BlackBerry 10

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BlackBerry 10
Blackberry Logo.svg
BlackBerry 10 screenshot.png
Company / developer BlackBerry Ltd
OS family QNX (Unix-like)
Working state Current
Source model Closed source
Initial release January 30, 2013[1]
Latest release 10.2.1.2141 / February 14th, 2014
Available in Multilingual
Supported platforms BlackBerry line of smartphones
Kernel type Real-time microkernel (QNX)
Default user interface Graphical
License Proprietary
Official website www.blackberry.com/BlackBerry-10/

BlackBerry 10 is a proprietary mobile operating system developed by BlackBerry Limited (formerly Research In Motion) for its BlackBerry line of smartphone and tablet handheld devices.[2][3][4] Devices running BlackBerry 10 are the Q5, Q10, Z10, Z30 and the P'9982[5] smartphones. BlackBerry 10 is based on the QNX operating system, which is popular in industrial computers and used in many car computers,[6] which was acquired by BlackBerry in April 2010.

When it was first released (as version 10.0) BlackBerry 10 was the third major release of a QNX based mobile operating system, following the release of BlackBerry Tablet OS with the BlackBerry PlayBook on April 19, 2011,[7] and BlackBerry Tablet OS version 2.0 on February 21, 2012.[8] BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry Tablet OS have numerous technical similarities, with BlackBerry 10 providing substantial enhancements over the earlier releases. BlackBerry 10 has continued to improve and evolve as can be seen by the release of newer versions 10.1, 10.2 and 10.2.1 which have added increased features and functionality, free of charge, to the devices.

The BlackBerry 10 operating system uses an innovative combination of gestures and touches for navigation and control. These make a "back" button unnecessary and it is actually possible to enter all commands on the BlackBerry 10 operating system without having to press any of the physical buttons, with the exception of the power button that switches the device on/off.

Launch announcements[edit]

On November 12, 2012, CEO Thorsten Heins announced a January 30, 2013 launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system version 10.0 and the first smartphones running it.[9] The operating system, as well as two devices, the Z10 (a full touchscreen device), and the Q10 (a device equipped with a physical keyboard), were announced simultaneously around the world on January 30, 2013.[10] The company also announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet would receive an update to BlackBerry 10 later in 2013.[11] Subsequently BlackBerry stated when releasing their Q1 2014 financial results that the BlackBerry PlayBook would not be receiving an update to BlackBerry 10, citing that the hardware would not provide a good experience of BlackBerry 10 and are focusing on future devices. BlackBerry has continued to support and develop the PlayBook with its separate Tablet OS.

On 14 May 2013 BlackBerry OS 10.1 was launched. This brought improvements to many features requested by users.

On 13 September 2013, in Asia, BlackBerry announced the launch of BlackBerry OS 10.2 and a new BlackBerry 10 device, the Z30, providing performance increases over the previous BlackBerry 10 devices.

User interface[edit]

BlackBerry Hub being viewed from BlackBerry World on a BlackBerry Z10

On 1 May 2012, Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry officially unveiled the BlackBerry 10 platform. The features shown off at the BlackBerry World conference included a unique platform-wide flow interface, a new intelligent keyboard, as well as a camera app which allows the user to time-adjust the whole photo and also time-adjust individual faces one at a time to optimize picture quality. The user interface also includes the ability to run 8 "Active Frames". Active Frames are applications that are currently running within the operating system, but minimized. These applications can either be running or paused while in "Active Frames" to help with battery longevity. Some are capable of showing a feed of live information on the home screen.[12] The Operating System also features the 'Hub', a list accessible from anywhere in the OS where all notifications including emails, social networking sites and text messages in one complete list. BlackBerry 10 has also been regarded as one of the most Intellectual, Instinctive, Elegant, Fluid, Advanced, Multitasking & Multimedia Mobile Operating System ever created in the World to date. BB10.2[13]

BlackBerry 10 uses Slate as its main typeface.[14]

Features[edit]

Gestures[edit]

Gestures are largely integrated within the BlackBerry 10, featuring four main gestures for easy navigation.[15] Quick swiping up from the bottom edge of the bezel will result in users returning to the home screen. From there, users can view and close active applications. Users can also swipe from the top edge, to bring down a quick setting shade on the home screen, or an option shade on other supported apps. Also, while using any application, the upside down J-hook (starting from the bottom of the bezel and moving upward and right) allows users to peek at any notifications or messages on the BlackBerry Hub.[15] Finally, swiping left to right (or vice versa) scroll through the available screens. It is possible to navigate around and through the apps using gestures and without needing navigation buttons.

