me it's all mute point since I now rely on Universal Search for just about everything. I keep the homescreen on Favorites (awesome) and for everything else just start typing.

That said, I'm pretty sure you'll being seeing a BlackBerry 6.1 update at some point in the not so distant future where you'll be able to customize views. Maybe when the 9670 hits RIM will introduce the BB6 update on that.

Kaptain75329

You make a couple of good points Adam. Views is a fantastic addition to the BlackBerry user interface. I'm thinking RIM just needs to flesh it out more. Realistically speaking, the bulk of your issues would be addressed if the views were simply customizable. That way, you can create the views you want, hide those you don't care to use, and then it's all good.

As for the notion of repeat icons in Favorites and Downloads, ect., that's a wee bit more more complicated. From what I can tell, it's akin to how Microsoft implements Search Folders in Outlook and Libraries in Windows. Effectively, you're not looking at a duplicate, but the actual object as a search result. That's because it meets a certain criteria as defined by the "search query" in the OS, be that anything marked as a favorite, or identified as a recent download. So if you hide something there, the OS doesn't make a distinction because you're manipulating the actual object.

For what it's worth, there are some workarounds. Let's say you wanted some web links and contacts to show only in favorites and not any place else. You could create a folder called favorites and then toss in said objects. Don't hide the objects, just the new folder you created. This way, your favorites will display as desired and not clutter up anything else. As for frequent and downloads, the clear command works in .161, so RIM is clearly working to refine the OS. I'm guessing the implementation of custom views is coming.

I'm loving the views concept and tend to make good use of it. The media, frequent, and favorites get used all the time. As such, I don't think I would change the defaults, and my workaround I described above completes the experience for me. Indeed, I really would not care to go back to OS5 on this count alone. Frankly, this feels more polished than Android (albeit not as flexible as HTC Sense) and decidedly more organized than the iPhone. It's just like you said.. to each his own.

Bob G

Having used all 3, I agree that BB OS 6 is more polished than Android and more organized than the iPhone.

Sirhill

The way you have set your phone up is pretty close what I have done. This way I find things better. I am a very simple blackberry user and I don't need slot of icons, just the things I use most. The views are great for me and make it simple for me to move around find what I need and be done with it. The one thing that I have started to use more is universal search, which has made the OS feel like it has quick launch built in. The pne thing that I can stand is the keyboard that pops up whenk need to unlock my device. I have changed it adeww timesnow and still it reverts back to muilt-tap. If this can be changed or fixed than all would be great.

Marc_Paradise

Universal search makes a lot of the views less relevant. I find that it's nice to be able to type the first letter or two of what I'm looking for, and the icon just shows up.

Frequently used is also good - I find that I don't need favorites or All as much between this and universal search. the only thing that would be nice is a way to quickly jump to the view I want, perhaps a row of icons in the middle section of the home screen?

Notifications are also very good, but they have their own annoyances: sometimes they don't clear properly; and in the leaked build they take a moment to refresh every time you display them. finally, viewing something through Notifications should give me the option to delete the corresponding Inbox entry (if any).

Still - overall I'm very happy with the OS and the device. My favorite so far, and the combination of touchscreen and os6 has made a very usable system even more so.

@batrad: You can just give it the Rss url for google reader and get it that way?

Marc_Paradise

Anybody else have a problem with the input assistance (suretype) constantly giving "Input error, system restarting" messages? Or is this perhaps specific to the leaked build, which is presumably pre-beta...

MarcoC83

I have a 9700 and I agree with you! I think that BB6 could possibly run better on it and I can't wait for it to be available

mestes1999

There are a couple of issues I'd like fixed, mainly these would be Torch issues, not necessarily OS6

1. The ability to lock the screen from rotating. Like you, I never watch movies, so landscape mode is pretty useless to me. And the screen flips to landscape so quickly, I just want to be able to disable that.

