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.

  • Xitij Ritesh Patel

    Thank you. Finally, someone put into words all of my frustrations with the existing backup system.

  • HIghoS

    Hear, hear!

    This has annoyed me to no end and it has caused me to give up on using certain applications and games on the Platform because if and when I’ve had to reload for various reasons I’ve lost all my information or progress unless it could be saved outside of the build in memory to actual files on the device.

    This has almost become a deal breaker in so many ways, I cannot believe how much time can be wasted by having an all or nothing approach. I mean, on initial launch I can understand you just need something that works, but as the platform matures and BlackBerry 10 launches I am really hoping that something can be worked out.

    I loved having the ability to backup and restore certain data or settings in BlackBerry OS-it allowed a lot of flexibility and ability to quickly change devices or reload software and only reload the -relevant- information back on the device if you wanted to start over with a (more or less) clean slate.

    Would love to see some big improvements coming to the Backup/Restore process-Even if backing up and restoring individual applications isn’t possible, having the ability to backup and restore application data and/or settings reliably and being able to show and select them would be a huge step forward.