BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha B impressions round-up

By Simon Sage on 25 Sep 2012 06:55 pm EDT

We've had our hands on the Dev Alpha B at BlackBerry Jam Americas 2012, but so have a lot of other excellent sites. Let's see what the techno-elite have to say about the updated version of RIM's next-generation operating system and the developer device it's running on. 

The Verge liked the the Dev Alpha B, and was amply impressed by its responsiveness, despite some similarities the experience shared with the competition. 

It's actually not bad at all — it's as fast at re-opening running apps as any OS we've seen and having messaging always be one swipe away is quite convenient. Our short experience with it felt like living in a strange middle ground between the iPhone's icon-based UI and Windows Phone's live tiles.
In that competitive light, InformationWeek wasn't convinced that BB10 in its current form is enough to stand up to the alternatives.
There is plenty in BlackBerry 10 that could be considered table stakes--necessary for the modernization of the BlackBerry experience, but old hat by now.

Engadget was also impressed with the software performance, but what really caught their eye was Peek. 

Given our tendency to check Twitter and email throughout the day, we really appreciated the fact that users can easily and unobtrusively peek at those notifications using a right angle gesture. 

CNET had a little bit of trouble figuring out all of the new gestures, though admitted that the learning curve was hardly a deal-breaker. 

Other gestures will take the time to learn, but perhaps RIM hopes customers will enjoy the power and exclusivity of figuring it all out.

But nevermind the experts, what do you guys think of the new BlackBerry 10 stuff we've seen today? How much better are RIM's prospects looking for the new year? Also, seen any other good hands-on reviews of the BlackBerry Dev Alpha B?

Reader comments

BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha B impressions round-up


looks like all the leaks lol but still something i would want to have specially now how all the new updates gives access to what seems like almost all of bb10

I wonder if when Blackberry 10 finally gets unveiled both hardware and software next year, if we will be as enthused seeing that we have seen so much to date. Come january we would have seen enough leaks and glances to put everything together that we wont get anything wowing really... much like iPhone 5, albeit BB10 is a new OS.

Other than that im impressed so far. The UI is very well thought out. I like the flow, the gestures and the BBHUB. I do hope for more touch optimization tho. I know its not the final product, but from quite a few demos you can tell that the OS wasn't very responsive, so much so that it almost embarrassed Vivek during the keynote this morning.

I know exactly what your saying.. sometimes when the host pulls swipes up from the "Blackberry" logo bezel. It takes a a try or 2 to capture the gesture. It will be smooth, trust that. It will be just like the Playbook. I swipe up on my Playbook and it never misses a gesture. That's probably a reason why Heins delayed until 2013. Its all good, more time to make sure I'm ready for my pre-order!!!

You said trust that... but then you mentioned the playbook. lets just say where swipe down gesture is concerned in the PB UI (browser tabs anyone?) i HOPE BB10 is leagues and miles more optimized than the playbook.

I mentioned the PlayBook because..this phone is running the same OS and system of the PlayBook. Its origin is the same. What's wrong with PlayBook browser tabs? In any event, I love my PlayBook and the looks of this phone. Can someone say PRE-ORDERS PLEASE!!!

I agee, sometimes when I swipe on the top bezel it doesn't work well and seems like it froze so I have to swipe several times to get it to show.

... maybe so, but to "ME" I still have to wait until a SLIDER version is released. I know, the L and N models are priority to launch the platform, but "to ME" (and it seems many others) the full-size touch screen should not be compromised for a real, full-size, qwerty keyboard.

Having said that, I'm not sure anyone's seen the BB10 qwerty keyboard version yet ... so I'm not holding my breath for a "quick" release of the slider version. That's OK tho', ... my Torch 9800 still rocks!

Let's keep telling RIM what we want because I'm sure they're listening!

i love it i cant wait for it, come jan i will have a good condition slightly used 9900 for sale

i was over on engadget checking out what they think (knowing that it is less of an apple fanbot site then gizmodo) and man there are alot of dumb people there constantly complaining that it looks like the lumia and that rim is going to fail, and how the OS was just a rip off of all the others.

seriously how many times do you have to read that it is just a dev alpha phone and will probably look nothing like this.
i just hope rim has a louder voice then all the fanboys out there so people can really see how good of a OS QNX can be.

I hate that it doesn't have the convenience keys. I also hope that it has multiple alarm clocks and doesn't restrict you on the number of Apps I can install. Overall I do like he phone though and the OS seems refreshed and new compared to what's currently on the current phones. I do feel like something is missing in the phones though just like with my PlayBook. Idk if it's the look of the letters or the fact I STILL can't use my front facing cam but I do feel incomplete still. I think that if RIM doesn't bring the big name Native Apps to to its App World it's doomed! As much as I hate to admit it, it REALLY needs Skype, Yahoo Messenger, OoVoO, Live Messenger, NetFlix, Skydrive, and all the major book stores. In all, the list goes on and on but these are the starter Apps RIM desperately needs.

I really never imagined the day where a movie app would make or break a company!!! When did Netflix become a necessity on smartphones, why is it even in the list of must have apps...then again it comes handy on a tablet but seriously...

I'm just saying RIM needs these apps to survive because even my friends ask why I don't have that app or why it isn't avalable. RIM needs to cover those gaps in apps to attract more people.

