Apple users aren’t the only ones who can expect their phones to get a software facelift now and then. Less than a year after BlackBerry OS 5 sprang to life, RIM has officially announced that BlackBerry OS 6 is on the way, with a slew of new features. If you’ve used competing products from Apple, Palm or Google, it will look pretty familiar. Here’s a look at some of the biggest changes.Images courtesy of Boy Genius Report.
Revamped Home Screen
The professional black theme introduced with BlackBerry OS 5 remains, but the home screen now includes a swipe-up app menu on the bottom – similar to Android’s pull-down blind – that features multiple pages of apps organized by type (all, favorites, etc.).
Yes, it’s here. At long last, BlackBerry OS will step up to par with the likes of the iPhone, Palm WebOS, and Google Android with support for two fingers on screen at the same time. That means pinching to zoom in the browser, on photo galleries, and maps.
Things don’t come screeching to a halt the second you stop moving them in real life, and now they won’t on your phone, either. BlackBerry OS 6 will add preprogrammed “momentum” to scrolling to make pages keep gliding to a gradual stop after a swipe, the same way they do on the iPhone.
New WebKit Browser
The number one most decrepit piece of the BlackBerry OS will get a complete overhaul with a new browser based on WebKit – the same rendering engine driving browsers on the iPhone OS, Android, and WebOS. It will also support the long-awaited tabs for flicking between multiple pages. All the changes should give BlackBerry devices a much better handle on plain old HTML pages – especially in conjunction with multitouch.
Looking for something? Whether it’s a contact or a song buried in your music library, the universal search, accessible from the home page via a magnifying glass icon, will dredge it up.
Graphics move front and center in BlackBerry’s new media player, which now features album art alongside titles in every list, plus an Cover-Flow-style arrangement of albums on the “now playing” page.