A sample Blackberry 10 interface

RIM Blackberry 10 hopes for your happy “thumb” to multitask on its own

Even though the company is slowly fading into oblivion, we still know about RIM and the now infamous Blackberry. The company has been struggling the most in the new era of smartphones, which is ironic because RIM was once the leader of the smartphone community. In fact, the Blackberry was what used to define the smartphone.

Times have changed since the iPhone was launched. The touch screen device with an interface centered on Apps created by third party developers has become the most successful business model yet. The iPhone indeed changed and revolutionized the definition of what a smartphone is. The iPhone model was the same model used by the now dominant Android operating system, which runs on more than 50% of the market.

Ever since then, RIM and their Blackberry devices began losing ground. They even lost corporate partners when the “bring your own phone” trend began in the corporate world. People brought in their iPhone and their Android handsets.

Nokia, another mobile brand has begun their rebirth into the mobile world thanks to Windows 8. It is apparent that more than hardware, today’s consumer is very much focused on what your software can offer as well. For a while, Blackberry tried to survive with their dated system, but that was to no avail.

They began work on the Blackberry 10, an operating system that was meant to finally take RIM out of the hole it was in. Unfortunately, several technical issues during its development pushed the operating system’s release further back two times. In fact, it is still not ready, and they can’t even promise it to be ready before Christmas. It looks like RIM and their Blackberry 10 will miss out on this year’s shopping spree.

Despite the poor timing and availability, RIM is very optimistic about their Blackberry 10. They announced that it was nearly complete, and they have created its interface centered on touch and one finger navigation.

You got that right. The new Blackberry 10 aims to address what Apple and their iPhone design was trying to point out, that phones should be easily navigated by one thumb alone. While the iPhone’s dimensions do permit you to reach all parts of the screen with just your thumb, many interface elements still require you to use two fingers, and most of the time, this involves two hands.

The new thumb gestures implemented on the new Blackberry 10 are supposed to allow you to access the entire interface and navigate your data with just one thumb. Nicknamed “Blackberry Flow” these one thumb gestures allow you to quickly access several of the apps and services installed in the device, as well as the all new Blackberry Hub.

The new Blackberry Hub is the center of all the information that you want. You control what appears on the hub, like notifications from your social networks, emails, SMS, calendar and other information you decide. It’s always on, and is always accessible from anywhere within the OS.

Their new “Peek” function is their take on multitasking, allowing a quick look at a function going on in another app. You can then proceed to continue with what you are doing, or proceed to the app and directly interact with it.

Speaking of multitasking, open apps can actually be minimized and placed on the “desktop”, still showing the information on the small “tile” or “widget”-like interface. It makes it easy to switch between things you are doing. Everything looked very fluid.

RIM also promises that the new Blackberry will have a very fast browser. So fast, that they are even so bold to say that it is faster than a desktop browser. We will be sure to watch out for that.

The new Blackberry 10 also seeks to be a world phone as they implement a new idea in predictive text. It predicts in multiple languages  as you go. It was demonstrated that in Blackberry 10, the user was quickly able to type and get predictions in Spanish, English and French.

Apparently, carriers already have had a look at the capabilities of the new Blackberry 10. As RIM puts it, they are certainly excited and certainly eager to promote the new Blackberry OS. Will you give Blackberry a chance next year?

Image source: RIM.com, Geek.com

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John Sol Cruz

Tech for me is like shoes for women. I never go home from the mall without browsing the "Cyberzone" of the mall for the latest in gadgets and toys. There is always something new going on in the tech world these days, and I love reading and writing about it. View all posts by John Sol Cruz