Hardware isn't final. Only those who've seen the actual phone know if there are convenience keys

RIM does not develop those Damn apps. People need to realize its those developers at the companies who made those apps, that have a choice what platform they'll be making it for. If they don't make it for bb10, it won't curve customers decisions. I wish you would know that research in motion doesn't make those listed apps.

Better than anything I've ever seen. 100,000,000x better than iOS, Android, and BB7 combined. I may be exaggerating a bit... I think I'm going to wait for the keyboard variant though.

Based on what I am seeing so far, I really look forward to Jan 2013. It even seems like it would be ready for December. This is one thing I really appreciate RIM addressing which is the less spoken about on-time delivery of the product. It seems everything is near completion and for a dev device this has super functionality to match any other phone/OS out there and even surpassing them.

Granted we have not heard so much about the apps that will come with the OS, but we have seen some that really blow away the competition and have you saying WOW. Im talking about apps like the camera and BB HUB and super (amplified) BBM. What's not to love? Moving from the JAVA environment was a very necessary step in creating something modern and agile and this preliminary QNX based update is IT!

I would like to see the icons more refined and software/touch a bit more optimized but otherwise I don't see why this device/platform will not be a winner. Its fresh, unique and scintillating. If you forget what you are looking at, you would not be thinking BlackBerry unless you had/have a PlayBook which has a similar feel and look.

RIM now has the task of marketing the device. Well not to me, I will be getting one no matter how little RIM mentions BB10 or the L and N series. Coming from my 9900, which is a very solid device IMO, this seems to add so much more to the UX of BlackBerry posing a very real threat to other mobile makers if utilized correctly.

I am so thrilled, these reviews/leaks/previews have been making me less productive since today, smh but give me more nonetheless!

This is really looking good. It's got that cool factor with all the gesture and at the same time it's very practical. WIN!

call me crazy im seeing a future where by i believe blackberry will be one of the top contenders in the phone os and i see windows 8 dominating the tablet space as well

Man .... I watch the live stream on my Playbook today...

My goodness, just what Thor, Vividek, Chris, and Alex have been up to?!

That is the best Blackberry I have seen since the 8830 Worldphone!

The Peek feature is industry changing... This could be a major game changer in how you use your smartphone period... OMG My jaw dropped over cascades, but again the PEEK got me.

So my question is this.... Can the BB10 do FaceChat? Via BBM?

I want this phone STAT!

Now the Devs will have their hands on BB10 phones running BB10 Browser I'm looking forward to seeing a BB10 vs iPhone 5 vs GS3 browser side by side comparison

Watch the live feed today and was simply impressed. We saw the next evolution of the smart phone. Flexibility, ease of use, and transitioning was miles ahead of anything on the market. You almost felt sorry for the poor slobs that bought an iPhone5. And I got a good chuckle out of the iSOLATION comment.

What about BlackBerry Bridge RIM? I wonder what new stuff they will incorporate into it or if it will be available at all. I really hope they continue it the way it is now or even imporve it with more cool stuff you can do together! I'd also like to see the 2 convenience keys added in addition of HDMI.

phone is simply amazing .... some of the iFollowers are so blind that they will say stupid, misinformed things to justify their choice of smartphones .... for me it's #BB10 all the way!!!

As a programmer, i really appreciate the ton of work that has gone into BB10 so far .... can't wait till launch day ....

I said this on the video with Don, but Peek is just the kind of feature you can imagine Steve Jobs demonstrating just a few years ago. It is where other OS's will want to go. I love it; it makes so much sense.

I am not a big fan of the four flat tiles on the home screen, but thats just me. I like my Live Tiles better. But if RIM has more of this kind of innovation up its sleeve for BB10, it is going to be just fine!

the new UI looks fantastic and refreshing. I wish they used "swipe up to close" like in the playbook rather than have that little x mark on the bottom of the active app window to make it cleaner. i know its implemented in the playbook also but i just don't think it looks good on a BB10 phone.

Looks good but it doesnt seems fast and I notice that some of the gesture dont work that well the guy had to swipe a few times. Also it all goes down to skype too.

this thing is gnna kick the apple n samsung ass big time...

BB 9780 white os 6

BB Playbook 32gb os

I have to admit - seeing all the BB10 video yesterday gave me hope. The OS is impressive.

That said until it's in the local cellular store, I can't get too excited as I worry more delays are coming. I also worry that the big apps like Netflix, Skype etc weren't mentioned and aren't coming.

Maybe its all coming together and I am waiting it out but after so many disappointments and delays it's tough to be a Blackberry fan in 2012.

WHAT!?!?!?! A black rectangle with SQUARE corners and big glass window ....?!?! WTF!!

Better get THAT patent application off to the USP&TMO before the 'big boys' catch wind and dispatch their teams of lawyers to Waterloo!

BlackBerry 10 looks amazing. Cant wait to get it!
But the only thing I have to mention is that BlackBerry Dev Alpha B's design isnt looking well.
No sure how BlackBerry 10 L will look like, but please RIM, GET RID OF THE TOP AND BOTTOM BAR! What the hell is this? Its so ugly! Better leave the inside black glass only.
We dont want to have device with fantastic OS and look that cant compare the iPhone 5 for example.

BlackBerry 10 FTW?! :))