A look at BlackBerry 10 beta 3 and developer device

A look at BlackBerry 10 beta 3 and developer device
The BlackBerry Jam Americas conference was in full swing today giving developers a good look at what to expect from BlackBerry 10, and for that RIM showed off the new beta 3 version of the BlackBerry 10 software, as well as a new developer phone, the Dev Alpha B. The phone itself looked pretty solid at 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and a 4.2-inch 1280x768 display, which is slightly higher than the 1280x720 that RIM said was the target resolution for developers. One more interesting detail was that the new dev phone does not have a microSD card slot, whereas the first dev phone did. 

The software looks like a relatively standard smartphone interface, except for the homescreen. It starts out with a mult-paned homescreen that shows your currently running apps, and can hold a total of 8 panes, called "Active Frames". These can be closed out by tapping a small "X" in the lower right corner. RIM made a point to note that these are all thumbnail views of actively running programs, and are not the same as widgets or live tiles. Developers can take advantage of some responsive design to allow the thumbnail to show the same running content, but in a layout that works better in the smaller frame. Going past the Active Frame screen, you'll find a traditional grid of apps, like iOS or Android's app drawer, where you can organize apps, and create folders. 

The system also uses a few gestures to get to key features. For example, if you drag up then right, you will pull out the BlackBerry Hub, which is the new unified messaging hub for BB. The BB Hub pulls together e-mail, BBM, Facebook, Twitter, and more, although we need to note that not all of theses services will be available at launch. The Hub also serves as the notifications center for your apps, and as an interesting feature, you can just "peek" at notifications by doing a partial gesture. 

Another gesture is swiping down from the top of the screen, and this pulls up the menu options for apps. Swiping up from the bottom allows you to cycle through your open apps. 

BlackBerry is also going to try to let you balance work and play with the "BlackBerry Balance" feature, which allows you to open apps either in "personal" mode or "work" mode. "Work" mode apps show up with a small briefcase icon on the homescreen, and are locked down with the security that BlackBerry built its reputation on. However, things get a bit odd because BB10 also has  a "hybrid mode" which attempts to mix the two worlds together, and the results can be a bit uneven, and it can be hard for the user to know exactly what is getting the security bump. 

Overall, it's an interesting look for BlackBerry, and it does have a couple nice features that can set it apart. Active Frames have the potential to be something special, and it's a feature that we can see the evolution line, where down the road there may be more interactive features for the Frames. BlackBerry Hub also looks to be both a great way to pull together all of your various streams of communication as well as having a centralized notification area. 

Everything looks to run smoothly, and that's great to see when we're so far out from the real release. RIM has about 3 more months before BlackBerry 10 is going to hit its RTM version, so that should be plenty of time to work out any kinks, and RIM is promising some "surprises" in the final software. We can't say that our expectations were very high going into this, but RIM has managed to get us a bit excited about the coming devices. Now, it's just a matter of whether RIM has gotten the attention of the developers as well.

source: The Verge



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26 Comments

1. Jelly_Bean

Posts: 109; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

Looks good and something different......!!!

10. flipjzn

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

the interface, yes. but physical? ummm, i hope it doesn't come out exactly like that...a brick. too rectangular with it's corners.

22. cdgoin

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 28, 2010

How is it different.. another flat rectangle. yea

2. AcE_LoZeR

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Anyone else think of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 with the description of Active Frames?

4. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

it reminds me of meego's multitasking!

24. medalaster01

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

LOOKS LIKE A NOKIA N900 COPY!!

3. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

a mash up of meego, iOS android, webOS and WP in a very good thing!! really amazing!!! BEYESOME!!! BEYond awESOME!!!!

5. BillyG

Posts: 305; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

yeah, imagine how awesome all the lawsuit that will also come from every direction if rim really release that device.

6. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

just look like but dont ressemble to the experience! it still has its signature BlackBerry look!!!

7. theBankRobber

Posts: 682; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

Really looking forward to getting this phone.

8. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

i hear yah!!!

9. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

just my thoughts.. they first dev alpha looks like an iPhone with its "Rounded corners" but still has a trademark of being a BlackBerry... now, this dev alpha B looks like a N9 but still has a trademark BlackBerry looks! so they are not really copying! this is what "INSPIRATION" really means! inspired by the looks but still has a twist of its own!

14. Samsomesh

Posts: 195; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

Yeah meego is nice os.!! Nokia made mistake by leaving meego.!!

15. AppleHateBoy unregistered

Guys I have good question. In the PC world of Linux. Debian is a totally independent Linux OS. Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian and it can run both Debian apps and Ubuntu apps. Linux Mint is a derivative of Ubuntu and it can run Linux Mint apps, Ubuntu Apps, and Debian Apps. So why can't a good company like HTC make a derivative of Android to offer better User Experience or something. Or why can't Nokia combine Android OS with UI of Meego?

16. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

wrong post! well basically MeeGo of nokia is base on QT but a pure linux and android is just a little part of linux..

17. tharag

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

its just meego here & there with some additional changes ....... i wonder why nokia pulled off meego when everyone is just going gaga for meego.....

18. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

well blame it to elop!!! MeeGo has potential to compete with iOS and android but trash it!! the swipe UI is a genius!!! but thanks to that, BlackBerry catch it! but not really swipe.. its all gesture base!

19. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

i think nicholas is back!!!

26. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

yes i am

20. marceldy

Posts: 18; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Its a skinned Android OS : surprise ! orr....... BB Nexus ! surprise ! :D

21. Temppu

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 10, 2012

Back to symbian

23. cdgoin

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 28, 2010

WTF.. even Blackberry is eliminating the QWERTY Keyboard.. seems like I will live with my DVP for a long while. I owuld consider BB IF they had a QWERTY Slider.

25. MelbTrain

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 26, 2012

I reckon Windows Phone is about to kill BlackBerry

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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