Saturday, February 4, 2017

BlackBerry 10 Platform is Useless

This is more of a list of things that doesn't work with the BB10 platform and how I am so done with it. Everyone I know who has a BlackBerry stopped using it, and that too they aren't many. And now, I am abandoning it as well. The OS, QNX Neutrino RTOS which is a microkernel is all cool and great. It's used in many embedded systems from ECUs, drones, medical devices to nuclear power plants. But alas, no apps :D. The keyboard and screen is also awesome. It's great for emails and writing notes, but that's all about it. App developers simply don't write apps for BB10. So the ones which I wanted to use are not present. Here is my list, and I'm comparing it with Android.
1. I use Uber most of the time, but there is no app for it. I requested Uber mobile web access, which the support guy told they cannot give it to me! But I have access somehow. Requesting ride works, but cannot pay through the web or side loaded app even after installing the patched Google Play and supporting services by Cobolt. So I have to always pay using my Android phone.
2. There is no official Slack app. S10 app is very minimal. It does not show snippets, emoticons, reactions. It's all text only. Feels like IRC to me. So I side loaded Slack apk, which works in normal cases, but then login through SSO does not work which is important to me as BB10 browser is not able to invoke Slack after successful login. Plus I don't get any notification from S10.
3. There is no Wi-Fi tethering. BB10 can connect to Wi-Fi hotspot but it cannot tether the Wi-Fi via USB with my computer. I have a special personal computer ;). It can tether only mobile data. Android does this well.
4. No push notifications get received for side loaded Android apps. I like Pinterest, but I don't get any push notifications and has to resort to email notifications.
5. Some websites like zomato and others doesn't even load in the BB10 browser, and most mobile sites are feature restricted as they have a dedicated app which are not on BlackBerry World.
6. The official LinkedIn app stopped working and doesn't load the feeds, which makes the app useless. It gives notifications and contact sync only.
7. Everyone knows that Facebook stopped supporting BB10, so does Whatsapp (soon to be). I don't use FB app on any phones as it eats up the battery like crazy and I don't have Whatsapp, so not much of a problem.
8. No 2FA authenticator app! How is all this security conscious platform not even having a working 2FA app. BlackBerry Enterprise has one to use with BES only. Too bad. I tried syncing the side loaded Yandex.Key app, but it did not sync.
9. Then there is BBM where we get the sense of security but the messages are scrambled with a global key and are not encrypted. No end-to-end encryption like in Signal. Only enterprise version offers this.
10. Most banking and mobile payment apps are not present and side loading some of them doesn't work as they keeps saying that Google Play Service is required. So the patched one did not work.
11. SoundCloud's native app crashes on a minute by minute basis. Side loaded app sort of works if play services are present but you cannot add music to playlist as it doesn't get synced with the server. Only like gets synced. The app closes if it is not in the foreground when a song ends and it does not play the next one.
12. There is a podcast app Nobex, which works great, but does not have most of the cool podcast channels. So I have to export my Podcast Republic app's OPML, find the feed URL and submit it, wait for some time for the search to pick up and add it in the app. Too much work to listen to a podcast. :)
13. There is a text editor called Editor by HugSoft, but it does not save the session. So I have to open files every time I reopens the app. Another interesting thing is that the save works very differently. Open the app, write something, use save to file. Write some more, and this time using save button does not save to the already saved file. It saves it to it's cache. Save works only if we open an existing file for editing. For new files, we need to always choose save to file, navigate etc. Not so very user friendly. Quoda works great, but it's not a native one.
14. No official PGP support for personal accounts! How dumb is this?
15. And there is no VoLTE support at the hardware level for my device, just LTE only. So I cannot make phone calls, only use data and my carrier's app which can do the calls on LTE only phone doesn't support BlackBerry. So the side loaded app doesn't detect my SIM.
16. There are some work apps, but they are available for Android and iOS only. Also, I cannot install via Google Play as the BB10 Android runtime version is lower.
17. No fast charging. True that the battery lasts longer, but it needs to be charged longer.
18. You cannot use both the email alias and the main email id. You can add either the main email or its alias. K-9 allows send emails from alias as well. Not email integration not so great after all.
Such a stupid platform, it never really caught up. Back to Android. And KNOX is cool.

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