03-31-2013 03:10 PM - last edited on 04-03-2013 10:26 AM by BelmaHFL
I wanted to add one more voice to the concerns over the contact manager in BB10. The lack of control over the calendar and contacts will not be satisfactory in a device manufactured to meet consumer and business needs. More specifically, although gmail, contacts, etc grow more popular, many rely on Outlook.
The inability to seamlessly integrate Outlook contacts into the Z10 w/o having a) glitches b) omitted missing fields c) ability to sync directly w/o resorting to the vulnerability of listing all of ones contacts, notes, etc on the internet, will cause BBRY's reputation significant harm. And I say this as a BBRY loyalist. The contact and calendar managers have been "dumbed down" considerably from prior versions. From a marketing standpoint, this alone could prevent the Z10 and other devices from successfully migrating from the early adopters to more mainstream users who complain that RIMM can't execute a "state of the art" product.
In addition to the other problems listed, I find some notes are transferred (I used a bluetooth connection to my Torch, as no other mechanism would work) and others not. It seems that there are character "triggers" in the notes field that block transfer of the full note (in my case, it is a series of asterisks, which are a hold-over on old contact when I used Goldmine as my main contact manager).
Compared with the other wonderful features of the phone, this has been a tremendous let down.
I, and no doubt many others, will continue to rely on Outlook on my PC. I will also continue to rely on my iPhone 5 for contact management/syncing, as this remains rock solid. While iOS syncing had glitches at the start, they were no where near this frustrating. And even the iTunes software gave one the ability to do a "wipe" of existing contacts and an over-write with the next sync. BB Link does not have that capability (while BB Desktop Manager did).
This software glitch we are seeing with contact and calendar management/capabilities in BB link and on the Z10 device itself are reminiscent of buggy software that was released prematurely by numerous companies in the late 1990's. Of all the things Heins has overseen correctly, this stands out singularly as a failure to execute properly.
Please fix this by making the transfer process reliable ASAP; please don't force people to use the internet to sync if they don't wish; please add more fields so that the adults who are using this phone can rely on it for the real world communication needs they have, ie for a given contact multiple phones #'s, email, pager, fax, title, etc, not their birthday.
Give us at a minimum, if not more, the baseline capabilities of the prior contact management system, in which we could find a contact and in a very compact space see the 10 different ways we could communicate with our colleagues. Give us the ability to determine, like the iPhone what time periods we want to sync, and how many months of email we want on the device.
The calendar/contact system as it stands is more suited for someone in high school. While I had considered using Active Sync, there are enough users reporting problems that this, too, does not seem reliable. The last thing any of us need is to lose contact information.
Many of us are showing this phone around, actively promoting it. If this isn't fixed properly, I for one, may be forced to return to using my iPhone (which I had been using in parallel with my BB Torch) and give up the Z10 as all the other wonderful features such as Hub, flick typing, are USELESS without a good contact and calendar management system.
No matter how many phones BBRY comes out with over the next year, this is a must fix ASAP. I hope someone at BBRY is listening.
04-01-2013 04:36 PM
BB does indeed seem to have got this horribly wrong - like adrianyallop I waited for the Z10 to be released to upgrade from my BB Curve 8510, only to find that the functionality I use on a daily basis with the 8510 has simply not been implemented in the Z10's new support software.
My desktop environment is a Mac, and until now the BB desktop manager has kept my BB Curve synced with my computer based address book and calendar.
Starting to use the Z10 was a rocky experience. Firstly the data from the 8510 did not transfer to the Z10 correctly, and eventually after getting that to work (never did get text messages to transfer though) I discover that Z10 is not supported on the BB desktop manager app and found the replacement BB link app.
Spent a few days trying to figure out if I'd make a mistake somewhere in installng the new BB Link software or setting up my new phone - only realised that BB link is grossly deficient 1 day after my 7 day return period expired so now I'm locked into a 24 month contract on the Z10, with no way to sync contacts and calendar.
The recent upgrade of BB link added a one-way 'transfer' to BB link, but this is not fit for purpose. This seems intended for the initial setup - not ongoing management of the device.
It also seems that BB assume that everyone has a Hotmail / Gmail / iCloud account, containing all their contacts and calendar info. NEWSFLASH, Blackberry - anyone who cares about their privacy doesn't have internet based caches of their personal data.
