10 Reasons To Hope For BlackBerry 10.

It’s been a tough couple of years for Research in
Motion. The BlackBerry maker still has a faithful
following of physical-keyboard loving users, but
Apple, Samsung and cheaper smartphone makers
from Asia have smashed RIM’s market share. Its
stock has fallen almost 90% in the last five years;
last quarter it posted another weak set of financial
results. Some say BlackBerry 10, the new phone
RIM will launch on Jan. 30th, could be a make-or-
break device.
So what’s it like? RIM gave Forbes a demo of the
phone’s software at CES 2013, unveiling some
impressive features and factoids. Here are 10 of
them, with a video of the demo below.
1) First a crucial factoid: carriers apparently like
it. So far 150 of them from around the world are
testing BlackBerry 10 in their labs, according to
CMO Frank Boulben, which means they’ll almost
certainly carry the phone. He expects 200 carriers
to offer BB 10 by the summer of 2013.
2) The phone is launching with more than 70,000
available apps, along with new features to
BlackBerry Messenger that RIM will disclose at
3) The phone takes away a physical “home”
button – a bit like Nokia’s Lumia phones. It relies
on lots of swiping gestures and shortcuts for one-
handed use by on-the-go business types.
4) The mobile platform, based on software by QNX,
allows users to have two personas on the
device – one for work and one for private life, with
separate background images and a password that
can stop kids from accidentally calling someone’s
boss. Users can swap between the two with a single
gesture, and decide what content is deemed
personal and accessible, or private and professional
on the same device.
5) A new feature called BlackBerry Hub. This is a
neat amalgamation of all notifications that users
access by swiping in an “L” shape, up and to the
left. When writing an email and a new one comes
in, users can also swipe slightly to “peek” at the
content, before continuing with their email. No need
to press a button or delete any draft of the email.
6) BlackBerry Hub’s integration with Facebook,
Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn — with
potential for other developers to allow their apps to
integrate with the Hub too. Users don’t have to go
into any of these applications to update their
profiles or comment on these networks, but do it all
in the Hub.
7) Quick context and aggregation. BlackBerry
has created an apparently seamless system that
allows you to get relevant information on people in
your calendar. Swipe down to see the next
appointment, then tap to see previous meetings
you’ve had with the person, or what they last said
to you in an email, or what a Google search on
them brings up, or their LinkedIn profile — all within
a couple of windows and without opening a
browser. “It follows your train of thought,” says
Boulben, who described this experience as
“BlackBerry Flow.”
8) A keyboard that learns. This applies to the
touch-screen version of BlackBerry 10, since RIM is
bringing out a second BB 10 device with a physical
keyboard. The application scans every email or
instant message you’ve sent and builds an
algorithm to better predict what words you’ll type
— rumor has it RIM partnered with A.I. startup
SwiftKey on this. Predicted words hover on the
“frets” between the key rows, and you select them
by flicking up with your thumb (see video below).
Swipe down on the keyboard to get punctuation
symbols; swipe backwards across the keyboard to
erase a word. If you tend to type between the O and
P, the keyboard will learn this and shift the
touch actuator to lie between the two keys.
9) Language. Start typing the word “je” and the
BlackBerry 10 keyboard automatically suggests
French words. “There is nothing more frustrating
than writing in one language and being corrected in
another,” says Boulben, who is French.
10.) A few other things we don’t know about.
Boulben said RIM would unveil a couple of extra
features at its Jan. 30 announcement, and the
handset he showed me was not the finished
Overall, RIM is eagerly promoting BlackBerry 10 —
it’s not keeping the details about it under wraps like
Apple. In fact, Boulben has been in 32 countries in
the last four months to promote the hell out of this
phone. And for good reason.
By summer 2013 we should know if any of these
new features will help RIM stay in the game.


10 thoughts on “10 Reasons To Hope For BlackBerry 10.

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