A look back at things we were told the BlackBerry "will never have"

By IsaacKendall on 10 Dec 2010 08:56 am EST
Not on BlackBerry

I have fond memories of all the BlackBerry devices I've used over the years.  Back in the summer of 1998 my first RIM device was called the 'interactive messenger' -- it was similar to the BlackBerry device but had a couple of interesting features that were quite popular; "text-to-voice" and "text-to-fax" allowing you to compose a message and have it delivered by fax or by Stephen Hawking via phone.

As with any product that exists the people are never content with what they have and always want more, and I am certainly no exception.  Last week I was having drinks with a friend and was showing off my BlackBerry Torch and all it's BB6 goodness, and I started thinking about how far RIM has come in the BlackBerry world.

Things BlackBerry "will never have"

I started telling my friend all the features the current devices have that RIM has claimed over the years the BlackBerry will "never" have.  Those of us who've been around for a long time have heard the battery and security claims time and time again.  As the list of things grew I realized that this would be a great "look back" article for CrackBerry.com.  So here is a list of things the BlackBerry "will never have".

For battery concerns the BlackBerry will never have:

  • backlit keyboard - back in the 950/957 days the keyboard wasn't backlit and made it impossible to type on at night while driving (hey it was the 1990's it was OK back then)
  • phone - who would want to hold a calculator up to their head?
  • color screen - it will KILL your battery and why does email need to be in color?
  • 3G - why does a BlackBerry user need their email any faster than they're already getting it? HSDPA and EVDO are big battery drains.

For security reasons, the BlackBerry will never have:

  • Bluetooth - Bluetooth has too many security holes
  • WiFi - Like Bluetooth the security is to questionable
  • Tethering - This just yells security risk, by pass the RIM NOC? No way, plus the device isn't 3G who would want to tether over GPRS or EDGE?
  • Camera - RIM's bread and butter is military and government, and this will never be accepted (this one is good because the word never is used to explain why it will never have a camera)

Looking at these lists it isn't hard to laugh and say RIM should never say never. However, the madness continues today.  I was told by one of my RIM contacts that the BlackBerry will never be a WiFi hotspot.  Perhaps we need to read these never statements like a Steve Jobs never.  After all, nobody will ever want to watch a movie on a tiny iPod screen, right?

These silly lines in the sand are not exclusive to the BlackBerry device. RIM has over the years had a few BES "nevers" that when you look back makes you scratch your head.

  • BES can't be installed on same box as mail server
  • BES won't work in a VM (virtual machine) environment

Even when RIM held the line on not supporting the BES can't be installed on the exchange server, I must have installed over 75 BES' on the same box.  Some small businesses just don't have extra servers to spare and in the real world we installed the BES on the Exchange server.

As for the BES not working on a VM server, this really makes me laugh.  Back in 2004 I flew out to Toronto for a week of BES training and the lab we were supposed to use was double booked, so we were shuffled off to a backup facility.  

This was a last minute change and the lab didn't have time to be setup for BES training; so we were given a VM image of a BES environment to install on our workstations.  All the while we were being told that "this isn't a supported configuration".  I've always loved that line.

So with all these fond memories kept close to my heart, I look to the future to see all the goodness that will "never" find it's way on to the BlackBerry smartphone.

Reader comments

A look back at things we were told the BlackBerry "will never have"


If you work in any type of group/ team that involves traveling out to clients, having a mobile hotspot is a important feature. Surprised RIM hasn't jumped on this sooner

BlackBerry will never support teleportation. BlackBerry will never support time travel.

RIM will never buy out Apple, perhaps? ;-)

BlackBerries will never be the base technology for Tricorders and Combadges!

BlackBerry will not support subspace communication. Ever.


that would be awesome!

They will never let you play DRM protected movies bought on the iTunes Store [hoping too] LOL

I've been a long time Crackberry fan, but this article is so full of gramatical errors and choppy writing that I can barely follow it. Do you guys edit articles (or proofread) before you post them on your site? Not trying to be a stickler but why would I read the articles on Crackberry's homepage when I can go to Engadget and get the same news (sooner) with better writing? I love Crackberry, so step it up, guys.

