RIM BlackBerry has just reinvented itself with the launch of its new operating system, BlackBerry 10. It’s got a whole new OS and a couple of LTE-enabled smartphones to go along with it. “Today sees a re-invented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry.
BlackBerry 10 has been in the works for quite awhile so here’s a quick run-down of what BlackBerry 10 is offering. From the get go, we’re seeing a lot of emphasis placed on one-thumb gesture based controls, evidenced by the apparent lack of buttons on the devices. The gesture based controls highlight multitasking through BlackBerry Flow, wherein apps and features can flow seamlessly together in real time for excellent multitasking capabilities. You can easily switch through apps with the flick of your thumb, all without having to access your app grid. For example, while you’re watching a video, you can take a peek at your BlackBerry Hub to check who sent you a message, IM, Tweet or whatnot while the video keeps playing.
Your Social Hub
At the heart of the operating system is BlackBerry Hub. It manages all your information, from your calls, messages, BBMs, email, and social media. You can access all the information that you need in a single feature, from your schedule and upcoming events to your contact’s information that’s catalogued in real time.
Organization is a big selling point for BlackBerry and as such they’ve worked on integrating it seamlessly into the new OS. BlackBerry Remember helps you organize and manage your emails, messages, memos, tasks, or any other information into a single experience.
BlackBerry has kept the classic look of its keyboard, even in touch to further emphasize a better messaging experience. The new keyboard has amazing predictive tools that allow you to type out sentences faster. As you write out your message, small words show up on the keyboard that you can swipe up to include in your message. Essentially it becomes “writing without typing” as Heins puts it. Swiping is a big feature and you can easily erase a letter or a word by simple swiping to the left. Symbols and numbers are usually a hassle to enter in, but a quick swipe down on the keyboard makes them appear.
BlackBerry has greatly improved on its BBM messaging service to include video. First off you can now video chat with your BBM contacts, similar to FaceTime on iOS. You’ve also got screen sharing capabilities when you want to share something with a friend so they see exactly what you’re seeing.
BlackBerry devices have usually been seen as the work devices of the corporate world. As such most have multiple devices, separating work and play. With BlackBerry 10, the company seeks to eliminate this problem by introducing BlackBerry Balance that combines work and play into a single device. A simple swipe down opens up a switch that can flip between Personal and Work, managing both work and play data in a secure space.
The Perfect Shot with BlackBerry 10
BlackBerry has improved its photo capturing capabilities by introducing “TimeShift”, a nifty feature that allows you to choose between a number of cached images after you’ve taken a shot and choosing the best look. Now you’ll be able to get the perfect shot every time. In theory it seems quite similar to Samsung’s Best Face technology. BlackBerry has also integrated photo editing software that lets you edit and add filters on the fly.
With the newly refurbished BlackBerry World store, BlackBerry is looking to keep its ecosystem thriving. The company has held multiple “Hackathons” to get developers to port their apps to BlackBerry 10 and as a result has more apps by far than any other first generation operating system, over 70,000. In addition to having Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare pre-installed, BlackBerry has many top app developers committed to the OS to bring in some of the top apps in the marketplace to create a thriving marketplace. Some of these include Skype, Kindle, Whatsapp, SAP, Angry Birds, Disney, and more. BlackBerry has also highlighted the importance of delivering locally relevant content so they’re also pushing relevant content to its users around the world. Along with these apps, BlackBerry World will also be delivering music and video content to its users that include some of the top studios in the US. Most of the time we see region locked features so only time will tell if we’ll be seeing any of those extra content in the Philippines.
That’s pretty much most of the major features of BlackBerry’s new operating system. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of it when it’s available in the Philippines.