The next BlackBerry has a launch date, and potentially a way to solve your company’s bring your own device (BYOD) woes.
Research In Motion (RIM) announced this morning that BlackBerry 10 will be unveiled at a Jan. 30 event with multiple locations around the world. RIM’s new operating system is seen as critical to compete with rivals like iPhone and Android-based devices that have made ageing BlackBerry hardware look antiquated. There’s also Microsoft Corp. to consider, which is now pushing into the market with Windows Phone 8.
BlackBerry 10 was originally expected in the first half of this year, then delayed to the second half of 2012. Finally, it was pushed back to the first quarter of 2013. Now it looks like the company is finally ready to make good on its promise to deliver its new hardware, with its totally revamped operating system.
Features being touted by RIM in its press release this morning include BlackBerry Flow, a new user experience design that will see all messages, notifications, feeds, and calendar events routed through the BlackBerry Hub. The centralized communications hub will be accessible with a gesture at any time.
Also featured is BlackBerry Balance, a feature that keeps personal apps and information separate from work data. The user can switch between their personal and work profiles with a simple gesture. The work profile is fully encrypted to satisfy business security needs, and the personal profile is more open so users can enjoy it for their personal activities.
Having a logical data separation between work data and personal data seems like an elegant way to solve BYOD concerns. Whether employees are bringing their down devices into the office, or the company is issuing them, its likely devices will be used for both personal and business use. With Balance, IT managers will be able to allow network access only to the encrypted, “work” profile on a BlackBerry.
It’s one advantage that serves as a differentiator between other smartphone OSes. It also reinforces the BlackBerry brand as being a secure platform that’s most appropriate for a business.