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RANT! RIM Has A Perception Problem With the BlackBerry OS…

Memory Booster I have mentioned this previously but a recent event brought this back to my attention. As of today a “memory booster” application is now the TOP paid application in App World.

There are two ways you I can interpret this:

  1. It could be that the BlackBerry OS is fine but the problem is the perception users have. The fact that so many users believe the BlackBerry OS needs a memory booster speaks for itself. I drank the Kool-aid at WES and do believe that BlackBerry 6 (the upcoming BlackBerry OS) might improve users perception of the BlackBerry OS but this fact should speak volumes to RIM.
  2. Alternatively one could postulate that there is a critical issue with the BlackBerry OS. It could be that a huge number of users find is fixed by an application that probably does nothing other than a regular cleanup of Java virtual machine memory or providing you some basic statistics about your usage. Maybe it is just an immediate way to run a cleanup… Either way you can do a better job manually performing actions like deleting unused applications and lowering log lengths than any app could possibly perform.

I tend to believe the first but it blows my mind that the number one selling app in RIM’s own App World attempts to fix a problem with the BlackBerry OS. It could be this app is totally useless but if that many users think it is necessary RIM has a serious problem. I have tried to get RIM to come out and explain that Memory Boosters do nothing for performance with no luck. If the memory boosters DO work then it is inconceivable that RIM has not purchased/licensed the code for it (or replicated it) and implemented it in the BlackBerry OS. If it doesn’t work RIM is openly letting thousands of their customers get screwed out of their money by buying a useless application. I know that a main source of memory problems for the BlackBerry OS stems from poorly coded applications with memory leaks but that still reflects badly for RIM and customers perception of their product.

So what do you think?

15 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Immediately after a reboot of my Bold 9000, the device info reports between 10 and 11 mb free memory. Even if I do nothing, the free memory drops to zero within 2 or 3 hours. I don’t see how deleting applications (which are on the device because I use them) will stop this from happening.

    This would be a nuisance, but not too big a deal, if not for the fact that a reboot drops the battery charge by about 20% each time. Even though my battery is less than 2 months old, the charge is gone by noon (from full @ 6 a.m.) due to these necessary reboots. Recently I was away from a power cord all day and had to keep the device powered-off most of the day, and then still it was completely drained by mid-afternoon.

    Why does this happen, and is there anything that can be done about it?

    • You have an app that has a tremendous memory leak. You need to hunt it down and once identified decide if you REALLY need it, or if there is an alternative that isn’t so bad.

  2. Totally agree that there is something totally screwy with this os with regards to memory management. Don’t just look at memory booster to see that there’s a problem though. I have quickpull lite (free) running on both my and my wifes bberry 9000s. There are many days where you drop below 2mb free and need to reset + I have them setup to do a nightly reboot at 11pm, just to try and free up memory. It pretty pathetic, and I’m sure there are thousands of users out there who don’t know how to do this and/or are restricted by BES from doing this and therefore are regularly suffering with horrible performance.

    I don’t see why memory management couldn’t be improved in the OS, but then again I do a lot of wondering about RIM’s lame OS.

  3. it’s a placebo effect like Hybrids

  4. Memory recovery apps were very popular with Windows 95. People love those.

  5. I’ve never understood the logic of “Hey, my memory is low…if I install this app, it’ll fix it right?”

    Yes, because installing another app, which also uses memory to clean your memory makes the utmost sense. :/

  6. Here some technical background:

    The JVM (Java Virtual Machine) restricts access to any system internals. There is exactly one memory related function available to 3rd party apps called System.gc() that runs the garbage collector to reclaim free memory. RIM does not recommend calling System.gc() as the system should take care of memory handling by itself. The function may even only be a dummy not having any affect at all.

    All the memory boosters probably do is call System.gc() at times when the device is not being used to move the garbage collection to a more convenient time. (Whenever you see the little clock indicator in the middle of the screen, the system is running garbage collection)

  7. People are idiots, I think that about sums it up.

    Release an app called “fluffy fun memory management” that creates a rainbow while it “frees your memory”, charge $0.99, watch it beat out memory booster as the top paid app in all of Appworld.

  8. I got the email from the vendor of this app last night, bragging that their app was now #1. I shook my head and immediately thought of Ronen’s “BB lost it’s mind” articles.

    It’s indeed a sad state that RIM allows an app that does not and CAN NOT do what people THINK it will do to appear in App World at all.

    • I think it’s buyer’s faults in this case. I don’t really want RIM going police on appworld like Apple does. Once you start going down that road of tailoring something for the lowest common denominator, you don’t come back… Short of obvious, malicious intent I don’t really think they should have to filter things that much.

  9. I agree. RIM has a huge perception problem with Blackberry OS. They would improve the perception a lot once they release the webkit browser and if they implement more graphical elements in the Storm line of devices. They also need to stop skimping on memory on their devices for the OS and apps. The cost of memory costs is almost always falling yet they’re still putting megabytes of memory in Blackberries while the competitors devices have gigabytes available for the OS and apps. Lastly, they need to put in faster processors even if battery life suffers a little bit. I temporarily switched from a Storm2 to a HTC Incredible and the Incredible is extremely fast with it’s 1 GHz processor. I wish my Storm2 had it.

  10. Thank you for exposing these frauds and for pointing out how wrong it is for RIM to even offer them on appworld. I first read your post on this subject about a year ago after purchasing all of the memory booster apps. I then wrote each of the apps and got a response only declaring the proprietary nature of the software or reciting the “awards” they had received. Needless to say, I deleted all of them, and use Quick-pull several times a day.

    The next issue frustrating me and deserves some protest is that AT&T received software update from RIM in December and will not release it. Here it is 5 months later!

    Thanks for advocating for the consumer. It amazes me how many BB blogs are nothing but cheerleaders for Manufacturers, Carriers, and Developers.

    The critical voice gains my trust.

  11. There’s an easy way to fix RIM OS memory management issues. Get a Droid Incredible. Problem solved, or at least mine will be, in one month. 🙂

  12. Is it not ironic that at the top of this article is an advertisement for a memory management program !!

    Fix Virtual Memory: Guaranteed Tool

  13. Hmmm – I see the ads change on a regular basis – but it was funny while it lasted…

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