Multitasking[edit]

Similar to BlackBerry Tablet OS, BlackBerry 10 OS also supports multitasking with gesture integration. Swiping up from any application brings up the running application screen, which functions as an application switcher and a task manager. Users can switch through running applications by tapping on any of the apps or close them by tapping on the ‘X’ on the lower right of the app itself.[15] Some apps also offer widget like functionality, similar to Android.[15] Examples of this include, picture app cycling through a photo album or calendar app showing upcoming events and meetings. Users are currently limited to 8 running applications, which are displayed from most to least recently accessed.[15]

BlackBerry Hub[edit]

BlackBerry Hub acts as a notification center, with the user’s entire social and email accounts integrated into one app. These include, at launch, standard E-mail client, Twitter, Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), and LinkedIn (with options to turn any of these services off). Standard notifications like missed calls, voicemail, and system updates also appear on the hub. The hub can be accessible from any app/lock screen, by performing an upside down j-hook gesture.[15] Users can perform various tasks like compose emails, send emails, and browse social networks, without accessing other apps. Developers are also given options to integrate apps into the BlackBerry Hub.[15]

BlackBerry Balance[edit]

BlackBerry Balance is a new feature introduced in BlackBerry 10, enabling users to keep both personal data and office work data separated in its own spaces. Using BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, IT departments can allow users to set up work-spaces that automatically install applications and email accounts. After completion, users can navigate between personal and work profiles, by swiping down on the apps page. All of the user’s data is secured via 256-bit AES encryption, and any files created will stay within the profile partition.[15]

Time shift camera[edit]

BlackBerry 10 features camera software that takes multiple frames of every photo. This feature allows users to adjust a photo easily to correct issues such as closed eyes.

BBM video/screen share[edit]

BlackBerry's messaging application (BBM) in BB10 includes the ability to video chat and make VoIP calls as well as the ability to share the contents of a user's screen with others for free on WiFi or on your mobile data plan.

Android layer[edit]

BlackBerry 10 introduced an Android runtime layer. This allows developers to easily package and distribute their applications designed to work on the Android platform. As of BB10.2, applications developed for Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) and below are supported.

Keyboard[edit]

BlackBerry 10 features a virtual keyboard that brings a range of new features. It also pays tribute to the brand history of physical keyboards from earlier devices.[16] The letters and numbers echo the fonts and frets of previous BlackBerry devices. The software allows the keyboard to learn the user’s typing preferences, and offers auto-predictions of the spelling of the current word and next word, which it does "above the key" unlike most other mobile devices which require a diversion to the space bar.[15] Predicted words appear above the letter that the OS thinks the user will touch next. These words can be "flicked" upwards into place very quickly, as the finger is already heading for the appropriate area of the keyboard.[17][18] Also, a swipe from right to left on the keyboard deletes the whole word to the left of the cursor, which can be faster than using backspace to delete each character.

