Time flies, doesn’t it? The BlackBerry Z10 is now a couple of months old, and its successor, the keyboard-toting Q10, is just around the corner. While it hasn’t set the world on fire like the bosses at BlackBerry might have hoped, BlackBerry 10 is still an impressive new operating system, rammed full of brand new killer functions that leave the iPhone looking stale. With Sir Jony Ive now in charge of the look and feel of iOS, here’s our take on five things that Apple could learn from the latest BlackBerry update.
Camera: Time Shift
The 8-megapixel camera onboard the BlackBerry Z10 might not beat out some of the megapixel heavy smartphone sensors on the market, but it comes with a few nifty tricks of its own. Time Shift is one of those: it lets you do nifty on-the-fly photo editing when something doesn’t quite go to plan during a photo. Say for instance your mate blinks right when you press the shutter, you can tap on his face and turn the clock back a few frames just on that portion of the photo so he doesn’t look like the odd one out. Brilliant, right?
Many business folk still swear by their BlackBerry phones during their nine to five, and even lug around a separate phone just for a spot of Angry Birds – but there’s no need for that now. BlackBerry 10 comes with a toggle so you can switch from work to play meaning you won’t be harassed with tons of work-related e-mails when it’s time for you to put your feet up and relax.
BlackBerry says BB10 is built to keep you moving, and that translates to the UI too. The whole OS is made to seamlessly keep you swiping through it, meaning there’s no back button or home button double tapping to deal with. Swipe from the side to access the BlackBerry Hub which keeps all your messages, emails, texts, FaceBook notifications, tweets and more, all in one place that you can easily access from any app. Notification Center hasn’t got anything on this.
BBM – Screen Sharing
The BBM chat app is a killer feature for BlackBerry owners, but cross-platform services like WhatsApp and FaceBook Messenger are giving it a serious run for its money. So BlackBerry upped its game for the latest version of BBM on BlackBerry 10, bringing a whole host of brand new features to the table, including video chat and screen share, the latter of which lets you share photos, websites or even business documents right in real time without leaving the conversation. iMessage? What’s that now?
A better keyboard
BlackBerry owners swear by the physical keyboard located on their phone of choice, but the Z10 swaps the tactile keys in favour of a touchscreen keyboard far superior to the long-in-the-tooth iOS QWERTY. BlackBerry 10 will try to guess what word you’re spelling out as you type, and will display a few choices directly above keys for the next letter. All you have to do is flick the key upward and the word will appear in whatever you’re writing. It’s intelligent too – it gets better the more you use it. Who needs Swype?