Apple and Google have long since muscled aside Research in Motion at the top of the smartphone market, but the company has hopes of staying in the game-or at least not losing more ground to the likes of Microsoft and others-with its BlackBerry 10 platform. On Tuesday, Research in Motion gave developers a more in-depth look at its updated OS. BlackBerry 10 is scheduled to roll out early next year, but RIM used its conference to show off some of the features currently in development.
We can give you a taste of what RIM revealed at BlackBerry Jam and offer a better idea of what to expect from BB10 (with the caveat that a lot could change between now and the operating system's release date).
Is this the first we've seen of BlackBerry 10?
No. RIM offered a sneak peak of the new platform back in May. Of course, back then, the company was planning on launching BlackBerry 10 smartphones by the end of 2012. Those plans have changed.
So when is BB10 coming out exactly?
In early 2013, a delay announced by RIM back in June. There's no exact date for that 2013 release, but the good news is that CEO Thorsten Heins says the update is on track and "just a few short months away."
So what's different about BB10?
RIM's new operating system completely eliminates the physical QWERTY keyboard that made BlackBerry famous. (Remember thumb cramps, anyone?) BB10 has a touch-screen keyboard with apps laid out in a grid, as is standard with smartphones these days. There's also an updated browser that promises more HTML5 adeptness.
What about apps?
You can also jump back and forth between apps now-a feature which the company calls Flow-as you can in iOS. BB10 will feature an App World store with its own app ecosystem. Developers will be able to easily port their Android apps into the BB10 store, or so RIM has been telling app makers.
BlackBerry will also embrace social networking integration with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn apps. A new Contacts app syncs with your social networks.
Will I have to buy a new BlackBerry to get BB10?
It's still unclear which devices will support the new operating system. RIM unveiled a new BlackBerry 10-enabled device on Tuesday-the catchily-named BlackBerry Dev Alpha B-but that's intended solely for developers. The Dev Alpha B device features a 1280 x 768 display on a 4.2-inch screen, for those looking for clues as to what a BB10-capable device might look like.
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