PS - the forums still rule.

I don't see very many errors in the writing. Have to keep in mind that each writer has their own "style" too. Kind of makes it cool to hear things in a different voice. Maybe you should just read Engadget and take your crappy comments over there instead.

They actually fixed all the errors I saw since my first post, so that's probably why you didn't see them. I don't know why you have to call my comments "crappy". I said I'm a Crackberry fan. I am providing feedback for a blog (which is based in writing) that, as a reader, I would like to see improve. I didn't mean to offend anyone.

I'm sure no matter how badly mispelled it was you got the whole message without error. For your intelligence. So now increase your wisdom and get over yourself.

Dear mgrayo01, our beloved grammar nazi,

I checked your post history. Among many others, some of your more interesting major grammar and spelling mistakes are:

1) You like to use an apostrophe-S to pluralize.

Example: "I shouldn't have to delete all my DM's and @'s in order to load more tweets."

2) You eliminate apostrophes.

Example: "Lets make it one nice and clean thread..."

3) You have no grasp of how to properly use objective and subjective pronouns

Example: "Some between my friends and I have 30+ emails."

4) Your poor use of commas and lack of use of semi-colons makes this sentence harder to read than the entire blog post you're criticizing.

Example: "So when I get a direct message or @ to me in UberTwitter, and then try to "Load More" on the bottom of the tweet list, it loads for a few seconds then just stops and I don't get any more tweets."

5) You cannot spell cannot.

Example: "...that can not access places."

6a) You're really not good with apostrophes. In this case, you need to use one to show possession.

Example: "...there are always loads of people bashing each others phones."

6b) And in this case you need one since you're missing the G

Example: "Lovin my new Storm2."

6c) And this one should be obvious.

Example: "my 8330 so its a whole new world."

7) Okay. This one is fun. Unless you're pretending to be Sweedish, it's spelled Y-e-a-h.

Example: "Yah I know, I'm not..."

NOTE: You also need a comma after "yeah," and you should have a period after "know."

Now, with all that in mind, please consider this: Nobody here really gives a flying fuck about the blog posts' grammar. Those of you who do are losers who try to boost yourselves in a sense of superiority in a casual environment. Beyond that, your grammar also sucks so your illusion of superiority is bullshit!

So please round up your grammar nazi friends and go die somewhere.

Utter nonsense. Grammar matters. And people who point it out are merely trying to help, that's all. Being defensive is an admission of guilt.

The internet and texting and cell phones are wonderful but they have caused the demise of the English language (and manners, by the way) as we knew it.

Internet should be capitalized.

You really should have a comma before "but."

I'll concede that technically your "And" to begin your sentence is okay, but you should also concede that you're using it incorrectly. I mean, the way it reads, it should be connected to your "Grammer Matters" sentence.

See how fun that is, Andy? Does it help you champion your noble cause?

Rather, I think it's annoying and distracting. A blog is a casual outlet for expressing thoughts and interests. It is not ground zero for the demise of the English language.

Speaking to manners, if you or Gray have a legitimate grammar concern and you feel it is necessary to have it corrected, send a private message to the author. The public embarrassment contradicts your manners cry.

I'm sick of reading about grammar! Let's get on to the corruption of the English Language!!! Yah ya yeah thk u gusy. Lol

When does a blog cease to be casual?

Does it cease to be casual when they (the principal writers) are invited to trade shows, developer conferences, sneak peaks, unveiling's, etc? Does a blog cease to be casual when that blog hosts advertisements? How about when that blog has a created it's own virtual storefront?

I look at CrackBerry.com as being an online publication using the blog format as their distribution method to deliver content, and make money (which is okay). I don't think that anyone is saying that the writers should be stuffy, or all business and no play. However being playful, or upbeat does not, and should not equate to lax writing and proofreading.

It should be pointed out as well to you, that while some people pointing out spelling and grammatical errors come off as arrogant pissants; they are not bound by the same rules as the publication that they are criticizing. No matter how lame their own spelling and grammatical errors may be.

Pointing those out it in the same or worse arrogant tone is pointless, as it has no effect on the publication. Remember, mgrayo01 and people like them are not bound by the same rules.

Plus it makes you look like a douche with a lot of time on your hands.

grammar-correcting comments are not posted with the betterment of the publication in mind. In most cases, they are used as a way for the person commenting to get attention and feel better about himself.

If grammar and spelling criticism were for the betterment of the publication, they would be sent via private message or posted as a comment without the bashing.

Now, I particularly like the blog format, and I don't care about grammar in this case. If I can understand the post, then I'm okay with that. Don't forget, CrackBerry and other blogs empower individuals to post comments to the blog. It is possible that some of those individuals can be expert in their field without being a grammar expert. Does that make their post any less authoritative or informative?

Should CrackBerry hire a dedicated blog post editor whose job is to proofread and edit each and every post? Would you be okay with a greater amount of intrusive ads to support that editor? What about live events? Should we delay those posts too while we wait for the editor to give the okay?

Periodicals are on a schedule; and they certainly are much higher on the hierarchy of respected publications. They also typically have multiple editors. I expect proper grammar from those publications comprised of articles from authors who make their livings writing for them. But a blog whose articles are authored mostly of hobbyists, I think a better attitude from the followers is not too much to ask.

** Oh, and to answer your question: A blog never ceases to be casual. Creators of blogs choose the casual format for a reason. The popularity or income of a blog does not change what it is at its heart.

One expects professional publications to be devoid of punctuation, spelling and grammar mistakes, regardless of their format. This is how it used to be back in the days when everyone strived for excellence. Go back to the 1950s and see how many spelling mistakes you can find in your local newspaper.

One does not expect casual contributors to such publications to be equally expert with the English language, and when such contributions are made directly to it via the Internet it is inevitable that many posts will be full of mistakes. We can live with that. Not everyone has had the benefit of an effective education.

What we should not live with is the current politically-correct attitude that it doesn't matter. It does matter. If we use the language incorrectly, we will fail to communicate accurately. You only have to browse any Internet forum to see examples of this; posts which are ambiguous, confusing, difficult to read because one is mentally correcting all the mistakes in an effort to understand them, and which in some cases make absolutely no sense at all.

If you know that your English is poor, you should make efforts to improve it. You should listen to the so-called Grammar Nazis and take note, even though their intervention may be seen as rude. It may be rude, but it is borne of the frustration of seeing the English language going down the cess-pit, and the embarrassment of seeing people whose first language is perhaps Chinese speaking and writing English better than the natives. Be ashamed of yourselves.

Wow, I am truly sorry I posted anything, but thank you to those who understood what I was trying to say. I assure I wasn't trying to attract any undue attention to myself. I was just asking one of my favorite tech blogs to be a little more careful in their editing, if they so choose. And it looks like they did choose to, since the errors were fixed within minutes (thanks guys!). In the future I will contact Crackberry directly in order to avoid attacks on my character.

Also, to the guy who read through all my forum posts to diligently criticize my spelling/grammar....seriously?? I'll say it again...I am not a writer for a popular blog.

Lesson learned. That is all.

You shouldn't have to apologize. I agree with you 100 percent. Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation should be a given; it isn't asking for too much. It is a shame that we live in a society where mediocrity is the norm.

I'm with you. And just because you've made errors of your own doesn't disqualify you from pointing out those made by others. If a thief tells you not to steal, it doesn't mean he's wrong. Non quis sed quid.

The English language is changing everyday with words like "aint" and "blog" being added into the dictionary. I think you need to relax. You are trying to impose a standard because it is not good enough for you. Language is about conveying thoughts and idea. I believe good language/writing is expressed in the least amount of words. Cry all you want if you don't like it.

Contemporary linguists like to claim that there's no such thing as language degredation, only "evolution", but that's bullshit. Some of it is evolution, and some of it is assclowns who don't know how to speak or write. E.g.: "momentarily" means "for a moment", not "in a moment". When your flight attendant tells you that you will be landing "momentarily", what she really means is that the plane is about to bounce off the runway, which is probably not her intended communication. Just because the second definition has crept into some dictionaries doesn't mean it's right. In this case, it clearly corrupts the understanding of a clearly defined existing word, it adds no meaning or expression to the language, there are already existing words to convey the correct meaning ("shortly" or "in a moment") and there is no justification for the changed meaning other than error and ignorance.

