Apple has shown off iPhone OS 4 and now BGR has the first preview of BlackBerry's attempt to maintain their messaging advantage and close the web-browsing and UI gap with BBOS 6.0.

BlackBerry is an email and BBM monster, no two ways about it, but until now we've been able to make fun of their ridiculously bad web browser and their inability (like Android) to store a large amount of large-sized apps (infinite app potential, tiny little onboard storage). And their java-based OS.

The bad news (for BlackBerry-faithful, good news for Apple) is that RIM doesn't seem to have fixed the core problems behind the increasingly outdated OS, but the good news (for BlackBerry, decidedly not for Apple) is that they seem to have done more than enough to make those problems theoretical and almost complete non-issues for current users. (There don't seem to be enough large apps to make the app limit a problem yet either -- we'll see when they get their texture-mapped OpenGL games on).

The biggest news looks to be the WebKit browser, based on the same engine Apple uses for Safari, along with complete OS-wide support for rubber-banding, pinch to zoom, and other multitouch gestures and user interaction behaviors. (Which raises the interesting issue of whether or not Apple decides to sue RIM the way they're using HTC, or if RIM has enough patents to hold them off, like Palm presumably does).

There's a lot more as well, including swipe-able homescreens, RSS in email, etc.

So what do you think? Did either Apple or RIM take a new-OS leap over the other, or will 2010 be much like 2009 -- two devices still top of their respective categories, keeping up but not taking the lead?

[BGR via CrackBerry]