BlackBerry 6 touch interface unveiled

Canadian device manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) has been showing off the next generation of its BlackBerry operating system, following the crowd with lots of touch screen interaction and consumer driven social features.

At the WES 2010 conference taking place in Florida this week, RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis demonstrated the BlackBerry 6 platform in all its touchy-swipey glory.

The forthcoming interface has lots of familiar features including multiple desktops, enhanced multimedia capabilities – music, movies and images – as well as a virtual keyboard, although Lazaridis said RIM is still focused on making devices with a hard keyboard.

The OS will feature a browser based on Webkit, and RIM will welcome widget development for the platform, further opening BlackBerry up for developers. The firm is also making much of social media, streaming communications into a single social feed.

The new platform is expected to be available on the first BlackBerry devices in the summer.

Also at the conference, RIM introduced voice over wifi (VoWifi) calling capabilities with BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5, which works in conjunction with Cisco Unified Communications Manager to give users a single phone number for their office landline and their BlackBerry mobile, while keeping calling costs down.

BlackBerry MVS 5 is expected to be available later this year.

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One comment

  1. Avatar Sarah 03/05/2010 @ 8:33 am

    That RIM video to showcase the Blackberry 6 U.I.… Wow, that is so offensive. Especially to women executives, who form a nice percentage of RIM’s customer base.

    I just bought a new Onyx, and I’m happy I did, but this video, with the Blackberry logo all over it, gives me a bad taste in my mouth about everything BB. Certainly, if I were to make a purchasing decision right now, I’d have negative feelings about RIM. Pity.

    And yes, I understand that the idea here was to suggest that touchscreens provide a sensual input experience. Which is technically (and emotionally) true. But in this context, wayyyy offensive.

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