Feeds

BlackBerry 10: AWESOME. If the hardware matches it, RIM jobs are safe

Our Vulture fondles his way through the new OS

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Opinion BlackBerry users have a love-hate relationship with their phones. The devices were often forced upon users rather than chosen. At the same time, the handhelds were the most usable and useful communications gadgets you could put in your pocket.

Yes, there are things a BlackBerry can't do very well or at all. But it is capable of doing so many things that its rivals can't match. You have to wonder if the rest of the phone industry has been taking some strange stupefying drug.

For example, the BlackBerry knows when it's in a holster. It knows when it's on a nightstand so it can do all kinds of "I'm in a nightstand now" things. You know what's "incoming" without taking it out of its case - you can tell that from the LED indicator. (Enthusiasts have written programs to allow you to set sophisticated 'Blinkenlights' sequences of coloured flashes, telling you in much more detail what is going on.) The obsession with usability extends to giving everything a shortcut key. You can set up a custom shortcut key to show you all the emails from Alice in the last three months, for example.

Nobody else does this. Has RIM replicated this in its new user interface for BlackBerry OS 10? We've already written up a quick preview of the QNX-powered mobile operating system - here's a follow-up hands-on tour of the kit.

First off, BlackBerry-maker RIM has acknowledged, or not forgotten, that getting to messaging fast is what the BlackBerry is all about. If BB10 has a "home" screen, it's the "Hub": a list of calendar appointments, and messages aggregated from SMS, email and social networks. Everything else is a kind of card-style overlay on this. Yes, there's a Palm-style app grid. Software can be put into folders, just like on Apple's iOS.

On Android and iOS notifications are a separate area. On BB10 - and Windows Phone, too - the notifications area is your home. And you can do a lot from the notifications screen. It's brutally utilitarian; Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 wins on style and novelty, but BB10 trumps all comers on efficiency. (You can only get one line of text on a tile in WinPho 8 - it's a bit limiting.)

The BB10 Hub

The BlackBerry OS 10 Hub (apologies for the phone cam pic of a phone)

Here's the Hub. Icons to trigger common actions are down the right-hand side:

A menu of message sources

Anything new? A quick summary view is always a swipe away

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.