One of the big complaints about the BlackBerry when compared to other smartphones is that a lot of the applications that run on the BlackBerry seem outdated and less sophisticated when compared those that run on devices like the iPhone and those running WebOS or Android. To make a long story short, the complaints are fairly valid and much of the issue is because of the way that the BlackBerry utilizes memory.
Without getting too technical, BlackBerry devices, no matter how much memory they have, whether it be internal device memory or on removable memory cards, utilize a small fraction of of the memory available to them for running and storing applications. The latest BlackBerrys use 256 MB of internal device memory in which they store all built in core applications as well as any add-on or third party applications. This isn’t a problem so long as you want to run only a few BlackBerry apps that don’t take up a lot of space.
Pretty Graphics Take Up A Lot Of Space
There are games that you can buy for the iPhone that take up as much space by themselves as the available application memory free space on many BlackBerry devices with no third party applications installed. Because of the way BlackBerry devices handle memory, developers are handcuffed from creating applications with a lot of rich textures, extensive 3D graphics, recorded audio, and many of the “next gen” application features the consumers think BlackBerry apps lack.
How will RIM handle memory in the next BlackBerry OS?
We know that some newer BlackBerry devices now support 3D graphics acceleration. Rumor has it that the next BlackBerry Browser will be the baddest WebKit browser available once released. We’ve even heard the RIM is going to finally release a BlackBerry with a full touch screen and slide-out keyboard. The question, however, that I have for RIM, is how are they going to address there memory problem? If they don’t figure this out soon, all the other enhancements may be for not.
i honestly thought from the title that was was going to be an answer and not a question in article form. but hey it’s the question that’s on evryone’s minds, isn’t it.
“a lot of the applications that run on the BlackBerry seem outdated and less sophisticated when compared those that run on devices like the iPhone and those running WebOS or Android”
I totally agree with that statement, but I’d argue that memory isn’t really the #1 culprit related to that observation; the API and developer tools are the problem. Using the API out-of-the-box and building an application, you end up with the ugly, typical app we’re used to seeing on the BlackBerry. Building anything modern looking or overly stylized requires so much hand coding of custom fields that it become a chore and I think turns away a lot of developers – or convinces them to build the same ole crappy looking apps. I find that I spend more than half my development time tweaking/customizing UI components, and that has to change.
That said, it really is going to be interesting to see where things go with memory availability to apps, specifically browser-based apps and widgets. Do you think the new browser can even be “the baddest Webkit browser available” without more system resources available to it?
The question RIM needs to address before memory is the overhaul of the OS, then they could address memory. I really think they need to consider something like webOS. For me, the ultimate phone is webOS, BB’s mail system, iPhone’s application catalog, Google’s openness and integration, and Verizon’s network. If I were able to get a BB with webOS, I’d be in my glory. Memory…push it up to a few GB for applications and I think all is good. Leave the rest of the memory for music, movies, etc. on an external card…MHO.
You know,if RIM just completely did their OS, they could probably run OS as an application on the new OS to maintain backwards compatibility.
RIM so should have bought Palm 2 years ago…
For me, the ultimate phone is webOS, BB’s mail system, iPhone’s application catalog, Google’s openness and integration, and Verizon’s network.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Amen to that bluehorseshoe! You said a mouthful! Excellent idea!