The BlackBerry World 2012 kicked off today in Orlando. bringing together people interested in the BlackBerry software and handsets, from the company executives, through IT Adminstrators to mobile application software developers, and bringing them up to speed with what BlackBerry has to offer.
The opening keynote address was introduced by RIM CEO Thorsten Heins who shared a sneak peek of BlackBerry 10 software. Although the software is still being worked on, Research In Motion have built a development model handset running BB10 for app developers to test out, known as the Dev Alpha, and this allowed Thorsten to give an indication on what BB10 is going to be like for users.
Amongst the features is a new type of touch keyboard, incorporating gesture control, which adapts to the user’s touches. It has elements of predictive text, like many other keyboards, but it also relies heavily on gestures. For example, to get to numbers and special characters, just swipe upward from below and the keyboard layout changes. You can swipe up and down to cycle through these layouts and swipe left to delete whole words. Suggested words come up as you type, but instead of above the keyboard itself, these words appear above the first letter. The user then just has to flick the word up onto the screen.
A short video has been released showing this in action, along with other features, such as answering a call by swiping down on the screen and streaming media to a television.
It should be pointed out that the handset in this video is the Dev Alpha handset created for BlackBerry World, and does not represent what the finished handset will look like, as is the os.