Research in Motion, the Canadian phone maker is planning an inspirational comeback after a tough year, resting its hopes on its new operating system (OS), the Blackberry 10. This proprietary, upcoming mobile OS that has been developed for the Blackberry line of smartphones and handheld tablet devices is based on QNX. QNX was an acquisition of RIM in April 2010 and is a platform that was originally called BBX which supports apps written in C or C++ and also HTML-5 based applications. The big question, however, is whether RIM is banking too much on Blackberry 10 OS to resurrect its future?
BlackBerry 10 OS - the refreshing:
A number of leaked images of the Blackberry 10 OS (BB 10 OS) reveal some interesting and very refreshing facets about it. One thing is certain that the OS will work with Torch 9680 and 9810. Speculation is the Blackberry will thus launch a new devices to accommodate the new OS. This OS seems to be a happy blend of the features and appearances of the iOS, the Windows phone and the Android. The home screen bears an uncanny resemblance to the Windows phone tiles. The icons for search and call are large and rectangular and one of the leaked images reveals numerous call options - speakers, add calls, video calls - which indicates that the BB 10 OS will feature face-to-face calls.
Another image of the second home screen shows icons that have dynamic properties. These graphics animate as per their natural functions. For instance, an envelope opens and closes to indicate unread mails. These icons have been arranged in a 4x5 grid that makes the BB 10 OS resemble the iOS very closely in looks and feel. The universal inbox feature is something that is the trademark of Android based handsets. It is clear that this OS attempts to get the best of the other three existing OSs.
BlackBerry 10 OS - the exciting:
The user interface (UI) screens are the most exciting development in the BB 10 OS. They are said to be based on Playbook OS but many changes will be present to enhance the overall smartphone experience. RIM has plans to bring in their own, special widgets in direct competition to the widgets of Android and tiles of the Windows Phone Live. This will be accompanied by exciting and new icons and artwork for the caller display screen, clock, folders and pictures. The universal inbox will be seen along with big names like Erica Josefsoon (member of the RIM's user-experience team) in the email app. RIM hopes to galvanize the popularity in its favor with these changes in the Blackberry UI.
BlackBerry 10 OS - the expected:
The juicy news is out that the new OS will have a virtual 3D keyboard which will be most likely built from TAT cascades. The specialty will be that this keyboard will mimic Blackberry's authentic physical keyboard. RIM plans to implement a vibration response when the keys are hit and it wants to call this as 'vibration feedback'. It remains to be seen as to how this is different from the haptic feedback though the 'vibratory' keyboard, and is sure to add to the user's experience.
The news about the utilization of TAT cascades in almost all the areas of the new operating system has really brought in dynamism and upped the ante in mobile space. The ultra-modern and awesome UI concept seems to promise great things and one is left drooling in anticipation of the Blackberry release. These TAT cascades will start the deeper integration into the OS and are definitely a part of the 'expectation bundle' of fans and customers.
Is BlackBerry 10 OS enough to save RIM:
The last few quarters have witnessed the constant plummeting of the RIM market share. comScore’s latest reports state that RIM owns only about 16 percent of the market share in the US when it comes to smartphones. In sharp contrast, its competitors, Google and Apple, have seen a steady and strong rise in the same US markets. For instance, Halliburton, based in Texas, has opted out of Blackberrys and has embraced iPhones for all its employees. In such a scenario, one would expect Blackberry to make multiple bold moves. The release of the BB 10 OS is one such step but it may not be sufficient to stem the rot in its market share. RIM, however, has placed all its bets on the OS and has kept its fingers crossed.