Hands-on with BlackBerry 10 keyboard and homescreen (video)

Daniel Bader

June 23, 2012 11:14am


We had a chance to sit down today with Gary Klassen of RIM — he’s the guy who invented BBM, by the way — to take a look at the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. This is not the final product, and RIM was very careful not to show off anything you haven’t already seen before, either at BlackBerry World or at another BlackBerry 10 Jam Session, but we were excited nonetheless.

First, the Dev Alpha device really does look every bit a shrunken down PlayBook in person. The screen is sharp — really, really sharp — with great colour saturation and viewing angles. Sure, this doesn’t mean anything from a real-world perspective as the device will never come to market in its current form, but it was exciting to see nonetheless.

And BlackBerry 10 was just as smooth as we’d seen on video. We had a chance to play with the keyboard and it’s a great concept, swiping up to complete the next predicted word. At this point there is no functioning autocorrect system or anything resembling a cut-copy-paste system, but we’re not worried; RIM brought that functionality wonderfully to PlayBook OS 2.0 and they’ll do the same for BlackBerry 10 devices.

We also saw the transitions between apps, notifications and the home screen, and it proved in person to be as dramatically intuitive as we saw on May 1st. That’s not to say we don’t have any lingering questions — we have tons — but we’re impressed with what we saw.

Check after the break for a demo of the Dev Alpha device running an early build of BlackBerry 10.

  • astudent

    Huh. That is actually an innovative keyboard HOWEVER I’ve grown accustomed to my keyboards (wp7, iOS and android…yes it is in the order of preference) that I just type faster without using predictive text and its good spelling practice :). So PERSONALLY, I’ll pass but it is a good effort by RIM.

    • BB 10 QUESTION SEEKER

      WHEN? WHEN? WHEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      IS THERE A FIRM DATE RIM? DOES BB 10 EVEN EXIST? WE HAVE A BETTER CHANCE SEEING THE LOCH NESS MONSTER FIRST THAN SEEING BB 10’S OFFICIAL DATE

    • RIP RIM

      …and in other exciting news, Galaxy S3 comes out very soon (if not already), iPhone5 will be launching in a few months, and Windows 8 will be out in Fall.

      RIP RIM.

    • WhenCanIBuyOne

      1-“10 Dev Alpha device” in July 2012 ans still Alpa? LOL!!

      2-@Daniel Bader, you were there and didn’t ask “When can you go to the store to buy one?”

      3-Why wouldn’t you ask “WHEN are you releasing it”?; “Android, iOS and Wait (W8) are coming in Sept- Oct; do you think you can compete with iphone 5?”

    • Erin McClure Runs like mad

      All they have completed is a home screen and keyboard?????

      BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

      Hey Alec!! You lose bud! You lose!

      RIM = RIP

      Burrrrp!

    • Theywillbeupityinnature

      One big question i have: those live tile rip-offs they have on the homescreen, are there only 4 (weather, calender, music, pictures)?

  • Bruno

    looks like an address book from the nineties!

    • WhenCanIBuyOne

      RIM-Rolodex! -RIMolodex??
      -Maybe, but it will have NO keyboard (innovation)
      and will “Leapfrog the competition”!

      Geroge Romero is releasing a new movie, its called;
      “Dawn of the RIM” Attack of the RIM; What do you call poeple that die and then attack you to eat your brains?- RIM

      Did you hear the RIM attacks recently in Miami??

  • Smoke and Mirrors

    Usless. This isn’t even RIM’s technology. They licensed the keyboard from another company. When will you be innovative RIM? Oh ya..forgot. You’re dead.

    RIP RIM

  • Dan

    The keyboard looks alright, but I’m so attached to Swiftkey 3 on Android I can’t imagine using anything else for a long while. I can even press just the spacebar sometimes and it will write the message for me…

    Watching the video, he seems to be a bit dodgy on Daniel’s questions and just returning to the same thing over and over which is a bit puzzling and disappointing. I hope this isn’t an indication on how little progress there has been made.

    I hope RIM can make a comeback, but I doubt it will make me switch from Android. They really need to marry the BB10 software with exciting, top of the line hardware.

  • Mango

    Why are they still in the Alpha stage? …. should be beta by now, if they want a fall launch. Come on RIM .. don’t let me down!

    • Todd

      This is a DEValpha device specifically for developers. Not an alpha device, as in pre-production. The final BB10 hardware is now complete and ready for production.

    • Mango

      Thanks for the clarification Todd

  • Sandusky

    RIP RIM

  • Dave

    This is so sad to watch.

    “Watch me type into a blank screen. Look, I can also go back and forth between the four screens that actually work.”

    My prediction: no BB10 this year. Or, if it does release, it will be woefully incomplete, like PlayBook was.

  • FLAWS AND MORE FLAWS

    If BB 10 ever launches – it will be a complete SH!T show, guaranteed. First software release it will be FILLED with bugs. Stick with iOS or Android.

    BB10 won’t even have BBM! LOL

    • Todd

      BB10 will not be like a 1.0 release since the OS already exists on the PlayBook. It will be launched this year. It will not be late. It will be awesome! iOS and Android do not compare with the QNX RTOS powerhouse.

  • JerryS

    RIM?

  • Gerhardt

    I’m sorry, but my iPhone3GS is 100000000 times better than this copy-cat garbage RIM is showing.

    • InfinitiGuy

      Don’t be sorry for your Sheep’ish choice of platform.

  • marion

    Daniel from MobileSyrup is painfully boring

    • bummy

      Its not Daniel that’s boring… Its the RIM demo guy who keeps repeating the practiced sales pitch rather than answer the tech questions straight on.

  • Me

    wow, that was the most confusing and repetitive demo ever. I’m just glad the demo didnt last 30 mins, or my mind would barf from seeing the guy flipping back and fourth between the 4 pages!!

  • J

    5 minutes of this video was the guy playing with the e-mail app… :P

  • Doug

    Time frozen at 13:37… haha. Well played Rim.

    Looks neat. Cant wait until these concepts are used in Android devices.

  • Sean

    Very cool but I can Swype(keyboard app) faster than that using my GNex.

  • fanberry10

    I don’t think RIM is going anywhere, here’s why… an excerpt from the Ottawa Citizen article “Ottawa appears spared in RIM job cuts”— The capital appears to have escaped the latest round of jobs cuts at Research In Motion Ltd. While the Waterloo, Ont.-based company wouldn’t spell out exactly where cuts will be made, a spokeswoman confirmed that RIM plans to move ahead with its construction plans for a new 172,750-square-foot building at 5050 Innovation Dr. in Kanata. The building is in addition to a recently completed facility at 4000 Innovation Dr. The company owns more than 16 acres of land in the area. It also recently moved its QNX Software Systems Inc. subsidiary into nearby 1001 Farrar Rd., a 150,000-square-foot building formerly occupied by Dell Inc.
    RIM wouldn’t comment on the number of employees it has in Ottawa, but recent estimates put the number as high as 1,600. As well, it appears to be continuing to hire in the capital. RIM had 32 Ottawa job openings on its website Wednesday, while QNX listed another 33…..looking forward to seeing BB10 this fall!!

  • Frank

    this keyboard is a clone of swift key only changed around a bit…..and the rest looks like windows….sorry nothing for me here. Rim is dead.

  • typo101

    im not impressed a single bit really…

    i think its then end for RIM it will probably wont catch up competition as wp8 is coming out android 4.1 and iphone 5 its just better to give up RIM

  • Heather

    no RIM. just No. Please stop.

  • Biggie

    looks boring, stale, and mundane.

    ANDROID WILL EAT THIS ALIVE

    • G -man

      The sad part is that you actually like android…thats like enjoying cancer, or wanting to have a home invasion, or being in favour of criminal negligence…
      But now I know where to go for a little identity theft, some extra cash…who’s holding your wallet?
      Oh! I’m sorry – you can’t reply…you’re battery’s dead!

  • aRNIE

    sorry rim but you’re dead.

    rip.

  • TREND ANALYZER

    different boat, same water…

    Palm – DEAD
    Nokia – Life support, almost dead
    HP – DEAD
    RIM – DEAD

  • RIM is dead

    come, let us prance and urinate on their skull

  • Sinking Ship

    I feel bad for RIM employees. The ship is sinking but yet they continue to drink the kool-aid.

    HEYYY KOOL-AID!

  • Marco Riding

    I want RIM to succeed but I’m doubtful they will. This product seems to be so far from final. A few observations:

    – Time stuck at 13:37
    – He always slides across Lisa Swansons name to go back to home screen.

    Those two points make me believe this is simply an “app” disguised as an OS front. They got a loooong way to go :(

    • G -man

      Good god, Marco!
      You are so clever!!
      It is an app! Duh!
      It is a sample. Do you know what a sample is?
      Didn’t think so.
      Pearls Before Swine…
      Whenever I find myself reading really stupid, inane comments,
      I know I’m on Mobile Syrup.
      They write good articles,you come along to talk about the merits of your own excrement.
      Entertaining
      But not edifying.
      Thanks for coming out…
      It saves me having to go to the freak show.

    • Marco Riding

      Hey G -man,

      I made a few clear observations and stated my thoughts on the demo.Thanks for adding valuable points to the discussion. All forums need people like you.