Voice control[edit]

Voice Control was also introduced in BB10, allowing users to send BBMs, schedule meetings, update social networks, and open apps using natural speech patterns. Voice control can also be used for typing on any screen that accepts keyboard input.[19]

BlackBerry Link[edit]

BlackBerry Link allows users to sync and organize music, documents, photos, and videos between a BB10 device and a computer. It is compatible with Mac and PC, and supports iTunes and Windows Media Player. Syncs are done over Wi-Fi or USB. BlackBerry Link also facilitates device switches from Android and iOS as well as BB10 software updates.[20] Link transfers contacts, files, calendars, tasks, bookmarks, alarm clocks, SMS, phone logs, WLAN profiles and other information between devices.[21]

Applications[edit]

Pre-Loaded Applications[edit]

BlackBerry 10 features a number of free pre-loaded applications that help users perform various tasks and activities. These include maps, Web browser, Remember (Sticky notes app), Docs to Go (for Power Point, Word and Excel Files), Story Maker (video and music stitching app), calculator, clock, music, media, weather, and file manager. Cloud service integrations like Box and Dropbox are also integrated by default. In addition, BlackBerry's popular messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger is included with BlackBerry 10.

Third-party applications[edit]

At the time of the release in January 2013, BlackBerry 10 operating system had 70,000 third party applications. This represents a substantial increase over the BlackBerry PlayBook which launched with only 3,000 third party applications.[22] At BlackBerry Live 2013, BlackBerry announced that they had surpassed 120,000 apps, and that Skype would be available on the BlackBerry Z10.,[23] Skype and Instagram apps for BB10 are available now in BlackBerry World.

Android applications[edit]

Users can run and install Android applications on BlackBerry 10, including popular apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Netflix and Vine. As of the latest Operating System available (OS 10.2.1), users are able to download and install Android apps from the Google Play store directly to their BlackBerry 10 devices using Snap[24] or Droid Store.[25] The Amazon App Store is another source which can be used to download applications, and the entire process can be performed directly on the phone without sideloading.[1] Compatibility and operation of Android applications has been updated in the 10.2 Operating System update with the 4.2.2 Jellybean runtime.[26]

Distribution[edit]

Unlike the previous BlackBerry OS (but similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook), applications can either be downloaded through BlackBerry's BlackBerry World storefront, which comes included with BlackBerry 10, or can be installed through various means from several Android app stores.

Devices[edit]

BlackBerry Z10
BlackBerry Q10
Device Name Description
Z3 A mid range smartphone with no physical keyboard (fully touchscreen).
Z10 A smartphone with no physical keyboard (fully touchscreen).
Z30 A smartphone with no physical keyboard (fully touchscreen) and the current flagship BlackBerry device.
Q5 Smartphone with classic Curve-like BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard (targeted to emerging markets) with slightly less powerful specifications.
Q10 Smartphone with classic Bold-like BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard.
Q20 Smartphone with classic Bold-like BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard, navigation keys, and trackpad.
Porsche Design P’9982 The Porsche Design version of the BlackBerry Z10 with a slightly modified version of software making it unique to the others. It's the only BlackBerry 10 device with an in-built storage of 64GB.

Developer activities[edit]

Engagement strategy[edit]

Building up to the launch, the company made substantial changes to how it had previously engaged developers, being substantially more aggressive at courting developers, solving issues and being transparent about development updates. The company sent two teams to engage developers. The first, focused on acquiring premier applications from third parties. The second team focused on engaging the broader development community and building the platforms application count.[27]

Prototype smartphones[edit]

In May 2012, the company released a prototype touch screen smartphone to BlackBerry developers as part of the BlackBerry 10 Jam Conference in Orlando, Florida. The Dev Alpha A' device, which resembled a small BlackBerry PlayBook, ran an early version of the operating system and was provided as a means for developers to develop and test their applications on a physical device.[28]

In September 2012, a second developer prototype was released in September 2012, known as the Dev Alpha B. It includes a faster processor and a number of internal improvements.[29]

A third developer device, the Dev Alpha C,[30] was announced on November 29, 2012, and is the first developer prototype to demonstrate the physical keyboard capabilities of BlackBerry 10. Acquisition of a Dev Alpha C device is based around a point system, meaning that developers who have previously developed apps for BlackBerry, or have had the Dev Alpha A/B devices, will have a higher chance of receiving a device than a new BlackBerry developer. It was released at the BlackBerry Jam Europe 2013 event in February 2013.[citation needed]

Portathons[edit]

Pre-launch “Portathons” held by BlackBerry have received up to 19,000 applications submitted per weekend.[31]

