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RIM showcases BlackBerry 10 software, announces carrier testing to begin next month


News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday September 25, 2012.

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Research In Motion is finally getting in motion and showing that it has made progress in preparing BlackBerry 10 to be released next year. Originally expected to have launched by now, the BlackBerry platform refresh will happen in 2013 after carriers begin testing devices next month. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said at its BlackBerry Jam that RIM is working hard to develop the first wave of BB10 devices expected to launch next year. As part of its preparation, carriers will begin early testing to look for feature shortcomings and provide feedback regarding qualities that it would like to alter or fix. RIM will maintain a back-and-forth with the carriers to ensure that BB10 is ready to ship early next year.

Heins also previewed some upcoming BlackBerry 10 features on stage at BlackBerry Jam. The demonstrations ran into technical problems and the pre-release software failed on occasion, but there were some notable announcements. A few interesting features discussed include:

- The lock screen reveals content as the user swipes up from the bottom. It also allows users to easily return to apps by performing a similar swipe when the screen has already been unlocked. Swiping up minimizes the app and brings up a recently used app tray.

- BlackBerry Balance lets users easily switch between work and personal modes. The personal mode enables more freedom and app choices, but the work mode places restrictions on apps that can be used and provides other device management tools to ensure enterprise security.

- The virtual keyboard adapts to the user, offers predictive text suggestions, and has an option to type in multiple languages. Rather than having to change language settings, a multilingual person can type in English or Spanish and the keyboard recognizes the switch.

- BlackBerry Hub shows all communication in one place. Email, BBM's, text messages, and social media updates appear in a central location, but can be organized according to format or source.

- Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and Twitter will all be ready to download when BB10 launches. These apps would be expected on any major smartphone platform, but there have been cases of big name developers opting not to support BlackBerry. The inclusion of these apps is an important part of having established brands on BB10. More importantly, the demo of Facebook shown on stage is a big improvement on the app currently available on BlackBerry 7. It more closely resembles the apps seen on Android and iOS.

BlackBerry 10 will not debut until early 2013, but RIM hopes that by showing what the company plans to do, it can convince more developers to support the platform. It also hopes that this tease will convince consumers to remain patient and not migrate to Android, iOS, or Windows Phone 8.

source: BlackBerry

 
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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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