Help, How-To & Tips

Quick Tip: How to enable and disable Universal Search on OS6 and OS7

News & Rumors

Bell Mobility releases official OS 6.0.0.615 for BlackBerry Bold 9700

News & Rumors

Virgin Mobile Canada now offering the BlackBerry Pearl 3G for $150 with no contract required

News & Rumors

Official OS 6.0.0.600 released by GCI for the BlackBerry Curve 9330 and BlackBerry Style 9670

BlackBerry OS

BlackBerry Torch 9800 OS v6.0.0.600 officially released by AT&T

News & Rumors

Official OS 6.0.0.600 released by Sprint for the BlackBerry Bold 9650

BlackBerry OS

Vodafone DE releases OS 6.0.0.600 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

News & Rumors

Leaked: OS 6.0.0.600 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

News & Rumors

Leaked OS 6.0.0.576 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

News & Rumors

Official OS 6.0.0.576 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 released by AVEA Turkey

News & Rumors

Official OS 6.0.0.570 for the BlackBerry 9780, 9800, 9100 and 9105 released by AVEA Turkey

BlackBerry 101

BlackBerry 101: Importing picture folders on BlackBerry 6

News & Rumors

Leaked: OS 6.0.0.570 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800!

BlackBerry OS

BlackBerry Bold 9700 and 9780 get an official update to OS 6.0.0.546 from Taiwan Mobile!

News & Rumors

Official OS 6.0.0.546 for BlackBerry Torch released by Vodafone DE

News & Rumors

Web Browser Shootout: BlackBerry 7 on the Bold 9930 vs. BlackBerry 6 on the Bold 9780!

News & Rumors

Official OS 6.0.0.526 for the BlackBerry Pearl 3G from Rogers

News & Rumors

Virgin Mobile Canada releases official OS 6.0.0.534 for the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

News & Rumors

Bell releases official OS 6.0.0.534 for the Bold 9700 and BlackBerry Torch 9800

News & Rumors

Official OS 6.0.0.522 for the BlackBerry Curve 9330 released by Sprint LP!

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BlackBerry 6 Review, FAQ and New Features

By Kevin Michaluk on 4 Aug 2010 09:00 pm EDT
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Read CrackBerry's Full Review and In-Depth Walk Through of BlackBerry 6!

BlackBerry 6 - homescreen
BlackBerry 6 - tabbed web browsing
BlackBerry 6 - revamped music player

In the smartphone market where competition and consumer demands are ever-increasing and tech journalists and Wall Street are becoming less forgiving, BlackBerry 6 is RIM's response to those who have said they needs to fix their browser and get a more modern operating system. Finally, after months of teasing us with sneak peeks and previews, BlackBerry 6 is hitting the hands of consumers, debuting on the BlackBerry Torch 9800. BlackBerry 6 ushers in a number of new features, subtle tweaks, behind the scenes performance improvements, and a revamped user interface - all aimed at making the BlackBerry experience more approachable, engaging and fun.

Research in Motion set the expectations high when they decided to officially "brand" their device software - prior to this it typically has been known by more geeky nomenclature such as OS 5.0. So does BlackBerry 6 live up to the hype? Is it enough to make existing BlackBerry owners get hooked on BlackBerry all over again and provide the consumer appeal needed for RIM to continue to hold their own in the smartphone wars? Keep reading for a full look at what's new in BlackBerry 6 and what it means to you.

Table of Contents

Housekeeping: It's a BIG renovation, but it's not a new operating system.

To make sure we're all on the same page here, we need to be clear up front - BlackBerry 6 isn't an all new operating system but rather an evolutionary upgrade in a long line of upgrades to the BlackBerry device software that has been donning BlackBerry handhelds for a decade. In the five years I've been a BlackBerry user I've now seen the operating system progress from version 4.0 to 4.1 to 4.2 to 4.21 to 4.22 to 4.3 to 4.5 to 4.6 to 4.7 to the 5.0 device software currently running on most in-market BlackBerry Smartphones. So whether it was labeled as OS 5.2 or BlackBerry 6, what we're discussing still represents the latest progression of the legacy BlackBerry platform. It's not like when Palm introduced their new webOS platform last year, completely severing ties with their legacy Palm OS and effectively starting at version 1 again.

BlackBerry 6 - a BIG renovation

For people who prefer the style with which BlackBerry Smartphones get things done, BlackBerry 6 is the best BlackBerry operating system to date by far

Framing BlackBerry 6 in this light makes it sound like RIM just tossed a fresh coat of paint and a new set of shingles on an aging house, an impression reinforced by a quick look at the OS. But you would be wrong to think that's all RIM did. With BlackBerry 6 RIM really dug deep into the BlackBerry framework and did some serious renovations. It's more like they repaired a few cracks in the foundation and reinforced it for more strength, put in steel beams where there used to be wood, swapped out all of the glass for energy efficient windows, built a new sun room and patio and then once all that was finished they re-did the kitchen and bathrooms.

Should this matter to you? It depends who you are. Some people would love a brand new house in the suburbs while others would kill for an old Victorian style manor in the country. Others still would prefer a condo downtown, regardless of whether it's new or old, as long as they can afford the payments. At the end of the day, what really matters is that your phone is able to do the things you want it to do in a manner that suits your style. And for people who prefer the style with which BlackBerry Smartphones get things done, BlackBerry 6 is the best BlackBerry operating system to date by far!

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What's New in BlackBerry 6

It was made clear to us that RIM put a lot of time and effort into the development of BlackBerry 6. A ton of consumer research was conducted and hundreds of decisions were made as to what needed to be added, changed or kept the same. RIM's software development team had three key design principles in mind while working on BlackBerry 6:

  • make it look fresh, but familiar
  • make it easy to use, but be incredibly powerful
  • make it fun and approachable

You don't have to spend much time on a BlackBerry 6 device to realize RIM succeeded in these design goals, starting right from the time you turn the device on (which by the way has a much faster bootup time). But if you're reading this article I'll assume you don't have BlackBerry 6 yet, so keep reading and we'll walk through all that is new!

New BlackBerry 6 Setup Wizard

BlackBerry 6 - new setup wizard homescreenBlackBerry 6 - built-in tutorials
BlackBerry 6 better engages users to learn and personalize their device

After booting up a BlackBerry 6 device for the first time you'll automatically be whisked into the Setup Wizard which has undergone a major overhaul. On the BlackBerry Torch, clicking on the Continue button from the initial Welcome to BlackBerry screen takes you into a brief video tutorial that shows you how to navigate the homescreen and use gestures.