2. A proper screen lock. The lock/unlock button is too easily pressed accidentally in a pocket/etc. It needs a more involved unlock process, like a finger swipe ala iPhone. (yes, I've used StormSlider, but this should be native to the OS)

3. Embedded weather and stock apps like the iPhone. My torch came with a ton of 'apps' on it that were nothing more than download links. I want a native weather and stock app made by RIM, that integrates into the top bar the way the social feeds do.

netposer#CB

Adam,

I wish I could change the names of the "View" screens too.

But here's a trick. Use the "Media" screen to put whatever apps you want in there. Just remove/add apps to the Media folder and they will show on the "Media" screen. The "Media" screen is the same as the "Media" folder.

Some of my thoughts:
- I wish the Podcast app had a better search tool. Search on "Tech News Today" and you get every TWIT podcast but TNT. And the app seems to delete podcasts I subscribe to.

The RSS reader is going to get an improvement and probably something like Viigo since RIM purchased them last year and @MarkRuddock (Viigo CEO) has hinted that something better is coming.

And as far as the Views go RIM did not include any documentation on how they behave which is perplexing to me.

I posted some of my observations a couple of days ago about the views:
http://forums.crackberry.com/f217/bb-os-6-screen-info-518544/

ianbordas

I really wish I could leave "favorites" as my main view instead of "ALL". Anyways it still works when you arrange your favorite icons to the top for easier access from the ALL view.

Minor Problems:
When you get notifications on new feeds or messages, it will not go away until you open the message ONLY from the notifications bar on top.... stays there if you go straight to the App... it should go away after you check either way!

Google Maps - No Pinch & Zoom.. only touch PAN and tap on zoom in and out icons.

Cool Tips:
Background images: you can zoom a picture to the desired size and save it as background image.. it will stay as you had it zoomed and moved. Great!

WhatsApp works on BBOS6! (Beta) http://beta.whatsapp.com/ota/

For those who dont know about this app.. iPhone users use it as we use BBM, the good thing is that you can also have it on your BB and chat with friends with iphones for free!

Only issue so far is that when you get a notification from Whatsapp and click on the icon - it will not take you to the App... its not linked properly, so you will have to look for the App directly to open and use. Still, you get a notification. Room for improvement!

Hope to get an update on these issues soon and that some of these tips help someone in need out there!
Ian B.

Pilot Prop

I'm NOT a fan of social feeds and its sad because I was really looking forward to this feature...I really don't like hiw when u download something it has anither Icon in the downloads page...as gir everything else? I love it!!!

jojohn66

How about they design this amazing feature in email that allows me delete the original message in a forward email to optimize my productivity. That would make black berry ahead of its time and truly a revolutionary product. maybe OS 7 will have this complex feature?

cloud23

I got rid of the IPhone cause my contract was up with AT&T and I also saw the Torch. I went out and got the Torch on the same day it came out. I used it for a week and liked the OS but did not like the hardware as much. The OS ran pretty well but was sluggish at times even the purchase of the app Memory Up. which did not help that much, there was too much going on, on the screen. I felt it was trying to be the Iphone and the Driod at the same time. I do not use media that much either so I was really concentrating on the basic tasks like switching between apps. like the BBM and regular text but found that it froze a lot. Also like you I saw no need for the multiple icons it made me feel like I was stupid and that BB was trying their hardest to keep me from going back to the IPhone with all these icons, by trying to sell me the notion that handling a BB is not hard to do, when it really is not. Let's be honest IPhone is so easy it could be said that it is a point and shoot device. I therefore started looking at the Crackberry site reading and hearing reviews as well as the podcast and remembered my brief stint on the BB 8800 that I had before the IPhone so I decided to switch to the BB 9700. On the way to the store to swap my phones I saw the youtube video of the BB 9700 running the OS 6 and thought just like the reviewer was saying that it was snappier and more crisp, instantly I was sold. At AT&T I was looked at as a fool cause I was switching to the 9700, but now a week later I am so happy with the 9700 that one I can not wait for the OS 6 to launch for it and I am also going to purchase a second 9700 this time an unlocked one just to have a spare. All in all the OS just needs some work I think that the All screen and Favorites should stay the rest need to go. Also fix the Social Feeds up to the point where you could have total control of the App cause the Calendar that shows Bdays you could never take that off the Home Screen drop down which is annoying, I assume that is cause it was being integrated form the Facebook app. I hope that is comes out soon for the 9700 as I see the OS 6 helping BB get some new customers. Thanks to everyone at Crackberry you guys really know your stuff.

