Research in Motion yesterday demonstrated features of BlackBerry 10, the new touchscreen mobile operating it hopes will reverse the companies ailing fortunes.
CEO Thoresten Heins told the BlackBerry Jam developer conference that that RIM had “taken what people know and love about BlackBerry to expand beyond traditional mobile communication”.
New features on show include BlackBerry Flow, a new interface design that allows users to unlock the devices and navigate between application with a swipe of the finger.
Heins said Flow gives the BlackBerry 10 (BBX) a ‘fluid’ user experience. “This simple gesture allows a lot of sensitive controls in many applications. Nobody should have to worry about opening apps – they should just be there.”
Vivek Bhardwaj, head of RIM’s software portfolio in EMEA, demoed the new Hub feature, which allows users to access notifications from a range of apps, including BlackBerry Messenger Messages (BBM), texts, social media updates, and emails, with a side swipe.
“Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, email, or BBM, everything is in this entire hub,” said Bhardwaj. Users can also use the hub to access information about events, which is displays live information about the event and attendees.
RIM also announced various enteprise features. Jeff Holleran, senior director of enterprise product management, wrote on official blogpost that the new BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 platform simplifies the process of provisioning news devices.
“It’s straightforward; requiring just an email address, a one-time activation password, and an email account password,” he wrote. “Whether a personal account or a work account, email is setup the same way with the BlackBerry Infrastructure helping to provide the server settings required.”
The company also announced the business customers will be able to create their app stores using the BlackBerry App World platform. This allows IT departments to deploy and recommend apps for their employees. BBX was originally due for release before Christmas this year, but was delayed in June due to development overruns.
"Over the past several weeks, RIM’s software development teams have made major progress in the development of key features for the BlackBerry 10 platform; however, the integration of these features and the associated large volume of code into the platform has proven to be more time consuming than anticipated," the company said at the time.
The operating system is now slated for release "early next year", Heins said yesterday.
Having suffered one of the technology industry’s most calamitous falls from grace in recent times, RIM needs BBX to be a success if it is to reverse the flight of consumer and business customers from the BlackBerry platform.