BlackBerry fans are in for a treat, as Research in Motion has officially announced the new BlackBerry 10 operating system at its BlackBerry World event in Orlando, Florida.
The company’s new CEO Thorsten Heins took to the stage to proudly reveal the OS, which is based upon software from the QNX Company that it acquired in 2010. It’s still far from finished, however, with Heins stating that the company is “taking time to get this right”.
Although it has only just been announced, BB10 is already receiving rave reviews based on the first impressions. RIM is putting the emphasis on natural touchscreen gestures and a “flowing” interface. For example, multiple apps can be opened and will stay open at the same time, allowing the user to simply swipe between them.
The BlackBerry has always been famed for its typing experience thanks to a solid physical QWERTY keyboard. Although the company is looking set to focus more on full-touch phones, it aims to carry its typing expertise into BlackBerry 10. We saw a demonstration of the keyboard which included a Swiftkey-like way of offering up word suggestions as you type, so that you can simply type the first few letters of a word, select the suggestion and continue at speed.
RIM has also focused on the camera aspect, showing us how nifty the inbuilt camera app will be in BB10. Touching anywhere on the screen will take the picture, while after the shot you can use a timeline tool to tweak the picture to how you want it. It’s almost like pictures are taken as very short videos which you can then scrub through to get the pinpoint moment. This will no doubt be useful for ensuring that your subject’s eyes are open in the picture.
Thorstein Heins demonstrated BlackBerry 10 on a full-touch smartphone, the Developer Alpha phone. We saw pictures of this phone leak, and now it’s official. RIM was keen to make it clear to everyone at the event that this is merely a phone to help developers test their apps for the BlackBerry 10 platform before it launches later this year. While it’s not going to be a phone that you’ll be able to buy, it’s still pretty awesome.
The BB10 Dev Alpha phone packs a stunning 4.2-inch screen with a massive 1280×768 pixel resolution, which beats the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It also has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage along with a rear camera and a front facing camera for video calling. The rest of the specs are unclear.
We’ll learn more about BlackBerry 10 and what it can do in the coming months as developers create apps to use the platform. In the meantime check out RIM’s quick peek at the software in action.