BlackBerry OS 6.0 screenshots and features

Boy Genius Report has been granted some exclusive hands on-time with RIMs upcoming BlackBerry OS 6.0. One of their sources at AT&T was gracious enough to give them a sneak peek of the new platform, and according to them, it seems like a pretty significant update to the aging operating system. They could not reveal what device the new software was tested on, but they do provide some juicy details and a few screenshots (see gallery below).

BGR has also confirmed that BlackBerry OS 6.0 will be available sometime around June or July. It is also possible that RIM will announce the new OS at their WES event at the end of the month.

Here's what they have discovered about the OS:

  • Newly skinned WebKit browser with tab switching, new features, and multitouch
  • New media player where you browse art work with your finger
  • System-wide kinetic scrolling and rubberbanding
  • System-wide multitouch with pinch to zoom (present in photos as well)
  • More modern and clean look to inbox with larger thumbnails to identify source of message (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • RSS feeds built into inbox
  • Completely customizable homescreen with multiple pages (each page has sub-pages as well)
  • Long press to get a context sensitive menu (similar to Android)
  • Photo application is similar to that of the iPhone
  • "No fluidity when panning around photos"
  • Universal search
  • BGR's source says that there are many more changes that they did not see
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20 Comments

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Finally they're updating the appearance a bit. The Blackberry OS has always looked old and outdated to me. The hardware for the newest Blackberries is quite nice, but the outdated-looking OS is what's been dragging the Blackberry down as a whole.

Glad to see BB moving with the times, they might get a good platform out of this.

I got my Bold 9000 with OS 4.6 which I hated with passion.
Then I installed OS 5 (not supported by my carrier, I had to cheat to get it installed) and I can live with OS 5 it has a number of improvements, but if 6 can be more focused on ease of use and a better user experience while retaining the business edge, Blackberry might be on a winner.

I like how they didn't try to make it a little too iPhone-ish and tried to keep their personal touch. Alright granted, it takes some cues from the iPhone, but I still recognize the Blackberry feel to it. The best of luck to them.

I'm not buying a blackberry phone anymore. I can understand why is good for the business people, but for consumers it has nothing to offer, I hate it since I found that most apps do not work over Wifi when they need Internet connection including google sync and the Facebook app...

I agree about the wifi apps issue but i guess the idea is that you gotta have a BB data plan to get a Blackberry (in the USA anyways). You can't get one without the data but yes i agree. Facebook app changed to ONLY BB data after version 1.6.0.22 (or something like that). You can always download the older version to use if you don't have a BB data plan. Google sync should be able to be used over wifi however?

Hungarian Salami said,
I'm not buying a blackberry phone anymore. I can understand why is good for the business people, but for consumers it has nothing to offer, I hate it since I found that most apps do not work over Wifi when they need Internet connection including google sync and the Facebook app...

That is mostly because ther underlying *phone* is designed by default to use your provider's network *first*, even if WiFI is avialable for free (at home, for example). Unless this changes, few phones with built-in WiFi will be useful (the design flaw is deliberate, and far from unique to RIM's handsets). (Also, BlackBerries have always been first and foremost *business* phones (the big reason for the explosion in personal use is their low price compared to similar handsets from other companies, notably HTC, Motorola, or even Nokia, let alone Apple).

I'm guessing us Verizon Tour 9630 owners will be left out in the cold. It took us FOREVER to get OS 5.0 a few weeks ago, so I'm not going to hold my breath waiting.

TrOjAn. said,
The browser looks good

It's a WebKit based browser. It's arguably the fastest engine and the one that respects the web standards the most and that supports the most W3C stuff. It's being used by Safari Webkit is in fact developed by Apple - I think they bought it back then, they didn't invent it), Chrome, the iPhone, maybe Android and now Blackberry (and probably a few more). So yeah, it's pretty much becoming the standard for all browsers, and it makes every browser equal to the others, even on different platforms, which isn't a bad thing in that case.

PsykX said,

It's a WebKit based browser. It's arguably the fastest engine and the one that respects the web standards the most and that supports the most W3C stuff. It's being used by Safari Webkit is in fact developed by Apple - I think they bought it back then, they didn't invent it), Chrome, the iPhone, maybe Android and now Blackberry (and probably a few more). So yeah, it's pretty much becoming the standard for all browsers, and it makes every browser equal to the others, even on different platforms, which isn't a bad thing in that case.

Actually no Apple didn't buy webkit, they invented it. Based off the rendering engine from the Linux KDE project called KHTML. Used by Chrome, Safari, the BB browser, the Android browser, the "currently-in-beta" Steam client's browser uses it.

SharpGreen said,
Actually no Apple didn't buy webkit, they invented it. Based off the rendering engine from the Linux KDE project called KHTML.
Strange definition of "invent" you have there.

Aaaaanyway, there's better places to discuss the benefits of Webkit.

PsykX said,

It's a WebKit based browser. It's arguably the fastest engine and the one that respects the web standards the most and that supports the most W3C stuff. It's being used by Safari Webkit is in fact developed by Apple - I think they bought it back then, they didn't invent it), Chrome, the iPhone, maybe Android and now Blackberry (and probably a few more). So yeah, it's pretty much becoming the standard for all browsers, and it makes every browser equal to the others, even on different platforms, which isn't a bad thing in that case.

Webkit's market share is still tiny compare to the likes of the big players Gecko and Trident.