RIM has finally unveiled its latest BlackBerry 10 platform, seen as a bold move to bring BlackBerry up to the next level. While the new platform won’t be available anytime soon, RIM has introduced the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device that’s meant for developers to test and develop apps. Mind you that this is just a developer device and may not necessary be any representation of the actual BB10 device in the future.
At first glance, it looks like a PlayBook device that got shrunked into a 4″ dimensions. First thing you’ll notice is the lack of any physical keyboard and the front features a 4.2″ HD LCD display that pushes 356ppi which even exceeds the high density display of the Xperia S. Internally it comes with 16GB of storage and comes with microUSB and micro HDMI connectivity. Like its new BlackBerry devices, it also comes with NFC support. So far there isn’t much details on the processor and RAM. The Dev Alpha unfortunately doesn’t come with a removable battery but then again, this model isn’t exactly the commercial model.
Some of the new features of BlackBerry 10 is its Flow UI. This allows seamless switching and multitasking between apps by simply swiping from the edges. While you’re focused on an app, you can have a quick peek on your notifications and messages by swiping slightly to have a glance. This intuitive gesture is rather similar to what we’ve experienced on the Playbook.
No doubt one of the biggest traits of having the BlackBerry is its QWERTY keyboard. To maintain an effortless input experience, they have added some advanced predictive input on the touch keyboard. While typing your messages, it is smart enough to detect your next possible word which is similar to Swiftkey. The predicted words floats around the keyboard and you’ll just need to swipe upwards to get the word up into your text input.
For imaging, RIM has demonstrated a timewarp-like feature for its camera. When you take a picture, you can go back by a few split seconds to get that perfect moment which is rather close to Nikon’s 1 Smart Photo selector mode.
In terms of apps, RIM is dangling some incentive to entice developers to their platform. With confidence, RIM assures at least US$10,000/year sales from BlackBerry 10 apps and if it doesn’t, RIM will be paying for the difference. Of course there are some conditions such as being a quality certified app and it has made at least $1,000 of sales in order to qualify.
So far these are just some of the new features that BlackBerry has to offer. Overall the new BlackBerry 10 looks promising but it just means that the BlackBerry clan is dressed and ready to party. What’s going to matter is what party tricks the new platform will bring.
Head after the break for some of the key highlights of the new BlackBerry 10 platform.