Top 10 Reasons RIM Needs To Update The BlackBerry Browser Immediately

Udate: Actually added the 10 reasons RIM needs to update the BlackBerry Browser immediately


When I first started writing this post, I actually intended to list out 10 reasons why the web broswer on the BlackBerry needs to be updated.  The truth of the matter, however, is that only one reason is really necessary…

The web browser on the BlackBerry sucks!

I am sitting here playing with a Palm Pre, a T-Mobile G1, and an iPod Touch.  All three of these devices use a web browser based on the WebKit open source browser engine.  It’s debatable which of the three offer the best browser experience, but, at the end of the day, all three are really good.

I am not saying that RIM needs to make a web browser based on WebKit, but, with most carriers offering pretty good 3G speeds and 4G being right in addition to the days of BlackBerry devices without Wi-Fi looking like they are numbered, RIM needs to come out something that can at least legitimately get in the game.

The mobile web has arrived, but, not so much for BlackBerry users…


After my little rant when I first started this post, several commentators, although agreeing with me that the web browser on the BlackBerry sucks, still want to see the 1o reasons why I believe this to be the case.

Here 10 Reasons RIM needs to update the BlackBerry Browser immediately in no particular order…

  1. The BlackBerry Browser is way too slow —  I didn’t do any significantly scientific testing or anything like that, but the browsers on the Pre and the iPod Touch have to be at least 3 to 4 times faster when connected to the same wi-fi access point than this 8520.  (Couldn’t get G1 to connect to my MiFi)
  2. No Java Support
  3. Scrolling around is all herky jerky and the page constantly refreshes when you zoom in and out.
  4. Cookies aren’t always saved — Some pages require you to enter in login information every time you start a new session.
  5. No Flash support — I know none of them have Flash support (yet) but it would cool if the BlackBerry Browser could do something that the others could not.
  6. BlackBerry Browser is a memory drain — if you do a lot of surfing you have to remember to close the app to free up memory or your device may run slowly.
  7. Perception — It is commonly accepted that BlackBerry browsing is inferior to web browsing on other devices.  For new consumers this paints a poor picture of the BlackBerry and they may assume that it is generally inferior to other devices, which, is definitely not the cas
  8. Third Party Browsers — Even third party browsers on the BlackBerry are better than the BlackBerry Browser.  This lets you know that improvements could be made within the current OS.
  9. WAP Sites —  BlackBerry Browser goes to WAP sites by default and you don’t get to choose the standard site unless the site itself has an option that allows you to do so.
  10. No Tabbed Browsing

I can think of a few more reasons, but, I’ll leave that for the comments.


  1. kats says

    So would I. I would also like to know which version of the Blackberry OS/browser you’re using as your basis of comparison.

  2. Robert says

    I agree with Robb. As an 8330m user on the Blackberry browser is borderline horrible. Maybe it’s me? Maybe the Tour has a much better browsing experience… but dang.

  3. A User says

    You don’t need 10 reason.
    Anyone who has used BlackBerry can feel the pain.
    RIM is in a little box that it can’t get out of.

  4. Norman R. says

    I feel Robb’s pain when it comes to the BlackBerry Browser. I recently purchased a MiFi from Verizon primarily because I wanted to use it with my laptop, but, what I’ve started to notice is that I am using my iPod Touch more and more to browse the web because it is so much easier to do than it is on my BlackBerry Tour.

  5. Lo says

    You absolutely dont need 10 reasons. This frickin browser is LAME. Its slow, even on wifi. Edge sucks even more when I’m unable to find wifi. I cnt view videos etc. You must enable javascript and even still sometimes it doesn’t work. Lame lame lameeeeeee! We ? supporters deserve better. Lol I still love my ? regardless!

  6. John Salerno says

    Robb Dunewood August 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Quite a few people have said that they want to see the entire list so, I will update this post with 9 more reasons as soon as I get a chance.

