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BlackBerry VP Don Lindsay Shares Some Great BlackBerry 10 Details

Don Lindsay

There are so many little details on how BlackBerry 10 came about and its future which is why I love these little tidbits. Frank let us now about an interview Omio had with Don Lindsay, BlackBerrys Vice President of User Experience, that revealed some interesting things about BlackBerrys new platform. For example, did you know that the time shift face fixing feature in the camera was called Face Time as its original development name?

Here are some of the other details Lindsay shared:

  • There will not be any physical hardware camera key. His “goal for a hardware standpoint is to simplify.” That is why they put the camera button on the homescreen if you hold it down.
  • BlackBerry is trying to bring more gestures to BlackBerry 10 (especially the Z10) to be the equivalent of a keyboard shortcut on a touchscreen. This is sort of like how Peek works now but their goal was one handed operation where two handed can be more powerful.
    • The main shortcut gestures they are working on is scrolling to the top of a list quickly along with forwarding and replying to an email. Those are his “high priority” candidates.
  • BlackBerry is very proud of their reversible gestures. I actually love the one for unlocking the phone and swiping back down to leave it locked. I love how Lindsay worded it:
    • “A measure of success, for me, is when I see BlackBerry 10 customers pick up a device from another platform and they try to perform that gesture and it doesn’t work. You can see the surprise on their face; you can see the disappointment on their face”
  • The feature sitting “Top on his list” is how to actively respond to notification for application. The idea is that based on feedback they are trying to make it more granular without adding the complexity of “thousands of check boxes.” Here is exactly what he said:
    • “One of our guiding principles, is that we don’t want to deliver a thousand check boxes to users. If there’s one criticism of BlackBerry in the past: is too many preferences. That level of complexity, we are trying to manage very carefully – to ensure that we can still create something simple, and yet powerful. What users are looking for are the ability to respond more directly to a notification. That [BlackBerry 10 OS] pops up and gives me a messages is useful, I then now have to navigate to that message in order to respond to it. Customers are tell us they want a method to directly respond to a notification. Customers are saying to us we want to be able to take action, quickly. Given that guidance: that’s what the team right now are saying how can we do better”

Last but not least Lindsay confirmed that there is an OS 10.2 coming but they are not making any commitments about a future update. They have shown they are committed to rapid updates but here is how he described it:

“We are taking spec from our customers; we’re listening to what might be missing functionality; issues they’re having with the software; any kind of feedback our carrier partner’s customers are willing to provide – we are going to react to, and we are going to get solutions into people’s hands, as quickly as we can”

Kudos to Omio for the great tidbits!

8 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. We definitely need more gestures. Things like swipe to dismiss is 4.33 times faster than a long press + “mark as read”.

    And why don’t they implement the hyper scroller like on the other platforms? It’s available on Android ports and makes it very easy to jump to specific points in long lists.

    Also, some uniformity between apps would be good. They still have apps built with AIR, Cascades, HTML5. They should all be native and work the same way. The browser’s contextual menu is not the same as the Hub’s.

    I disagree with his comment about too many preferences. Good usability comes from having various ways of using an UI based on your expertise level. They should enable advanced options for those who want them, in case simplicity doesn’t cut it.

    And the last paragraphs saddens me: “our carrier partner’s customers”. Get on with the programme and implement direct customer support or at least feature requests and conversations. It’s more and less working for developers, it should work for consumers as well. I’m not going to ring my carrier and tell them about all the flaws I’ve found in the OS which slow me down and prevent me from doing tasks I can do on other platforms.

    • Yeah I want them to pack on the gestures. I was actually suggesting a gestures beta app. Where you could beta test gestures that others wont have until they refine them

      • Great idea! They just need to open a new programme in the beta zone, seen as they have all the tools there to engage with users.

        Next year’s big trial is going to be Apple vs BlackBerry: The gestures battle :)

  2. Swipes ae the way to go. I wish they would put a universal search on the virtual keyboard and have wifi options, phone accessible no matter what app your in.

  3. There’s certainly one gesture I’m happy to give to Apple….

  4. we need buttons back !!! I have both the z10 and my 9810 and it really bothers me when i dont have a back button or a trackpad. I find its much quicker for me

    • Agreed. There should be always there buttons that can be used wherever you are. BlackBerry could make these virtual buttons, if they don’t want physical buttons.

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