Something else which appears to have been lost on Blackberry - a lot of people with Macs like myself are still running Snow Leopard, which doesn't have iCloud support. Since I have a BB phone instead of an iPhone, I don't have any iOS device to create an iCloud account even if I wanted one.
There doesn't seem to be anyone actually employed by Blackberry on this forum. Does anyone know where to file 'wish list' requests? I am horrified at the deficiency of BB link, and want to make my views known to Blackberry, since they now have my money.
04-01-2013 06:41 PM
The inability to seamlessly integrate Outlook contacts into the Z10 w/o having a) glitches b) omitted missing fields c) ability to sync directly w/o resorting to the vulnerability of listing all of ones contacts, notes, etc on the internet, will cause BBRY's reputation significant harm.
about the contacts fields. The missing fields are not an omission, it is a deliberate move that is done both by Microsoft (editor of Outlook) and BlackBerry (editor of the BlackBerry Link, and designer of BlackBerry 10).
Though the issue can be considered huge by small companies that do not want to invest in their own online email service, my personal opinion is that this will not cause BlackBerry's reputation any significant harm.
I have yet to find any media (newspaper, blog, anything) that talks of this issue at all, even those who got their audience two months ago saying BlackBerry was dead.
04-02-2013 02:57 AM
04-02-2013 03:33 PM - edited 04-02-2013 03:39 PM
I write comments on Seeking Alpha, which is frequented by many who track the stock and provide input on the viability of the Z10 and BBRY. I can tell you that there are individuals there who are having problems with contacts, and the same is true if you were to review the comments posted on these forums, AT&T, Verizon, Amazon, etc regarding this issue. Please don't be blind to this. Individuals are returning phones becuase of it.
With respect to "missing fields", I'm not sure what your referral point is for Outlook. Are you saying that Outlook updates, or new versions of Outlook, will be paring down the ability to list multiple email addresses for a given user. I don't believe that is true.
I think BBRY is underestimating the needs of users for tracking this information and as a result doing less to differentiate it from the iPhone. For years I retained my BB Torch because of these powerful mechanisms to communicate, ie multiple fields, ease of use picking which communication method I liked, etc. Now, the phone, in with its broken contact management system, to me is useless as a communication device: I've migrated to my iPhone to look up contacts. Is that what BBRY hoping for?
As have many others, I tried multiple methods of transferring contacts: BB Link transfer brought over calendar items, no contacts; bluetooth transfer brought over data but omitted key items like company names. At the same time I'm singing the praises of the Z10 such as Hub, flick typing, browser speed and clarity, I'm chastising this section of the dev team for flubbing it's work. Even the people who are trying to sync via the web are having problems losing contacts, as stated in other comments on this forum.
To be fair, every new platform I've tried had these problems initially, Palm, RIMM, even Apple, but they eventually got ironed out. What I'm disappointed to hear is that the new BB10 contact and calendar system, unlike other aspects of the phone, are not trying to break new ground, but rather sink to the level of other smarphones. And I do believe that you will see disappointment among many for this as the single greatest feature of the Blackberry has been reliable, instant, location of contact information and reaching out to others STAT. if that can't be recreated, I'm not certain this is really the phone for me, as it will only be a matter of time before Apple and Google come up with ways to emulate the Hub, flick typing, etc.
When a consumer who is willing to get laughed at for still using a BBRY device tells you of a problem, it might be wise to take notice that something is seriously wrong in this department. I, and many others, can live w/o a gazillion apps. I can't have a phone in which communication with others is dumbed down or broken, now matter how much I want your company to survive, which I do.
04-02-2013 11:32 PM - edited 04-03-2013 01:28 AM
Appreciate the comments from others who are very frustrated by this and the lack of a solution at the moment. It is the simple truth that there is no other "official" resource from Blackberry, at least that I'm aware of, as a source of information or guidance on this issue. If there is, I'd be happy to look and learn.
I've personally tried every solution I've seen on BB pages, ultimately ended up with duplicated contacts, calendar items, ultimately had to wipe device and restart. It's not enough just to get the information transferred over once.
Concerns about this issue are all over the web, just do a Google search. Please don't deny this is an issue. Here is a link to LinkedIn thread regarding the matter from a number of BB users.
