The Disappearing BlackBerry Messenger Icon Debacle

who what where when why Since BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 was released users have been having problems with their BlackBerry Messenger icon disappearing. This has led RIM to resort to posting the following ***PLEASE READ*** warning at the top of the product page for BBM in App World:

  1. Before downloading, please back up your contact list by displaying the menu within BlackBerry Messenger – Options – Back Up. (Available for BBM 5.0 and 5.0.1 users)
  2. Please ensure that you are using RIM or carrier approved BlackBerry® Device Software to avoid compatibility issues that may result in loss of the BBM icon.  For more information, read article KB23968 (http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=KB23968)
  3. After installing the new version of BBM, please restart your device.

To summarize most of the people who have had their BlackBerry Messenger icon disappear when upgrading have not had the minimum required OS version to install. So far this has caused no end of grief for users who are not very technically inclined and highlights a few things RIM could have done to avoid such an issue:

  1. Make OS upgrades easier! Over a year ago RIM rolled out the idea of wireless OS upgrades. RIM makes this super complicated and there is a reason very few novice users ever upgrade their OS this way. It is too complicated and is unreliable and can lead to catastrophic data loss.
  2. Check the users OS version BEFORE installing! If RIM knows what previous OS versions have problems why not just exclude them from downloading the update and direct them on how to update their OS. (See above issue)
  3. Allow users to backup ALL their data to the SD card automatically! In the product description RIM tells users to backup their contact list by going into the options. This option is hidden where no novice user is ever going to find it. In my personal opinion what every BlackBerry needs is an AUTOMATIC backup of ALL user data to the SD card every day. I know BlackBerry Protect will solve some of this but why not use the storage that is already there?

I think that RIM needs to get BlackBerry Protect out the door soon to cover users who don’t know how to solve problems like these. They also need to make the BlackBerry Protect registration part of the device setup so that all users will have their data backed up.

What do you think? Should RIM be doing more or is this “Missing Icon” issue an acceptable bug?

3 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. This is SO indicative of what’s wrong with RIM and why BlackBerry is perceived to be not user friendly. RIM has everything within their grasp and control to prevent this from EVER being an issue that affects end users yet all they do is post techie advisories. Seriously RIM, it should be the other way around. It should be hard and take a techie to do this, not potentially bricking a feature you’re pushing as a key BlackBerry advantage.

  2. Why the f*ck would RIM let you *try* to install an application (and it’s flagship application at that) on an unsupported OS?!

    Pretty sure there’s a bigger issue then what they claim here. Any decently written application (on any OS) should check to make sure it’s installing on a supported platform.

    I’ve lost BBM before and I know I was installing it on a supported OS. Their code base must be absolutely terrible to have issues like this.

  3. they should have the bbm automatic contact backup feature cumpulsory. the customer should be asked to configure this just as they pop the license up everytime youre gonna use it for the first time. RIM has set this phone to only be user friendly with people who have a computer and an internet connection.

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