Thursday, August 5, 2010

BlackBerry has even more new features than you thought

The new BlackBerry 6 operating system has been long-awaited. A steady stream of previews, leaks and reviews have kept mobile junkies intrigued and wondering what new functionality will be introduced. Now that the OS has been officially released and built into a handset for AT&T, what’s going to change for BlackBerry?

For a brand that has always been set apart from other mainstream phones, and is what many consider the original creator of the smartphone, the new UI design seems to have several aspects in common with the iPhone and Android interfaces. The home screen maintains the same abbreviated grid layout that we’ve seen in OS 4 and 5. The WebKit-based browser, which is a new and much-pleaded-for addition to this version, takes a big stride in closing the gap between BlackBerry and other smartphones as well, and incorporates the multitouch functionality we’ve all grown accustomed to. Applications such as the integrated social media feed add some differentiation from existing platforms and make it a little more consumer-friendly; however, the redesigned media player is still a little i-esque in its design.

The UI improvements show promise, but we’re still looking for some stand-apart features to truly make this OS a must-have. With Windows Phone 7 and Android both supporting QWERTY keyboards and manufacturers getting better and better at matching the supremacy BlackBerry’s keyboard, RIM really needs something to separate it from the pack.

That being said, maybe we can expect app developers to expand the phone’s must-have products like we saw with the iPhone. One example of a developer bringing change to BlackBerry functionality is Privus Mobile’s coming 4.0 update. Not to give all the juicy details away or anything, but we hear it’s going to speak volumes about Caller ID and open up real-time delivery of caller information. Keep in mind that Privus is still the only method of receiving real Caller ID names for phone numbers that aren’t stored in your contact list, and the application has always worked wonders on BlackBerry operating systems.

If you’re a BlackBerry owner, keep an eye out for the new Privus Mobile for BlackBerry application coming to an app store near you. If you don’t have a BlackBerry but you still want to try out true Caller ID on your phone, you can check out the Privus Mobile website to download a free trial.

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