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BlackBerry 6.1 Will We See a More Evolved UI? Maybe Some TAT Influence?

blackberryroadmap201115RIM promised in the recent quarterly  investors call that the next upgrade to the BlackBerry OS  will be 6.1 due in May. They also promised that it wouldn’t be an incremental upgrade but according to edngadget it will be a Major upgrade.  This could be interpreted in many different ways including that we may see a preview of what is to come with QNX. Some analyst have hinted at the the fact that RIM may create a hybrid OS from the current OS and QNX. I think that is not likely that we will see some QNX flavored OS this early, my guess would be if there are some UI changes those may come from the help from TAT.

RIM made it clear that it will be a huge upgrade, we have seen some leaked slides pertaining to new features for the OS home screen interface like the option to set favorites, and frequent apps. There are quite a few other features that will be added to this update but the main concern for most people is the user interface of the OS. People tend to react to the cosmetics part of the OS. Many who compare the visually part of IOS to BlackBerry only see the interface and that’s why they believe the OS is better than BlackBerry when in reality the BlackBerry OS leaves IOS and other in the dust when it comes to capabilities but it usually is compare to the appealing visual side and how easy it is to use.

Hopefully with 6.1 RIM has been able to find a happy medium with the UI and also the ease of use. I would love for RIM to prove me wrong and have 6.1 with QNX by this summer but I find that highly unlikely.

What are your thoughts?

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  1. My guess: Interface changes will be few and far between.

    Performance and new APIs will be the focus of this new upgrade.

  2. OS 6.1 is now the big mystery…. more info will leak soon… I can feel it….

  3. I care which phones will see 6.1. Will any current phones see it that run 6.0? I’d expect the 9780 and 9800 to run 6.1, but what about my 9650?

  4. I’m hopping the 9800 will get 6.1

  5. I don’t know if 6.1 will keep me away from Bold Touch or Torch 2. I love my Torch, but, the hardware specs of these upcoming blackberries are drool worthy.

  6. There are really only a few UI changes I’d like to see. The side to side tabs for the homescreen is a poorly executed emulation of the iOS. It makes sense on the iPhone only because its homescreen only holds so many icons. You need more pages to swipe to if you load up the current page. On BB 6, it’s unnessecary as you can scroll up and down the main homescreen for as many icons as you have or want. Works just fine like that IMO. Using folders to group your program icons is easy enough. I like the window-shade thing as is too.

    Why not allow more than 4 columns of icons on the Torch. To me, that’s also following iOS too closely as well. I could easily tap an icon squeezed into 5 or 6 columns – especially if I can tap a tiny highlighted link on a webpage in the browser.

  7. I’m thinking only BlackBerries that came out with BlackBerry 6 and future devices will support OS 6.1. The bold 9650 the least.

  8. What’s got me excited is the possibility of hotspot capabilities on my 9700. Very slim, but hoping it comes my way.

  9. There will be changes but not major UI changes that are more drastic then OS6.0. I agree with the blogger that QNX would not factor in with the update due to the small time frame.

  10. I think (maybe I just hope) that Jim B’s “jaws dropped” comment, plus TAT acquisition means a cooler looking UI for the new phones.

    Either jaws did not drop or it’s visual because jaws are not going to drop because you have a mobile hot spot.

    • For sure Kiddo. I have to think Jimbo used his word carefully. Mobile hotspot or removing the panels is not “jaw dropping.”

      It has to be a brand new revamped UI

      Stay tuned…

  11. I’d like to see UI options in BB 6.1. For example, a “Classic” option for those favoring the current BB look and feel; a ‘PlayBook’ design for a consistent UI between BB handhelds and tablets, a few ‘TAT’ design options for variety; and a ‘Sheep’ options for those that want their BlackBerry to feel like an iOS device. 😛

  12. I am really hoping this will be indeed a HUGE upgrade. waiting…waiting…

  13. I believe that OS 6.1 will be a hybrid of OS 6 and QNX, because at some point they will need to transition the BlackBerry to handle QNX OS (hopefully before the end of the year).

  14. I just want it to not suck as bad as 6.0. Is it just me or was 4.5 the last great BBOS? The browser on 6.0 sucks worse than 5.0, the side tabs thing on the home screen is beyond annoying. Other than that…..

    • @Josh – you sir need to meet our friend Luc so far you two have been the only one I’ve heard say 4.5 was the best OS. 🙂 I still use an 8310 al though that device is strictly e-mail and calls.

      • Thanks – at the end of the day, what really is better now than before other than fancy new fonts and themes? Once BB added HTML email support, as far as I am concerned, nothing is any better w/6.0.

        As for the 6.0 browser:
        its slowwwwwww. Most sites take longer to load than before
        it still has rendering issues
        I cant force it to BIS only which gives me headaches sometimes with IT.
        It has a 9 tab maximum then it errors out. This isnt good if you use a lot of launchers or click through links on twitter, etc… finally, when they took away (err sold out to microsoft) the google search option from the go to screen, they lost me completely (although this happened in 5.0).

        At this point, if given my druthers, I would carry a 4.5/5.0 for PDA and Calls because NO ONE does it better than RIM regardless of OS, and a ipod or similar for web browsing. I am tired of having to borrow someones phone to web browse…..

        • Sounds like you have a bum phone. Everyone I know likes their torch and as far as browsing is concerned I have no problems on my Torch at all… ahhh scratch that…. sometimes the connection to the server at work is terrible and the browser just hangs. What I do is go on 3G. When at home it works very well on wifi. You may be having the same issue.

          The tech people at my work are morons so I gave up trying to have them fix it. With BB plan I don’t pay for 3G and it’s very fast so not an issue. I suggest you try dropping your wifi connection when you have his issue.

          Everyone is different. I had an iPhone and I actually prefer the BB6 UI to iPhone.

    • Stop the hate! Let’s be civilized and stop the lies (browser on 6.0 sucks more than 5.0). Seriously go over to lots of haters over there.

      • But that is his opinion some people may like cerain features on that old browser. The BlackBerry devices have a ton of shortcuts and with 6.0 RIM dropped quite a few of those. As long as we keep the conversation clean 🙂

  15. I hope the Torch with all its limitations will still be able to support 6.1

  16. I agree to a certain degree yes it may seem slower and also depends on what device you are using am using the TORCH edge only and still loads pretty fast Al though slower that most other browsers, but you know you can always disable javascript it will load faster and you will get the same page rendering as the old devices n will likely load faster. So you can’t dismiss it as being crappy. You do have to realize not everyone has the same views as you and the majority do like the new browser

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