bryanf

So I thought that when they were integrating RSS feeds into the OS, that they were pulling IP from Viigo and really I thought that Social feeds was going to be a more integrated version of Viigo. Unfortunately it is not. The first thing I had to do when I got my torch was to go into viigo online and find out what all my feeds were. I much rather would have put in my viigo username and password and had it just pull everything down like I've done with my other phones. I agree with Adam, I never use the social aspect of the social feeds app, I just use the RSS reader portion, and have considered forgoing it for other options that synchronize my feeds elsewhere. But Figured I would give it a try since it's new.

The views not being customizable is a pain. I would like to get rid of downloads and frequently used because, I never use those views, and be able to put in customizable views. I thought at first that the way the media folder and media view are linked that I could do the same with other folders, nope. Just dissappointing.

I do use favorites a bit, but I just added things the way I wanted, not realizing the order you add favorites defined their location. So hasn't been a problem for me.
I do also wish that you could have things displayed on one view and hidden on another. That would be nice, so they aren't all over the place.

Clearing frequently used and downloads (or not being able to) is annoying right now, but I guess it will get fixed eventually. I would have downloaded .161 but the links all seem to have dissappeared since I didn't get a chance to download it the firs day it leaked... oh well.

All in all, I love the phone, the only other thing that is weird is scrolling between views. But i can live with that. It really is the Best BB I've ever had. I've had a lot of them (8830s, 8310, 8320, 8520, 8900, 9700) and this is the formfactor I was waiting for... and the webkit browser, finally makes my winmo coworkers cry.

phathead50

Getting rid of the Social Feeds was one of the first things I did. If the RIM FB app worked well, I MIGHT keep it, but until then its outta here.

I do agree with your comments on the menus. I would like the ability to lock a set menu into place. Too many times I accidentally get thrown to a useless one and have to find my way back.

My only real nitpick has been with text messaging. It almost never goes to the first new message in the tree. Sometimes it opens up a day behind. It is the only thing that infuriates me on a daily basis.

schrochem#CB

"While I love the Torch's keyboard and screen, I think that some productivity is lost in the process. Having BB6 on a 9700 or 9780 would be killer in my opinion."

I haven't played with either the torch or os6 but was wondering why it would cause a loss of productivity over the 9700 with OS6?
Couldn't you essentially use it just like a 9700 when you have the keyboard slid out?

infernox

Having the Torch for the last 2 days, I will have to admit that I really like it and it's growing on me more each day. I'm still adjusting to the touch screen typing (don't like it that much; so glad there's still a slide-out keyboard).

It runs smooth and feels solid. I would say that it's the best BB made yet.

AgentScribe

For the past few days, I've been getting this uncaught exception: javalang.nullpointerexception

That's on my week-old Torch.

ianbordas

Did you install apps? If I were you I would start off by resetting the phone from scratch and only install apps you are very sure they are ready for OS6.

Hope this helps.

netposer#CB

Got that same error a few days ago when attempting to open the Podcast app. Deleted the Podcast app and added it back but got the same error. Deleted all my podcasts and got the same error.

Had to do a full security wipe. Luckily I'm on our BES so 90% of my apps were restored.

omi10468

Some good points were made and now I am really curious to see what BB6 will be like on my 9700.

Cracktere

Hi. Thanks for the info, appreciate it. As for me, I just plain love that I can type with my fingernails. Once I have my typing dones, the touch screen rocks. We're still getting to know one another, but so far we like each other and the relationship is growing.

