BlackBerry 10: For the Data & Time Crunched
RIM CEO Thorston Heins, speaking at his first BlackBerry World conference after three, scrutiny-filled months on the job, told audience members that RIM plans to capitalize on its real value -- making BlackBerry owners, mostly enterprise users, more productive, competitive and agile. BlackBerrys are a time saver; they're data and battery efficient; and they're secure, he said. (See New RIM CEO: We Must Execute Better .)
"BlackBerry creates success and lets you take care of business, personal or professional, in a way that meets your need," Heins said. "That is the core of BlackBerry."
The RIM chief showed off the BlackBerry 10 prototype that every developer in the audience got as a party favor to begin building apps. But he made sure to note the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha smartphone is not the final hardware.
"We're taking the time to make sure we get this right," Heins said, adding that RIM took "the hard road." (See RIM Begins Uphill Climb, RIM Blames Chipsets for BlackBerry 10 Delay, OS Watch: How Will BB10 Save RIM? and RIP RIM: Will Foresight Be 20/20?)
Vivek Bhardwaj, RIM's head of software portfolio, showed off the new OS on the prototype, featuring the tile-based Cascades interface, in which all apps in use are constantly running in the background in real time. BlackBerry 10 is for people who don't have time to jump in and out of apps or keep hitting the back button, he explained.
"Everything flows -- it never stops," Bhardwaj said.
Along the time-saving theme, BlackBerry hopes to parlay its success with physical keyboards to the touch screen with a software keyboard designed for swiping with one-handed use and predictive text. The execs also showed off an advanced camera that can scroll back in time to capture the moment before its subject blinks.
Heins also showed off a connected car, noting that BlackBerry 10 is a platform, not just a smartphone OS. He didn't speak to availability dates or actual hardware, but said that BlackBerry 10 would be out this year and hinted that it would be optimized for Long Term Evolution (LTE). (See RIM Scrambles to Launch Better LTE Devices.)
"The whole company is laser-focused on delivering this on time," he said.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile