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BlackBerry releases BB10.3 SDK beta, confirms upcoming QWERTY device with 1440×1440 resolution

blackberryq10review-2

BlackBerry dropped a proverbial bomb this morning by announcing a beta version of the BlackBerry 10.3 SDK, and with it some changes to the overall UI. As we’ve seen in early screenshots of the software, BlackBerry is moving to a flatter, more approachable aesthetic, with a dynamic bottom toolbar dubbed “Signature Action.”

Screenshot 2014-05-14 10.32.54

There are four “guiding principles” to the new look, according to BlackBerry: black or white canvas with predictable colour palettes; precise and simplified UI decisions; colour for focus and signature actions; and  balance between shapes and white space. For example, app icons will be simplified to show their utility, while borders and buttons will be either removed or flattened. But perhaps the most noticeable change will be the redesigned action bar in Cascades-based apps, which move certain icons to the middle — hence “signature action” — depending on the activity.

Colour is also getting a bit of a rethink in BlackBerry 10.3. The company is moving to a standard set of light or dark palettes, each with accompanying primary and secondary accents. The refresh appears to be intended to move BlackBerry 10 into the age of the modern smartphone OS.

But the SDK announcement wasn’t just about new colours and app icons. BlackBerry hinted at a few upcoming devices, including one that has a square screen and a resolution of 1440 x 1440 pixels with a 453 ppi pixel density. Using a simple pixel density calculator, we worked out that the device will have a diagonal size of 4.5-inches which, on a screen with a 1:1 aspect ratio, will make the chassis extremely wide. Considering the Q10 has a 3.1-inch screen and a width of 2.63-inches, we’re going to assume the new device, rumoured to launched as the BlackBerry Q30, will be quite unwieldy.

The company promises new information on “that new device” in due time, but wants to focus on the BlackBerry Classic. The QWERTY device will launch later this year with BlackBerry 10.3.1, shortly after the above device. The 10.3.1 update will also sport an updated SDK so developers can add “toolbelt” support to their apps.

BlackBerry’s CEO, John Chen, announced that the BlackBerry Classic will have hardware call, end and menu buttons, along with a trackpad, just like the Bold 9900, and will likely be released in November.

 

 

  • WiZZLa

    I wonder if this will get filled with similar comments as the previous BlackBerry articles :/

    • simpleton

      not from you, who is a bb fan boi

    • WiZZLa

      If I was a “bb fan boi”, then wouldn’t I fill the discussion with similar comments? You really are living up to your name, “simpleton”.

    • Syaz

      It sadly will. Every BlackBerry article is rife with negative comments. I’m tempted to stop coming to MobileSyrup, not due to the quality of articles, but the quality of many of it’s readers.

    • barrist

      LOL what? This site seems to be very pro BB with most BB articles having the top voted comment a pro-BB comment.

    • Acer12345

      It’s a Canadian site and BB is a Canadian company. Not to mention one of writers here used to work for BB.
      Connect the dots.

    • barrist

      Yep, agreed…?

    • Syaz

      Please re-read what I said. Then re-read pretty much all of the BlackBerry articles. There are a ton of negative comments. Usually from the same core users. There is nothing to argue here. Negative comments are rife when it comes to a BlackBerry article.

    • barrist

      I guess so. Scanned the last few articles, all had the top comment with the most upvotes a pro-BB comment, so the readership on the whole is largely pro-BB, maybe they just don’t comment as much. Every article is rife with negative comments no matter what comapny it is. More importantly, however, I find it’s a funny reason to stop reading a website imo.

    • barrist

      Case in point ^^^^

    • Bri Bru

      Even on the non-BB articles.
      In so many articles, people go “is this BB10?”

    • Surveillance

      Quality of it is readers. Lol!

    • Surveillance

      Quality of it is readers. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Jakob

      Sadly every article is becoming this way. You hit the nail on the head.

  • simpleton

    lol – nothing to see here folks. yet again, blackberry is trying to stay relevant by releasing “10.3″ – new icons, new flatter icons like Apple – great innovation BB! Will this address browser crashes? device resets? this is a POS company with a POS OS that nobody wants to buy. BB7 outsells BB10 – LMAO. how embarrassing is that? Chen seems to think his company has lots left in the tank but its running on empty. party is over. iphone will nail the coffin shut with iphone 6 and ios8.
    RIP BB

  • silver_arrow

    Also both Daniel and Dan from The Verge worked out that this device would be wider than the Note 3

    • Supa_Fly

      ^ worked out?! Their not exactly engineers … if you believe these a*s-hats “worked out the dimensions” I’ve got a bridge for sell to you! ;)

      Honestly … you guys REALLY need to start doing your own research and stop giving ultimate end all be all credit to sites like here or the verge.

