Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is busy selling its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform to carriers in the hope that they will push it heavily early next year. Likely one of the biggest selling points RIM CEO Thorsten Heins is making in his pitches is BB10's new user interface, which Heins said is a new paradigm.
Heins has only publicly displayed the new UI once, during an appearance at the BlackBerry World conference in May. At the conference Heins showed the ability to move in a "flow" of applications as "glanceable" information feeds. A gesture on the side of the screen brings up notifications, and users can seamlessly move from application to application via gestures. A gesture allows users to stay within an app but go into the next screen within that app (a message in an email inbox, for example). The user interface appears to be based on the Cascade UI from The Astonishing Tribe, which RIM bought in December 2010.
In a recent interview with eWeek, Heins detailed exactly what the new UI will mean for users. He said the company looked at a great deal of research on how corporate users and regular consumers use their devices, which led to the new UI design.
"So right now if you look at [competitors'] devices, you have the tiled screen or you have the icons. What do you do [if you need information], you call an app. Work within that app, want to do something different? Back, new app. Need to do something else? Back, new app," he said. "What BlackBerry 10 will do for you is stop this paradigm of 'in-out,' as we call it, and through multi-tasking, real-time capabilities will allow you to flow across those applications."
"You can have corporate-liable versus personal information on the device, and you can even flow across those domains easily," he added. "One swipe and you're there."
RIM has also revealed that one new feature of the platform will be a new contact management feature that will allow BlackBerry users to see contact information and status updates from social media sites, blogs and other sites.
"BlackBerry has always had this heritage of productivity ... We are just going to make it better yet again, when we launch BB10," T.A. McCann, who is leading the development of the contacts and BlackBerry Messenger applications for BlackBerry 10, told Reuters. Such a feature has been used in a similar fashion by other OEMs, including HTC via its Sense user interface and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) People Hub for Windows Phone.
- see this eWeek article
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