Reception[edit]

Reviews of BlackBerry 10 have been generally positive. David Pogue of the New York Times noted that the software was, “simple to master, elegantly designed and surprisingly complete. It offers features nobody else offers, some tailored to the corporate world that raised BlackBerry aloft in its glory days.”[32] Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal referred to the operating system as “logical and generally easy to use”. Mossberg praised the virtual keyboard, camera software, and messaging hub; but criticized its application ecosystem, cloud capabilities and the immaturity of some features[citation needed]. Gizmodo's Kyle Wagner states that BlackBerry 10's home screen "gives BB10 the single best implementation of multitasking of any mobile OS right now". Wagner goes on to say that the Hub "works out to function a bit more like a junk drawer". He also reports what he refers to as the "Tragic Flaw": "Unlike every other major OS right now, BlackBerry does not feel fully integrated.".[33] Wagner's review was based on the 10.0 OS and it should be noted that since the initial reviews of BB10 the OS has been updated several times and for many the issues have been tackled.[34][35]
In comparison to that, at launch, CrackBerry.com views the new features more positively and takes into account the fact that the OS is brand new. It says that the BlackBerry Hub “is a polished solution to efficiently managing the influx of messages we have coming at us...".[36] It goes on to mention minor discrepancies and finally pointing out that many of the problems are getting fixed in future updates (some now released, e.g. battery life improvements, call ringtone disabled in bedside mode[37]).[36][38] It criticizes the limited customization options compared to BlackBerry OS (Alert tone volumes, alert light colour). Regarding the apps in BlackBerry World "really impressed by the quality of apps BlackBerry World has to offer", it notes that the application ecosystem is not as large as Android and iOS because of its age (brand new) and finishes with "doubtlessly many more will come around once they see the Z10 getting traction in the wild." Its general summary of BlackBerry 10 (with thought for its predecessor) "is that BlackBerry 10 really is the best of the old and the best of the new assembled seamlessly into an elegant, practical, and integrated package."

As of Q2 2013, the new BlackBerry 10 platform had almost the same number of developers using the platform as the legacy BlackBerry 5/6/7 had just before the release of BlackBerry 10.[39] Within a few months from its launch, the BlackBerry 10 platform was used by approximately 15% of mobile developers.

Some reviewers in the US have criticized US carriers, such as Verizon, for holding back new upgrade releases of the BB10 OS, therefore restricting the performance of their customer's BB10 devices as well as increasing problems with compatibility with new apps, hardware and software. There are available work-arounds to obtain current software.

Version history[edit]

BlackBerry 10.0[edit]

Obsolete Discontinued Current Beta Future Release

BlackBerry 10.1[edit]

BlackBerry 10.2[edit]

Table of versions: BlackBerry OS 10.2
Version Release date Features / Improvements

10.2.0.424[edit]

Has been released on the BlackBerry Z30, Z10, Q10, Q5.[48]
  • Headless Apps.
  • USB Host Capability.
  • WiFi Direct and Miracast (Q10/Z30).
  • Flurry Analytics.
  • Smart cards.
  • Altimeter.
  • Geofencing.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 low energy interface for cars, heart rate monitors, etc.
  • Camera enhancements e.g. focus lock and faster picture sharing.
  • Smart Tag triggers, enhanced list of triggers.
  • Lock screen notifications, for all types of notification.
  • Browser enhancements; improved reader mode and faster access to history.
  • Will also run apps from Android (4.2.2) Jelly Bean.
  • Multiple Alarms are settable in the clock app.
  • Priority Hub, learns to summarise which messages are important to you.
  • Instant Preview & Reply, works whatever app you are in. (Toast notifications).
  • Free Task Manager/Device monitor app.
  • Easy "I will be late" meeting notifier.
  • Custom Easy SMS/BBM reply for ignored phone calls.
  • Support for web iCal calendars.
  • Improved text selection, word processing & editing in and between apps.
  • Keyboard sounds improved to differentiate "Shift", "Symbols" & "Backspace".
  • Free Evernote app.
  • Adaptive sharing feature, for quicker sharing of anything.
  • Enhanced audio experience, and audio codecs.
  • Android HW acceleration.
  • Attachment View, for finding things easily without opening mailboxes.
  • Dark/light theme toggle.

