BlackBerry 10

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BlackBerry 10
Blackberry Logo.svg
Blackberry Hub being 'peeked' at from Blackberry World on a Blackberry Z10.png
BlackBerry Hub being viewed on a BlackBerry Z10
Developer BlackBerry Limited
Written in C, C++, Qt
OS family Unix-like, QNX
Working state Current
Source model Closed source
Initial release January 30, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-01-30)[1]
Latest release 10.3.2.2876 / January 12, 2016; 7 months ago (2016-01-12)
Available in Multilingual
Update method Carrier dependent
Platforms ARM
Kernel type Real-time microkernel
Default user interface Graphical
License Proprietary
Preceded by BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry Tablet OS
Official website us.blackberry.com/software/smartphones/blackberry-10-os.html

BlackBerry 10 is a proprietary mobile operating system for the BlackBerry line of smartphones, both developed by BlackBerry Limited (formerly Research In Motion). BlackBerry 10 is based on QNX, a Unix-like operating system that was originally developed by QNX Software Systems until the company was acquired by BlackBerry in April 2010.[2] As a result of the acquisition, BlackBerry released BlackBerry Tablet OS for the BlackBerry PlayBook, large parts of which were subsumed by BlackBerry 10.

It supports the application framework Qt (version 4.8) and features an Android runtime to run Android applications. Prior to version 10.3.1, BlackBerry 10 also supported the Adobe AIR runtime.[3] The user interface uses a combination of gestures and touch-based interactions for navigation and control, making it possible to control a device without having to press any physical buttons, with the exception of the power button that switches the device on or off. It also supports hardware keyboards, including ones which support touch input.

On October 26, 2015, BlackBerry announced that there are no plans to release new APIs and software development kits (SDKs) or adopt Qt version 5. Future updates, like versions 10.3.3 and 10.3.4 which are scheduled to be released in 2016, would focus on security and privacy enhancements only.[4][5] One of the most recent BlackBerry models using BlackBerry 10 was the Classic, released in December 2014 and discontinued in early July 2016 leaving only the BlackBerry Leap and BlackBerry Passport with this OS. The new BlackBerry Priv and BlackBerry DTEK50 use the Android operating system, but BlackBerry COO Marty Beard told Bloomberg that "The company’s never said that we would not build another BB10 device."[6]

History[edit]

The operating system 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 used it for their software.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] The company also announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet would receive an update to BlackBerry 10 later in 2013.[10] 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.

On June 18, 2014, BlackBerry announced an official relationship with Amazon.com, which resulted in the 10.3 update bundling the Amazon Appstore.

Features[edit]

Controls[edit]

The touchscreen is the predominant input method of BlackBerry 10, in addition to hardware keyboard for devices that have one. Users can use gestures and keyboard shortcuts to navigate around the system. For instance, a user can unlock the device or return to the home screen by swiping from the bottom to the top. Some gestures offer additional modes of interaction when they are used differently. For instance, the same gesture can be used to show unread notifications when the user swipes from the bottom edge to somewhat the middle and slightly to the right and also keep the finger on the touchscreen. Similarly, when the finger is moved from the bottom to the right in a curved motion, the user can enter BlackBerry Hub immediately.[11] Devices with a hardware keyboard can use keyboard shortcuts to reach applications or perform specific functions more quickly.

Multitasking[edit]

When a user returns to the home screen from within an application, the application is minimized into a so-called "Active Frame". An Active Frame is a miniaturized window of the application which keeps running in the background. A user can return to such an application by tapping on the Active Frame or close it by tapping on the X icon. Active Frames can have widget-like functionality and show small bits of information, similar to widgets on Android. For instance, the calendar application can show upcoming events and meetings. BlackBerry 10 limits the number of active applications and it varies per device.

BlackBerry Hub[edit]

BlackBerry 10 collates emails, SMS/MMS, calls and notifications into the BlackBerry Hub. It shows all messages and notifications in a continuous list, sorted by date. The user can filter results by application or, in the case of email, also by inbox. The user can create, view or act upon messages or notifications directly from the Hub. For instance, when the user opens a Facebook message, the Hub will open a small part of the Facebook application and allow the user to perform the same actions as the Facebook application itself. Applications need to support the Hub specifically to use most of these features, which is only possible for applications written with the native SDK. Notifications from unsupported applications are collated in the generic notifications tab.

Miscellaneous[edit]

Other notable features of BlackBerry 10 include:

  • A virtual keyboard with support for predictive typing and several gestures.[12][13]
  • Voice control and BlackBerry Assistant (10.3.1 and later), an intelligent personal assistant, with which the user can perform various tasks by voice input or typed queries.
  • BlackBerry Balance, with which the user can separate personal from work data, if enabled by the device's enterprise server. The user can switch between two workspaces, each with their own applications, files and accounts.
  • BlackBerry Link, with which the user can synchronize data between the device and a computer, update the device or make backups. It supports iTunes and Windows Media Player.