From there, the main Setup screen has been partitioned into three sections: Setup, Personalization and Help & Tutorials. The Setup section should ensure new BlackBerry users are ready to rock and roll on their new phone as soon as they hit the device homescreen, and I hope the Personalization section means we'll see less BlackBerry owners rocking the default ringtones and wallpapers (BlackBerry 6 includes a whole bunch of new ringtones and alert sounds to boot!). If you ever get stuck, the Help & Tutorials section offers a number of How Tos, Tips & Tricks and Video Tutorials to get you up to speed. If you're still stuck, don't fret. Just hit the web browser and go to CrackBerry.com. We've always got your back.. err.. thumbs.

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New Homescreen Experience

BlackBerry 6 - homescreen legend

While an improved setup experience is welcome, the first BIG BlackBerry 6 change you'll notice that really impacts the everyday use of the phone is the new homescreen. While the changes are subtle at first glance (it still looks like a BlackBerry) there are quite a few things going on here other than the new coat of paint on the icons (which do look pretty sweet in my opinion). In addition to the application shortcuts, the BlackBerry 6 homescreen experience also features the following tappable/selectable areas as illustrated in the screen capture above:

a) Navigation Bar
b) Notifications Preview
c) Manage Connections Shortcut
d) Universal Search
e) Sound Profiles Shortcut

Let's walk through the BlackBerry 6 homescreen changes in detail.

Navigation Bar / Shortcut Filtering

BlackBerry 6 - full view, media folderBlackBerry 6 - favorites
left: Navigation Bar dragged to top (open icon try); right: Favorites shows user-favorited shortcuts

Sliding your finger left or right on the new Navigation Bar allows you to view your homescreen icons in five different views: All, Favorites, Media, Downloads and Frequent. The five views are in an infinite loop, so you can continuously scroll through them. The icon tray can be fully opened by tapping the Navigation Bar or dragging it up to the top. The Navigation Bar can also be pulled down to the bottom (hiding all shortcuts) if you prefer to see more wallpaper, or it can be partially opened as you desire. Double tapping the menu key (BlackBerry button left of the trackpad) will also open the full icon tray on any given view.

BlackBerry 6 gives off the impression that the operating system before you is a lot bigger than the physical piece of glass you're looking at.

This concept of having multiple views definitely adds complexity over the standard (boring) Precision theme of OS 5 where you basically have just a straight dump of icons, but it's good complexity for the design team to have added. First, it makes BlackBerry 6 give off the impression that the operating system before you is a lot bigger than the physical piece of glass you're looking at. That's a key sign of a modern mobile operating system. Second, it exposes more of your BlackBerry's apps to you. A lot of current BlackBerry owners, myself included on occasion, only use their device for a fraction of what it's capable of because so much of the good stuff is hidden in folders by default (such as the media apps). BlackBerry 6 is constantly reminding you that your BlackBerry can do so much more than email, make phone calls and BBM by putting it in your face. Third, in addition to having application shortcuts or BBM contacts/groups on your homescreen, BlackBerry 6 allows you to create shortcuts for webpages and contacts.

As always on BlackBerry, Folders can be created on the homescreen and shortcuts can be moved to folders, different views or hidden alltogether. By default (and as you would expect) all application shortcuts are viewable from the All view and any installed applications will appear in Downloads. The Media view is home to apps such as Music, Videos, Pictures and the new-to-BlackBerry 6 Podcasts and YouTube apps (more on them later). Any homescreen shortcut can be marked as a Favorite, which will then appear on the Favorites view.

New Quick Access Points

BlackBerry 6 - manage connectionsBlackBerry 6 - notifications preview
Manage Connections (left) and Notifications Preview (right) are easily accessed from homescreen

New access points have been added to the BlackBerry 6 homescreen that allow you to quickly manage connections and preview newly received notifications.

Tapping/selecting the upper area of the homescreen (where the date, time, signal strength, etc. are displayed) drops down the Manage Connections screen. From the Manage Connections screen you can setup and turn on/off your radio, WiFi and Bluetooth. An alarm clock preview and shortcut to the Clock app have also been added.

The notifications section on the homescreen has now become an access point as well, which when selected drops down a preview of newly received messages/notifications and upcoming calendar appointments. Tapping the notifications bar will hide the preview, or you can choose to jump straight to a message by selecting it.

As was the case in the 5.0 software, selecting the speaker icon from the homescreen launches the Profile window, allowing you to choose a different active sound profile.

Though these simple access point additions to the homescreen may not seem all that flashy, they actually do add a lot to the user experience on the device. Once you have them, you'll wonder how you lived without them on 5.0. Another thing I like about the re-vamped homescreen is that it sets a tone for the rest of the device experience. For example, the scrolling between views -- where you can see the leading text left and right at the top of a view to indicate there is more to see -- is carried throughout BlackBerry 6. It's in the new Application Management screens, the new Social Feeds app and App World 2.0. The top access point also is a hat tip that this is sometimes the case within other apps, such as BlackBerry Messenger where selecting your name at the top of the main BBM app opens My Profile.

Universal Search

BlackBerry 6 - universal searchBlackBerry 6 - universal search
Universal Search lets you search for anything and everything - including device options!

Perhaps the most valuable homescreen improvement made to BlackBerry 6 is the addition of Universal Search. It really has fundamentally changed the way I use my BlackBerry. Universal search makes it easy to find content that resides on the device such as contacts, messages, music, pictures, appointments, operating system options, etc. as well as content you want to bring back to your BlackBerry such as search results from various sources. Web results come from Google by default, but changing the default search engine within the web browser will change it in the Universal Search as well. Search Youtube is installed by default too. RIM has opened up the Universal Search API to third party developers to take advantage of. Expect to see a Search CrackBerry app soon! Going to Options > Device > Search allows you to control what applications provide search results, so you can disable any search sources you do not want to see.

Perhaps the most valuable homescreen improvement made to BlackBerry 6 is the addition of Universal Search. It really has fundamentally changed the way I use my BlackBerry.

To activate Universal Search, you can either select the magnifying glass icon from the homescreen or simply start typing on the keyboard (you can disable this setting if you would rather launch apps from the keyboard). On devices where you have a full physical keyboard, using Universal Search can become really addicting. On the BlackBerry Torch 9800, I no longer hunt and peck for icons when I want to do stuff - I just slide out the keyboard and start typing. The fact that system settings are included makes the device much easier to use as well. Want to change your trackpad sensitivity? Just start typing trackpad. You'll see the "Options" results which when clicked will display "Trackpad Sensitivity". No longer do you have to think about where those settings are located [note: only the main options from the actual Options screen have been indexed - currently RIM chose to not index the options from within apps such as the Email Options or Phone Options]. Again, this is one of those features that once you begin using you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. "Just Start Typing" is my new mantra.

Beyond Universal Search from the homescreen, the notion of search is reinforced throughout BlackBerry 6. Within the email app, you can now launch a simple Message List search by tapping the magnifying glass icon. Within the web browser, search is integrated into the main URL field. As always, the media apps are search-friendly as well. BlackBerry 6 is all about Search.

What the new homescreen doesn't have - widgets

While the new BlackBerry 6 homescreen experience is much improved, it still primarily serves the purpose of launching apps (similar to the iPhone screen). To view info, you need to first open an app. A lot of users have been hoping to see a broader range of homescreen widgets come to BlackBerry, like those offered on some other mobile platforms. [ note: I'm referring to widgets here in the proper sense of the term - a mini-app that sits on the surface desktop/homescreen and displays info and can run alongside other widgets. ]. The reason I like the widget concept is that it helps you get more info out of your phone, without ever having to open an app (ie. run a weather widget, stock widget, headlines widget, etc.). My hunch is that if it was easy to do this on the existing BlackBerry platform, RIM would have done it, so for now it'll have to go on the wishlist for BlackBerry 7.

What about third party themes?

Good news and bad news here. The good news is theme developers will be able to develop third party themes for BlackBerry 6. The bad news is they won't be able to exercise quite the same level of creativity over their designs. The official word I received from RIM was: "The development of custom Themes will be supported on BlackBerry 6 however, the breadth of customization of the Home screen experience will be limited due to the integration of new functionality, including the status UI, expanded notifications, application tray and integrated search." My take on this is that theme developers will be able to change up the icons, wallpapers and color scheme through the operating system as much as they like, but this homescreen theme experience is pretty much set in stone. We'll find out exactly how creative theme developers can get once the updated Theme Builder is made available.

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A Refined and Enhanced User Interface

Beyond the homescreen experience, RIM really went through the operating system and made a ton of tweaks that overall deliver a really enhanced user experience. I know that sounds a bit like marketing speak, but it's kind of actually true in the case of BlackBerry 6. No one change on its own is that overwhelmingly crazy, but if you pick up your BlackBerry running OS 5.0 after using 6.0, it makes version 5.0 feel ancient.

BlackBerry 6 - contextual popupBlackBerry 6 - application switcher
left: tap and hold gesture produces a contextual pop-up menu
right: new application switcher screen makes multitasking on BlackBerry more intuitive

In addition to the new coat of paint throughout BB6, the experience is more fluid and modern feeling thanks to smooth transitions between apps and screens. On touch devices, in addition to the standard BlackBerry menu (you know, the one that pops up on the left side of the screen that contains every option you can possibly think of) enacted by clicking the physical menu key, new contextual pop-up menus exist throughout the OS. When you touch and hold down on the display, the pop-up menu displays the most popular options. The pop-up menu always display a link to the full menu too, so if you get in the habit of using the pop-ups you can still easily get to the full menu.

When you touch and hold down on the display, the pop-up menu displays the most popular options.

You can multitask as you did in OS 5 by holding down the menu button for an extra moment which launches the Application Switcher, but the Application Switcher has received a new look to make it more clear. Instead of a horizontal ribbon of apps loaded on top of the fully visible background, the open apps are now fore-grounded with the background muted out.

Anybody who has ever used a BlackBerry before knows that the operating system is packed with options, arguably too many options. Clicking on the Options wrench in the past has always brought up a scary white screen with plain text links in alphabetical order displaying links like About and Advanced Options at the top, which when pressed bring up more screens and options that the average person doesn't care about (and frankly are a little intimidating). On BlackBerry 6 the Options have been reorganized and made a lot more friendly (there are icons now!) and should be more intuitive to the average BlackBerry user. Of course for existing owners there is now some re-learning to do, but the changes here are most welcome.

Unlike Apple who places all native app settings (and even most 3rd party app settings more that matter) within one main settings section, RIM decided to leave app options (apps like email, web browser, phone and calendar) within each individual app. I personally sort of like the Apple approach of putting all settings for the phone in one place, but RIM's consumer research and testing showed users prefer to see the options within the apps themselves, so the location of these options were left unchanged in BlackBerry 6.

BlackBerry 6 - revamped device optionsBlackBerry 6 - SMS/MMS become text
left: revamped Device options are more intuitive;
right: SMS and MMS become Text and add grouping

Another simplification made in BlackBerry 6 was to scrap the SMS and MMS terms and treat them as one and the same. BlackBerry 6 now refers to text messaging as Text. New in the text app, you can now Group Conversations. It's a little like BlackBerry Messenger Groups but for all your non-BlackBerry friends. In addition to sharing pictures, video, and audio via text, you can also share your location, which uses either the GPS or Cell Tower to display a map of where you are, which you can pan and zoom and send as a picture to your contacts. Pretty handy!

Connecting your BlackBerry to a computer is also a friendlier process in BlackBerry 6. Instead of the slightly scary "Do you want to turn on Mass Storage Mode?" pop-up in OS 5.0, there's a new pop-up that tells you your BlackBerry device is plugged in and allows you to choose if you want to use the USB Drive, Sync Media or Charge Only. Bluetooth has been enhanced so you can now select to pair a new receiving device during the sending flow, and the user doesn't have to put their device into Receive mode for already paired/trusted devices. WiFi setup has also been simplified by automatically scanning for networks upon entering the app.

Core apps like email and calendar received some subtle BlackBerry 6 enhancements as well. The BIS email setup has been simplified, and in addition to the already-mentioned Enhanced Message List Search the messages app also has enhanced message forwarding which allows you to forward a messages to other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. You can also manage your mail folders more easily - a search box is now presented after you choose View Folder from the menu. The Calendar application also received a modest BB6 overhaul, with updates to the look and feel of Day View, Agenda View, Event Details, Month View and Week View, and there is of course support for the contextual pop-up menus which come in pretty handy within the Calendar. Perhaps the best subtle update to the calendar application is the homescreen icon, which now actually shows you the correct date!

BlackBerry 6 - email searchBlackBerry 6 - Calendar
left: New inbox search makes it easier to find emails
right: Homescreen Calendar shortcut now displays correct date!

One enhancement I would have liked to see in BlackBerry 6 that didn't come to fruition is a reduction and simplification in all of the legal warnings and application privileges crap you get bombarded with as you use the device and install apps. BlackBerry 6 does such a good job of treating the end user as a consumer that it's a little alarming and off-putting when you get these non-friendly and non-human sounding agreements and messages to have to deal with.

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The New BlackBerry Web Browser

BlackBerry 6 - web browserBlackBerry 6 - tabbed browsing
left: WebKit renders webpages more accurately; right: BlackBerry browser now with tabs! 

Long story short, the BlackBerry browser no longer sucks. In fact, for the first time ever I actually enjoy browsing the web on a BlackBerry and think to use the web browser (normally I tried to avoid using it unless I was desperate). It's nearly two years now since I first got my hands on the BlackBerry Bold 9000 expecting to see a lighting fast 3G web browsing experience and instead discovered with javascript support turned on it would take upwards of 3 minutes to load CrackBerry.com -- if I was lucky enough to avoid getting the hourglass of death, and over WiFi it wouldn't even load.

BlackBerry 6 - browser optionsBlackBerry 6 - global options
left: Simplified browser options; right: Add webpages to homescreen and RSS

To fix the browser, RIM implemented a WebKit rendering engine (the same as is used on the iPhone, Android, and webOS) in the BlackBerry 6 operating system, which is leveraged in areas where HTML comes into play such as when browsing the web and viewing emails. So beyond just the browser, WebKit provides faster and more robust HTML and JavaScript rendering performance throughout BlackBerry 6. New features to the web browser in BlackBerry 6 include:

Long story short, the BlackBerry browser no longer sucks.
  • Enhanced Web Standards Support - the browser achieves an ACID 3 compliance score of 100 (http://acid3.acidtests.org/) and includes support for CSS3 and HTML5.
  • Tabbed Browsing - simply tap the New Tab icon in the top right corner of the browser and you are prompted open another web page. With multiple pages open you can tap the same button to toggle between pages
  • Add Webpage Shortcuts to the Homescreen - When you're on a webpage you want to create a homescreen shortcut for, you can find the Add to Home Screen option by tapping the Globe icon
  • Bookmarks / Subscribe to RSS Feed - bookmarks can easily be added under the Globe icon. Also under the Globe icon is an option to subscribe to the RSS Feed, which adds it to the new BlackBerry 6 Social Feeds app (more on that below).
  • Pinch Zoom / Text Auto Zoom - you can now use the pinch gesture (on touchscreens) to zoom in one pages. The browser also features an auto zoom mode. Double tapping on a block of text zooms in and re-flows the text for easy reading, eliminating the need to pan
  • Updated Start Page - the web browser start page has been also been cleaned up. Instead of separate fields for Search/URL they are now combined into one.
  • Updated Browser Options - the browser options have been simplified to a single page. You can now set a homepage of your choosing, set the default search client and manage content, privacy and security settings. The Clear Browsing Data section is at the bottom of options page, where you can choose to clear out passwords, history, cookies, cache and pushed content.
  • Enhanced URL Sharing - when on a webpage, the Send Page Address option can be accessed from the menu, allowing page URLs to now be shared via the Social Feeds app, Facebook and Twitter, in addition to email, text message, PIN, group message or messenger contact.
  • Automatic Browser Transport Selection - the browser now automatically selects the optimal transport mode based on the data connections available (no more having to first switch to the HotSpot browser in order to use WiFi). If the device is connected to WiFi the browser uses that connection and goes straight out to the internet. If WiFi isn't present, the browser goes through RIM's BIS Optimized WebKit Proxy (BES users go through the BES proxy).

The improvements to the web browser experience alone make BlackBerry 6 a stellar operating system upgrade. Putting the brower to use, web pages load faster and render more accurately and pages re-render much faster as you scroll down a loaded webpage. Considering the browser is said to be 3x more efficient when browsing over the network than the competition, the performance gains really are huge. Speedwise it's not quite as quick as the competition, at least when we tested it on the BlackBerry Torch 9800. When we put the Torch 9800 head to head against the Apple iPhone 4 and Android-based Samsung Captivate it didn't win any browser load test battles, but it never trailed by much. Considering the Torch 9800 lacks CPU power compared to these devices, it actually shows the browser is even better than it appears. As RIM upgrades their processors on future hardware, the browser will be even faster. [checkout the browser head to head shootout here]

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Camera and Media Applications

You can tell with BlackBerry 6 that RIM is hoping to shake the stigma so many people have that BlackBerry Smartphones are no fun and just meant for work. Not only do the media applications now have a dedicated view on the homescreen, but they have been updated as well. RIM has also introduced two new apps -- Podcasts and YouTube -- to fill in previous media gaps on BlackBerry.

Camera App

In addition to RIM upgrading the camera hardware on new higher-end BlackBerry families to 5 megapixels, the camera app software on BlackBerry 6 has received a major update.

BlackBerry 6 - Camera
Camera viewfinder has been redesigned

The Camera viewfinder has been redesigned for simplicity. There are five buttons along the bottom of the Viewfinder for the following:

  1. Camera Pictures - this shortcut opens the Camera Pictures folder, display the last taken photo in the default folder (once here you can scroll through previously taken photos.
  2. Geo-tagging On/Off - this button toggles geo-tagging on and off.
  3. Shutter button - centrally located and the biggest button on the row, this one snaps the photo. As always, you can also use the right-side convenience key to snap the photo.
  4. Flash - you can tap this button continuously to toggle between flash On, Off and Auto settings
  5. Scene Modes - new to BlackBerry 6, you can now tune your BlackBerry 6 to take better photos in specific circumstances by choosing the appropriate Scene Mode. Scene Modes include Auto, Face Detection, Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Party, Close-Up, Snow, Beach, Night and Text.

A historical complaint with the camera on BlackBerry devices to date is that it takes too long to snap a photo - as in the time between pressing the shutter button and actually getting capturing an image is too long as the camera focuses and executes, so you end up missing the moment altogether. By default, the camera now enables Continuous Auto Focus which eliminates the previous need to do the half-button press to focus the camera. With Continuous Auto Focus the camera shutter button will immediately take the image, only focusing first if really necessary. If you'd rather not use the Continuous Auto Focus, you can disable it from the options menu. Once you snap a photo, a new simplified review screen allows you to delete the photo or take it again (there are settings to adjust how long the review lasts or disable it altogether).

BlackBerry 6 - camera scene modesBlackBerry 6 - camera continuous autofocus
left: Scene Modes allow for better photo taking; right: Continous Autofocus enabled by default

RIM's goal with the camera app was to make it something a person will really want to use in their everyday life, with photo quality that doesn't just look good on the BlackBerry but will look amazing when printed. The camera definitely has the capabilities to deliver quality photos, but it also means if you want to get the most from it you'll want to experiment with it beyond leaving it in Auto mode. The Face Detection will automatically detect and provide better focus for faces - it will draw a box around a primary face as well as additional faces (I've had it get up to four). [ Side note: the photo at the top of this section made for an interesting observation. When the entire iPad was visible, as shown, the Torch's camera would never draw a green box around the iPad face. However, if we got close enough to the iPad so only the face was showing on the display (no borders/edges of the iPad were showing), then it would detect the iPad face. Smart camera! ]. For action shots, the Sports mode features a zero lag shutter -- it's literally just a snap shot of whatever is present in the viewfinder at that moment, so you'll never miss a photo again.

From the Camera options menu you can jump over to the Video Camera, which records at 640x480 resolution. I honestly think the new 5 megapixel camera is capable of capturing video at a higher resolution but the current Marvell chipset used in GSM devices like the Pearl 3G and Torch 9800 just can't handle more (considering the Pearl 3G's 3.2 megapixel camera also records at 640x480). Once we see RIM introduce a new chipset, I bet we'll see this jump up. I can't wait for the day I can record HD from my BlackBerry.

Pictures

BlackBerry 6 - picturesBlackBerry 6 - pictures
left: Pictures gets a makeover; right: Picture Library separates photo sources by headers

The Pictures application also received an overhaul, which makes it much friendlier and better to use. The Camera Pictures link shows all photos snapped by you on the camera, while the Picture Library shows all pictures on the device but keeps them apart by grouping them by their folder and separating them with headers. For me this is a HUGE change as you no longer have the pictures posted by others to a BlackBerry Messenger Group mixed into the same timeline as photos you have captured yourself (this little hiccup has got me into some major trouble with Miss CrackBerry in the past... Hunny, I SWEAR I didn't take that photo!). Links have also been added to the Pictures homescreen to toggle the view between Date View and Folder View, to enact Search and to create a New Folder.

When viewing the Picture Library, you can toggle the folder headers on or off, enable search by tapping the magnifying glass (or just start typing on the keyboard), toggle between list and thumbnail view or start a slide show. When viewing thumbnails you can select multiple images at once (they don't have to be beside each other) for sharing, deleting, copying and pasting etc.

BlackBerry 6 - picture viewBlackBerry 6 - pinch to zoom with map
left: New menu bar added to bottom of photo view; right: Pinch to zoom with location map

The individual picture view also gets a change up, showing with a dedicated row of buttons now present allowing you to share, rotate, play in slideshow or go to the next/previous image. The pinch to zoom gesture works here on touchscreen devices, and when zooming a location map is displayed so you can track where you are on the image.

Music Player

BlackBerry 6 - music playerBlackBerry 6 - music player
left: BlackBerry Music Player makes better use of album art to enhance the experience
right: While songs are playing you can still scroll through albums

The BlackBerry music player looks MUCH better now and delivers a more compelling experience thanks to a graphics overhaul and a greater presence of album art throughout the app. When a song is playing you can flick through the album art coverflow of upcoming and previous songs and jump to one immediately. Two thumbs up here. With BlackBerry 6 I think we may just see a lot more people using their BlackBerry for music.

The BlackBerry music player looks MUCH better now and delivers a more compelling experience thanks to a graphics overhaul and a greater presence of album art throughout the app.

New to BlackBerry 6 and BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6 is WiFi Music Sync, which allows you to sync your entire computer library of music data with your BlackBerry device. With Wireless Music Syncing you always know which songs from your entire music library are on or are not on the device, and you can mark/unmark songs to be synced automatically over Wi-Fi the next time you hit your home WiFi network (or connect via USB to your computer).

Video Player

BlackBerry 6 - moviesBlackBerry 6 - movies
left: Movie Player also gets updated with auto-generated thumbnails
right: Playback size button allows you to change video size formats on the fly

The BlackBerry video player experience has been enhanced too, with automatically generated thumbnails making the experience more visual. When viewing a video, a new playback size button can be accessed on the top right corner of the screen, which allows you to toggle between Fit Screen, Full Screen and Actual Size.

YouTube App

BlackBerry 6 - youtube appBlackBerry 6 - youtube app
New youtube app is half launcher (takes you to m.youtube.com), half video uploader app

In line with the very social and sharing nature of BlackBerry 6, a YouTube app is now included on the device. It's really more of a half-app / half-launcher though. When you click on the YouTube app shortcut, a popup window prompts you to either Go To YouTube or Upload Video. The Go To YouTube link opens the web browser and takes you to the m.youtube.com mobile site. The experience there isn't horrible, but I'm stilling waiting to see a fully-featured YouTube client. If you choose to Upload Video, you are prompted to select a video from your device and from there can login to YouTube and complete the upload via the app.

Podcasts

BlackBerry 6 - podcastsBlackBerry 6 - podcasts
New Podcasts app furthers the media prowess of the BlackBerry platform

There are two types of people in this world - those who listen to podcasts and those who don't. Those who do listen to Podcasts will be happy to know there is now a native podcast client in BlackBerry 6 that allows you to browse from a catalog of podcasts. This app is a little barebones right now. Heck, the CrackBerry Podcast isn't even the catalog nor can you manually add your own podcast feed (don't fret, you can always get the free CB Podcast App or full version of Podtrapper). As we've seen through the BlackBerry Beta Zone, work is being done on this app and it will likely further improve with time. It's definitely good to see RIM filling in gaps like this is in their service offering.

Add it all up and BlackBerry 6 delivers the most complete and compelling media experience to date on a BlackBerry Smartphone. Will it change how the average BlackBerry owner uses their device? Time will tell I guess, but to have the capabilities and not take advantage of them would be a waste.

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Social Feeds Apps

BlackBerry 6 - social feeds appBlackBerry 6 - social feeds app
Social Feeds app lets you monitor all of your social networks and IM clients in one place

BlackBerry 6 includes the new Social Feeds application which allows you to follow updates on your contacts from social networks and IM clients including all in one place. Integrated applications by default include AIM, BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook, Google Talk, MySpace, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. Rather than creating one app that tries to have all the features of all those services, what Social Feeds does is give you a quick view of what's new in each of them via very tight integration with separate apps, where you can go for a richer, more direct experience.

