BlackBerry 10 features shown off by RIM, carrier testing to get underway in October [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Today RIM held its BlackBerry Jam Americas event, and at the gathering, the company demonstrated some more BlackBerry 10 features and talked a bit about its upcoming OS. On the official Inside BlackBerry blog, RIM has posted a brief video showing off BlackBerry Flow, which is the term the company is using for the way users will navigate BlackBerry 10, as well as several features of the platform. After unlocking a device by sliding up from the bottom of the screen, a user can view their Active Frames, which is all of the currently-running applications shown in small windows. Active Frames help to provide a user with information even while the app is minimized.
Another feature shown off by RIM today is the BlackBerry Hub. Accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the device and then swiping right, the BlackBerry Hub is a sort of unified inbox that can show all of a user's conversations, including Twitter, Facebook and email. The BlackBerry Hub also shows notifications, such as upcoming calendar events.
Finally, RIM demoed how a user can set the alarm on their BlackBerry 10 device and get it ready for bed. To set an alarm, users can grab the hand on the outside of the clock's face and spin it around, like they would set the time on a real clock. To place a BlackBerry 10 handset into bedside mode, a user just needs to slide a finger down from the top of the display.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins also dropped some good news today during the BlackBerry Jam Americas event. As noted by Engadget, the exec told attendees that BlackBerry 10 is currently on schedule for an early 2013 launch. Heins added that carrier testing is slated to begin in October and that he feels that operators are "excited" about RIM's new platform.
The last time that RIM demonstrated BlackBerry 10, the company showed off features like the software keyboard and camera during BlackBerry World in May, so it's nice to get another early look at the platform and how it's progressing. When it comes to hardware, the features shown today were demoed on a new BlackBerry Dev Alpha B device, which RIM says "is not representative of final hardware." The company has yet to officially shed any light on the first BlackBerry 10 devices, save for the fact that we can expect full-touch and QWERTY-equipped phones, but the rumor mill has revealed some images of an L-Series handset that may be the first BlackBerry 10 phone to market.
UPDATE: RIM also talked a bit about apps during its BlackBerry Jam Americas keynote. According to The Verge, the company confirmed that it will have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare apps available to BlackBerry 10 users at launch, and it also showed off a new version of the BlackBerry App World that'll come with the platform. Music and video downloads for this new App World were also teased, and RIM said that users will be able to purchase those items with their BlackBerry ID or through carrier billing. Additionally, RIM confirmed that the BlackBerry App World is now home to over 100,000 apps.