Language is about conveying thoughts and ideas, and sometimes just getting the thought across is good enough. That's why we have slang, argot, and jargon. That's ok for some things, but it generally is not acceptable in published writing, including blogs. You can argue whether or not *you* think writing should be formal, but the conventions of civilized society dictate that it *is*. You may take your seat or get off at the next stop.

By the way, I'm just fine with how this article was written. Just wanted to point out that what you "believe" is irrelevant to what is correct and accepted.

First of all, mgray001 did make some errors in his writing. Some of them are just mistakes, but some of them are not, which makes you mistaken for thinking they're mistakes. And just because he has also made mistakes doesn't mean he's wrong.

1) The rules for pluralizing acronyms are ambiguous. MLA dictates no apostrophe, Chicago allows it for lowercase letters but not capitals, and OED allows it in both cases.

You're fine in pointing out some of his other mistakes, but 6b and 7 are nitpicking. Although I may hold myself to a fairly strict standard regardless of the recipient of my writing, that is not expected for a blog commenter. However, I would expect a degree of professionalism from a blog *writer*, who is, by definition, a *professional* writer, and should comport himself as such. Just in case you feel like criticizing my previous sentence for having too many commas and not enough semicolons, don't. You'd be wrong.

By the way, "Swedish" has only one "e". We all make mistakes, and that's okay- unless you're a professional writer. We call that a double standard, and there is nothing wrong with that. I may have no idea how to treat the flu, but I certainly expect my doctor to.

The original article had some mistakes, for sure, but none of them grave enough to warrant so much arguing either. Especially since few of you seem to know enough about the conventions and rules to say anything concrete.

RIM will never publish a working version of the Desktop Manager for Mac which fits in the present ;)

Maybe if they STOP SAYING NEVER, they will be first at new features instead of following behind other manufacturers.

Here's another never...
Blackberries will never be up to date with other smartphone technologies....
It's great that Rim has added wifi, camera, video recording etc.. but if the rest of the smartphone world is onto the next big thing then who cares??
It's like saying hey look we went from a b/w TV, to a color T/V! ... Well the rest of the companies are onto lcd and led COLOR TV's... but good job buddy...

Not everyone wants "The next, best thing!" Some of us use our phones for more then watching movies and chatting with friends. We use it to run our businesses and make our living, more important to us is "The thing that works best." Sure it is not as flashy and new, but all the bugs have been worked out.

Cutting edge isn't necessarily what businesses want, rock stable and refined are more important, and BlackBerry fits that requirement nicely.

Which is the reason why companies come out with different types of phones! I never mentioned that businesses want cutting edge technology.

That's great you don't want to all the extra things, but for the consumers who do, they can't get anything close to similar to an Iphone or Adroid phone from Rim. They either have to put up with the few phones that Rim offers or switch to an Iphone or Android.

That's because iPhone and Android are marketed towards the personal market. RIM has always said it is marketing to business users, if personal users like the phone great.

Coming out with different types of phones is a business decision, RIM is choosing to stay focused on it's core market.

That's funny, because using all 3 major platforms (Android, RIM, Apple), I've found Blackberries to be the most unreliable, needing many battery pulls and apps that crash on a regular basis. Also, it helps business users to browse the web and only a couple RIM phones can do that, average at best. Those other phones do have games and stupid apps for the kiddies, but I think you're underrating just how effective at getting things done those devices are compared to the BB.

Interesting, so all you do in your life is business? You have no social life, friend, or family, no periods of down time when you may want to listen to a tune or watch a short video? All you do is eat (sometimes), sleep (only when necessary), and do business and work?

Well, others do have things in their lives. And that is why RIM is losing business to Apple and Android. People want these things on their phones. RIM is trying with the Torch, but they do need to step it up.

