With Blackberry Jam Americas, having just had its keynote a few days back, my initial short and sweet impression of BB10 is that it looks pretty darn nice with tons of potential
With BB10, Research in motion is finally setting up it self for the next 10 years with a whole new UI and platform underneath by the looks of it.
The Keynote was impressive and all the departments came out a swinging from the gates, giving us glimpses of what was to come in the near future.
With any OS though there is always the good with the bad though so I’m going to try and run you through what I thought were possible Pain or Pleasure points we see till now.
Let’s kick it off with the Pain points so that we can get some Pleasure later on 😉 (Bad joke sorry)
1) The lack of a persistent notification bar is one of the biggest pain points for me, its the same phenomenon which is present in WP and frankly its something I have very mixed feelings about to be honest because I love my quick status and notification bar on top which would tell me even when I’m in the middle of things where I stand on everything I’m doing, including critically my Battery life. They have made the lock screen a lot more flush with information though so maybe this is their way of implementing it
2) Why have they limited app frames to 8? does that mean only 8 will run at a time? what will happen to the frantic back and forth switching which is ingrained into the users of the current lineup? Will the other apps be frozen and brought back to life ala iOS and WP8? So many unanswered questions with important implications
3)The extreme gesture reliance is another question mark in my book, as it brings up a lot of important questions. Will the battery life suffer with the screen constantly having to be at the ready to “unlock” by a upward swipe? Wouldn’t a physical button be better? Are the gestures going to be intuitive enough? Certainly seems so but I’m going to be skeptical till I get a proper hands on.
Now let’s dive into what excited me about the OS, my so called “pleasure” points if you may 😛
1) Loving the unified inbox as always, its a rehash of a feature that has been running since a very long time, but its a more modern implementation in my opinion having it completely ingrained into the OS itself rather than having it as a separate app running
2) The keyboard seems to be an absolute joy to use. Multi Lingual Text prediction on the fly, swipable words, tie up with Swiftkey? Yes, Yes and oh my god Yes! I love all these features and I really hope they live upto their potential, have loved swiftkey’s keyboards right since the word go and am super excited to see RIM working so closely with them for this.
3) Their amazing push to get an app ecosystem ready before hand is just wow in my books, nothing different from what Microsoft tried to do with WP8 but I’m not quite sure if they were willing to back it up with hard cash though(correct me if I’m wrong please), this is so important because once you have the major popular apps on your ecosystem you have already served 80% of a potential users needs. Yes of course we want more innovative apps and are always on the look out for more and better ones but I think the top few can fulfill our pangs for a short while atleast.
BB10 is not revolutionary as far as the entire mobile ecosystem is concerned, I’m one of the first ones to accept that. However I do feel that it will make using your phone a lot more intuitive because more than anything else it has had time to gain insights from all the major players out there, this coupled with Thornsten Heins claim that it was delayed because it wasn’t fully baked put even more pressure that it isn’t just another first gen OS with the quibbles which are generally let go by Fanboys. This needs to come out of the fences with everything fixed raring to go and a lightning fast update schedule already planned out to keep its chances bright.
I hope way more positive consumer specific features come out in the upcoming months to make this a must have.
I do plan a shift away from my BB Curve early next year and am biding my time with so many important phones coming out in the meantime, let’s hope RIM is able to make all of us think its a viable place to plonk our money for the next 2+ years.