With just two days to go until Research In Motion reveals its quarterly results – which will give a good indication whether the company is on the road to recovery, or on the way out – the company has today revealed the 'Dev Alpha B', the latest BB10 prototype.
And dare we say it, it's looking fairly impressive so far, giving developers a sneak peek of BB10, and early access to some of its most notable new features. 'Blackberry Flow' is arguably the most important of which, allowing users to 'minimise' applications simply by swiping from the bottom of the screen to the top and further simplifies management of the respective apps by allowing each to be re-opened (each minimised app receives its own dedicated 'window') without having to return back to the home screen.
A revamped BBM will please the Blackberry faithful (a new user interface keeps things looking clean), while the slickly-designed predictive texting of the new BB touch-screen keypad will be sure to dampen the frustration felt by those who ever stayed by the trusty keyboard's side these many years, where the majority of us have fled to pastures new. 'Blackberry Hub', meanwhile, is another of the more intriguing of additions to the BB10 tool-set; aggregating all emails, texts, BBM messages, IM's, social network notifications and other reminders into a single 'Universal Inbox'. Everything, it seems, is refined to the pinnacle of simplicity that, if it works as intended, should prove to be one of the most intuitive, free-flowing and user-friendly OS's on the market.
You could say it's perfect for the business men and women amongst us, something RIM has obliged to pick up on. The company is therefore heavily backing the security of BB10 devices, with the software behind it allowing users to set up two separate profiles that ably makes the distinction between 'work' and 'play'. 'Work' and 'Personal' environments can be changed on the fly without a fuss, but will mean your working and social life on the device are disassociated with each other. Photos taken on the Personal side will not be saved in the Work gallery, while certain applications might remain off-limits on the profile assigned to your 9-to-5 working day.
With several delays causing RIM to re-think its BB10 'holiday' push, the company is now hoping to get the first of its Blackberry 10 phones out early next year.