At BlackBerry World RIM unveiled the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha. A protype phone given out to developers to enable them to create apps for BlackBerry 10.
We had some hands-on time with the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha. A representative from RIM told us it wasn’t running BB10 (although the software was OS 10.0.4.197) and to instead view the device as the next step towards BlackBerry 10.
In use it functioned more like a miniature PlayBook, with a drop-down menu bar and open app panels you flick between or flick up to close.
The on-board browser was near identical to the PlayBook, but it will definitely be changing – RIM’s representative confirming the browsing on BB10 was different.
Although we could take pictures using the camera, but there was no way to check the cool pre-capture feature of BB10 demonstrated in the keynote.
In terms of the hardware, this is a prototype, so the design will definitely change before the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone arrives. The phone we saw was a rather unassuming style, with a 16GB card slot in the bottom, volume controls on the side and mini USB and HDMI on the bottom.
Although it runs OS 2.0 at the moment, the BlackBerry Playbook will be upgradable to BlackBerry 10. So to find out more about the new OS we should look to clues in the PlayBook. We’re wondering if BlackBerry 10 will roll out to the PlayBook first before we see it in a smartphone? Who knows, but anyone who snapped up a PlayBook for £169 may find it was a wise investment.
We’re still waiting for that illusive BlackBerry 10 launch date. RIM said later this year, but following huge criticism it faced following the release of the Playbook without native email, the company clearly won’t release anything that’s not ready, although releasing a prototype to developers is certainly a good sign.