Applications[edit]

Preloaded[edit]

BlackBerry 10 has a number of applications that help users perform various tasks and activities. These include a web browser, Documents to Go (for Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel files), Story Maker (video and music stitching app), as well applications for notes, reminders, calculator, clock, music, media, weather and file management. Cloud services like Box and Dropbox are also integrated by default. In addition, BlackBerry's messaging service BlackBerry Messenger is included, which supports video chat, VoIP and screen sharing.

Third-party applications[edit]

BlackBerry 10 can run applications that were written with its native SDK, Android applications compiled for API levels 10–18[14] (support varies per version) and applications written for Adobe AIR (only supported until version 10.3.1). BlackBerry 10 provides the distribution platform BlackBerry World as well as the Amazon Appstore (on version 10.3.0 and later).[15] Since version 10.2.1, Android application packages can be installed directly, whereas on previous versions Android applications could only be installed through BlackBerry World or by sideloading, which required packaging such applications into a native package format (BAR).[16]

At release in January 2013, BlackBerry 10 had 70,000 third-party applications.[16] At the 2013 BlackBerry Live conference, BlackBerry announced that they had more than 120,000 applications.[17]

Some developers have offered applications to access the Google Play Store, although this is not sanctioned by BlackBerry or Google. Applications which depend on the Google Play Services framework may not run. Similarly, Android applications which require a newer API level than 18 cannot run on BlackBerry 10.[14]

Devices[edit]

BlackBerry 10 supports the following BlackBerry smartphones, all of which can run the latest version.

Device Characteristics Release date Minimum OS
Z10 Touchscreen January 2013 10.0
Q10 Touchscreen and hardware keyboard
Q5 May 2013 10.1
Z30 Touchscreen October 2013 10.2
P'9982 December 2013
Z3 February 2014 10.2.1
P'9983 Touchscreen and hardware keyboard September 2014 10.3.0
Passport October 2014
Classic Touchscreen, hardware keyboard and dedicated buttons December 2014 10.3.1
Leap Touchscreen April 2015

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 active 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.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20]

A third developer device, the Dev Alpha C,[21] 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.[22]

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.”[23] 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.".[24] Wagner's review was based on the BB 10.0 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 addressed.[25][26]

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...".[27] 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[28]).[27][29] 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."[citation needed]

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.[30] Within a few months from its launch, the BlackBerry 10 platform was used by approximately 15% of mobile developers.[citation needed]

BlackBerry 10 added a compatibility layer for Android software, which allowed developers to repackage their Android apps for distribution on BlackBerry World, however this advertised feature has received a poor reception as the Android apps "performed abysmally on the phone. Sluggish, ugly, and disconnected from the core OS. In fact, because these apps are being run in a software emulation of Android — Gingerbread no less (that's version 2.3) — they bear little to no relationship to the rest of the operating system".[31] Later versions added the ability for users to manually install Android app packages. Beginning with the BlackBerry Passport, Amazon Appstore was bundled with BlackBerry 10 to provide an additional source of third-party Android software.[15][16][32] BlackBerry CEO John S. Chen hoped that Amazon's own smartphone, the Fire Phone, would bolster the adoption of the Amazon store and attract more major developers to it, and in turn, BlackBerry's ecosystem. However, the Fire Phone was a commercial failure, which led to BlackBerry's decision to develop an Android phone of its own, resulting in the BlackBerry Priv.[33]

Version history[edit]

Obsolete Current Beta Future release

BlackBerry 10.0[edit]

BlackBerry 10.1[edit]

BlackBerry 10.2[edit]

BlackBerry 10.3[edit]

Table of versions: BlackBerry OS 10.3
Version Release date Features / Improvements

10.3.0.1052[56]

/10.3.0.1154[57]

/10.3.0.1418[58]

Has been preinstalled on the BlackBerry Passport and Porsche Design P’9983/Has been released on the BlackBerry Passport
  • Flat Design UI
  • Permanent Homescreen (detachable)
  • Android 4.3 runtime with multicore support (however Android apps are limited to two cores even on quad-core devices like the Blackberry Passport)[59]
  • Advanced Interactions
  • Support for BlackBerry Blend
  • BlackBerry Assistant
  • Amazon Appstore preloaded

10.3.1.1154[60]

/10.3.1.2072[61]

/10.3.1.2243[62]

/10.3.1.2558[63]

/10.3.1.2576[64]

/10.3.1.2708[65]

Has been preinstalled on the BlackBerry Classic/Has been released on the BlackBerry Classic/Has been released on all existing BlackBerry 10 Smartphones
  • Customizable notification profiles
  • Integrated LED color manager
  • Battery Saving Mode
  • Option to hide pictures and videos
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts
  • Android runtime screen scaling
  • 10.3.1.2576 fixes the screen flickering problem that appeared on the Blackberry Passport

