BlackBerry 6 OS Will Finally Have Competitive Features

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-07-28 Print this article Print


5. Developers will finally have something to like

Currently, Apple's App Store has more than 240,000 applications available to users looking for everything from social networking to productivity. The BlackBerry App World, on the other hand, has just a fraction of that. And so far, most of those apps are abysmal. With BlackBerry 6, RIM might have finally delivered an operating system that developers, and thus users, will like. Not only is it better designed, but it makes it much easier for developers to create applications for it. Plus, if it's as successful as RIM hopes, it won't be long before developers start flocking to the software to capitalize on its growth.

6. Browsing is finally worthwhile

Browsing on BlackBerry 5 is arguably the worst experience of any smartphone on the market. Scrolling around a page is a nightmare, and simply trying to find content is practically impossible. According to RIM, it has addressed that problem with a new, far more functional browser. Of course, it wasn't all RIM's doing. The company acquired Torch Mobile last year for the sole purpose of using its WebKit service on the new version of BlackBerry OS. Upon doing so, it has drastically improved its competitive ability to take on Apple's Safari browser and Google's mobile Chrome browser.

7. Say good-bye to long menus

RIM has added a key feature that could substantially improve its chances of competing with Apple's iOS: context-based menus. Currently, BlackBerry owners will open a menu in BlackBerry 5 and find several options that they will need to sift through just to find what they're looking for. In BlackBerry 6, the company has added a feature that examines where the user is in the software, and delivers only the items available in a menu that they might be looking for. Menus will still be very present on BlackBerry 6, but at least they will be easier to use.

8. Going social

Like every other company in the mobile market, RIM has realized the value of providing social-networking features to its users. In BlackBerry 6, users will be able to view their Facebook newsfeed, see what's happening on Twitter and more. Users can also update their Facebook status and tweet messages to their Twitter followers. Exactly how well that functionality will work is anyone's guess, but it's certainly a good idea on RIM's part to include it.

9. The best of both worlds?

With RIM so heavily invested in both physical keyboards and now, thanks to the Storm2, touch screens, it's not a stretch to say that the software might work with both technologies. If so, both consumers and enterprise customers should be excited. Those who wish to have the "next-generation" experience will find it with an all-touch-screen BlackBerry, while those who want something a bit more familiar will likely have it with a BlackBerry sporting a physical keyboard. BlackBerry 6 allows RIM to offer more options than ever. That's something that Apple, at least to this point, has been unable to do.

10. Search will play central role

Search won't top the list of reasons why customers will buy a BlackBerry 6 device, but rest assured it will certainly put Apple on notice. For once, BlackBerry owners will be able to search for anything on their devices from within the new software. Users can also search the Web. Granted, Apple has been offering in-phone search for quite a while, but that doesn't matter. It's yet another example of RIM finding an Apple advantage and eliminating it. The more it does that with BlackBerry 6, the more Apple will need to worry.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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