Blackberry BB10 Roundup: What We Know About BlackBerry’s New Operating System

Nothing seems to be going right for Research In Motion at the moment. This week they got the tech world talking when they declared they would be focusing on business phones rather than trying to take on Apple at their own game. But as soon as the tech world had begun to digest this apparent change in direction RIM CEO did a bit of a u-turn and declared his comments were taken out of context.

RIM MD Patrick Spence set the record straight: “Whilst we announced plans to re-focus our efforts on our core strengths, and on our enterprise customer base, we were very explicit that we will continue to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments.”

With the launch of their new BB10 operating system soon, RIM is hoping to reignite some of that magic that saw them scale the world of mobile phones and become the number 1 handset maker. From what we’ve seen of BB10 and the new Blackberry London handset it could well be the last roll of the dice for the embattled Canadian handset maker.

Blackberry’s current schedule has the OS unveiling penciled in for sometime in early May. So all we’ve got to go at the moment is whispers and hearsay. So were going to round-up what we know in time BB10 so far.

Blackberry London: Can it say RIM? 

Blackberry obsessive’s Crackberry were the first publication to get a sneak peak at what is thought to be the Blackberry London. It looks like unlike anything we’ve seen from Blackberry before. The first major change is the removal of the ubiquitous QWERTY keyboard, instead relying on a full touchscreen display. Gone are the svelte rounded edges, and what has replaced them are straighter, cleaner design lines. Rumoured specs include an 8 megapixel camera, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, LTE support and HD display.

 Can BB10 save the Playbook?

One of the reasons why Blackberry is spending so much time on its new OS is the software will the be the backbone for future growth and will more than likely save the company from a being broken up and sold off. So it’s really important that they get right. It’s thought that the OS will be use in any further tablets RIM might release. Rob Orr, RIM’s VP of Product Management told Techradar that the update would be available to the company’s tablet device, and that the first BB10 handset would be out before the end of the year.

BB10: The future is tiled.

Crackberry seem to be leading the charge when it comes to unearthing juicy details of what we should expect from BB10 OS. They managed to get their hands on a email supposedly from RIM which included images from the OS. It looks like a hybrid of Window Phone and Nokia’s Bell OS utilizing a tiled design for artwork, contacts, and weather.  Again, this is a far cry from anything we’ve seen on a BlackBerry before, and is most definitely a step in the right direction in our opinion.

Hep-tastic Keyboard.

Unnamed sources apparently told Blackberry news site N4BB that the new OS and handsets will feature some form of heptic feedback to make their touchscreen keyboard 3D. Now, we’ve heard a lot about heptic feedback in recent weeks, with Apple even thought to be considering the new technology – if Blackberry were the first to get the system to market then this could be the unique selling point they have been looking for. Whatever does happen it’s an interesting concept and is sure to used on handsets in the near futrure. Will Blackberry be the first?

HTML5 to the rescue

EX Co-CEO of RIM, Mike Lazaridis, said that the company had been spending a lot of time making sure their new OS was the most HTML5 compatible software in the world. So we can expect a brilliant browser with full HTML5 support on board. Not only that, but a lot of apps will be coded in HTML 5 within a few years, so BB10 should be well ahead of the game.

BB10 could be the new Android

Rumour are suggesting that RIM might look to license its new OS to other handset manufacturers, after RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said the company had to broaden its partnerships with other manufacturers.

With rumour Google might take Android out of the hands of other manufacturers RIM could be in the position to pick manufacturers who are left high and dry if Google ever decided on a walled garden approach in the future.

Torstein said: “Whether we build the hardware ourselves or whether we engage in partnerships is part of the review, we’ll keep you updated once that is completed.”

It’s likely then, that if BB10 is a success, RIM wouldn’t mind licensing the software and allowing other companies – this would increase profits and create quite a buzz. It’s a still only a rumour and should be treated as such.

So that’s the list of leaks and maybes regarding BB10 that have made their way onto the interweb in recent months. With no official release dates as of yet we’ll have to play the waiting game, and hope that RIM don’t wait too long

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