Instead of thinking apps, apps, apps, sites, sites, sites I really just think people and news.

After you provide the login credentials for each application you'd like to integrate, the combined view pulls updates from each source into a chronological timeline. You can also break apart the views by filtering into a specific application and scroll through them. Polling time is driven by the options set within the individual applications. So if you set the BlackBerry Twitter client to refresh tweets every 30 minutes, that's how often they are updated on the Social Feeds application. Tapping on an update within a feed actually takes you back to the full client - if you view a tweet on the Social Feeds timeline, it takes you into the BlackBerry for Twitter client to reply, etc... You can also create new posts within the Social Feeds app, and send them out to multiple applications as once (ie. update your Twitter, Facebook and BBM status all at once).

BlackBerry 6 - RSSBlackBerry 6 - RSS
RSS application allows you to follow news headlines within the Social Feeds app

In addition to following your contacts the Social Feeds application includes an RSS Feeds section, which allows you to follow the news headlines from your favorite websites. Clicking a headline opens the basic story (like any RSS reader) and you can choose to view the full story which then opens the URL in the web browser. Note - while this part of the application is very much like the Viigo newsreader, this application so far has not been influenced at all by RIM's acquisition of Viigo earlier this year. Any developments relating to the Viigo acquisition have yet to appear in the BlackBerry operating system.

All in all, I really am loving the Social Feeds app. Instead of thinking apps, apps, apps, sites, sites, sites I really just think people and news. It brings it all together and makes it easy to follow, and because it ties back to the fully featured apps, there's really no sacrifice often associated with an all-in-one type client. The Social Feeds app ROCKS!

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BlackBerry Application Management

BlackBerry 6 - application managementBlackBerry 6 - application management
Application Management now offers more information about your BlackBerry's resources

With so many apps and so much going on in BlackBerry 6, RIM added a new BlackBerry Application Management app to the device which allows all the hardcore enthusiasts out there to manage and track device resources. The app can be accessed via Options > Devices > Application Management or you can perform a Universal Search for "app" and select the Options result! Within Application Management, you can scroll between four views:

  • Applications - this is the typical Applications screen normally found on the BlackBerry operating system. You can filter by All, Required and Optional apps and selecting an app allows you to view more options including the ability to Edit Permissions, Delete (if it's an app you're allowed to delete) and now also view the Resources and statistics for that app (CPU, Memory, App Storage, Usage).
  • CPU - this allows you to see what % of the device's CPU is currently in use powering apps. A summary is provided at the top, as well as the individual app break down.
  • Usage - Remember the I Love BlackBerry app or SmrtMonitor apps? Now a basic version of these device usage trackers are built right into the BlackBerry OS, allowing you to see your BlackBerry Usage for Today, Yesterday and This Week, including an app by app breakdown.
  • Memory - This screen shows where that 512MB of flash memory is being used up, both by the BlackBerry 6 System Software and add-on applications. [Side note: looking at this right now as I type shows BlackBerry 6.0 System Software is using 293MB of memory, which helps explain why the BlackBerry you may own already won't be getting an update to BlackBerry 6 ].
  • Application Storage - This screen shows you how much room is available on the device to install applications, and how much is used / available.

A lot of hardcore BlackBerry users have been hoping RIM would add this type of granular detail to the BlackBerry operating system, so it's good to see. Of course, others (like me) would simply prefer the device have so much CPU horsepower and device memory that you never need to think about or care about system resources (though I'd still want to see to see the device usage stats!).

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3rd Party BlackBerry Apps

BlackBerry 6 - app world 2.0BlackBerry 6 - crackberry superstore
left: App World 2.0; right: CrackBerry App Superstore!

So far we've been talking about the bigger changes and new features in BlackBerry 6, never mind the countless other built-in apps and capabilities of the device that BlackBerry users utilize regularly like BlackBerry Messenger, the Alarm Clock, Calculator, Brick Breaker (which also got a little BB6 update by the way!) and many more. But beyond what comes on the device, the buzz word these days is apps, Apps, APPS!

The BlackBerry App World catalog currently shows over 5,000 apps across categories like Business, Utilities, Games, Entertainment, Productivity, and Music and Audio. Tossing Themes into the mix adds another 2,000 titles and adding Reference & eBooks adds another 1,200. It's not Apple App Store numbers, but for the most part if you're looking for a decent app to address a fairly broad need, you should be able to find one. The launch of App World 2.0 will bring BlackBerry apps to more BlackBerry users, with it being preloaded on the device by default. Support for credit card and carrier billing are finally available in App World 2.0 as well (note - your carrier may/may not support carrier billing). Of course the crackiest of CrackBerry users will want to check out the CrackBerry App Store and CrackBerry App Store client for BlackBerry apps.

RIM has been putting a lot of effort into growing and providing tools for their developer community, which ultimately means a growing catalog of apps and games for BlackBerry users. In addition to their traditional Java SDK, RIM has already released another SDK based on web technologies that allows developers to build apps with HTML/CSS/Javascript. I think the key to further growing RIM's BlackBerry app catalog is to make it easy for developers to easily port over their applications from other platforms to the BlackBerry platform. Hopefully we'll see even more from RIM on the app front in the month's ahead.

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Desktop Manager 6

BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6
BlackBerry Desktop Manager version 6

With the release of BlackBerry 6 Software for devices, it only made sense that RIM would release version 6 of the BlackBerry Desktop Software. In addition to revamping the graphics and user interface (which looks much better and is more clear), Media Sync is built-in for Music, Pictures and Video. As of the date of this review being published it's only available PC, but were told version 6 for Mac should be available shortly.

I'm still hoping and waiting for the day that RIM makes more of the BlackBerry experience cloud based so the average user never needs to worry about software like Desktop Manager.

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What BlackBerry Smartphones are getting BlackBerry 6?

Since RIM first showed off the teaser video of BlackBerry 6 in April at WES 2010, the most frequently asked BlackBerry 6 question has been will I be able to upgrade my BlackBerry device to BlackBerry 6?

BlackBerry 6 - who's getting it?