    You seriously consider “the browser sucks” to be a reason? I was thinking that the 10 reasons would support this opinion that it sucks.

    I’m not trying to defend the BB browser, it’s just that when you give reasons for why something needs updating, you should give REAL reasons. Right now you’re basically saying it sucks because it sucks.

  7. A User says

    To be honest, BlackBerry and BlackBerry suck is not because other devices are better.
    It is because RIM is not trying to do better. New model? It is a joke.
    You remember Palm’s form factor that never get change and end up eliminated from the market. I can see BlackBerry to have the same fate if no improvement any time soon, real soon.
    I don’t see cooperate will stick with BlackBerry forever that keep RIM afloat.

  8. says

    Since I am using MemoryBooster on my BlackBerry I can cross out number 6 from your list. So there are just 9 reasons left :)

  9. perry valton says

    I guess that why skyfire is been push on us, for so called leader in the mobile world RIM should and could have done much better it appers that RIM show total luck of respect for it’s customers and the os is way outdated. (added by Mobile using Mippin)

  10. DVG says

    I have had a BB Bold for a year now and I really love the fast CPU and the full keyboard. My girlfriend has an iPhone 3GS and I do not like typing on it. I can send text messages and e-mail so much more easily from the BB. However, the BB browser is poor. Even Opera is poor. When I need to do something simple that requires the WWW she can do it in seconds whereas often I cannot do it with the BB at all as it goes into a cycle of loading and reloading pages. The other day we were in the store and I wanted to look up a product review. I didn’t even bother to use the BB. It would be futile. A common query is: “Do you have your iPhone with you?” I hate the iPhone for most of what it does (and so does she) but the web browsing experience is like night and day. I am very disappointed in RIM. iPhone has had a quality browser for some time now. This is not new to the 3GS.

  11. Another user says

    agreed, 10 reasons aren’t needed. I have the tour and think the browser sucks. I too find myself using my ipod touch for mobile browsing. I stopped into my local verizon store to see if there was anything they could do. No luck but the customer service agent said RIM is working right now to upgrade the browser. Apparently the over all opinion is the same, poor. Hopefully we will see an upgrade soon.

  12. Mark says

    I agree with most of the comments here. I have a Blackberry 8900. Email is a joy to use on it – congratulations to Blackberry there, but the browsing experience is very disappointing.

    My Symbian equipped Nokia E51 loads a web page in a fraction of the time with what seems to be a better implementation of Javascript and better page rendering too.

    Any sign from Blackberry that a new browser is coming?

  13. Mike says

    As a web developer I have to disagree with nearly all 10 of your reasons here many of which are simply not valid, are very subjective, or are not even reasons at all. You are looking at things from a user’s perspective and don’t really understand what’s really going on. The real issue here is inconsistency with html, css, and javascript standards across blackberry devices. For example support for onclick attributes, margins, padding, XMLHttp, ridiculously small screen pixel widths on some devices, width on input elements in stylesheets, alignment of text in buttons, support for tables, default browser settings (disabled css, javascript, & background images), just to name some of the more annoying ones. The most annoying for most people is probably that onclick one, since many clickable elements in a normal browser will not work on many blackberries models.

  14. John says

    Mike, of course we are looking at the issue from a user’s perspective…we are users of blackberries. The user experience is weak as it relates to using the mobile web through a browser. Obviously there are several components in play here that create the poor user experience on a blackberry but we are all clamoring for a better product from RIM.

  15. Mike says

    Not too sure why RIM wants to develop a browser. If I was them I would ask Google to help develop Chrome for the BlackBerry and replace the native browser with that. I’m sure Google would be in favor of this. Their major software goal seems to be to find a way to get Chrome on as many devices as possible. Creating Android and Chrome OS were round about ways of doing this. Apple has Safari and will not allow this, but I think there is potential for RIM here to go with Chrome. Then BlackBerry would have the fastest, most standards compliant browser, and it would cost them less money. Of course they would be giving control of searching over to Google. Seems like a win-win situation for both companies, since RIM is not really in the advertising business like Google.

