BlackBerry 10 features: Everything you need to know
BlackBerry 10 has just officially launched so we've put together a guide to all the features you need to know about
BlackBerry 10 has just been announced so we’re going to run through the platform’s new and best features to give you all the information you need.
First up, although admittedly slightly tangential: RIM is no longer RIM. Weird eh?
Yes with the announcement of BlackBerry 10 the company formerly known as RIM is now also called BlackBerry to make things simple and more cohesive. So, from now on you won’t be hearing us using the word RIM.
What about the platform itself then?
BlackBerry Flow, BlackBerry Peek and BlackBerry Hub: Interface and multitasking
The main thing is the new interface which is entirely focused on fluidity, ease-of-use and comprehensive, intuitive multitasking.
As we’ve seen in previews before, this is achieved through gesture control and an ever-present notifications and communications hub for things like email, social networking and the like.
This is always only a swipe away on the left side of the screen regardless of what app or menu you’re in. Likewise, apps can be minimised at any time into a live preview tile with a different swipe gesture.
It looks fluid and easy to use like Android’s multitasking carousel, only much more versatile.
Camera and imaging
Again something that was previewed before was the fact that BlackBerry 10’s camera support allows the phone to take stills for a time before and after shooting and then lets you pick the best face for each person.
What we didn’t know about before was the inclusion of a built-in Android-style image editor which gives you plenty of the most useful editing features available virtually straight from the image after capture and with an intuitive interface to boot.
BlackBerry Messenger remains largely unchanged, although as with the rest of the platform the interface is far more functional and up-to-date.
However, crucially we now have ‘FaceTime’-like integrated video chat easily accessible during a text conversation and, interestingly, a fully-fledged screen-sharing feature.
BlackBerry Balance looks pretty great if you’re someone who uses your personal phone at work or vice versa.
We’ve seen this functionality in previous builds but in BlackBerry 10 it’s extremely polished and well-integrated – work and personal modes are both secured from each other and you can switch between modes, but it doesn’t force you to segregate things in terms of actual accessibility.
While your work account might have restrictions on what content it can access you can still see content from both profiles from the same screen at any time.
BlackBerry has put a lot of work into the keyboard to make what CEO Thorsten Heins described as the 'best typing experience in the industry. Period.'
Allegedly this extends across both the physical Qwerty keyboard models and touch-only versions with on-screen keyboards.
Correction and prediciton of words and sentances looks fantastic according to demonstrations at the launch event.
It also has the ability to switch between languages on the fly with no input from the user other than typing in a new language.
The keyboard also adapts to the user, figuring out what words you use most often and which mis-type mistakes you make - it'll shift the keyboard sensor for a particular key to help make you more accurate.
BlackBerry World: Apps, multimedia and content
BlackBerry has pulled off quite an achievement with the BlackBerry 10 launch as it already has over 70,000 apps ready to go and amongst these are many of the big-names people already know and love. The company said apps are ‘at the heart of BlackBerry 10’.
BlackBerry name-dropped the following for starters: Skype, Amazon Kindle, What's App, Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, EA Games, Gameloft, Sega, Sound Hound, New York Times and Reuters.
Allegedly thousands more are on the way in the coming weeks and months.
Not only that, but you’ve got a huge catalogue of films, TV shows and music from some of the biggest labels and studios in their respective businesses.
The film and TV catalogue will include content from:
- Twentieth Century Fox
- Entertainment One (eOne)
- National Film Board of Canada
- Paramount Pictures
- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Starz Digital Media
- Walt Disney Studios
- Universal Pictures
- Warner Bros
- ABC Studios
- BBC Worldwide
- DHX Media
- National Geographic
- Nelvana Univision Communications Inc.
Music will include tracks from artists on 4AD Records, Domino Recording Company, finetunes, Matador Records, [PIAS] Entertainment Group, Rough Trade Records, Sony Music Entertainment, The Orchard, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, XL Recordings and Zebralution.
Two devices are launching with the new BlackBerry 10 platform.
The first is the touchscreen-only BlackBerry Z10, with a 4.2-inch 356ppi display and a textured back panel. It’s believed to have a Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon dual-core processor and plenty of connectivity options.
Expected to follow with a similar hardware spec is the BlackBerry Q10, a traditional Qwerty keyboard equipped model with a smaller 2-inch display at 720x720 pixels.
The BlackBerry Q10 sports a unique ‘glass weave’ back panel which looks really nice.
More handsets are apparently on the way, with rumours indicating a further four models before the year ends.BlackBerry has said it will launch phones in the premium, mid-range and low-end categories.
It’s possible the two we’ve seen already are the premium flagships while the other four will see two per category for mid and low-end, with a touch-only and Qwerty-equipped model for each.
Price and release date
The BlackBerry Z10 will land in the UK at all major networks on January 31. It’ll be available in both white and black from £36 per month on contract.
No carriers have announced a price or release date for the BlackBerry Q10, although the Wall Street Journal reports it won’t appear until around the middle of March.