I am sure that RIM will still make a business only type model for you, and I hope they step it up for the rest of us.

That's how I feel as well, this article would have much more merit if blackberry was a product that was in the lead. Not even wireless hot spot, really?

Its like a blackberries were cars and this article is bragging how we got seat belts, ABS breaks, power steering and a tape radio (no more 8 Track! yay!) while we never believed we would get these great features.

Little do we know or admit to recognize that the competition has surpassed our products and we are far behind them even in the flagship category.

In essence, blackberries lack innovation, this needs to change or else blackberries will be relegated to the past.

For my money the Blackberry was the first cel I had that did tethering in a useful manner. Sure lots of other folks said they had it but the drivers were fidgety, special cables were required, etc. I can remember at least 5 years ago using a bluetooth dongle in my laptop to tether to my Blackberry and get access to the internet while my coworkers were hunting around for data jacks. Heck, that's functionality a lot of folks today are still having a hard time figuring out (admittedly mostly because the carriers hobble their phones).

I wouldn't say that. I think there is already a phone that projects images and this would be useful for presentations where no projector or computer is available for some reason.

Oh so true! But then again, nobody *really* can predict what the consumer will want in the future, and how quickly the technology can change. Who would have thought that a key fob could be a 2GB (or larger) portable hard drive?

(BTW as a tech writer, any typos or grammatical errors always jump off the page at me. I notice you use "it's" in a few places where it should really be "its". This is a very common and understandable error.)

The point of the poster is that articles should be proof-read first before publishing in a site as well-read and famous as Crackberry. My English teacher once said, presentation always counts, and good presentation should always come in good grammar.

"Research in Motion (RIM) will never collaborate with an alien race from the other side of the milky way to create a BlackBerry Brain Chip that uses advanced APIs that provide functionality far beyond our current scope," said Melvin of SETI. "Steve Jobs will NEVER keep his head up his *** and will eventually see the potential of the world outside the womb-like void of his colon."

Thank you, Melvin... Now for sports!

BlackBerry will never have
1> GBs of Internal memory
2>let u install apps in memory card
3>No need to do battery pull

RIM pls prove me wrong :)

Ohh... gigs would be wonderful...

Apps run off the available memory as far as I know??? The nature of memory cards is not to be accessed constantly. But this would be fantastic.

I've used Tours since August and ALT LGLG and daily pulls daily. I don't have freezing issues, ringtone issues, nothing... (knocking on wood).

I love your "nevers"!

Ya Alt LGLG does the trick so does the Alt+left Shift+Del. But I will love to have a Berry in which we do not have to do these or a battery pull. And I guess it will be solved if a Berry has internal memory like say 64GB like other popular devices. And able to install apps on memory card need not to be default but user should be able to do it if they want.More over if the internal memory shoots up to GBs then we may not even require to install apps on memory card.
P.S: I am just saying not coparing with other phones love my berry,old Curve 8320 low on mem can't install all the apps I like,need to pull or restart a lot. But love the rest of it :)

I appreciate this article, as the oldest model that I am quite familiar with is the 7103e (and the older models that Miranda used through the years of Sex and the City...), and I like to hear about these "dinosaurs" and their "nevers."

However, I DO find that when I read a MOSTLY well-written article - especially one highlighting a technical subject - it is distracting (and disappointing) to read "around" poor punctuation, grammar, etc.

I don't think I would have "viewed the full article" if these errors were on the main page with the link to the full article. I would have assumed that the rest of the writing would be childish or poorly informed. However, I felt that the article was a success regardless of this issue.

I'm sure your needlessly flaming and insulting remarks will create the result we're all hoping for, which is better proof-reading... it definitely draws more readers, and makes the experience more enjoyable for those readers.

Some people will NEVER find it possible to not find something to criticize, be it grammar, delivery style or content.
I found the article enjoyable & readable despite any errors.

I'm so confused. Is this a blog about RIM, or about grammer in a blog? Has anyone actually commented on the content of the original article? I do think it is interesting to look back on how things evolve in spite of the naysayers. Afterall, there was a time when no one thought we would fly, go to the moon, travel faster than the speed of sound, etc.