      Cheers

  • Aubrey

    apple must be laughing.

    • KingK

      Why? They have nothing better just stupid people buying their products.

      Most of you i****s bought blackberries for a long time. Most Canadians still do.

    • josh

      apple sucks

  • JJ WATT

    even if bb 10 comes out 3 months early i still wouldn’t buy it. rim is garbage.

  • EvanKr

    Not a huge fan of the interface, but the concept looks okay.

  • B2BB

    Show us some apps other than email and PDF and I will be happy to upgrade my lousy BB7 device. LogMeIn, Skype or even BBM with Video versus Google Talk / Face Crime. Email is by far the best on a bb but we need some good apps.

  • J

    Isn’t the release date in 2013??

  • AG

    Not re-assuring at all. The whole demo is smoke and mirrors. Same few screens, fake status bar. If this is all they have to show then they are very far from a final polished product. Doesn’t look good for RIM

    • Dean

      Just wait until you see the final product, then post your opinion. Any opinion now is meaningless.

  • Dean

    The device is for developers to test their apps not a demo of BB10. Why can’t some of you understand this?
    BB10 will be demonstrated when RIM wants to, what’s the benefit? An early demonstration will all but kill BB7 sales.

    • WhenCanIBuyOne

      If BB10 is QNX and in the Playbook?: why cna’t they release it now??
      If it is, the reviews have been lukewarm at best and STILL NO BBM!!
      If BB10 is ready soon it will kill sales
      If BB10 is not ready soon, it will kill sales
      If BB10 is released in October iphone 5 will Kill it!
      If is released in November Wait (W8) will kill it
      If BB10 is released in September (it won’t) they would announce it to keep the stock afloat.
      If they wanted to make real chenges they would fire Lazaridis (June 2012 and the guys is still in the board of Directors telling Heins what to do)
      If they wanted a change they would have fired 3,000-6,000 people, alll that press about reducing the headcount and they fired 3 guys last week??
      At this point even the press doesnt believe anything they say.
      RIMM stock at $9.85, wait for next week it will drop to $8.90 the July 10th (Shareholders meeting) and if RIMM still exists in one piece it will end up July in the high $7.
      At this point nobody will buy it (why buy it at $7 when you can wait and get it for $6 , or wait another month and get it for $5 or…..)
      RIP, RIM, the end.
      Do you see the pattern?

    • Dave

      And yet, here they are demoing it trying to pretend it’s a real, working system, and not a few dummy screens thrown together to show off their pretty transitions.

      Daniel, you should have asked him touch one of those notifications he kept showing. Does anyone here really think anything would have happened?

    • George K

      @dave

      I think something would have happened. It would likely have been the QNX equivalent of a BSOD.

  • mobilesyrupFanboy

    These comments are very amusing. I love how the same few people bash RIM in every post on mobilesyrup. Get these kids outta here

  • aregularonhofo

    Why can’t intelligent people realize all this should have been done 2-3 years ago, they continued to sell obsolete junk using customers without making any viable changes or caring about innovation…now they are trying to desperately catch up with hype and basic features that Windows/Android/iOS will kill. RIM had their chance and acted like spoiled kids, at best survival will mean not being sold and remaining in the market at the bottom…maybe being bought out would be logical or going with Windows/Android. This to me just seems like the Symbian issue and their attempt to build a new OS this late will fail.

  • ghott

    Rip rim

  • 2dfx

    50 comments and about 40 of them are trolls identified with the “Hidden due to low comment rating”.

    It is funny though, as we proceed further and further towards the device launch, you trolls are increasing in numbers.

    But seriously, get lost. You all contribute nothing to the discussion.

  • Uranus

    i am not buying.

  • esfasjkdh

    i don’t really see the market for blackberries anymore.

    Android: top of the line hardware, great software, customizations. great dev community.

    iOS: trendy. simple to use and largest app ecosystem.

    BB10: nothing vastly improved over what current Android, iOS, and WP7 phones offer. is it really enough for people to switch over from their large app investments in their respective platforms? is it enough to get first time buyers to choose this over the iconic iPhone, or the powerful Androids? Especially when there’s such a small app selection compared to Play and Appstore…

    Don’t get me wrong, I welcome more competition, but i don’t know if this is enough for RIM. It’s a tough sell even now, but by Fall, who know what could happen.

    Microsoft Surface, even with its small app ecosystem, can seriously take a bite out of the iPad. It’s a different take on tablets, and has seamless connection through all Windows devices. The product gets people excited, as you can see by the millions of views the commercial got. With BB10, i’m not feeling the excitement and temptation that i felt while watching gs3 and surface videos..

