Research in Motion Ltd., hoping for a boost for its
struggling smartphones, gave developers a sneak peek at its
upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, expected to be
released sometime this year.
At the company's BlackBerry World 2012 event in Orlando,
Florida, new chief executive Thorsten Heins unveiled a
prototype of the system in front of 5000 customers,
developers and other attendees.
In a 47-second video that the company also shared online, a
customer uses a BlackBerry 10 smartphone to scroll through
emails and crisp photos; quickly type, with the help of
predictive text, on a touch screen; watch videos; and sync
the phone to a television screen.
The video had a generally positive reception from YouTube
viewers, with 824 likes and 72 dislikes at midday Tuesday
(local time). But the top comments were: "iOS 3.0 >
BlackBerry 10" and "Android 2.0 > BlackBerry 10,"
referring to Apple and Google's popular operating systems.
RIM said the operating system will allow users to continually
access content between applications, so "whether you are
browsing the Internet or organizing meetings with a glancing
gesture, BlackBerry 10 immerses you into conversations. It
streams all feeds to one place and applications keep running
- creating an agile and nimble experience."
The OS also increases keyboard responsiveness through a touch
keyboard that uses modeling algorithms to learn where the
user presses for each letter, "becoming tailored to the
user's hand like a glove."
And camera enhancements will enable BlackBerry 10 users to
tap anywhere on the screen to take a photo.
RIM has kept mum on the actual release date for BlackBerry
10, which will be available in phones and tablets. The
Canadian company desperately needs the operating system to be
a hit, as its reputation has slipped in recent quarters. In
the U.S. in particular, consumers have shifted to trendier
iPhones and Android devices.
BlackBerry continues to have a loyal following in developing
Heins said that "for more than 77 million people across the
globe, BlackBerry helps them succeed on a daily basis."