RIM has unveiled the evolution of its BlackBerry OS – BlackBerry 10. The new platform leverages on several new technologies and is a step forward for the company as it tries to re-invigorate its brand as the smartphone of choice for connected people. The company has demoed some of the upcoming features of the new OS in its BlackBerry conference in the US earlier this week.
From what we could see and read (we weren’t present during the event) BlackBerry 10 is RIM’s attempt into making an ecosystem that could realistically go up against Android. And while the company will never give up on physical screens, from what we’ve seen in videos and in the leaked (and now confirmed) BlackBerry 10 Developer device, the company is looking to release a full-touchscreen device that delivers a seamless user experience, unlike their previous, disappointing efforts.
Gesture controls seem to be at the heart of BlackBerry 10, which is a bit of a throwback to the BlackBerry Playbook. Indeed, people who have managed to get their hands on the BlackBerry 10 Developer device has said that the OS running on it is the PlayBook 2.0, with some extra features plugged in that will eventually end up in the final version of BlackBerry 10. Swiping from the corners seems to be the norm on BlackBerry OS 10, which is actually pretty pleasant based on our experience on the PlayBook.
Imaging will also be one of the biggest features of upcoming BlackBerry 10 powered devices. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins unveiled a new feature that allows you to get a second chance when taking pictures. Basically, the app allows you to go back a couple of seconds on a picture you’re not happy via the images captured on the camera’s cache the second you open the camera app.
The company is also serious about attracting talent and devs to the platform, and has announced a major campaign that’s aimed at ensuring developers make money on the platform. Basically the company is saying that developers are guaranteed in making $10,000 in their certified BlackBerry 10 apps in the first year. If the devs don’t make $10,000 on their BlackBerry 10 certified apps, the company will spring for the difference. This move gives developers a huge incentive in creating apps for the platform, though certain caveats apply.
So, is the future looking bright for BlackBerry or is BlackBerry 10 too little too late? At this point, there’s no way to tell for sure – BlackBery 10 holds a lot of promise, but the company has it’s work cut out for it. And for people who say that the company is heading down the crapper, I’d like to remind them that people said the exact same thing about Apple way back then, and look at where they are right now.