New BlackBerry OS 6 Features Leaked
As other smartphone operating systems such as iPhone and Android gain new features and apps, BlackBerry users eagerly await the next version of the BlackBerry operating system that will improve the system for non-business users. A few leaked images of BlackBerry OS 6.0 are giving a sneak peek at some of the changes coming to new BlackBerry phones.
The Boy Genius Report was able to get the images and a test drive of BlackBerry OS 6 from a source at AT&T. Most of the changes involve interface tweaks that make navigation faster. OS 6 adds kinetic scrolling and "rubberbanding" to menus, making the navigation more intuitive and easier to scroll.
BGR also got a good look at the updates to the new Blackberry OS Web browser, which includes tabbed browsing, a feature appear in many mobile browsers lately. The Tab Switcher screen allows users to transition from one open Web page to another quickly. The browser supports multitouch gestures and the media player has been overhauled, making it easier to navigate music and videos.
Small changes to the message inbox will benefit business and non-business users alike. Each message gets a larger thumbnail image next to it that identifies where it came from (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). The inbox can even support RSS feeds.
Perhaps the most noticeable changes to BlackBerry OS 6 is the home screen. Much like home screens seen in other app-centric phones, the BlackBerry home screen will now be customizable with pages of icons. Sliding left or right brings up different pages of icons that can be grouped as the user likes.
Touchscreen BlackBerry phones, which are currently the minority for manufacturer RIM, will also get popup menus. Tapping and holding the screen will cause a menu to pop up based on the commands the user might need for the current application or screen. For example, tapping on a message brings up options to send, save and more.
Additional touchscreen functionality indicates that BlackBerry will continue to put out several touchscreen devices, even though the company is a big advocate of physical keyboards and trackpad navigation.
There are no details about BlackBerry OS 6 availability. BGR sources point to a June or July release on new devices.