10.2.1.1925[49]/10.2.1.2141[50]/10.2.1.2179[51]/10.2.1.2228[52]/10.2.1.2674[53][edit]

Has been released on the BlackBerry Z30, Z10, Q10, Q5, Porsche Design P’9982 [54]
  • Customize Pinch Gesture to Filter BlackBerry Hub
  • Simplified Phone Experience
  • SMS and Email Groups
  • Actionable Lock Screen Notifications
  • Picture Password for Quick Unlocking
  • Customizable Quick Settings Menu
  • Offline Browser Reading Mode
  • Preferred Contact Sync
  • Torch Added
  • Device and Battery Monitor
  • FM Radio (not available for Z10)
  • Automatic Software Updates
  • Enterprise Features

Additionally, the Android runtime has been improved:[55]

  • Native code app and drivers support
  • Bluetooth API
  • embedded MapView v1 API
  • Share Framework
  • Spellcheck
  • Wi-Fi Scanning
  • Able to install Android packages (*.APK files) directly
Version Release date Features / Improvements

Branding controversy[edit]

The platform was originally called BBX but this was changed when BlackBerry was blocked from using the BBX trademark after legal action from BASIS International, who already uses it for their software.[56] The fix was simple. As "X" is the Roman numeral for "ten", the new platform was launched as BlackBerry 10.

Licensing[edit]

