A sneak peek at BlackBerry 6 OS

The latest update to the BlackBerry platform adds some useful features like multitouch support and a new homescreen

Following yesterday's announcements of the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and the BlackBerry Pearl 3G, RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis gave WES 2010 attendees a quick preview of BlackBerry 6 operating system. With cleaner graphics, a Webkit browser and some new navigation features, the OS update will definitely please existing BlackBerry users when it launches next calendar quarter.

The real question is, however, whether it will be enough to recruit new users. With Android rapidly gaining in popularity and the launch of Windows Phone 7 devices at the end of this year, the BlackBerry platform may quickly become overshadowed.

Before we jump to any conclusions however, let's take a look at what's new in BlackBerry 6. The most important update is the inclusion of a Webkit browser. Webkit is the same technology behind Apple's Safari browser on the iPhone OS. The Android Web browser as well as the Symbian S60 browser are also built around Webkit. Another perk is multitouch within the browser and picture viewer. No word on whether multitouch will be supported within other parts of the interface.

The whole user interface gets a facelift with crisper icons and visuals, new graphics, animations and transitions. There's also a new homescreen with multiple views based on content type (all, favorite apps, downloads, media, etc.) as well as universal search.

And keeping with the trend of social network integration we've seen on other platforms, BlackBerry 6 will have a "social networking feeds" app that will combine status updates from Facebook and Twitter. You'll also be able to chat with your friends via a slew of different messaging services like Google Talk, BlackBerry Messenger and AIM within one seamless application.

A lot of RIM's success is dependent on whatever new hardware it cranks out. A new Bold and Pearl is just fine, but the inclusion of multitouch in the update suggests that new touchscreen devices are in the works. A Storm 3? Or something completely new? Personally, I'm hoping for the latter. It might be wishful thinking, but I'd really like to see RIM make a touch smartphone with a BlackBerry-quality physical QWERTY keyboard.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesRIM BlackBerry

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ginny Mies

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?