Details of Research in Motion’s upcoming Blackberry operating system have been leaked to gadget blog Boy Genius Report
Pictures have been leaked online of the upcoming BlackBerry 6.0 operating system, revealing multi-touch capabilities, tabbed browsing and a customisable home screen.
The new OS was demonstrated to gadget blog Boy Genius Report by a source at US mobile operator AT&T. The blog reports that Research in Motion (RIM) has implemented new multi-touch features such as kinetic scrolling and rubberbanding – allowing the user to bounce back to the start of a list once they have reached the bottom – as well as pinch-to-zoom capabilities.
A touchscreen market
The addition of new multi-touch features is an attempt by RIM to keep up with competitors Apple, HTC and Nokia, all of whom have been developing their touchscreen technology for some time. While RIM has experimented with multi-touch before, with its Blackberry Storm handsets, the company’s decision to use SurePress technology – requiring the user to press down on the screen rather than just touch it – was received badly by the critics.
Other features include a completely customisable homepage, allowing users to add their own applications and navigate by sliding to show different groups, tabbed browsing and a revamped email inbox. “We can’t describe this part… but the new inbox feels right,” writes Boy Genius Report. “It’s not all work and dry, and it’s not over the top with cheesy graphics or animations, rather a nice compromise of the two.”
The BlackBerry OS 6.0 comes with a new photos application, which stores images as tiled square photos that can be navigated in thumbnail view using a flicking gesture. It also has a revamped media player.
The future of BlackBerry devices
Boy Genius Report also managed to get its hands on the new BlackBerry 9670 – a clamshell device with full qwerty keyboard, and the first BlackBerry to contain a 5 megapixel camera. The 9670 also has a 360×480 internal display, a trackpad and runs on BlackBerry OS 6.0.
Last month a brand loyalty survey by market research firm Crowd Science revealed that owners of BlackBerry devices are not as loyal as users of Apple’s iPhone or Android-based devices. In a survey of 1,100 people, nearly 40 percent of BlackBerry users said they’d like to make the Apple iPhone their next smartphone purchase and, when asked if they’d swap their present phone for the Android-based Google Nexus One, 32 percent of BlackBerry users said yes, compared to 9 percent of iPhone users.