Despite — or rather thanks to — major delays in releasing BlackBerry 10, RIM has let quite a bit slip about its upcoming operating system and related BB10 devices. We’ve had more than a year to absorb leaks, rumors and official information, after all, so it’s no surprise that we have a very good idea of what to expect when Waterloo pulls back the curtain on January 30th. That doesn’t mean things are as plain as day, though; the deluge of blurrycam shots and carrier screens have provided an almost indigestible amount of information about BB10, and we don’t blame you if you can’t keep the story straight. We’re here to parse the madness, though, so read on to find out what to expect at tomorrow’s launch event.
Touch keyboard with predictive input
The first BB10 handset likely won’t sport a physical keyboard, but that doesn’t mean you should expect a subpar typing experience. RIM’s on-screen layout will boast quite a few enhancements to compete with SwiftKey and other similar input options. For instance, the company has demoed predictive typing; press on a letter, and a selection of likely words will hover over the corresponding character (“hey” when you hit H, for example). To pick one of the predicted words, you simply swipe up on it. The keyboard will learn and adapt to your linguistic habits, so you can expect more accurate suggestions over time. In addition to predictive input, the on-screen layout features intuitive gestures such as swiping to the left to delete text and swiping from the lower left to minimize the keyboard. Other gestures include swiping from the bottom to reveal numbers and special characters.
Timeline lens, camera filters
At BlackBerry World 2012, RIM showed us its take on fancy camera software: the “timeline lens,” which uses Scalado’s Rewind technology to capture frames even before you hit the shutter. This means you can cycle back through the shooter’s cache if you miss an image by a second or two.
If The Gadget Masters website, which posted a hands-on video with a “pre-production Z10,” is to be believed, we can also expect photo-editing software courtesy of Scalado, including Instagram-style filters and options such as transform, brightness / white balance adjustment, rotate and aspect ratio customization.
User interface with Peek, flow gestures
One of the most anticipated aspects of BlackBerry 10 is the user interface’s focus on multitasking. The aptly named Peek feature, showcased at BlackBerry Jam last September, lets users view apps running in the background by simply swiping from the left or right. From there, users can either return to their previous task or swipe back to go into previously launched programs. At least in theory, this is meant to provide a more fluid app-switching experience than the task list