So, we’ve talked a lot about Android last week due to Google’s I/O conference, but what about the other guys competing in this field? Research In Motion, the Canadian smartphone maker, is hard at work developing version 6.0 of the BlackBerry operating system, and if a video of a pre-release build is any indication, they’ve still got some work to do.
The video shows both new hardware as well as software. The BlackBerry 9800 is an upcoming slider device, similar to the Palm Pre, and in the video, it is shown running a pre-release build of BlackBerry OS 6.0.
I’ve never used (or even seen) a BlackBerry, so I’m not entirely sure just how far of a leap (if any) this pre-release really is, but if I compare it to my iPhone 3GS, I’m not particularly impressed. Sure, my iPhone is incapable of syncing (it ain’t syncing if it don’t go two ways, boys), but for the rest, it’s pretty much miles ahead of what I’m seeing here.
Animations are missing, the browser looks antiquated and unresponsive (especially the pinch-to-zoom is terrible), and some of the gestures look remarkably unintuitive (that sliding gesture in the blue bar). On top of that, that transparent icon thing appears to be doing unspeakable acts to icon recognisability.
Again, I can’t stress enough that this is a pre-release build, so we have to take that into account. Still, RIM is doing catch-up here on the software front, and has been losing market share to the iPhone and Android for a while now, so version 6.0 better be good.
I’ve not used Blackberry’s before and appreciate this is the just development build, but to me it looks like a carbon-copy of Android.
“Research In Motion, the US’ largest smartphone maker…”
I guess you mean Canada’s largest smartphone maker?
Edited 2010-05-24 21:14 UTC
The whole thing looked completely unresponsive. My friend has a Storm, and it does not have input lag like what that video showed. The photo app already supports pinch to zoom, and it tends to follow your fingers allot better.
And the transparent icon thing exists in current gen Blackberries as well, although they looked more transparent in the video.
Also, I noticed the video showed off a new discrete Youtube player. I wonder why. Youtube already works from the web browser.
Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t think I saw them show off any messaging apps (bbm, sms, email, etc). 5.0 started to bring sms to the bbm interface. It is like 90% there now. There are a few UI inconsistencies between the two that should be resolved. MSM and email still look old and ancient.
Also, why is the flash player green.
I’m sure if all three of you who want your data to be available to anyone who stumbles across your lost phone put in a feature request it’ll be considered with all the others. I’m similarly certain that the record and movie companies and even app developers would be delighted that you can give people copies of purchased products just by handing them your phone.
Of course you could always take responsibility for keeping your own backups. Oh wait, responsibility, never mind…