DustBow

As someone who uses QL and its shortcuts for about everything, I wonder if the different views and layouts will be mostly irrelevant to me?

muse480

it depends on how your have your QL organized-if you have lots of folders, it won't matter-same experience (without getting seasick from overspinning the views)

cputoys

My question exactly. I rarely if ever move beyond the 5 (sometimes 6) home screen icons and trusty QL set to a convenience key. If I don't have it there, I don't need or use it. I wonder if the added views and constant navigating will promote a cluttered, tiring experience rather than the streamlined, down to business blackberry experience we're used to. Allowing full customization would be tops on my want list for OS6.

stormer917

I was at Verizon 4:30 am second in line waiting the day Storm 1 came out. I was number 1 in line the day Storm 2 came out. I've had plenty of problems with both phones but was still a BB fan. Now that Rim says no OS 6 for Storm I say NO MORE BB FOR ME. I'm not impressed with Rim and I think it's time for me to move on. I'm going to get a Droid X.

arist01

I'm disappointed that RIM was unable to fit OS6 into the memory footprint for Storm2. OS6 seems a natural fit for a touchscreen more than a traditional berry, and now Torch/AT&T is the only touchscreen option. I doubt that a 5.x upgrade will bring the webkit browser to S2.

I understand RIM's approach of pushing their customers to newer phones with OS6 features (particularly the browser) but that's a dangerous game. Users who are at an upgrade point have more choices, even corporate users. iPhone 3GS and Droids that run Android 2.2 support IT policies making them strong contenders for a business user. Push technology is quite prevalent today and the cost structure hasn't materialized for developers on the BB platform.

With such limited hardare availability, how impactful can OS6 be?

msweston7

Thanks for a good review however its left me feeling kinda disappointed. The one thing that I can't stand with a mobile is not being able to customize it to my liking I really hoped i would be able to have a "work"menu for easy access to docs and contacts and such.... hmmm ....

CrackCurve56

One, Adam you forgot to mention it takes a battery down mighty fast if you use the feature of it to check every 30 minutes or under. It will make your battery level drain as fast as the road runner can run. Better off using each app individually and not part of that social network. People don't know it's an add on app that can be DELETED, which I did, and now the battery runs great! The Torch and 0S6 didn't have what it needed to run apps in the background continuously! That was left out :(

CrackCurve56

Adam, Bravo for saying you didn't like the RSS social feeds app, and that you won't be using it. I'm not either, and I deleted it. :)

Gajetman

The Torch is without question the best BB out. I loved my 9700, but I think the Torch beats it with the touch screen. I also have a 9650 which is awesome for a BB and I use all the time, but the Torch is the BB to get.

CrackCurve56

Adam, where did you get OS. 161 from? I can't seem to find it and is it a better build than the OS that came with the Torch?

young_adam

*MOST* complaints in these comments have been things that can and will easily be fixed in software.

Social Feeds is an app, and just that...it has a way to update right within itself...so expect some updates that will allow you to grab your feeds from Google Reader, Viigo, etc.

Agreed it would be nice to customize the frames (All,Media,Downloads,Frequent,etc.) and RIM is listening; look at what they've done with BlackBerry Beta Zone. It's been an excellent way for them to take input from users willing to use pre-production applications via usage and survey's.

Sluggish? Anyone that has used 161 (albeit the new bugs, and remaining few) should have easily noticed that it is much peppier. (Recall the 9000 on release, and where it is these days.)

While there are things that we would love to see updated, I'm sure that we will see incremental additions, updates, etc. as we always have. It's inevitable.

In the end, our beloved 9800/Torch does what it is meant to do...what BlackBerry has always done, and in addition bring the best of both worlds to us. We can enjoy the best keyboard in the mobile market, and have a touchscreen experience that so many people asked for.

--
#teamblackberry
E X

CrackCurve56

Again, where do we find leak of .161?

Don_Henry

You can get the .161 OS from blackberryos.com - about 1/3 of the way down on page 3 of "front page news" articles.

