Sneak Peak at BlackBerry OS 6’s Home Screen

The guys and girls up at Research In Motion sure do like to tease us. Information about BlackBerry OS 6’s redesigned home screen been posted on the company blog and it’s quite juicy. Readers may note that it looks eerily similar to a couple of other operating systems they might be familiar with, but thankfully, it retains a unique BlackBerry feel. Here we go.

First off, let’s look at the new universal search feature. While the iPhone has had a similar feature for a very long time, Research In Motion (RIM) has one upped Apple here. Results show up as icons. Searching for a contact shows an icon that corresponds to that contact. Searching for a music video you may have downloaded brings up not only whatever is on your phone, but also an icon for YouTube and Google. Clicking on either of these two icons will let you instantly search through the two websites without having to reenter your search criteria. Sweet. We will have to wait until OS 6 is released to really test out how well the new search features work and how tightly they integrate into the OS, but this looks very promising.

Second, let’s take a look at the redesigned home screen itself.  Through the navigation bar, there are a number of different views for home. ‘Frequent’ is the place where your smartphone stores all of the apps that, well, you use more frequently. ‘Favorites’ is where you can put the apps you love, but you can also add contacts and websites (remember, OS 6 has a web browser that is at least as good as Apple’s Safari Mobile and possibly even better). The ‘Downloads’ view is for downloaded apps, and ‘Media’ is for you to store your favorite media content. Have your own theme music? Put it there—though no guarantees that any of your friends will remain so.

Last of all, the new OS sports some ‘quick access areas’ built into the home screen. The first quick access area lets you change your alarms, connections and options. The second one gives a quick view of your recent messages, emails, calls, appointments and social media notifications. Tapping on these notifications gives a quick blub from them so you can better prioritize.

Thankfully, RIM has rememberd that not all of us have touchscreen BlackBerrys, so you they making sure that even without one, the user experience will still be excellent.

Like what you just read? Leave a comment and let us know what you think about all of these new features.

I sure am excited that the BlackBerry is not going to be left behind with regards to the user interface. As our smartphones get more complex, our operating systems need to become more powerful. OS 6 is starting to look good.

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