BlackBerry OS 6.0 Pre-release: RIM’s Got Work to Do

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.


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