BlackBerry 10

by Yale Holder 

RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins unveiled the BlackBerry 10 operating system and a prototype phone for developers in Orlando, Florida. With no launch date communicated as yet, the phone is still expected to be in our hands in time for the holiday season.

The good

The phone debuted didn’t have a keyboard and looked more like an Android device which is clearly a deviation from the regular BlackBerry Bold type cell phones. Check the video out below to get a sneak peak.

RIM adopted the BlackBerry Playbook interface and customized it for a cell phone, so customers who have used the Playbook may see a familiar interface.

Here are some of the sleak features demoed recently:

1. A swipe based interface versus the old ball type style we are accustomed to with older BlackBerry cell phone models
2. A new predictive typing interface which seems rather cool, where the words appear on the next letter you are going to type
3. A camera application which captures a segment of time giving the user the option to go back in time (and forward) over a few seconds to get that perfect shot.

Overall this is a major leap forward for BlackBerry and it looks like they are headed in the right direction.

The bad

None of the features above are earth shattering, they are cool and sleak, similar to some of the features I’ve seen in the new Windows phone platform, and that hasn’t taken off as yet. This just brings RIM into the current time and doesn’t leap frog Apple and Android. It’s still early, but my fear is that by the time RIM finally gets the full BlackBerry 10 lineup out the door, Apple and Android would’ve moved on to the next generation of smart phones.

And finally, in order to make this work, BlackBerry needs apps, apps and more apps.

Hopefully developers are excited about this new platform and make apps for the BlackBerry, or, maybe BlackBerry should consider allowing these phones to run android apps….just a thought.

Yale Holder is co-founder of myCELLmyTERMS, a Toronto-based company that helps cell phone users negotiate wireless plans with independent dealers.

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