NEWS ANALYSIS: Research In Motion has started showing off the features of BlackBerry 10 on a prototype handset. But enterprise users and consumers will need to learn a lot more before the first production model hits the market late in 2012.
Research In Motion is officially getting its act together and starting to
show that it wants to compete far more effectively in the mobile space. The
company on May 1 unveiled more details on BlackBerry 10 and released it to
developers who want to start building applications for the platform. The mobile
firm also showed off a prototype handset running BlackBerry 10 that it is using
in the development process.
For developers and investors, May 1 was an exciting day. RIM had been
keeping BlackBerry 10 and its associated plans close to the vest, causing some
to second-guess whether the company had what it takes to be successful in the
mobile market again. Now that RIM has shown at least a bit more of its hand, it
may be able to at least slow the defections of BlackBerry users until they get
a look at BlackBerry 10 production models later this year.
But now a host of BlackBerry 10 details are already out there, and anyone
interested in the future of RIM and its BlackBerry smartphones should learn all
about them to make the most informed buying decisions.
Read on to find out what everyone should know about BlackBerry 10
1. Touch screen-only to start
Interestingly, RIM decided against showing off a physical keyboard with
BlackBerry 10. The move was a not-so-subtle confirmation of earlier reports
claiming the company would only
launch touch screen-based BlackBerry 10 devices this year
. Its a nice
departure for RIM, but those who want physical keys shouldnt worry: Theyre
likely launching those models next year.
2. The Pull gesture is rather neat
One of the biggest issues with mobile platforms today is the inability to
quickly glance at a window behind the one thats active. With BlackBerry 10s
pull gesture, users will be able to slide the active window aside and take a
glance at another. Its something other companies, like Apple, should consider
bringing to their platform.
3. The camera improvements are huge
Arguably the biggest enhancement to BlackBerry 10 is its camera feature. The
camera has the ability to record several versions of the same image the instant
a picture is taken. This gives users the ability in effect to go back in time
to edit and change the image. Users can tap any place on the photo to see how
that particular part of an image looked in an earlier slice of time. So, for
example, if you take a photo of a person who closed his or her eyes at the
moment the camera flashed, its possible to tap the eyes to go back to a
slightly earlier version when the persons eyes were open. Neat, huh?
4. RIM is focusing on developers
RIM has made it clear that developers are taking center stage with
BlackBerry 10. In fact, the company on May 1 launched its toolkit in beta to
help developers start creating applications for the operating system. The
launch also includes support for Cascades, which RIM says, should help
developers create far more graphically rich apps.