JETSfanALLday

RIM is so behind all these other phones....so who really gives a crap about OS6

SCV Camera

I agree with you 100%. I absolutely love the Torch & BB6. Here is my wish list for improvements: I would like the option to "HIDE" the Media and Downloads views. Personally, I could also do without the Frequent view. The Calendar could use some design upgrade: it would be nice if agenda items appeared at the bottom of screen in the "week" and "month" views. I am annoyed by the "manage connections" view that scrolls down every tme I touch the top of the home screen.
Overall though , it is a fantastic device.

fritzdoss

When I first got my hands on the new torch, it was a learning curve coming from the 9700. So at first I didn't notice the lag time when doing things such as unlocking then wanting to pop an app open right away. Just doesn't happen on the torch. There is a processor lag and you have to wait. Even though it is a small wait, this never happened on my last 3 models of BB and therefore, as an ADD type person, it is driving me nuts. I love all the new things and the ability to type and touch and what not, but I am very disappointed RIM did not give this new model at least a 1ghz processor. That seems to be the standard for the top line models as of late and would make the torch perfect!!! I doubt it is a software issue.

bad_boy321

We need themes. The stock theme is driving me nuts.

There is some significant lag on my torch, a full 3 second lag to be exact, and its a little frustrating at times.

Other than that, loving it.

endlessct9a

I've had my Torch for almost 2 weeks now and all those view screens annoy me. It's too easy to go from Frequent <--> Favorites <--> Media <--> Downloads <--> All whether you're using the touchscreen or track pad. I hope RIM will roll out an option to hide views so I can just stick with "All" which suits my needs perfectly.

HTC_Droid_EvO

Have never been spoken. @ fritzdoss, for the fun factor you have to be able to shake the webs off of block screens and lag...thats Storm 1 isuues that made it no fun at all.

Connor83

I have only played a little with the torch myself to see if i would like one or not. i thing i noticed (and i can be wrong) it that there is no way to make a folder. does anyone know if there is a way or am i the only one that it bothers.

ron87#CB

From all the comments seems like OS 6 isn't this great company saving OS ppl thought it would be. The only thing new is webkit and from the videos even that's slow. Seems like that 1 GHZ processor woulda came in handy.

greenii

Loved the OS 6 and many of it's functions. Just had too many issues with the phone not working, touch screen not working, etc., so I took it back after a week and got a new one. 2nd one was worse than the first - so I went back to my beloved Bold!!

P.S...if you want to get rid of an installed app, you have to delete it through DM - kind silly to me!

muse480

-why does my device lag between "you currently have no new notifications" screen (i can see them) and then it loads and then again when i make a choice...can't check it quickly in church or at work (gotta go the long way)
-how do i delete 1 day of emails; not "all prior", but Jan 6, 2010
-why can't i combine my goog rss with the os?
-why can't it use my itunes podcasts to populate the device; i mean there's no drm, eh?
-why can't i lock my views (getting seasick)
-why does my 9700 case cause 9800 to go comatose; it's groggy when it "wakes"...
-what the deal with the cases? don't people want to make money? it this on RIM or were companies shut out. people like easy and people love choice. Personalize, personalize, personalize-it's why themes are a hit!

*****hurry up and allow access****

RideMadone

Good luck with seeing BB 6 on a 9700. With only 256 memory it isn't going to happen. I guess you will have to stick with the Torch.

techjunkieforlife

It's been a trying week having to return my Torch as a blackberry guy. Seeing the fanboy rants in the forums and have Adam sum up most of my frustrations outside of bugs and build defects in such a well crafted way is great to see.

Interesting read, I hope the people up at RIM took a look at this also!

kenza benkirane

I would like to know how o do to block some people or phone numbers not to call me anymore

captain_tinker

I tried to scan all of the comments to make sure I wasn't just repeating what someone else has already said, but what about once RIM releases their theme creator? I wonder how customizable that will be in allowing you to create or remove certain views that the author is bemoaning? Maybe it will be possible to create just the views you want, without anything that you don't want or won't use? Who knows? I personally think that it was a fantastic idea for RIM to come out with the theme creator. I've created a very simple, very utilitarian theme for myself on my Bold 9000. It's not flashy at all, it's just a simple Today theme that shows phone calls, messages, and calendar. It also has a weather icon on the front too. This way all I need to do is change the wallpaper periodically and it's like a whole new theme. I know, I'm simple, but it's what I need, and it works great for me. I suspect once the Theme creator for BBOS 6.0 comes out, a lot of people will suddenly be finding out how useful this new OS can be. I don't yet own the Torch, but I'm really intrigued by it. I have a while before I can upgrade, so I'm going to watch carefully, and maybe another device will come out by the time I can upgrade. Who knows? By then the kinks should be worked out of the Torch?

