I really hate the BlackBerry Browser bookmarks. They are, unfortunately, a good example of most of all complaints I have had about what’s wrong with Research In Motion and the BlackBerry platform over the last year or so: sometimes it really seems like RIM’s developers don’t use a BlackBerry themselves. Some flaws are so silly, blatant and pointless that it just gives me a totally slovenly impression. Like, they probably know it’s wrong, they just don’t care.
My beef this time is a very old complaint I’ve had, way back since OS 4.2. I decided to talk about it now because I just noticed something I hadn’t noticed before…
First, look at this screenshot:
What a mess! Who needs so many folders in a portable device’s bookmarks? The really annoying thing about these bookmarks and folders is that not only are they utterly useless, they also can’t be deleted, edited or moved! Way to go RIM!
Folder #1) The bookmark at the top is “BlackBerry Help.” It’s just the same as the “Home Page” bookmark I have a few lines below, also visible in the screenshot. “BlackBerry Help” just points to the mobile BlackBerry site. There is a link to some kind of “help” or forums there, but it’s just the old mobile BlackBerry site. Do you follow me? They point to the same destination! Why do I have both bookmarks then? Well, ask RIM, not me. Neither of those bookmarks may be deleted. I have to keep both whether I like them or not.
And note that “BlackBerry Help” is in the “Links” folder. “Home Page” is in the “BlackBerry Bookmarks” folder. How about consolidating them into one single folder? I can’t! None of those bookmarks and folders may be changed, deleted or moved out of sight. That whole tree structure is compulsory. Seriously, I would like to see RIM explain what the difference is between “Links” and “BlackBerry Bookmarks” that warrants forcing me to maintain both folders.
By the way, doesn’t the BlackBerry have an internal manual already? Why do we need a “Help” bookmark inside the browser anyway?
Folder #2) “WAP Bookmarks.” That’s not such a bad idea. But I NEVER use those. Why can’t I move that folder way, way down the tree, where I will rarely see it? And why do I have to have TWO “WAP Bookmarks” folders? Yes, two, look at the screenshot. I’ve had two of it for as long as I can remember, even before OS 4.5. Why can’t I at least delete one of them? Did RIM really have to give carriers the ability to push out not one but two folders of links that I cannot control? (PS on AT&T they call them MediaNet & MediaNet Quicklinks)
Also notice that folder carries a bookmark to “Top Jogos Gameloft.” “Jogos” is Portuguese for “Games” (I am in Brazil). Who writes that mess, mixing up English with Portuguese willy-nilly so it doesn’t make any sense? Isn’t there ANYBODY who will spot that and arrange a fix? And I don’t care for games. I am not a game person. But can I delete that bookmark? Of course not, I have to carry that dead weight around for as long as RIM wants me to.
Folder #3) That is the cherry on the top. I have grown accustomed to ignoring that whole bookmark mess for so long that I never noticed there was a “Wi-Fi Services” folder and a “Wi-Fi Hotspot Login” bookmark. Where does it point to? IT POINTS HERE. You can open it yourself on your BlackBerry or desktop computer. Or you can just look at this amazing screenshot:
No kidding! I have an entire bookmark, in its own screen-cluttering folder, just for THAT?!!!
I don’t know about you, but my expectations around the upcoming BlackBerry browser are pretty low. I think it’s going to open pages fast and that’s it. I expect everything else in it to be a disaster. Mark my words.