Blackberry’s flagship OS for smartphones and Tablets is in works and they have revealed one of the first demonstrations during RIM’s BlackBerry World keynote.
RIM is changing the approach it has followed for smartphones, they are finally moving away from clunky trackballs to full touchscreen gestures. Gestures can be used for multitasking – switching between apps. BB10 phones definitely look to have been polished, but it draws lots of inspirations from Android, iOS & WP7.
The core home screen experience appears to be up to four “tiles” (or widgets). Here the clear inspiration is from Android and WP7. You can tap on any tile/widget to launch the app and to go back to home screen, you just swipe up. RIM also claims that there would be a grid of icons you can access on the home screen. These are just a swipe away from the home screen.
RIM takes inspiration from Android & iOS and maintains icon dock at the bottom of the screen to provide quickaccess to most used features. These are Phone, Search, and Camera. The standard notification bar is at the top. However, to bring up the notification drawer, a gestures is required. Blackberry OS 10 still carries the notification LED.
Swipe left from the right edge within any app to reveal notifications. A “half-swipe” will simply show unread count and a full swipe will take you directly into the messaging and email app. With in any app, you can swipe from left to right to go up in the hierarchy. The behavior is quiet similar to PlayBook messaging app and UI is highly inspired from HP’s webOS 3.0.
As mentioned, Multitasking is a gesture away. A swipe to the right when you’re at the top level of an app will reveal the app you last had open, which fades in from behind your current app. A half-swipe will give you a preview as it fades in rather than fully switching to it.
The new Multitouch keyboard is a fair improvement to all existing softkeyboards on other platforms. While typing, swipe up on a letter to automatically type a suggested word. Blackberry Keyboard is powered by SwiftKey.
BB10 will eventually replace QNX as a powerful and pervasive OS for complete Mobility: not just smartphones, tablets. This could be a point where RIM starts licensing OS to third part manufacturers and we could see BB10 as an OS platform rather than RIM manufactured device. What this means is that soon we might have LG, Samsung, HTC manufacturing BB10 phones. Who knows what is coming.
RIM showcased wireless streaming video, a long awaited dream for RIM, already pioneering on other platforms. Camera is able to cleverly stay “live” when open and after you take a shot you can move forward or back in time to get it just right in case you missed a moment.