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Firmware Updates Imminent As Storm Is Unlocked

Gordon Kelly


Firmware Updates Imminent As Storm Is Unlocked

While the iPhone 3G seemed destined to be the handset facing the biggest backlash since its much hyped launch it actually seems that award is now set for BlackBerry's first touchscreen handset, the Storm. Everything from that love it / hate it button display, lack of WiFi and buggy, slow software have held back the undeniable attractive smartphone since launch - so perhaps this is some much needed good news...

First up is news from BGR that the sluggish Storm is about get a much needed performance boost courtesy of not one, but two Over The Air (OTA) firmware upgrades and these are apparently some of the highlights:

Issues to be resolved by the first OTA update (Maintenance Release 1) - December, week 1:

  • If a customer receives a call while listening to music at low volume using a wired headset, the music volume may suddenly increase to the highest level (!). Interim recovery instructions: Lower the volume using the buttons on the side of the handset.

  • When using voice-activated dialing, incoming audio may be muted. Interim recovery instructions: Enter the menu and select "Activate Handset or Speaker".

  • The handset may reset itself while sitting idle or while using multimedia applications. No interim recovery instructions provided.
Issues to be resolved by a subsequent Maintenance Release:

  • Customers may intermittently lose email connectivity via CDMA and/or international roaming modes. Interim recovery instructions: Main menu -> Manage Connections -> Select mobile network -> Turn radio off, then Turn radio on. If this does not resolve the issue, pull the battery.

  • When powering on the handset, the radio sometimes does not turn on. Interim recovery instructions: Main menu -> Manage Connections -> Select mobile network -> Turn radio on. If this does not resolve the issue, pull the battery.

  • Pressing the send key while the device is in landscape mode will open the phone application in portrait mode, but the speed dial function may not work. Interim recovery instructions: Press escape until the home screen appears, then press the send key with the handset in portrait orientation.

  • Sometimes entering characters on the virtual keyboard doesn't work. Interim recovery instructions: Re-select the character.
Early and late December are supposedly the target periods for this dynamic duo and we really need RIM to make their deadlines on this one.

In related news, the Storm has already been unlocked! Well, at least according to posters on Howard Forums. The process is rather convoluted at this stage consisting of generating an unlock code and running subsequent linked software (currently this seems to be for T-Mobile only) but you have to start somewhere right. Anyone care to risk trashing their shiny new (if, yes, sluggish) BlackBerry Storm to find out...?


Firmware Info via BGR

Unlocking thread


November 27, 2008, 4:55 pm

Oh dear. That really is a laundry list of failures isn't it! It never ceases to amaze me that some tech companies feel they have to rush products to market so quickly that even the most basic of quality control testing is seen as taking too long. Step forward BT with your dismal Vision box.

Round of applause for the companies that actually take the time and money to make sure their product works as intended before releasing it to the unsuspecting masses. I'm thinking of Sky (much as I dislike their world domination, their boxes are, from my experience, rock solid, with a responsive interface and useful features like setting up Sky+ recordings remotely - listen up BT!). Apple also are pretty high on quality control - the iPhone may lack some basic features (cut & paste? MMS? Video?) but what it does do, it seems to do in a slick and reliable fashion. And Sony, for all they are criticised, produce some of the best built, best thought out kit in the market. The PS3 may have been late to the console party, but only because Sony spent so long getting it damn near perfect - exceptionally well built, reliable (unlike the competition), and with by far the slickest interface known to man.


November 27, 2008, 5:14 pm

The PS3 may be more reliable than the xbox but I don't know of many Wii's being sent back. In addition while the PS3's interface may be good, my experience of many Sony products is of convoluted interfaces, so bad that I know tend to avoid them.


November 27, 2008, 5:45 pm

My Wii bricked during a firmware update and had to be sent back. Sony may have a history of bad interfaces and proprietary formats and its early MP3 attempts suffered from horrendous software, but it seems to have learned. Current Sony MP3 players don't need proprietary software, are good value and actually sound good with a nice interface. Sony's latest TVs use a version of the XMB (cross media bar) interface used in the PS3 and PSP, so you're getting a consistent interface which is IMHO very, very intuitive. And they seem to have given up on proprietary connectors and formats - PS3 sports standard USB ports, the controller can be charged with a standard mini-USB, control is via the Bluetooth standard, the console has standard HDMI and RJ-45 ports, the 60GB version IIRC has card readers for SD and others, not just MemoryStick, and the console communicates quite happily with any DLNA compatible music / movie / photo server.

Bob Fraze

November 28, 2008, 2:03 am

NEVER MIND THE FIRMWARE UPDATES WHEN ARE YOU GUYS ACTUALLY REVIEWING THE STORM??!! Why the delay? I'm with Vodafone, but willing to flit networks - handset will be the deciding factor. Trying to decide which way to jump between Storm, iPhone 3G, Renoir, Pixon and G1 (last one an outsider but I am a big Gmailer, so...) I NEED SOME HELP HERE!!!

Andy Vandervell

November 28, 2008, 2:05 am

Fret not Bob, it's within days...


November 28, 2008, 6:40 am

@Bob - for me I'll just put it like this: I really wanted to love the Storm, but...

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