    • jonno

      You’re forgetting, BB10 (QNX) is far more secure than any of the items you previously mentioned right out of the box. Windows Phone 8 is probably the first OS coming to market to be able to be configured almost as securely as a BlackBerry, even one running the QNX software. You’re also forgetting that to this point, BB10 has become the OS that devs are actually saying more about. This translates into more quality apps. And lastly, I direct you to a particular application: SolarExplorer. It was originally released on Android (the developer’s story is somewhere on Crackberry.com and he himself had his own blog post about it). It was ported over to Playbook OS not through the re-packaging method given previously to repackage apps to the Playbook, but recompiled within the application used to code the app. And what do you know, it actually runs smoother on the Playbook than it does on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 if I recall correctly. This is not because the Playbook outspecs the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (which it doesn’t), it’s because the OS is more capable. It’s coming with a lot more options for how to package applications and code applications (curious how HTML5 apps will look myself), which will mean easier coding options, which will mean more quality apps.

      I’m not saying it will take a huge chunk out of everything else and destroy the user base for those on Android, iOS, and WP7 & 8. I am saying don’t rule them out just yet and look at it with an open mind. Me, I may actually hold onto my 9810 until a physical keyboard BB10 device launches, but I personally plan to buy one unless it becomes clear that it literally is not a good OS. Given I’m enjoying my playbook greatly, that’s pretty unlikely. My own choice in device :)

  • pacalis

    First demo I’ve every seen that brought the creepy. Congratulations?

  • Pahech

    Some people here are such fanboys that they want to see RIM die, despite it being:

    1: a Canadian company, employing significant Canadian employees and increasing Canadian cultural influence
    2: a company whose competition can increase the quality of other company’s device
    3: new OSes usually have a major update every year. It’s not quite a year yet since OS 7.

  • Kiri

    Are you serious? on the screen it said 13:37PM. RIM is smoking crack!

  • ISeeWhatsGoingOn

    I understand there will be a lot of negative comments about RIM. Afterall, we have many recent ex-RIM employees looking for jobs. Can’t say I blame them. They are going through the anger stage right now. Next will be denial and then acceptance. By that time, BB10 should be in the market and they’ll buy one.

    Hope you all land on your feet soon.

  • josh

    why are RIM bashers so happy that RIM is failing? RIM is a Canadian company that employes Canadians. Is there any pride left in this country? Do the people that hope RIM fail really want all our tech jobs moved to Asia? Do people who want RIM to fail realize that there is more at stake than whether a keyboard is good or not for the Canadian picture in the world and our economy at home. I hope RIM makes an excellent phone that is well received. If you are happy to see Canadian companies fail than perhaps yours will too one day.

  • jansen

    rim is going to sell so this wont come to market.

  • Richard

    it better come out cheap! Like 200 outright to stop the bleeding and let them get competitive again. You missed the boat by about 2 years!

  • Leon

    I like how the time is permanently set to 13:37 HAHAHA.

  • Nathen

    LMAO gotta love ALL the Hidden comments from the RIM users who try to prevent freedom of speach. LOL
    Its ok though , it wont be much longer now.

    Funny the title on the Screen says “I’ll be Back ”
    Is RIM really coming back ? I dont think so.
    Not after they are talking of Spliting the Company up.

  • daveloft

    Apple…apple…apple…apple….apple….wait no…Apple is sooo good…man I wish there was only apple phones in the market, because then my simple minded brain can process technology…
    I mean Apple was the first to invent EVERYTHING, including the phone….wait maybe they were the first ones to MARKET it…lol

    I forget sometimes that I am not simple minded, and I want competition for Apple and Google, I WANT diversity, and I WANT a Canadian company to succeed so I have an alternative choice…

    So forget the trolls and haters, go RIM go..I may never buy your product again, but I want you to succeed.

  • KID ANDROID

    Im a huge Android fan as ppl know but I really have to give props to RIM/Blackberry for the direction they have decided to take the OS. I really like how they seem to be thinking out of the box for what seems like every aspect of the OS. I was one that for the past year was counting Blackberry down & out but after seeing this video I have to say I think they are set to really make some waves that could make present Blackberry users very happy & even bring back some customers who left blackberry for other OS like Android, crApple, Windows. I would never leave Team Android but I am extremely impressed & as a Canadian happy that they seem to be set for a good run at it now. – KID ANDROID (Team.Android.Canada)

  • Bonnie

    Personally I can’t wait for the new blackberry. I like what I see. I also like that it is Canadian. I want rim to succeed not just because it is Canadian but I love the blackberry and I don’t think you can go wrong with one. Bring on Jan 30th.