ChillFactorz

I use Media a lot, I commute and use my BB as an MP3 to listen to audiobooks a 3.5" jack and it's on. So Media is used, and appreciated by, I'm guessing many. A must for now day's phone user. I use social apps but the younger crowd is all about it, so for a OS I agree this can totally make or break. OS6 to me, is all about the Web Kit Browser, just waiting to get my hands on my new Torch, and a much improved browser.

Gamecock

Great points on BB6/ Torch. I competely agree with everything you said and am starting to miss my 9700. I think I am looking forward to the 9780 after just 10 days. I do like the Torch, but just not a fan as much as I thought I would be. I had to get a new phone after switching from T-Mobile and decided to go with the latest and greatest out by RIM. Not being able to customize is a downfall. I don't like how the slide always seems to open as I am pulling it out of my pocket. Guess I am not slider fan either. Oh, well...

pistolpetefan23

I, and I think many others, see the updated browser as one of the biggest advancements and reasons for getting OS 6. How about a review on that one week later instead of a few minor things that many of us will rarely use.

cerone1970

Now I have read so many stories and news reports on OS 6...ok, fine...WHERE IS IT????? I DONT HAVE IT HERE TO ENJOY!!!! WHERE IS IT?????? I'm just saying

BBB78

OS6 will improve. What I love about Blackberry OS is that it does improve with each new update and release, compared to other devices this is a big PLUS! And on top of that the hybrid builders always come up with some great improvements on general performance of the device. Looking forward to the Torch coming "down under"... Who knows, I might win that 2nd chance draw ;-p , that would be the day...

bullen727

Interesting. All smartphones will have a downside. No one can be perfect. But seems like Rim is moving in the right direction just some tweaks need 2 made. Would get a droid but yet have I seen anything impressive. Far as storm goes they might as well scrap it if storm 3 don't "bring it". 3 strikes your out. If Rim would add opengl 2 every device that would help developers big time. Nicer apps. Who cares about cameras? Get a sony xperia lol if u want megapixels. All in all don't 4get Rim gets most there money from business users. Rim is new to the everyday consumer market. If I was Rim curves and torches and tours lol 4 consumers. Bold and storm 4 business. Don't just mush it all 2gether. So bold and storms would have more memory than the others and slighty better cameras. And the chrome rims lol. But oh well still gettin the 9780 period.

Anonymoussss

just to say that after almost 2 years of using Storm 9500 I am disappointed with all RIM is done. They are losing the race and nobody can convince me otherwise especially after new OS6. After all this time checking if there is new leak or new release and after every one it there was some problem again and again. Sometimes mails are coming sometimes not, messages are disappearing, phone is freezing, rebooting, not responding, calls are dropping, cannot make call -call in progress error, and who knows how many other things I did not run into. I was looking forward to new OS6 and at the end it turns out that 9500 will not be supported. It was a last chance that I wanted to give to RIM but eventually they decide for me.

One thing is for sure I am done with BB!
There is only one thing left do decide. Will it be IPhone or Android?

BattPuller

Doesn't anyone else find the call log screen insanely too easy to dial from? Tap anywhere and it instantly dials-- makes me afraid to use the touchscreen.

Tap an entry (no highlight appears unless you move the touchpad, then disappears if you touch the screen again to scroll) to bring up a dialer screen with all the contact's info scrollable and all communications options, including a Dial/End button. The screen could be swiped sideways to close back to the log. And maybe just a button containing the phone icon next to each log entry for instant-dial.

They could easily do a software fix for the super light lock button issue-- require a double-click (a long press would happen in a pocket). Mute needs a long press-- seems to easy to hit during handling.

smhotstuff

Personally, I'm thinking I'd rather wait awhile until OS6 is polished up a bit before I go there. If AT&T would just release OS5 for my 8900, I'd be happy as a clam. I doubt they will as it has been released by every other carrier for ages...I'm guessing they're looking to phase out the 8900 as 'outdated', which sucks since the newer curves seem like a downgrade to me.

