BB10 is unique
Rui Brites, RIM’s director of product management in Africa, stated that the BB10 experience will be a unique one. Amongst others, Brites highlighted the BB10 onscreen keyboard, which learns and adapts to the user’s input and typing style. Not only does the keyboard boasts gesture support, providing users with word suggestions above certain letters that they can flick onto their messages, but it also auto-populates the dictionary with the common words and phrases they utilise within messages, emails, IM conversations and on social networking sites.
Within our hands-on with the all-touch BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device we found that composing messages was very intuitive and quick, and at the very least, as good as the excellent typing experience available on the BlackBerry handsets
that sport physical QWERTY keyboards.
Current users may want to take note of the fact that their BlackBerry 7.1
running smartphones will not be upgradeable to BB10, since this OS makes use of enhanced hardware the likes of dual-core processors. However, RIM said that it will still be supporting BlackBerry 7 OS users with future firmware updates. To the point
In her keynote address, Alexandra Zagury, RIM’s newly appointed
managing director for South Africa and Southern Africa, alluded to the fact that RIM is going through some tough times
internationally. Zagury added that it is also an exciting time for the company as it gears up to release the first round of devices based upon BB10 during Q1 2013.
“It’s fantastic to see the level of excitement among developers for the BlackBerry 10 platform,” said Zagury. “Whether developers choose to develop HTML5 apps or native apps, our environment will enable them to use their best skills to quickly create apps with great user experiences.”
In South Africa, BlackBerry devices dominate the local smartphone scene, with data from market research firm GfK showing that BlackBerry has been the leading smartphone vendor in South Africa for over 20 months. For the second year in a row, RIM's BlackBerry brand managed to clean up at the recently held
The Sunday Times Generation Next 2012 Brand Survey Awards, scooping the Coolest Cell Phone Award, the Coolest Hi-Tech Gadget Award as well as the Coolest Brand Overall Award.
A lot rests on the shoulders of BB10, and many believe that the success or failure of the OS will determine the future of the company. For us, the BlackBerry 10 Jam tour showed that despite negative sentiment regarding BlackBerry, the company still has some life in it yet. Not only are we excited about the new platform, but we can’t wait to see the new devices which will be making use of its features.