Along with the announcement of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and BlackBerry 6, RIM finally acknowledged what in-market devices will get BlackBerry 6. The quick answer is that it's the newer, higher-end 2010 devices that will get an update to BlackBerry 6 - the Bold 9700, the Bold 9650 and Pearl 3G (and yes, the Bold 9700 technically hit the market in 2009, but it was fairly late in 2009 when it hit so it's more of a 2010 phone). If you own a BlackBerry that isn't getting the update, you're probably ticked, so let's analyze this a bit.

The newer, higher-end 2010 devices will get an update to BlackBerry 6 - the Bold 9700, the Bold 9650 and Pearl 3G.

You need to remember, RIM's primary concern is pushing the performance and experience of new devices ahead so they keep selling more phones. Their second concern, is to bring these performance enhancements to in-market devices whenever possible, which means they won't put BlackBerry 6 on devices that can't adequately run the OS. So could adquately run BlackBerry 6? Our rule of thumb speculation is CDMA devices with 512MB of flash memory and GSM devices with 256MB of memory that have high-resolution screens and the "newer" chipset. 

So why would the Bold 9700 and Pearl 3G get the update but not other devices with 256MB of flash memory like the Tour, Storm2 and Curve 8900? One theory we've discussed on the CrackBerry Podcast is that apparently it's not strictly the amount of memory in the device that is the key deciding factor, but rather the type of memory. With the BlackBerry Bold 9700 we hear RIM introduced some change-ups on the board which speeds up the way device memory interacts directly with the processor. The more intensive graphics and WebKit rendering engine deployed in BlackBerry 6 require this in order to maintain performance. Putting BlackBerry 6 on other devices would just slow them down. Even with the Bold 9700 and Pearl 3G, I'll be curious to see just how well they run BlackBerry 6. Though it is an evolutionary upgrade, you can tell parts of the operating system are much more intensive on memory resources, such as the new camera finder (I'm pretty sure just opening the camera app immediately sucks up ~25MB of memory). As for devices like the new Curve 9300 series (next generation of the Curve 85xx series), I have a feeling BlackBerry 6 may never make an appearance on them. With a screen resolution of only 320 x 240 pixels, BlackBerry 6 would be extremely cramped, and with a lower-end camera specific apps like the new camera viewfinder probably wouldn't work right - it would be more hassle for RIM to put BB6 on that device that it's worth. And from a marketing perspective, if RIM's position with the Curve family is to make it an entry-level just right smartphone, leaving it on the 5.0 platform makes a lot of sense. For those who just want to use their BlackBerry for the basics (phone calls, email, and BBM), the added value of BlackBerry 6 won't be of much benefit. Staying with 5.0 here just makes sense. RIM has always been about giving consumers choice, and having more than one version of operating systems available to consumers represents even more choice. Again, this is all theory, but it makes logical sense. I just really wish all in-market devices with 256MB of ram could at least get the updated web browser. That would make a lot of people happy.

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BlackBerry 6 Bottom Line

BlackBerry 6 on the BlackBerry Torch 9800

It's clear that RIM put a LOT of work into BlackBerry 6, both from a research perspective of deciding what changes to make to the user experience and from an development and execution standpoint of getting the most end-user performance out of the device. It shows. As a longtime BlackBerry user, trying to go back to OS 5 on my Bold 9700 after using BlackBerry 6 on the Torch for a week just isn't possible. BlackBerry 6 is THAT much better (not to mention in that with the Torch, having a big screen and full keyboard is a killer combo I love). You can't really take issue with anything RIM did in BlackBerry 6. It's all good things and it's honestly made me fall in love with my BlackBerry all over again.

The only issue I really have is with what I didn't see happen in BlackBerry 6. I still can't run apps from a MicroSD card. Upgrading the OS via Desktop Manager still results in losing all your application settings. When installing an application you really have to just let it finish installing before you go back to using the device (I'd like to be able to start installing five apps at once and keep using the device fully while they install). None of these issues are that big of a deal, but they show that there are some cracks in the foundation you just can't fix with filler and reinforcements - otherwise they would have been repaired already - be it in BlackBerry 6 or sooner. RIM has fixed what they could and added a lot to the user experience beyond what I expected was even possible. But what this tells me is that no matter how many renovations RIM does to the existing BlackBerry operating system, we'll continue to see some of these platform annoyances continue until RIM finally decides to build a new house. My hunch is that decision has been made and the blueprints have already been drawn up.

BlackBerry 6 is far and away the best BlackBerry OS to date

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy living with BlackBerry 6. The new homescreen experience, the "Just Start Typing" philosophy of Universal Search, the many refinements to the UI (especially in the media-centric apps), and the Social Feeds app have me hooked. BlackBerry 6 is an evolutionary improvement rather than revolutionary, but they've evolved the OS in so many different ways that the sum of the experience is more than its parts. In many ways the OS feels like an overachiever, doing more that you'd expect on hardware that is less powerful than what we see in the iPhone and Android camps.

BlackBerry 6 is far and away the best BlackBerry OS to date. Period.

Related BlackBerry 6 Review Links

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Reader comments

BlackBerry 6 Review, FAQ and New Features

107 Comments

I need a 9700-type device with a tad bit bigger screen that fills to the edge that's HD quality a 5 MP camera and this OS and my ideal dream phone would be complete.

"You need to remember, RIM's primary concern is pushing the performance and experience of new devices ahead so they keep selling more phones. Their second concern, is to bring these performance enhancements to in-market devices whenever possible"
So what this is saying is that RIM could give 2 sh1ts about previous customers that have had Blackberry's for many years and have upgraded to newer devices before and they only care about selling more phones. I had the 9530 and got screwed out of OS updates and then I upgraded to the 9550 and guess what? I got screwed again! F.U.C.K. RIM. Android here I come

I couldn't agree with you more which is why after over 5 years of loyal service and over ten RIM devices, I bought the Droid X. RIM showed no concern for their customers, and after reading this article I obviously made the right choice. This phone destroys any Blackberry that exists today or in 2011. RIM is so behind the curve, it has become comical unless you're a shareholder. I predict RIM goes the way of Palm by the end of 2012 and if that happens, I couldn't be happier. Eat shlt RIM.

The very second I am available for an upgrade I am going straight to the Verizon store and buying an Android phone!!!!

But understandable. And in some ways I agree. I have a Storm 2 and it looks like no Blackberry 6 love for me. But here's my biggest beef with what Kevin has to say about it.

"With the BlackBerry Bold 9700 we hear RIM introduced some change-ups on the board which speeds up the way device memory interacts directly with the processor. The more intensive graphics and WebKit rendering engine deployed in BlackBerry 6 require this in order to maintain performance. Putting BlackBerry 6 on other devices would just slow them down."

