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RIM Unveils Blackberry 10, Releases SDK, Details Inside

Radford C. May 1, 2012 3

Crackberry attended the World Keynote and watched Research In Motion unveil quite a number of details of its latest baby. RIM  has really done their homework and studied how people use smartphones across platforms in the current marketplace. When the keynote started, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins drummed up tons of excitement for BlackBerry 10 by showing off a couple of its features.

In the keynote, Heins reiterated reasons behind the loyal base of Blackberry one of which is being “agile in mobile market”. Heins mentions how the Canadian handset maker has gained a tremendous reputation for typing experience on the physical keyboards - a benchmark that seems to be less and less relevant as more smartphones move to touchscreens. However, With BlackBerry 10 moving towards complete touchscreen, Heins says that it’s honing the “flow” experience as RIM observes how users type and use their apps. Gestures let you quickly access symbols, caps and numbers. There’s alot of gesture and swiping going on that suggests alot of the outside border swiping from the Blackberry PlayBook.

Joining Heins was Vivek Bhardwaj, Head of Software at RIM breaking down the new paradigm. Heins and Bhardwaj also touched a bit on the time warp feature of their camera where users can go back in time in other parts of a photo and correct facial expressions:

Additionally, Bhardwaj touched on a bit over the glancing features where users can look into the message and swipe halfway between screens to see apps flow through their new multitasking paradigm effectively demonstrating the real-time abilities of the OS. “Everything you have going on keeps running in real-time in the background. That is the new engine of Blackberry 10 – nobody else out there can do this,” exclaims Heins. Being able to stream feeds into one place sounds similar to Windows Phone’s tile paradigm but takes it to another level.

Crackberry’s Kevin Michaluk couldn’t contain his excitement about the new OS and provided some thoughts about the new keynote:

The Verge noted that RIM has taken a page from Windows Phone except that the core home screen covers up to four tiles of information:

“They aren’t strictly live screenshots of running apps in tile form, but RIM has taken a page from Windows Phone, where the tile displays related information custom-designed for the smaller space. You can tap on any tile to jump into that app, and then swipe up to go back to the home screen.” Dieter Bohn, The Verge

Of course, with all the whizzbang and flash we see on wonderful operating systems, nothing is more important than the apps that run one platform. This brings RIM to the  developer side where they are taking very crucial steps to offer top programmers the best software tools to create applications for the new BlackBerry 10 platform. It also handed out thousands of prototype devices to developers to test their apps.

RIM understands that consumers won’t buy its new phones or tablets unless developers get excited about the new platform and create a gamut of apps on it. A lack of apps for the legacy BlackBerry is one of the big reasons but we’re also hearing that they’ve amassed almost 100k apps in Blackbery App World (something we’ll touch on later). After RIM laid off their top execs, suffered huge market-share to iPhone and Android, RIM is hoping to
regain its stride. And with Blackberry 10, it looks like RIM is rebooting the Blackberry platform and pretty much starting from scratch. It’s known that most of the apps that are available for its existing Blackberry smartphones will not work on the new platform. Time will also tell if porting legacy BlackBerry apps will be easy to the new platform.

So what do you think? Has RIM re-established the fort that used to dominate the smartphone market or is it too late? Are these features enough to stands out from iPhone and Android and an emerging third mobile OS from the desktop software giant? Tell us in the comments below.