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BlackBerry 10: Ten things you need to know

UPDATED. At the BlackBerry Developer conference RIM has revealed a little bit more about it’s latest operating system: BlackBerry 10.

There’s still news on the exact BlackBerry 10 launch date, but we’re expecting the first handset later in 2012, although speaking at the keynote RIM’s head honcho Thorston Heins made it clear BB10 won’t arrive until it’s ready.

1: The phone – BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha

Well we now know that the first phone to run BB10 will be the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alper. This isn’t unfortunately for consumers, instead it’s a prototype for developers to build content before launch.
The design very similar to pictures of the BlackBerry London, but the design is not final and highly likely to change before launch, we do know it will have a 4.2-inch 1280×768 res screen though.

2: The tablet – BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry PlayBook will be the first tablet to run BlackBerry 10. The PlayBook OS is based on QNX, which forms the basis of BlackBerry 10. We can expect similar features (particularly in terms of the interface)  added to the the PlayBook by the BlackBerry OS 2.0 update to give clues as to what BlackBerry 10 may look like.

3: The unified inbox  

The PlayBook OS 2.0 OS brought a new unified inbox very similar to that demonstrated by RIM.  Heins originally said: “We want to make it effortless for the user to use all their apps and not always be having the in-out paradigm,” said Heins: “It’s got to be effortless in everything you do.”  As these new pictures reveal you’ll be able to view email, social networking and texts in the same inbox and view multiple features on screen simultaneously.

4: Social network integration  

Information from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will be automatically synced between devices, with event reminders and updates populating the calendar and contact sections. On paper this sounds similar to what we’ve seen on phones running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.

5: Keyboard

At BlackBerry World RIM reiterated how important the keyboard is to BlackBerry users and demonstrated what we can expect from BB10.  The keyboard has been designed to create a personal user experience, with algorithms that learn where you press each key and are some interesting gestures: swipe and the keyboard flies up the screen and swipe across the keyboard to delete words

There have been rumours that RIM will eventually introduce a BlackBerry 10 phone with a full QWERTY keyboard, unfortunately nothing has been confirmed.


6: BlackBerry Camera

RIM has totally updated the camera app in BlackBerry 10. We got a quick demonstration at BlackBerry World and now if you take a photo and miss the action – say your subject blinks – the app stores the previous frames, so you can scroll back and find a suitable picture. The demonstration was met with gasps and it’s certainly impressive, although already being used in digital cameras.


7: BlackBerry Cloud

Heins confirmed support for  a cloud-storage platform: ‘To believe a compelling offering we need to combine fantastic hardware integrated with software and a mobile cloud service’

RIM already has a cloud storage service for business, RIM didn’t reveal much more at BlackBerry World, but we’d imagine BlackBerry will inevitably offer cloud storage of music, pictures and other information alongside syncing of generic task-based information 

8: Support for HTML5  

BlackBerry 10 will also support HTML5 apps as well, with all open source platforms supported from launch. RIM has just released the BlackBerry 10 Webworks applications, enabling web developers to BB10 apps for HTML5, as well as CSS, and JavaScript.

RIM has been actively encouraging Android developers to port their games and apps so that they’re compatible with PlayBook OS 2.0. It follows that Android apps will be able to be repurposed for BlackBerry 10 devices as well. 

BlackBerry apps downloaded from the App World designed to work on current BlackBerry 7 phoneswon’t run on BlackBerry 10 devices. By the same token, if your phone runs BlackBerry 7 chances of you getting an upgrade to BlackBerry 10 are slim.  

9: BlackBerry 10 will support high-end gaming  

In addition to allowing Android developers to easily repackage apps, RIM has stated that the native SDK for BlackBerry 10 will support 3D graphics via OpenGL ES 2.0. At BlackBerry World Gameloft confirmed it will be bringing 11 games to BB10, including N.O.V.A 3.


10: BlackBerry 10 in phones, tablets and cars

There also seems to be plans for QNX/BlackBerry 10 to be embedded in devices beyond BlackBerry phones and tablets, with Heins mentioning new “segments” pointing specifically to cars and homes.

At MWC we say a BlackBerry Porche Carrera concept car showing how integration may look in the future, with PlayBook’s built into the back seat.

At BlackBerry World we saw the PlayBook integrated into a police car, enabling police to scan, check the system for a criminal record search and even print tickets.

Looking further into our crystal ball of speculation we can see owners of BlackBerry 10 phones getting co-ordinates for someone’s house warming party via Facebook that GPS info automatically syncing with an embedded unit in a car.

We’ll bring you more information on BlackBerry 10 as soon as possible


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