Photo: Kevin Smith/Business Insider
BlackBerry officially unveiled its brand new operating system called BlackBerry 10 this week. The OS will run on two new smartphones called the BlackBerry Z10 (a touchscreen-only phone) and the BlackBerry Q10 (a phone with a classic BlackBerry physical keyboard). The phones will launch in the U.S. in March (Z10) and April (Q10).
BlackBerry gave a bunch of industry analysts, tech pundits, and members of the press a Z10 to test out BlackBerry 10.
Want to see what it’s like? Check out the gallery below for a full tour of BlackBerry 10.
This is the lock screen. You can see updates such as new emails and Twitter notifications to the left.
If you swipe from the top of the screen down on the lock screen you can shut off notifications. This is great if you don't want to be disturbed.
If you swipe down from the top of the screen you get a handy menu of settings to control WiFi, Bluetooth, and your alarm.
Now for the cool part. BB10 has a new feature called BlackBerry Hub, which is a notifications centre that stores all your new emails, Twitter notifications, Facebook updates, etc. You can access the Hub by swiping from left to right.
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is incredible. It's way better than any other messaging platform out there including iMessage and GroupMe. Unfortunately, not many people use BBM nowadays.
This is what it looks like when you chat with BBM. You can also make video calls and share your screen via BBM.
You can invite new people to be your BBM friend by using the person's special PIN. Each BlackBerry user gets his or her own PIN.
Here's what it looks like when you have several apps running at once. You can tap to open again or tap the tiny X to close the app for good.
But despite some big titles like Angry Birds and New York Times, a lot of the apps are junk or rip offs of other popular apps on iPhone and Android.
The biggest rip off is an app called Tiny Bird, which is a blatant copy of the popular iPhone game Tiny Wings. Tiny Bird was one of the most popular apps when BB10 launched.
You can sync BB10 with most major services like Gmail, Google Calendar, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
BB10's web browser is very impressive. When you first launch, you see tiles of the pages you've recently visited. You can tap to go back to one or enter a new URL in the bar at the bottom.
There's a Dropbox app preinstalled on Z10, but it's actually made by BlackBerry, not Dropbox. It doesn't have all the cool Dropbox features like automatic camera uploads that the iPhone and Android versions have.
BB10 has an app called Story Maker that lets you stitch together photos and videos and make a short presentation.
It took a few tries to get the app to send a text message. You're better off performing tasks the old fashioned way.
We tried searching for a nearby lunch spot in New York. Instead, we got locations from all over the U.S. That's annoying.
You can get driving directions. Unfortunately, you can't get public transit directions like you can with Google Maps.
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