RIM: BlackBerry 10 will save us | Mobile Devices | Mobile Entertainment

RIM: BlackBerry 10 will save us

RIM: BlackBerry 10 will save us
Tim Green


Devices / Blackberry / May 3rd 2012 at 12:44PM

What do you expect it to say?

This week was a big one for the beleaguered Canadian OEM. It hosted its annual BlackBerry World conference in the US and used the event to unveil more details of its make-or-break OS upgrade, BB10.

The QNX-based platform was first announced last year, but in the interim RIM has endured such a nightmare - falling sales, signal outages, boardroom exits - that the new OS has assumed messianic status.

RIM CEO Thorston Heins talked it up, of course. He said: "With BlackBerry 10, we are building a core computing engine and platform and will augment that with consumer application services."

At the expo, RIM demonstrated a new user interface based on Cascade, the technology from TAT (The Astonishing Tribe), which it bought in December 2010.

This features an adaptive keyboard that adjusts to typing style, keyboard gestures and a WebOS-style card interface to swipe between apps.

It's clear therefore that apps are a critical battlefield for BlackBerry, which has sustained some users thanks to BBM and email but dismally failed to match iOS and Android in the app space.

Heins also stressed that BB10, though configured for touchscreen at present, will not spell the end of the hard keypad, which many believe is a sore strength of the BlackBerry handset.

"We want the typing experience on BlackBerry to be the best in the world, whether physical or touch. We have the best physical keypad on the planet, and we don't want to give that up," he said.

Of course, one of the big selling points of the developer-friendly open-source based QNX is its ability to support non-mobile devices such as in-cars, TV and M2M. Indeed, many auto systems already use it.

It's all set for Q4 launch, by which time iPhone and Android will be further entrenched and Microsoft will be rolling out a new version of WinPho based around its radical new Windows 8 desktop system.

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