Sometimes I think we need those negative people to cause the real adventerous people to have a reason to prove them wrong! So keep up the negativity and see how far you make the pioneers go.

Back in 2005 in England, I took part in a BlackBerry photo shoot. As an actor/character model I was required to do what one would call a 'belly laugh' to camera. The idea behind the campaign was that as a BlackBerry user I could carry out my office duties as an executive, without having to actually be in the office. Hence the laugh at those without BlackBerry's having to go into the office.

Anyway. To get back to the point. The representative from RIM was in attendance, and I thought I would take the opportunity to chat to her. I said when will RIM put cameras and memory cards in their phones. Oh, she said. Our customers wouldn't want anything like that!

Games (oh yes, again, don't remember which one had it first lol)
A Web browser (forgot which berry had it first)
Themes (never saw that when I was just looking and fuckin with them in the bell store at age 13)
e-ink screen (LOOOOL if it ever did)
IR file transfer and communication
Dualbooting capabilities for any OS besides the native operating system
over 2 million apps

Blackberries will never have the capability to send email or ims capable of zapping or gently electrocute the recipient . (like tree-hugging, blackberry-bashing apple lovers)
definitely has to be a one way multi-platform rim app

wishful thinking

Lets have a phone that NEVER needs a battery pull every 5 second or needs constant updates for updates, NEVER has a clock of death and push press touch screens lol


I haven't had to do daily battery pulls since my Storm 1 days except when I was running some beta software on my Tour. I've never had memory issues like that on the Storm2 or Bold. I reboot my phone maybe once a week except if I upgrade an app that requires it.

"One expects professional publications to be devoid of punctuation, spelling and grammar mistakes, regardless of their format. This is how it used to be back in the days when everyone strived for excellence. Go back to the 1950s and see how many spelling mistakes you can find in your local newspaper."

1) "one expects" = you expect
2) there was never a time when everyone strived for excellence. Sorry, but you need to talk with more old timers instead of romanticizing the past.
3) calling them "punctuation, spelling and grammar mistakes" (which, by the way, should be "spelling, and grammar") indicate your level of understanding about how language works.

There are not such things as punctuation, spelling, and grammar rules. There are only norms.

Language is dynamic, not static. You are not speaking the same English they spoke in the 1950s.

Remember that to the Italians, French, Portuguese, Spanish, etc., they were all speaking Latin.

4) Newspapers in the 1950s did, in fact, have many, many errors. However, would it be more logical to worry about how many total errors were made, or how many errors per page?

Does it make a difference to you that we now create 10,000x the volume of writing as they did in your romanticized 1950s?

well i have to say...i really enjoyed all the grammar comments...not picking any sides...as you can see i dont use good grammar myself...its not like i dont know how...i graduated 2 years ago...and am taking english in college right now...this is just much easier lol...its a blog...NOBODY CARES lol...and i know BB will eventually make their phones hotspots...theres no reason for them not too...i cant describe how much i love RIM's phones...my first few smartphones i owned were the Palm Treo's and at the moment have Pixi...cant wait till christmas...getting the Torch...it kills me my 8900's trackball quit working..when i get the torch..i dont plan on putting it down for at least a week lol

I certainly have found some humor in the grammar and spelling comments.

However, I do think the a crucial point has been missed.

The point of communication through language is to convey information to another party. I realize this information may be misunderstood if punctuated incorrectly however, for every individual posting a comment towards the "correct use of grammar and correctness of spelling", I believe they most certainly understood the information which was be presented.

If the writing was incredibly poor and impossible to understand I would see how a correction might be suggested. If there was an individual who didn't understand the writing, then let that individual question the author for clarification.

It is certainly true that if a correction be made it should be passed on to the author directly and not posted as a comment within the thread or blog. Unfortunately there are individuals who gain satisfaction in this manner, but they are most certainly not acting as a professional.

If you understood the information which was presented through writing, then the objective through writing was completed.

Maybe they (RIM) should have said that they would never support flash.... then maybe they would have gotten it... the flash 10 support on my new android device is incredible!!!! sorry rim, you lost out!