  • MikeOxlong

    Sounds like this device will prove to be a giant embarrassment. Get it? See what I did there?! Lol

    Can’t imagine the looks people will get if they actually buy this thing and then proceed to hold it up against their head to make a call. Haha.

    • MXH070

      Kinda like all those massive android devices. HTC One Max 5.9″ screen / Samsung Mega 6.3″ screen / Sony Xperia. 6.4″ screen / Samsung Galaxy note 3 5.7″ screen oh and the Nokia 1520 with a 6+” screen. What’s your point bashing a product you haven’t even seen nor used……

      The world has left behind the cult of Apples idea of 3.5 is the perfect screen size for a cell phone. People want larger device screens to consume media, nothing wrong with BlackBerry providing what consumers want

    • goyachum

      Mike is on every BB article trolling. Don’t engage with him, he’s not worth your time.

    • MikeOxlong

      Ok Manic Devlin. Or is it JB? Or…

    • Guest

      Neither, but if multiple people have already pointed out your habits, you should probably re-evaluate your habits.

    • Supa_Fly

      ^ Somehow I think MikeOxLong was JOKING!!

    • MikeOxlong

      My phone has a 5 inch screen, thanks. Kh, and thanks for stalking me around. I feel quite special.
      FYI, there is a HUGE difference between a 4.5 inch RECTANGLE screen vs a square one like this, and also there have already been leaked photos of the device sometime ago and it looks hideous. It’s wider than a rear pocket on a pair of jeans, lol.

    • Ski Baron

      So then don’t buy one. Sounds like something many people might like, just not you. Since you hate Blackberry, i am not sure why you keep commenting. Your comments are of no value to anyone. How can you judge whether this phone is good for anyone besides you? You cannot. Stop the bashing.

    • MikeOxlong

      ^^fruitloop.

      Start quote: “Ski Baron: 7 days ago…
      Blackberry is awesome!” End quote.

      Nuff said.

  • hardy83

    4.5″ screen? How big would that be with the keypad?
    Can’t be any bigger than the galaxy phones, or notes and Heuwei ascend.

    • Supa_Fly

      1 4.5″ screen is NOT the same as another 4.5″ screen.

      Guys to you really think every measurement is the same in context? a 4.5″ screen at a 45 degree angle at the apex is NOT the same as a 4.5″ screen at say a 30 degree angle (i.e. a Square screen vs a rectangular screen). Am I mistaken here?

  • simpleton

    lol 10.3 – new flat icons like apple

    • Rory

      Like Apple… who weren’t even the first ones to go with the flat look?

    • thisiscjay

      Yup. Windows phone.

  • crocop24

    Blackberry stays losing LOL.

    What a joke.

  • Andrew Gallagher

    With a 4.5″ diagonal, that puts the screen at 3.18″ square, so at minimum the device will be about 3.25″ across. For comparison, the Galaxy S5 is 2.85″ wide, the Galaxy Note 3 is 3.12″, and the Galaxy Mega (6.3″ screen) is 3.46″ wide. So it’ll be pretty damn wide, but not unprecedented.

    • Supa_Fly

      ^ ….

      4.5″ diagonal … maybe at a 45 degree angle at the apex. but … a
      4.5″ diagonal at say 35 degrees angle at the apex .. means the screen is MUCH wider. Consider a 4.5″ diagonal screen with 55/65 degree angle at the apex … much much narrower.

      My real world example. Apple iPhone 3GS + IP4/4S have 45 degree angle screens. however the iP5 doesn’t … it’s not as ‘wide’ as the previous iPhones … so you need to reconsider your calculations …

      PS: Love the Beaker avatar … one of my favorite muppets.

  • Brandon Orr

    Love BlackBerry 10. I always used to hate on them before I made the switch to BB10. Granted, it’s got its fair share of stuff that needs improving, but I honestly can’t praise it’s messaging hub enough. If I ever have to get a phone that isn’t a BB10 in the future I would pay good money to replicate this.

