Saturday, April 20, 2013

Specifications: Correct when writing, Gentle when reading

I got a BlackBerry Z10 a few days ago.

I had not tried to use it as my main phone until yesterday since it needed a MicroSIM and i had a regular one.

Yesterday I got myself a MicroSIM and put it on the device to find out I could not access the 3G data network.

No problem, my operator has a website where you put the make and model of the phone and they send a SMS to the phone that autoconfigures it.
I went there and was surprised to see there was no BlackBerry listed at all.

OK, time to write the APN settings by hand, so I went to the Settings and started to look where to write the APN details, found them and realized they were disabled(greyed out) so I could not write the correct values.

After lots of searching I have come to understand that the phone obeys a indicator of the SIM that can say "I know how to connect to 3G data, no need to letting the user edit it" and when that happens, the BlackBerry Z10 happily complies and locks you out from editing them.

Problem is, my operator SIMs are wrong, they say "I know how to connect to 3G data, no need to letting the user edit it" and then provide wrong data.

And BOOM! I have a nice paperweight worth 600€

BlackBerry fan forums are full of people that say "BlackBerry is just doing what the spec says, blame your operator".

I say to them "I've used that SIM in Apple devices, Samsung devices and Nokia devices and had never any problem connecting to the Internet". Because the manufacturers were smart enough to let me edit the APN settings and write there the correct values if I wanted.

And this brings us to one of the mantras of engineering, be Correct when writing stuff but be Gentle when reading. It's good the BlackBerry browser is following that mantra, otherwise you'd hardly be able to render any webpage.

So people at BlackBerry, please come of your senses and let people edit stuff. This way maybe I'll get to use your device and people around me will see it and will want to buy one.

Otherwise I'll just wait until the Ubuntu Phone is a bit more usable and start using it. It may not be as polished (at the moment) but at least it's open source and I can fix crazy stuff like this.

Update: With BB I've been able to edit the field and now my 3G data works again


Anonymous said...

sailfish will announce theyr phone in a few weeks WAY more intresting than ubuntu...

Anonymous said...

woops meant jolla will announcd theyr sailfishos qt/linux based phone...

Anonymous said...

After all this Mir mess, I do not care about Canonical and Ubuntu Phone. Jolla and sailfish with mer is a way to go.

Albert Astals Cid said...

Unfortunately Sailfish UI is non free so can't compete with the Ubuntu Phone

Anonymous said...

Apart from that issue, I am happy to have a device of this quality which uses Qt natively!