At BlackBerry World 2012, RIM has finally given us a sneak preview of their next generation BlackBerry 10 operating system. It won't be released until later in 2012, likely pitting it head-to-head against iOS 6 and iPhone 5,1, and a lot can change, but here's some of what we've seen so far:
- Highly gesture based. That'll be quick for power-users who become familiar with the system, but RIM will have to work hard to make it discoverable enough to get new users on board.
- Sliding layers of information. Something that looks like an extension of Twitter for iPad, you can slide the screen aside to see notifications behind, slide layers over to get more information, etc.
- Virtual keyboard. Looks very BlackBerry, works to "learn" how each individual types so it can personalize the experience. Presents words you can "flick up" to enter. (See CrackBerry's coverage of the BlackBerry 10 keyboard.)
- Time travel camera. When you take a picture, it records frames before and after and you can pick the perfect shot from that period of time. Be interesting to see what resolution they can get out of that.
- They also showed off what looked like the BlackBerry 10 versions of FaceTime and AirPlay, on both phones and the PlayBook, stressing their ecosystem play.
Right now there's only the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha to actually get hands-on with, and again a lot can change between now and "later this year" when they release, especially in so competitive a market. A lot of their initial keynote sounded like something straight out of CrackBerry Kevin's smartphone hierarchy of needs. Whether they can focus, target, and most importantly, ship, remains to be seen.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think. Will BlackBerry 10 make RIM competitive again? Anything you see in BlackBerry 10 that you'd like to see in iOS 6?