RIM is showcasing the third iteration of its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system (beta 3) at its annual Jam conference in San Jose, California.
Key features include a multi-paned home screen that displays up to 8 active apps, a standard grid of icons and the BlackBerry Hub – which effectively acts as unified messaging platform for email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and BB notifications.
As Dieter Bohn of The Verge notes, no discussion of a BlackBerry OS or device would be complete without seeing how it operates in a corporate setting. Indeed, RIM was quick to talk up “BlackBerry Balance,” which allows locked-down enterprise functionality to securely co-exist with personal apps.
“[However], enabling it is unintuitive: you pull down on any blank spot in the app launcher to reveal a couple of buttons,” Bohn explained. “Tapping one will put the phone into either work or personal mode, and when you launch an app that will be either locked down or fully open, depending on your company policies.”
RIM exec Martyn Mallick also confirmed that BB10’s App World storefront would soon be populated with new content, including music, movies and television shows. When the store officially opens, users can either rent or purchase video content. Interestingly, RIM says it will not offer streaming content, as all files are downloaded directly to the device. (Note: App World officially opens for dev submissions on October 10th).
And last, but certainly not least, RIM rolled out its natively coded Facebook app, which seems similar in both look and feel to its iOS and Android counterparts.
Despite BB10 and a slew of new devices, RIM is facing an uphill battle as it struggle to reclaim market share lost to Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Google’s Android OS. The most realistic scenario for RIM? Coming to terms with a shrinking consumer market, while attempting to expand an already formidable BYOD presence in the lucrative enterprise and SMB sectors.