The individuals in this thread discuss a product called CompanionLink, a third party product which supposedly in May will allow direct Outlook to Z10 transfers and synchronizatoin. I'm not promoting the product, have ABSOLUTELY NO relationship with the company, but plan on buying the product as a last resort if I can't get BB link to do for the Z10 what iTunes does for the iPhonei/Pad. It may at least be a solution for Z10 users if BB link isn't updated to address this. The LinkedIn also includes comments from a Luke R, whose listed position is: Business Social Media Manager at BlackBerry
Additional suggestions, concerns raised here:
While I sympathize with the defensive responses from some in the "offfical" Blackberry forum, please understand that a) you are hearing this from Blackberry supporters b) some of us have thousands of contacts, contact notes, etc, many of which are updated daily c) none of the existing "solutions" work reliably as evidenced by comments from others d) we RELY on this as a business machine and e) that BB not disclosing this at the time of release is somewhat unbelievable.
I still have not heard a response regarding Microsoft announcing a decision to drop fields from the PC based Outlook, such as multiple email addresses, using this as justification for BB offering a watered down version of its contact manager/desktop manager software. If there is such an announcement/decision from Microsoft, please send along as many of us, I suspect, will think twice about upgrading to Outlook 2013. Perhaps the reference was to Outlook.com offering more limited contact manager data fields. If so, please clarify.
I don't know how many large corporations use Outlook as the defacto standard for calendaring/email, but for any of those agencies the lack of this functionality and questions as to its implementation could contribute to adoption of another platform. Why use BB10 if the best way to get contacts/events onto the device, at the moment, is via the cloud using Gmail, or Hotmail, etc.
In the meantime, please work to get this fixed ASAP, and hope the links above are helpful for other users looking for a solution.
04-03-2013 05:35 AM
...anyway... dragging everyone back to reality for a second. I am happy to say that the latest version of Link has finally started to replicate Appointments into the Calendar on the Z10. It seems a bit buggy but it gets there in the end. It isn't clear WHY you have to run the replication about ten times before it starts to work but it is intriguing that the Link software warns you that it might take "some time". [Of note: I also downloaded the latest update to the Z10 today - don't know if this was a concidence but the data transfer seems to work now.)
What is the definition of "some time"? This is a bit vague but if anyone has the problems I have then try the "Import from Outlook" several times a day for several days and it finally gets there.
Don't 'spose there is any point of asking why it isn't ask slick and simple as my old Curve and the old Desktop software?... But, at this point, beggars cannot be choosers.
(I know we are not meant to complain but as a Blackberry-loyalist this has tried my patience. So I have a lot of sympathy for those who feel agrieved by this matter. It is also important to me: a small business-man using Outlook at home/office-base and the Z10 in the field without Exchange. But I think BB have got the message. Better late than never.)
04-04-2013 10:48 PM
I am a 10 year loyalist of BB running out of wait and see time. Rather than restating my thoughts and frustrations here please refer to the forum on "Z10 Outlook sync [lack thereof]" for my contributions.
04-05-2013 03:59 AM
All the same, Xandrex, MPF94025's complaints in (a) and (c) will damage BB's reputation by the countless of users who rely on a decent local sync with their Ms Outlook.
BB is, I'm sure, working on resolving this rather glaring omission from the Z10 (and Q10 to come?). What would help is if a company spokesperson would actually post something to that effect to reassure us all. While I don't want to cast doubt on your 'rank', I'd rather hear it from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
The Z10 (and BB10) is pretty impressive... and there are enough BB loyalists to make this the company's saviour (which it has been documented as potentially being). The fact that we hear - unsubstantiated, mind you - 55% of Z10 buyers have come from 'other platforms' is a sign that the Z10/BB10 has got the imagination of BlackBerry newbies and returnees... so it's more essential than ever that the single biggest issue being talked about right now with BB10 is addressed pronto.
Come on BB - give us some sort of official statement! We're actually on your side, here, such is the long-standing appeal of this brand.
04-05-2013 04:05 AM - edited 04-05-2013 04:06 AM
" a product called CompanionLink, a third party product which supposedly in May will allow direct Outlook to Z10 transfers and synchronizatoin. "
I have purchased this, but have stopped using it for the time being - it's not native so can only do an over-the-cloud sync. To be fair, they've offered me a refund if I don't want to wait until a two-way native sync is available. I've declined as they've been most helpful... and it's actually BB that's hindering their development of the software (which requires the App DejaOffice to integrate with your computer, by the way).
I suspect that once CL/DO does become a two-way affair, so too will BlackBerry's own Link software, which possibly means you won't then need a third-party application to synchronise locally with your PC.