The mobile computing space is an ever-changing mass of failed ideas, breakthroughs, revolutions, and disasters. BlackBerry was once king of this space—being the smartphone of choice for business executives and consumers alike. However, five and a half years ago, Apple changed the game with the launch of the first iPhone. It had a new concept of how we can interact with our technology, and, as such, it became an instant hit and eventual King of Smartphone Mountain.

Now, the iOS run by Apple devices has become stale and boring, and Samsung has taken the crown from Apple with its popular devices running Android. The way we use, interact, and even think about technology is constantly changing, and the companies that are often responsible for these changes are generally thrust to the top.

Research in Motion (RIM) is aiming to change everything again on January 30 with the launch of the new BlackBerry 10 devices and operating system (OS). They’ll debut a full touchscreen device, a full QWERTY keyboard device, and the brand new OS built on the highly stable QNX. QNX can currently be found in cars, washing machines, nuclear power plants, electrical systems, and more.

Many of the features of the new OS have been showcased at BlackBerry Jam events held worldwide since last June, and all of them are game changers.

I got to play with a Dev Alpha device in early December when Kiyomi Rutledge from RIM was in St. John’s, and I’m definitely excited.

BlackBerry Hub stores all of your messages in one place, while BlackBerry Flow allows you to move between your email, calendar, contacts, and such without having to leave an application to get there. Then, BlackBerry Peek lets you check a message from any application without having to go to the Hub directly.

The Time Shift Camera records frames a few seconds before and a few seconds after you take a picture, which you can then move forward or backward through to create the perfect shot. You can even edit individual heads to create a perfect moment that never actually existed.

The virtual keyboard offers predictable words with such amazing accuracy that it’s actually scary to type on it. It’s almost as if it’s reading your mind—in three different languages. That’s right, it’s multi-lingual so you can type in up to three languages, all at once, without having to switch between them.

The keyboard also learns your typing patterns and constantly adjusts, so if you keep making the same mistakes—such as hitting an R instead of a T—it will shift and adjust its positioning to compensate.

Aside from everything else, the BlackBerry Playbook will be updated with BB 10, which will create a unified experience across BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. So that year and a half old playbook is nowhere near outdated.

We haven’t seen all of the features yet, so it will be interesting to see what else they’ll unveil on January 30. Maybe one day we’ll even see RIM as King of Smartphone Mountain again.


This article first appeared in Memorial University’s student newspaper: The Muse http://themuse.ca/2013/01/09/the-revolution-is-coming/

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