Former BlackBerry CEO, Thorsten Heins, before the BlackBerry 10 launch, said that BlackBerry would consider allowing other OEMs to use BlackBerry 10 under license.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BlackBerry 10 Re-designed Re-engineered and Re-invented - Press Releases
  2. ^ Molen, Brad. "Research in Motion announces BBX, 'combines the best of BlackBerry and QNX'". Engadget. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Poeter, Damon (18 October 2011). "RIM Unveils BBX, BlackBerry's Platform of the Future". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Sharp, Alastair (18 October 2011). "RIM aims to rebuild franchise on new BBX platform". Reuters. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Press Release: BlackBerry Introduces the New BlackBerry Z30 Smartphone with 5” Display and BlackBerry 10.2 OS | CrackBerry.com
  6. ^ 30 Ways QNX Touches Your Life
  7. ^ "RIM debuts BlackBerry PlayBook tablet". CTVnews.ca. 24 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 arrives, built-in e-mail and all". CNET.com. 21 February 2012. 
  9. ^ BlackBerry. "BlackBerry 10 handsets confirmed for January 30 launch". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  10. ^ Spoonauer, Mark (12 November 2012). "BlackBerry 10 launches Jan. 30 with two new phones". NBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will get BlackBerry 10 update". Ars Technica. 30 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Hands-on with BlackBerry 10 running on Dev Alpha B Hardware". crackberry.com. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "10 Weeks of Blackberry Ten: The Blackberry Hub". 
  14. ^ "RIM explains new fonts in BlackBerry 10 – hints at more language support". Berryreview.com. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ion, Florence (2013-02-06). "Review: BlackBerry 10 is better, much better, late than never". 
  16. ^ McCann, John (30 January 2013). "BlackBerry Hub, BBM and keyboard". TechRadar. p. 2. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  17. ^ Oliver, Dave (2013-02-11). "BlackBerry 10 OS review". 
  18. ^ "BlackBerry 10: A Compelling Introduction." PC Magazine Online 30 Jan. 2013. General OneFile. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.
  19. ^ "Blackberry 10 Features". Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  20. ^ BlackBerry Link - BlackBerry 10 Smartphone to Computer Sync - US
  21. ^ Transfer from iPhone & Android to BlackBerry 10 Smartphones - US
  22. ^ Anthony, Robert S. (2011-04-18). "RIM BlackBerry PlayBook: The First Apps". PCWorld. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  23. ^ BlackBerry Live 2013 Keynote Highlights and Announcements [VIDEO] | Inside BlackBerry
  24. ^ Snap for BlackBerry 10 offers quick Android APK downloads | CrackBerry.com
  25. ^ Droid Store - another app that allows you to download APK files to your BlackBerry smartphone | CrackBerry.com
  26. ^ Michaluk, Kevin. "Blackberry Jam Europe Live Blog". Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Meet the man who would make BlackBerry apps cool". Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  28. ^ "BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha Device – Announced from Thorsten Heins | BlackBerry Empire". Retrieved 14:35, 7 May 2012. 
  29. ^ "Hands-on with the BlackBerry Dev Alpha B, is it the L-Series in disguise? | The Verge". Retrieved 14:35, 25 Sept 2012. 
  30. ^ This is an A-B Conversation. Well, C Too. | BlackBerry Developer Blog
  31. ^ "Extending the Deadline for Built for BlackBerry". Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  32. ^ "BlackBerry, Rebuilt, Lives to Fight Another Day | The New York Times url=http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/technology/the-blackberry-refreshed-lives-to-fight-another-day.html?pagewanted=all". 
  33. ^ "BlackBerry Z10 Review: Not Good Enough | Gizmodo url=http://gizmodo.com/5984411/blackberry-z10-review-not-good-enough". 
  34. ^ 'THE ONLY REAL "ALTERNATIVE" TO 5 INCH ANDROID PHONES..' - BlackBerry Z30 user review and rating - CNET Reviews
  35. ^ Mixmag | BLACKBERRY Z30
  36. ^ a b BlackBerry Z10 Review | CrackBerry.com
  37. ^ Sweet Dreams! Bedside Mode now allowing you to sleep well and not miss calls thanks to latest BlackBerry 10 update | CrackBerry.com
  38. ^ BlackBerry 10 Review | CrackBerry.com
  39. ^ Developer Economics Q3 2013 analyst report - http://www.visionmobile.com/DevEcon3Q13 - Retrieved July 2013
  40. ^ Re: Just updated to OS 10.0.9.2372 - BlackBerry Support Community Forums
  41. ^ BlackBerry 10 software updated to 10.0.10.85: Top 5 Improvements | Inside BlackBerry
  42. ^ BlackBerry 10.1 Now Available for BlackBerry Z10 | Inside BlackBerry
  43. ^ Denninger, Karl (May 3, 2013). "Sneak Peek: BlackBerry 10.1 OS". The Market Ticker. Retrieved June 16, 2013. "First, password paste into system fields has been fixed. If you have a password "safe" reload that first and then the rest becomes easy, since you can now paste in your seutp information for Facebook, Twitter and such." 
  44. ^ Software version: BlackBerry Z10 | T-Mobile Support
  45. ^ Overview | BlackBerry® Z10 4G LTE | Phones & Devices | Support | TELUS Mobility
  46. ^ AT&T finally rolling out BlackBerry 10.1 update for the BlackBerry Z10 | CrackBerry.com
  47. ^ A New BlackBerry 10.1 Update Available Starting Today | Inside BlackBerry
  48. ^ How to Get BlackBerry 10.2 on BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 | Inside BlackBerry
  49. ^ Official announcement: BlackBerry 10.2.1 is here - Lets you do more, more easily
  50. ^ Vodafone now rolling out OS 10.2.1.2141
  51. ^ AT&T Rolling Out BlackBerry Z10 OS 10.2.1.2179
  52. ^ BlackBerry OS 10.2.1.2228 Now Available for All (Thx T-Mobile!)
  53. ^ Sprint finally rolls out BlackBerry 10.2.1
  54. ^ Important New BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 Update: Lets You Do More, More Easily | Inside BlackBerry
  55. ^ The Blackberry Runtime for Android Apps Just Got a Whole Lot Sweeter | Inside Blackberry Developer Blog
  56. ^ Lawler, Richard. "RIM loses BBX trademark battle, next OS is named BlackBerry 10". Engadget. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 

External links[edit]