Devil

I love reviews that are not licking RIMs ass. Now, THIS makes me want to wait more. True journalism!

Maybe someone at RIM needs to see that user customizations is paramount for people lately. Check out SPB Mobile Shell (sucky company, cs, but great product for WM)

Desc: http://spb.com/products/mobileshell/
Vid : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCH6BOcJyzw

fnguyen

I absolutely agree with you. Customization is quite important, you could actually achieve a lot with customization in OS5. Shame that they didn't keep that in OS6. The true improvements are "only" the upgraded universal search (since there was already a performant search app on os5) and the browser (no comments). For the rest, it is not that useful.

enloeeagle

Just a general question, I know on the current Blackberry OS, (the one before OS 6, that's on the 9650) you can not send a text longer than 160 characters. Has this changed, or does that have something to do with the different radios?

AgentScribe

That, I believe, is a function of the bandwidth set aside for SMS when that service began. I'm sure carries could send SMS over a different data frequency, but SMS service is a cash cow for the carriers and they have no gumption to change anything save for users going to an alternative SMS app that uses their data plan instead.

slideaway

I've used the Torch for about 2 weeks now and love it for all the reasons mentioned above. I'm now back on my 9700 since I was only testing the 9800 for work but it's good to be home.

I like all the new OS improvements that have been already been mentioned but a few items did bother me.
- Tapping noise when in touch only configuration. At the bottom half of the device where the keyboard slides out I would occasionally hear tapping and at first I thought it was the audible feature similar to trackball/touchpad audible roll. It's not and it appears to just be a result of the engineered design - I can get past it but it's noticeable a sometime annoying.
- When listening to music (heavy user of the media functions, except video) and I turn on Wireless there is a loud click in the headphones. Doesn't happen when you turn off wireless, just on and it's reproducible.
- When I'm on a call, to the right of the LED there is another LED flashing but more subdued. I noticed this while looking up a contact during a call.
- Lock button on my device was not as responsive as the 9700. Actually both top buttons seemed less resistive that the 9700 or earlier models. The buttons didn't always register when pressed - Could just be my unit.
- The Phone-BB-Track pad-Back-End Call plate is attached via an adhesive, not buttons like the 9700, and this was peeling off. I noticed it because even with the touch screen I would frequently the touchpad and began to feel the surrounding plate the more I used it. - Again, could just be my device.

I also experienced a few other issues that were already mentioned and some that I've forgotten.

Overall I think its a nice device, the OS improvements are a step in the right direction and someone new to BlackBerry would probably love it.

Personally, I would be fine with a 9700 or 9000 with a touchscreen (with other obvious improvements, camera, memory, etc...). I'm still so hooked on the keyboard that I'm gonna stay with my 9700 and throw OS6 on it whenever that hits. The keyboard on the Torch was good but I just like the overall of the 9700 better. I like the idea of the touchscreen and would use it once in a while but being an IT person I prefer the keyboard and the blackberry keyboard is the best on smartphones.

DustBow

As theme developers start building and going crazy for OS-6, they will take into account the users' wishes and fix the layout/view/customization problems.
I'm sure most Crack-Heads here don't use the standard BB theme.

Adam Zeis

Not sure on that one. If/when we see themes for BB6 I don't think they will have the options that will make things that much better. I don't foresee them being able to change the views at all, but only time will tell.

MikeAWalters

I got impatient waiting for the Torch and purchased an iPhone 4. Big mistake. I absolutely hated it. After having 5 different models of Blackberry the iPhone was not at all what I wanted or could actually use with any ease at all with my work. Thank goodness for AT&Ts 30 day return policy with their business plan. And thank the phone gods for the release of the torch because I have been wanting a touch screen.

It is everything I hoped it would be and more!