    It’s been in the market for just over a year and it’s made huge strides. It’s the only major OS that has a full integrated file manager on all devices (I know stock Android does, but plz most ppl have Samsungs) which is apparently the holy grail if you read Engadget now that it’s coming to Windows Phone…

    I had to report on a conference last week and I was the only journalist that didn’t need a laptop to do their job. I was able to have my phone recording the audio for interviews while I was typing AND tweeting at the same time, in real-time. Not to mention my Z30 had only lost maybe 50% of it’s battery after 5 hours of intensive use, basically every other journalist had to have their phones plugged into an extra battery pack or socket AND they weren’t even using them as hard as me.

    BlackBerry dun messed up, we know that. But please, they’re throwing out some decent products these days that can seriously compete. I’m not going to deny that there’s an app gap (which btw is quickly closing thanks to the Android 4.3 runtime) but when you look at all that’s been implemented and is planned such as BlackBerry Blends (allows your device’s screen to be interacted with on other screens and devices, think using your phone and all it’s features on your desktop, laptop or tablet), the new virtual assistant (think Siri, or Google Now) as well as top of class Security, it really isn’t your grandfather’s Bold.

    Sometimes I feel like people are mad thirsty for hate when it comes to BlackBerry.

    • Ski Baron

      There is 3 Android apps i needed that are not on BB. I loaded them using Snap and I am happier than ever. I ditched my Note 2 for a Z30 and there is no comparison. The Z30 is better in every way. Without the app gap Blackberry makes the best phones.

    • MikeOxlong

      Their mad thirst as you call it isn’t so much directed at the company as its intended towards users like yourself who don’t +and refuse to) know better. Everything you’ve mentioned can be done BETTER on every competing platform, PERIOD. you’re soooooo full of it, like most rabid bb fanbois that you become the target because its just too easy. Sorry, but you fail even if you can convince other simpletons (bb users) of your ignorance. Lol smh.

    • Guest

      Replying two days later? #TheThirstIsReal I gave like 6 examples of what a BB10 device can do and you’ve failed to even give one concrete example. I was an iPhone and Android user up until last February. And if you think I’m a fanboy you are correct, the product is that good it convinced me. You don’t see me hating on your choice of mobile phone…

    • Supa_Fly

      Well said by someone who’s actually USED the OS!

      Funny enough the app gap being closed with Android 4.3 … I’m not singing the praises so much. Yes I love google services finally working for Android 4.3 with Maps and Chrome for Android or even gmail app but that’s the extent that I’ll use Google apps I loathe the massive separation and not using integration where it should with Google’s applications/services. The issue I have with using Android apps on BB10 is:

      1. Security … Android apps, depending but the majority, continue to require access to functions/features that the applications SERIOUSLY do NOT need to run: example why does so many messaging apps need to know my location by default to run?! I should be asked about that when I invoke a function that would need it in an app.

      2. UI break … I cannot STAND the standard UI failing and break. If I minimize an application that is Android i’m prompted by said app if I want to exit … I say yes … but instead it just minimizes and continues to have that prompt when I jump back into it. Peek and FLOW is not available … so it completely ruins the experience of navigation within the Android apps.

      Sorry but I prefer NATIVE Qt/Cascades applications on BB10. Z30 coming soon along with iP5S/IP6 … double use this year for me. I’m only paying for one … work is paying for Z30 … my Z10 will be a beta backup.

    • Brandon Orr

      I agree, these are things they need to address to let Android apps integrate with the OS and modify how they are handled so that they too have that same flow throughout.

  • PT

    “BlackBerry Classic will have hardware call, end and menu buttons, along with a trackpad”

    here’s my money BB.

  • Plazmic Flame

    1:1 screen ratio….. Again?! Ugh… Wow… C’mon BlackBerry, so hard to root for you when you’re not getting it. People want a larger, rectangle screen with a physical keyboard, not a larger square. Been waiting so long… If that’s it for 2014… Can’t wait no more.

  • hopverspel

    Sorry BB. This is a fail before it leaves the gate. Why even bother? Just fold and give something back to your shareholders instead of making them lose their entire investment.

    • Striker67

      Another troll comment without seeing a final device. At least wait until a device is released and reviewed before you bash it.

  • Matt Lowell

    bias when author says “extremely wide” chassis and “unwieldy”. SS Note 3
    at 79mm wide and many love it. author provides no context. it’s his
    opinion, more like prediction, since he hasn’t held one. likely
    requires 2-handed typing of course, but any larger device including
    tablets do.

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