10.3.2.680[66]

/10.3.2.858

/10.3.2.2339[67]

/10.3.2.2639

/10.3.2.2876[68]

Has been released on various BlackBerry 10 smartphones by various carriers in Northern America/Has been released on all existing BlackBerry 10 smartphones by various carriers in the rest of the world
  • Anti-theft protection in BlackBerry Protect
  • Camera enhancements
  • Calendar enhancements
  • Amazon Store app preinstalled
  • PGP and S/MIME no longer require BES
  • 10.3.2.2876 removes BBM Meetings
Version Release date Features / Improvements

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BlackBerry 10: Re-designed, Re-engineered, and Re-invented". BlackBerry Limited. January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Research In Motion to Acquire QNX Software Unit from Harman International". BlackBerry Limited. April 9, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ "End of Support Notice". BlackBerry Developer. April 15, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2016. 
  4. ^ "An update for BlackBerry® 10 Developers". BlackBerry Developer Blog. October 26, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2016. 
  5. ^ Chen, John (January 8, 2016). "Showing Our Commitment to BlackBerry 10 at CES 2016". Inside BlackBerry. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  6. ^ Lee, Tyler. "BlackBerry Not Ruling Out Future BB10 Smartphones". Ubergizmo. Ubergizmo. Retrieved July 27, 2016. However with the rumors suggesting multiple Android devices in the works, we have to wonder where they will find the time to launch BB10 devices. 
  7. ^ Lawler, Richard. "RIM loses BBX trademark battle, next OS is named BlackBerry 10". Engadget. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  8. ^ BlackBerry. "BlackBerry 10 handsets confirmed for January 30 launch". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  9. ^ Spoonauer, Mark (12 November 2012). "BlackBerry 10 launches Jan. 30 with two new phones". NBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will get BlackBerry 10 update". Ars Technica. 30 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Ion, Florence (2013-02-06). "Review: BlackBerry 10 is better, much better, late than never". 
  12. ^ McCann, John (30 January 2013). "BlackBerry Hub, BBM and keyboard". TechRadar. p. 2. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "BlackBerry 10: A Compelling Introduction." PC Magazine Online 30 Jan. 2013. General OneFile. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.
  14. ^ a b "App features". BlackBerry Developer. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b Kastrenakes, Jacob (June 18, 2014). "BlackBerry will bring thousands of apps from Amazon's store to its phones". The Verge. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c Segan, Sascha (January 31, 2013). "How BlackBerry 10 Runs 28,000 Android Apps Without a Back Button". PC Magazine. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Halliwell, Donny (May 14, 2013). "BlackBerry Live 2013 Keynote Highlights and Announcements [VIDEO]". Inside BlackBerry. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
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  21. ^ "This is an A-B Conversation. Well, C Too.". blackberry.com. 
  22. ^ "Extending the Deadline for Built for BlackBerry". Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
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  26. ^ "Mixmag - BLACKBERRY Z30". mixmag.net. 
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  28. ^ "Sweet Dreams! Bedside Mode now allowing you to sleep well and not miss calls thanks to latest BlackBerry 10 update". 
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  30. ^ Developer Economics Q3 2013 analyst report - http://www.visionmobile.com/DevEcon3Q13 - Retrieved July 2013
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  33. ^ "BlackBerry bets on Android's apps to buoy new Priv". The Globe & Mail. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  34. ^ "Re: Just updated to OS 10.0.9.2372". blackberry.com. 
  35. ^ "BlackBerry 10 software updated to 10.0.10.85: Top 5 Improvements". blackberry.com. 
  36. ^ "BlackBerry 10.1 Now Available for BlackBerry Z10". blackberry.com. 
  37. ^ 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. 
  38. ^ "Software version: BlackBerry Z10". t-mobile.com. 
  39. ^ "Select your region - Telus.com". telus.com. 
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  43. ^ "Official announcement: BlackBerry 10.2.1 is here - Lets you do more, more easily". 
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  56. ^ "BlackBerry Passport Review". 
  57. ^ Bilaal Saghir. "Official OS 10.3.0.1154 for the BlackBerry Passport is now available via Indosat". BlackBerry Empire. 
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  61. ^ JT Teran. "BlackBerry OS 10.3.1.2072 Rolling out for Rogers' Classic - N4BB". N4BB. 
  62. ^ Lucas Atkins. "BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 Officially Launched!". N4BB. 
  63. ^ ["BlackBerry OS 10.3.1.2558 update files now available for download". CrackBerry.com. 
  64. ^ Lucas Atkins. "BlackBerry OS 10.3.1.2576 Live Links". N4BB. 
  65. ^ "BlackBerry OS 10.3.1.2708 now available through several Canadian carriers". CrackBerry.com. 
  66. ^ "10.3.2.440 being pushed to devices". 
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External links[edit]