BlackBerry 10 Adds So Many Features That So Few People Want

Research In Motion CEO and possible Bond villain Thorstein Heins gave the world its best look at BlackBerry 10 today. While previous demos had focused on the camera and keyboard, this latest one took a closer look at more everyday features. It looks like it does some things very well — and they're not all things you would necessarily care about.

Flow

Flow is basically a fancy word for multitasking, minimising your clicks and reducing the need to constantly navigate back to a window of app icons. We first saw Flow several months ago, and it still looks nice. What Heins didn't address — yet again — is how RIM plans to keep all those apps running in the background without totally sapping your batter.

Calendar

You have multiple views in your BB10 calendar — both your standard day/week/month options and a People tab that gives you integrated info (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn connections). That last feature is being spun as perfect for last-minute business meetings, which is cool, but we don't see it being used much outside of those instances. Unprepared business people of the world, BB10 is for you!

BBM

BlackBerry's messaging service might just be its best feature. It has received a nice little UI update that includes cleaner panels and emoticons (but what about emoji?!). Heins stresses the "one thumb" navigation, which is again ideal for the business person on the go.

You can also text in multiple languages with text prediction, which is a very clever feature, but one that appeals to a narrow niche.

Balance

BB10 also allows you to live two lives on your device — a work life and a personal life. It's essentially two siloed user profiles, and RIM has advanced the idea far enough that it even has a separate enterprise App World. It's a way to keep sensitive corporate info safer, although (and this is a sincere point) I don't know how much of an issue that's been for Android and iPhone Fortune 500 users. Presumably, if it had been one, well, they wouldn't have switched?

Beyond the corporate security piece, it's hard to imagine that anyone would actively seek out this feature. That's the bigger problem, isn't it? People want their work phones to also be their personal phones, but this implementation isn't something you seek out as a consumer. It's something you get issued by your IT guy.

But... When?

This new peek, combined with what we saw earlier this year, gives the impression of a very competent mobile operating system. But it's also one that we're still months and months away from, during which time more and more companies will switch over to iPhones, Androids and Windows Phone 8 devices.

And more than that, even if it were to arrive today — even if it had arrived earlier in the year — BB10 seems to serve very few masters. It's a great OS for browbeaten, disorganised, multilingual business persons, but how many of us does that really describe?


Comments

    Too little. Too late.

      I love how people say that a company is too late to the smartphone market as if we aren't still going to be using them in another 50 years, maybe we will all develop mental telepathy in the next few years and phones will become redundant.

        or just maybe he's saying too late as the smartphone market is flooded with essentially the same thing as an iPhone and trying to stand out in the pack is nearly pointless, especially this late in the game.

        ...what?
        RIM isn't late to the market, it (along with Nokia) basically built the smartphone market before Apple swept it out from under their feet.

        Looking at how RIM is faring as a company, I think rich is saying that BB10 is too little, too late to save the company from going down the gurgler and ending up as little more than a package of patents for someone else to buy.

        "develop mental telepathy in the next few years and phones will become redundant."
        Actually, that kinda sums it up for me. Telepathy cap coming soon, or for those who would like a more discreet telepresence, the iMplant.

      Narrow minded critics that have been mentally " i OS 'd", (see sheep in the Websters). They can't or don't want to see that Blackberry is staying true to its core. Buisness and Government, that do require seperation of identities on a phone for sometimes very serious security issues. Blackberry has the best, most secure BES in the industry. And I know it's been said a thousand times, but here is 1001. "If you want to play get an iPhone, if you want to work get a Blackberry.

    Microsoft are pretty bad at announcing things too early leaving them old hat by release, but Blackberry? Hasn't BB10 been coming for like a year now?

    We could see blackberry bounce back during the patent wars as they apparently have a huge collection of rock solid patents, time will tell.

    I hate it when my batter gets sapped! It can completely ruin my fish and chips.

      I'm thinking it's a euphemism for something else...

      In my honest opinion, RIM devices have really been sucking the batter for a while...

        Could this be a new form of male birth control?

    One middle finger right! One middle finger lol

    I really like the look of how it operates & am keen to check one out early next year. Once it finally comes out iOS will be the oldest, slowest & least advanced of the 4 main mobile operating systems.

      Lolwut

        +1

        I'm not going to say that iOS is the best, but RIM has a lot of catching up to do.

      slowest and least advanced? sure, why not

    Looks good. Speaking of flow; this vid is really buggy.

    I really can't stand side-mounted USB/charging ports.

    The beauty of the BB was its keyboard and little scrolly ball thing. I personally never liked them.. but that's what set it apart.. these newer BB's, without that, are just another smartphone to add to the dungpile.. and without seriously competitive features, that's where they belong.

      BB handsets haven't used the 'scrolly ball thing' in quite a while now (for example google the BlackBerry Bold 9900), and as RIM have discussed multiple times, a physical keyboard handset with BB10 will be released soon after the full touchscreen version.

    I like it. Look to be honest do we want be stuck just with Apple and Android and maybe a Microsoft/Nokia phone. Please don't kill off the competition just yet.

    I own a iPhone 5 but I will buy one if means we still have competition.

    My next smartphone will be a Lumia 920, but I really hope BB survives with these BB10 handsets. I watched the keynote and can see why the work/personal profiles would be useful for corporate users. It's good to see RIM really aiming to please their 'core' audience in this and other interesting ways with BB10. People love to hate them, but how can less choice be a good thing for consumers? I'm sick and tired of iOS and Android (hence the move to WP), and think (hope?) the market can sustain 4 big ecosystems.

    Sorry, but saying these features are wanted by few... when it's a phone targeted at government/business, I just don't get it.

    It's not a consumer device, it has different requirements than 'zomg angry birds'.

    All these features you've described can be VERY mission critical in a lot of business contexts.

    Not too little, too late - Just enough, trying to get themselves bought.

    I think this is more of a beat-up than a write-up. "It’s a great OS for browbeaten, disorganised, multilingual business persons" Really Brian? Are those the only people who like efficiency of movement or who jump away from a task to sneak a peek at messages then go back to what they're doing? I am a business person but none of the other things you listed and will be buying BB10 for myself and my staff when available.

    I am not anti-apple as I have an iPad for playing games or browsing the web and have just bought an iPhone5 for my wife and helped my son order a Galaxy S3 for himself. We all have different requirements and mine are beyond games and 'me-too coolness'. My only problem is whether or not to wait for a slider model as I like the full-screen size of touchscreen but would horribly miss my BB physical keyboard.

    According to an article I read today (http://www.news.com.au/technology/smartphones/spoilt-consumers-demand-more-choice/story-fn6vihic-1226482358282 ) the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association says Australians want more choice in operating systems so another credible entry is a good thing. Even if tech journos choose to write slanted, emotive articles against that happening.

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