At the company's BlackBerry World 2012 event in Orlando on Tuesday, new CEO Thorsten Heins (he of the extremely awkward introduction video in January) unveiled a prototype of the system in front of 5,000 customers, developers and other attendees.
In the 47-second video that the company also shared online, a customer uses a BlackBerry 10 smartphone to scroll through emails and crisp photos; quickly type, with the help of predictive text, on a touchscreen; watch videos; and sync the phone up to a television screen.
The video had a generally positive reception from viewers on
RIM provided a few additional details about BlackBerry 10. The operating system will enable users to continually access content between applications, so "whether you are browsing the Internet or organizing meetings with a glancing gesture, BlackBerry 10 immerses you into conversations. It streams all feeds to one place and applications keep running – creating an agile and nimble experience."
The OS also increases keyboard responsiveness through a touch keyboard that uses modeling algorithms to learn where the user presses for each letter, "becoming tailored to the user's hand like a glove."
And camera enhancements will enable BlackBerry 10 users to tap anywhere on the screen to take a photo.
RIM has kept mum on the actual release date for BlackBerry 10, which will be available in phones and tablets. The Canadian company desperately needs the operating system to be a hit after its reputation has slipped in recent quarters. In the U.S. in particular, consumers have shifted to trendier iPhones and Android devices.
However, BlackBerry continues to have a loyal following in developing countries. Heins noted on Tuesday that "for more than 77 million people across the globe, BlackBerry helps them succeed on a daily basis."