As far as I am concerned, Blackberry hit one out of the park.
This is a great business tool.

letitiaj

Does anyone know when the actual release date of the Blackberry 6 software will become available? I have searched online it I only see Q3 2010. Is Q3 Sept - Dec time frame? Also, will it be available for Verizon Storm 9530?

99lugnutz

do you ever have issues with BB6 running slow or waiting to catch up? Say you are in a screen and you try to back up or close the current window, sometimes the 9800 will take 10-15 seconds to close the application. I noticed at the same time there is not an hourglass present so I am wondering why it "hangs" sometimes. Maybe the software is slower than my fingers?

One of my other rants about this device is the virtual keyboard takes up so much of the screen, I cant even see what I am typing and the predictive text annoys me to no end. Some other little things about screen orientation and such but.....

all-in-all a very good phone and I am very happy with it.

I am very interested to hear if anyone else has issues with the software slowing, hanging, or just plain doggy.

kraski

That about says it. I really have no comparison. I came from WM 5, 6.1 & 6.5). I keep wondering why it took me so long to switch. So, here are my thoughts.

I mostly like the phone the way it is. But there are some exceptions.

First, to me "Favorites" & "Frequent" are redundant. Most of the time "Frequent" is going to mirror part or all of "Favorites". So, we could lose "Frequent" without an issue.

Second, unlike the op, I like the Downloads view. It's a quick & easy way to find a recent dl to make it a favorite. But it'd be nice if the Downloads view could be limited to the last 8 or 12.

I'd like to see the option to have multiple "Favorites" views, hopefully renamable. Personally, I could use 2 just to limit how manny apps I include in each & a 3rd to use just for contacts.

Other than that, for now, I'm good.

skampfer05

Can you get os6 on the sprint bb bold 9650 yet?

mrcheta

The five views are nice but if i cannot customize each view there is no point.

I am in love with this device, i just need more control over the OS and the ability to set it up the way i want too. The restriction in the views limits what i can do and how i can setup my device for me..

J-ROLLS420

the one thing about the torch i dont like is the physical keyboard, its tiny compared to the 9700. i wish they wouldve used all that space down there to give it a bigger keyboard, but coming from a storm ill just stick with a virtual keyboard.

Yemson

The nature of man is such that he's never happy with what he has. Hence there's gonna be some people who will always find something they don't like and that in their minds, shall be improved. However they often forget to take the device "as it is" and try to work your way around it, like almost everything else in the world. This does not mean that some suggestions and user comments shall not be heard by RIM, specially those issues that turn out to be massive (in terms of complaints/suggestions).
Nowadays people think that their phones shall be insanely customizable and user-friendly. But such a device will NEVER exist even if you, as a customer, will complain and write articles about it. Heck, I would like to have vanilla flavored meat, but that's just me and maybe a few other crazies around. This doesn't mean that the meat industry shall start doing that, to keep every customer happy.
Writing about what you do or don't like isn't hardly a reason to state that the device and the OS have some issues to be fixed. Of course some people will agree with you, but there isn't a company yet, that has changed their products based solely on personal taste.

mitzkoff

Bb needs to come out with a bigger 9700, like. 5" wider and 1" taller, with touchscreen, but so you can turn touch off as well for the peeps who think touch is uselss (plenty out there). Or make a limited subset of touch gestures like scroll in the browser maybe.

Motorola charm is halfay there, just no trackpad, which is key and screen is a bit short and low res. Otherwise its what bb should've made instead of a slider.

sullentangerine

I had my Torch for a week. Seven days. On day 8, the trademark BB menu strip (phone/bbbutton/back/hangup) came off. Like, just fell off while I was on holding the phone. I returned it and got a new one yesterday, and it seems fine so far. I love the phone, I hate that it's a piece of cheap plastic crap.

And, if it happens again, I know, shame on me.

tomgnc

Many comments you made about the Torch reflect my views of the HTC EVO... I left my BB Tour for the EVO - had it less than a week and returned it and bought the BB Bold 9650... I am sure the EVO and the Torch are both loaded with the latest technology, but I need a phone that first and foremost functions as a phone and then the wondrous Apps etc are secondary... that is why I went back to BB Bold and not to the BB Torch...