BlackBerry has unveiled the all new BlackBerry 10 mobile platform alongside its new flagship device for 2013; the Z10, as it looks to re-establish itself as a worthy smartphone contender.
Since the software was showcased at BlackBerry World last year the firm has encountered several problems with its software development, which led to delays with its official launch. But, now BB10 and the full touchscreen Z10 device have been revealed to the world, and it looks as though BlackBerry could well have done enough to start turning its fortunes around.
BB10 is like nothing we’ve ever seen from BlackBerry before, thanks to a slew of innovative features, as the firm looks to rival its competitors.
BB10 brings all your notifications into one sliding menu, known as BlackBerry Peek. This feature informs the user where each notification has come from and what it relates to, so updates can be checked without leaving an app that’s currently open.
With multi-tasking at the heart of the new mobile platform this gesture navigation creates a feeling of ‘Flow’, as BlackBerry calls it, so each part of the phone’s functionality flows over the other as they are being used. With no homescreen as such to navigate back to it, gives the user the feeling that everything is going on at the same time, and can be accessed in just a quick a swipe.
Stepping away from the QWERTY keypad seen on previous BlackBerry smartphones, the Z10 showcases an intuitive onscreen keypad which adapts to each user.
A new predictive text system memorises users’ texting habits and learns commonly used words, displaying them above the letter they begin with. These can be inserted into messages and emails by ‘flicking’ them on to the screen where the message is being composed.
BB10 also recognises the manner in which users tap each key and as such calibrates the onscreen keypad over time. This means if you have a habit of tapping a particular key to the left hand side BB10 remembers and adjusts to meet the user’s texting abilities.
BBM video and BlackBerry Screen Share
The hugely popular BlackBerry Messenger has been revamped for BB10 and now also includes BBM video. It features the impressive built-in Screen Share functionality which extends video chat by sharing your phone screen while on a call – whether it’s showing off your pictures to friends or work presentations with colleagues.
The Z10 boasts an 8 megapixel camera which comes with an extra helping of innovation, in the form of Time Shift. Put simply; if you take a picture and one of your subjects has their eyes closed the moment the shutter button is pressed, Time Shift lets you highlight their face and shift the image back a few frames until they are open. The app then seamlessly merges the altered part if the picture with the rest of the image.
The BlackBerry Hub works in a similar way to the People Hub on Windows Phone devices. It brings each user’s contacts together into one easy to access place, so contact information and the interactions that have been shared are all pulled together. This links all your accounts seamlessly so you can keep track of your conversations.
First seen on the BB7 operating system, BlackBerry Balance makes a comeback on BB10 to help users separate work and personal messages. It splits your BlackBerry 10 device in two so you can seamlessly switch between interfaces of your work and personal handsets simply by tapping an icon.
And, should you switch jobs but want to keep hold of your new BB10 device, your IT administrator will be able to wipe the ‘work section’ of your handset without affecting the personal bit.
These are just a few of the impressive features to come with BB10 and it looks as though BlackBerry has certainly equipped itself well to go up against the likes of Android and iOS. As such the Z10 is a very attractive proposition with its premium design and the intuitive new mobile platform is a clear indication that the Canadian manufacturer has pulled out all the stops to make BB10 it’s best offering to date.