It’s been a long road, but after a pretty dire year that saw next to no new RIM hardware released, BlackBerry 10 is a reality.
Martin is covering the phone stuff (namely the all touch BlackBerry Z10 and QWERTY-fuelled BlackBerry Q10), so it’s down to yours truly to cover the actual OS side of things. Ready for BlackBerry 10 features? Let’s rock!
As we saw in the various BlackBerry 10 hands-on demonstrations, RIM (sorry, BlackBerry – as they’re now called) is keen to big up BlackBerry Hub, accessible with a single swipe from the left.
BlackBerry Hub is essentially a super-sexy notification centre, with all your texts and emails and social networking stuff baked right in.
There’s also a huge focus on typing in BlackBerry 10, so you won’t necessarily miss your physical QWERTY – if that’s what you’re used to.
On BlackBerry 10’s virtual keyboard you can swipe to auto-complete (instead of choosing from a list above the keyboard), while swiping downward brings up punctuation. Similarly, you can swipe left to delete an entire word. Nice.
We also heard before about switching between personal and work accounts in BlackBerry 10. It’s called BlackBerry Balance, and jumping between the two is as simple as swiping down.
Brilliantly, IT admin type folk can push stuff to your BlackBerry 10 device (including apps and updates), or even delete data, without affecting any of your personal stuff.
BlackBerry Messenger is obviously a big part of BlackBerry’s arsenal, and it’ll get full-screen video calling in BlackBerry 10.
Speaking of video calling, there’s pretty big news in the form of BlackBerry 10 getting a Skype app, something that might’ve been a deal-breaker for some.
Indeed, BlackBerry World welcomes 70,000 apps at launch, and Skype will be joined by other big names including Amazon, Dropbox and Evernote, as well as Whatsapp for cross-platform instant messaging.
On the gaming side of BlackBerry 10, Rovio, EA, Gameloft and Sega are just some of the big developers/publishers signed up.
Camera magic isn’t something typically associated with BlackBerry phones, but the Canadians appear to have put a lot of thought into the editing side of things. There’s the now-familiar option of choosing the best shot of your friends’ faces to make the perfect picture (called Time Shift, here). You can also add filters, crop, drag and rotate.
A couple of nice-to-have features include BlackBerry Remember, which integrates files and notes, and is baked right into BlackBerry Hub. For example, you can throw in an email and add voice notes and due dates and stuff. It even links with Evernote.
Finally, BlackBerry Story Maker takes a page out of iMovie’s book, letting you edit together your videos and pictures and music.
And that's BlackBerry 10. All in all, sounds pretty good to us. How about you guys? Impressed?