BlackBerry 10 – Backups, Backups, Backups

BlackBerry Desktop Manager with PlayBook connected

Right, let’s cut to the chase.

RIM – you’re current backup system for the PlayBook is inadequate.

There, I got it off my chest. But it had to be said. As you can probably see from this blog – I like BlackBerry. It does what I want it to do most of the time. I want to get things done. I’m nearly always mobile. BlackBerrys keep me connected to everything that I need to do.

But as BlackBerry 10 looms closer, I’m worried that some PlayBook-isms will make it across – and backups is a problem for me right now.

I have a situation with one my PlayBooks – the 64GB model. It’s not running as it should. In fact, it’s running pretty poorly in some circumstances. Most of the time it’s good though. But the point is that I want to fix it. I’m almost 100% certain that it’s due to my use to Beta releases of the PlayBook OS and I want to start fresh. A clean slate.

The problem is that if I wipe the PlayBook, I’ll lose all of my data.

Aha! That’s what backups are for! What’s the problem?

Well, the problem is that the backup/restore process is ALL or NOTHING. I cannot selectively install this app or that app. And if I wipe my PlayBook and restore the apps, all the problems return.

But it doesn’t just affect me – it affects people who love games. Games can take up a huge chunk of space on a device. Easily over 500MB for an FPS. Download a few of those and your PlayBook is full! If you delete the app, there’s no way to restore it, so you’ve just lost your save game data.

BlackBerry App Loader
The AppLoader isn’t pretty – but it allows easy add/remove of BlackBerry apps on pre-BlackBerry 10 handsets.

So, device space – the classic BlackBerry problem – becomes a BlackBerry 10 issue for a completely different and unnecessary reason. Either delete apps and lose all of your progress – or fill up your device with apps that you barely use or play but want to keep your data.

The classic BlackBerry OS options of choosing which components to install worked well. RIM, please, let’s not take a step backwards here.