RIM reveals BlackBerry 10 features

Research In Motion, the makers of the BlackBerry mobile handset, revealed a number of new features that users can look forward to when the company releases their new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

Rsearch In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins during BlackBerry Jam (image: Engadget)

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins revealed during the company’s BlackBerry Jam conference that BlackBerry 10 mobile service provider testing will start in the US in October, and that the hugely-anticipated operating system will be launched as planned early next year.

During the BlackBerry 10 demonstration, it was also revealed that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will have a redesigned User Interface and will focus heavily on contacts’ photos instead of just giving the users a list of names. The concept is similar to Android and iOS devices, where users can integrate photos and images with contacts.

BBM will also feature a predictive keyboard that will be able to detect the language the user is typing in, and will offer word suggestions even if the users swop between languages in one message.

Heins also revealed a Peak feature, “that lets users access the message notifications screen with a right angle gesture. The function can be used in any app: performing the swipe takes users to the BlackBerry Hub where they can view Tweets, messages and other notifications,” Engadget wrote.

For users who struggle to get up in the mornings, BB10 will feature a new alarm and clock system, where users will have to swipe their fingers from the corners of the bezel to set the time.

Engadget added that a variety of other new features are also present. “The home screen hosts a maximum of eight active updating apps. Thanks to BB10’s QNX underpinnings, users can have many more applications running, but the home screen only shows the eight most recent ‘to deliver an optimum user experience’. BlackBerry hub is accessible at any time from within any app using a two-stage gesture — swiping up from the bottom of the screen lets you peek at your notifications, and swiping to the right drops you into the hub where you can interact with those messages,” they wrote.

The operating system will also have a nifty feature called Balance, where users can create a personal and business profile, while running apps on both and keeping the data from each profile separate.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor