We’re mere hours away from the launch of Research in Motion’s BB10 operating system, an OS that has been the subject of many leaks, rumors, highs, and lows since it was first spotted in the pipeline more than a year ago and went through a number of delays. We know a lot of what to expect, so it’s going to be quite interesting to see what the company has managed to keep under wraps and from leaking out to the public view.
We’ve decided to take a look back at some of the things we know about the new OS, and provide links to previous articles and information we’ve obtained regarding BlackBerry 10 and even some of the applications that will be available.
The first BlackBerry 10 device will feature a touch screen rather than a QWERTY keyboard
The first BB10 device will be the full-touch BlackBerry Z10, and not a physical keyboard BlackBerry device that most BlackBerry fans are used to. We heard of both devices earlier in 2012 and we were able to be the first publication to confirm one of the first BB10 apps, Truphone’s VoIP App would be available at the BB10 launch. A native Facebook app will also be available at launch.
Speaking of apps, RIM is looking to have more than 70,000 QNX apps at launch according to a user manual leaked on the internet awhile ago, and is offering developers a $10,000 guarantee for approved apps that make less than that amount in the first year.
Despite the lack of a hardware keyboard, the BB10 touch screen keyboard seems to be very user friendly at first glance, though it will be impossible to tell until we get some hands-on time with it. The keyboard will learn and adapt to the things you type similar to apps on other devices such as Adaptxt.
A “timeline lens” that allows you to capture moments easier through an image cache and Instagram-esk photo filtering will also be a part of BlackBerry 10, along with some intuitive voice recognition technology, which is currently present in beta form in the Dev Alpha device. New multi-tasking features are also present which are said to be smoother than those of iOS and Android.
The BlackBerry 10 home screen was first revealed by RIM way back on May 15, showing off a new app grid that bears a small resemblance to Android with widgets on the home screen. The screen will show currently-running programs; a swipe to the left will bring up the unified inbox while a swipe to the right will bring up the app launcher.
RIM first unveiled the official screen resolutions for BB10 devices back in August. The very first device will have a 1280 x 768 screen like the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. However, subsequent phones will differ. Full touchscreen devices will have a 1280 x 720 (720p) resolution, and portrait screen devices with the traditional QWERTY keyboard will have a 720 x 720 screen.
As for device release dates, we learned back in November that Research in Motion plans to release the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones in February. There has also been word that Waterloo is planning “at least” six BlackBerry 10 devices this year. Undoubtedly, we’ll learn more when the OS officially launches later today, and we’ll be reporting the news as soon as we get it.