  16. daisysalter says

    I don’t know why anyone would challenge you. I am a BB user who will switch to Iphone in Oct when my upgrade is available at my provider–my new IPod Touch sold me. BB is no longer competitive on any level, and that includes the supposed email handling superiority, which they no longer possess either. Since RIM refuses to give customers what they want, they lose this one.

  17. frustratedUSER says

    Im so dissapointed with the browsing.. The Web on my old Samsung Code from MetroPCS takes a big dump on the Blackberry Web.. even the bolt browser… It’s too bad skyfire gave up on blackberry to concentrate on droids.. wich i think its gonna be next purchase for sure!

  18. Omega says

    Excellent reasons! And don’t let the “threat” of an accusation of “anecdotal evidence” make you feel unjustified in these points.

    It’s a very well accepted fact that BlackBerries in general suffer from all kinds of responsiveness and quality issues. They are a testament to Canadian mediocrity.

    (I say this AS a Canadian living in Canada!)

    Take care!

  19. tom c says

    I agree. Blackberry phone in general are the worst pieces of crap ever. The browser is just the beginning. Forget the fact thet it functions at the speed of dial up. Half the time I cannot even connect. Then, at best I turn the phoe off and back on and hope it will work. At worst I need to take the battery out. The media player sucks. It cannot stream videos. You cannot open different windows. It does not support adobe. It crashes whenever you do something slightly complicated. Theb you need to repeat step one. Turn off phone or restart battery. The apps blow. Battery life is a joke. And when the battery runs out, if you plug the phone into the charger you have to wait even to make a phone call or text. I pay a good deal of money for a data plan and basically I can do about as much with this phone as my old dumb phone. I know it is a business phone. Whatever that means. But why advertise features you cannot deliver. Blackberry does not offer web access. Period. All it good for is email. Did I mention the apps suck ? Not to mention the little quirks the phone has. Doing things that you did not want it to do. Screw blackberry. RIMjob should go out of business for marketing such a lousy product

    • ron says

      MAybe its your carrier. My phone has no trouble streaming youtube vids, or other vids, so I have no idea what ur meaning there. Let me guess your with att? If your phone is crashing a lot, have u updated to the latest os? My Guess is, your either one of att’s customers, or you don’t really own a berry, your just going by “what you’ve heard” I dunno.
      I have Sprint and previously was with verizon (switched to sprint due to verzons high data fees) and I’ve been a proud blackberry user since 2006. My dad has a torch with att and his gf has an iphone, he wouldn’t trade her any day. Altho they both hate att. My brother has a droid and his crashes more oftEn than my berry, which I keep properly updated and it never crashes, and I use it, not lying, probably 75 percent of the day, surfing the net, using apps, emails, txts, and phone calls. Not once has my trackpad ever stopped working for me or my wife.
      I have a style 9670 os6.0 and she has a curve 9330 os6.0 btw…..

  20. tom c says

    Forgot to mention the fact that the track pad intermittently stops working rendering the phone useless until it decides to start working again. Useless piece of garbage.

  21. ron says

    I happen to love my blackberry AND its browser. That said, I am running the new 6.0 os with the improved browser, I should say MUCH improved WEBKIT browser, but even my old one was pretty good altho I did use bolt as an alternate on occasion. I have had 4 different blackberries, first one being a now obsolete 7130a, then another now-obsolete storm, a curve 8530 and a style 9670 and I’ve liked each one a little better than the previous. I don’t find lack of flash player to be a drag, as the sites I use don’t require it, and I’ve heard its not as Secure, so I’m not sure I even want it. Now with super-apps like poynt, I think rim has taken a few steps forward there too as well as with podcasts and rss feeds (built into the os, NOT apps)
    Can’t wait to get a playbook :)

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