The more I use consumer electronics, the more it’s clear to me why Apple is so successful. Their stuff just works, and it mostly works the way you expect it to (and without getting in your way like most intro-level Adobe products do).
Case in point… I have an email in Gmail from Groupon saying that I can get a $5 credit if I make a purchase from my mobile device, and helpfully providing links to places to download. Okay, great… I load Gmail on my Blackberry, and see that the links in the email are not rendered as links. They are plain <a href=""> tags. Every browser can render links. WTF, Blackberry.
Fine, whatever. I email myself the link as plain text so I can click it. Doing so brings me to this page, which is Blackberry’s official App World. See that “Download” button? Yeah, I didn’t. The Blackberry browser does not render that button. None of the four browser options render that button. (And, if you view source, you can see why… it’s not a button at all but a bunch of styled divs. WTF again.) And why are there four browser options? Should an end user have to know the difference between “Hotspot Browser” and “BlackBerry Browser” and “Internet Browser”? Does anyone actually know the difference?
Fine, whatever. I have the official Blackberry App World application installed on my phone. Let’s do that instead. Go in, search… and no results. There are no results for the Groupon application I am staring at on my laptop browser. I search for a bit in the various views and can’t find it. So I give up and try to close the application. Which proceeds to freeze and crash the phone. The official App World application. And this isn’t the first time it’s done this either.
This is, of course, in addition to other problems I’ve been having, such as buttons that can’t be clicked in the Blackberry Browser (plain HTML input buttons too), the generally unintuitive UI, the “Emergency Call” option being helpfully located right under “Unlock Phone” where you will hit it almost every time you try to unlock your phone, and the selection defaulting on the “Lock” option after you unlock where lag between popup notifications (such as for meeting invites) *will* cause you to hit the “Lock” button again. (And don’t even get me started on some of the issues I’ve had to deal with at work related to the Blackberry browser.)
So yeah. As much as I love having a physical keyboard, if I was ever going to buy my own smartphone, I will stay far, far, far away from Blackberries.
Edit: Yes, I could copy-paste the “Download” link into an email and open it in the Blackberry and hopefully get the right thing to happen, but I shouldn’t have to do that, and I’m too frustrated with the phone to want to do that now anyway. It’s one thing if third-party websites and software don’t work correctly on the phone (although I’m still extremely confused why it can’t make plain input buttons work properly), but if your first-party website and apps don’t work correctly, something is very wrong. That’s not just bad design, that’s sloppy.