Okay...correct me if I'm wrong here. The 9700 was released in September, 2009 I believe. If my memory is correct, the Storm 2 hit stores in November that same year. So why does a handset released TWO MONTHS after the 9700 NOT get Blackberry 6? Why didn't it also get 512 MB and the new board speeds?

RIM was into development of Blackberry 6 at that point, so it's not like they didn't know Blackberry 6 was coming. After all, "and yes, the Bold 9700 technically hit the market in 2009, but it was fairly late in 2009 when it hit so it's more of a 2010 phone" should also apply to the 9520/9550's.

RIM screwed the pooch on this one. Period. Something tells me that a whole lot of people who have the 9520/9550 feel like they are left holding the bag AGAIN, and just got the RIM-job. Backlash, anger and defections are inevitable.

Looks like my dates were a little off. The Storm2 released on October 28, 2009 while the 9700 was released on October 21, 2009. Which actually makes this worse.

Ever get the feeling sometimes like it would have been better not knowing something?

/: )

Here is the real answer to your question.

RIM was working on BlackBerry OS 5.2 when the Storm 2 and 9700 were released (also the Tour probably). We know this because OS 5.2 was seen on the Clamshell not too long ago. Sometime around January/February when the Tour 2 was supposed to be released, RIM changed their plans on the new OS and realized it would require more RAM than they had previously thought. Because of this they delayed the Tour 2 and gave it 512MBs and changed the name to the Bold. This was probably right around the time that they scrapped 5.2 and decided they needed to make a bigger move and really make a splash with OS6, 5.2 just wasn't gonna cut it.

When the Storm 2, 9700, and Tour were released, RIM thought they would be able to handle the next OS without a problem. When RIM decided they needed to step up their game a bit more, they made a new OS that was too much for their newest phones to handle.

We know RIM screwed up by not planning ahead properly and I'm sure they know it too. Just ask yourself, would you rather RIM settled for 5.2 and supported your phone, or would you rather they step up to the plate and go all out, even if it meant your phone wouldn't be supported?

For me its a simple answer. I'd much rather have RIM make the best OS they can.

Do you really believe all Android phones will receive Froyo (Android OS 2.2)?

The answer is; no, they won't. Only the higher end models will receive the update.

By the way, no one cares that you're going Android. You're not hurting our feeling, nor making a statement that's worth anything.

I have nothing against Android. They're doing great things. I love it. It pushes everyone else to do great things.

However, there's just something I love more about my BlackBerry. I feel more connected to the world than with any other device.

pin:22155915

Well by the time I can upgrade to an Android phone they will all have 2.2 or better and why would I want to keep getting f.ucked by RIM when I can go to Android phones where the sh1ttiest Android phone is going to be 10x better than the new 9800 Torch coming out??? Answer that and you get a free cookie :)

cool. androidcentral ---> is that a way!

No doubt android is doing good things; there's a huge amount of phones now carrying 1.6 + the community has grown in leaps and bounds. this is fortunate for users who still use phones like the htc magic - its a phone that wasn't guaranteed 2.0+ but luckily for my mate 'rooting' his phone he can get some of those features...

In saying that, I don't know why you even bother trying to provoke other users esp on a blackberry fansite.

Enjoy your phone while we continue to enjoy our blackberry's for what they are - communication devices that work.

Well, lets see, considering they just released it for the Moto Droid, which released same time as the Storm 2, then I wouldn't necessarily say that its "high end" models only. If your gonna trash talk Android, at least get your facts straight. I just left my S2 after having since release date, S1 prior to that since release date and was "patiently" waiting for 6 to release so I could update, imagine my "joy" when I found that once AGAIN, RISM has FAILED to bring anything current to the table, still setting 2 years behind the competition. It's all good though, my DX arrived 2 days ago and I don't know why I waited so long to switch, night and day difference and also a piece of hardware that'll be "OS Upgradeable" for a while to come.

My fiancé got an Eris that was running 1.6, and even AFTER Verizon had it hit it's end of life she got to 2.1. 2.2 probably won't make it to that model, but the fact they updated to 2.1 is a hell of a sight better support than what RIM's handing out to a handset 9 months old.

im sorry i had the curve... Storm 1..Tour... and the free Bold (replaced my tour)... im sorry i was Hooked on Blackberry but i figured let me check out the Droid X.
Best phone i have ever had... sorry RIM your waaaaay too late... No HD video 5mp cam come on, its 2010 not 2001..
Bye Blackberry :(

You appear to know nothing about Android. 2.2 will run on any phone Android phone just depends on the carrier pushing it. The nice thing about Android is Open Source. There are many developers creating 2.2 Roms for all the phones. G1, the first Android phone to launch in November 2008 has 2.2 ported to it by Cyanogen.

So as I stated you have no clue. 2.2 will run on every Android device made not just the new ones. Carriers wont push them so it will entice people to purchase newer phones. Rooting a Android device and flashing ROMS is just as easy at BB. I flashed many leaked roms to my Storm and Tour. Android allows for more customization than BB.

Froyo 2.2 has Just in Time compiler that makes all phones speed greatly improved.

Not sure what BB offers that Android doesn't. Well I guess BB Messenger. But my Google talk replaces that.

Unlike google, RIM has a vested interest in their phones and how they perform. Google on the other hand may have the nexus one branded after them using HTC but they are a software company and carriers/manufacturers will have that final say (tho being open source that final say may differ in some community forums :P)

you do realise 3.0 when that is released will have certain minimum standards laid out that will single-handedly stop most pre 2010 models from actually receiving this update. sure many older phones were updated to 2.0+ but did you ever try 1.6 (that wasn't great at all) and being dependant on a carrier really isn't something worth cheering about. it took my mates HTC hero almost a year to get to 2.0 after 1.6 because of carrier issues etc.

Luckily for android users, there are people like cyanogen creating roms and certain features to allow people to "root" their phones but whether or not it provides the experience/performance they would want out of a phone is another matter.

the problem i see with blackberry and its frustrations are people who recently bought bb phones 1-10 months. the 9700 WILL get the upgrade but why do people think that OS 5.0 will stop being upgraded or become useless? why do people expect more when considering that they bought the phone (hopefully) knowing full well what it came with. People expect so much from updates now like its something they demand. I expect updates to fix speed and programming issues though I do hope RIM does at least bring the Webkit browser to 5.0 users as that is really what is letting it down in a lot of areas.

Yeh Gtalk somewhat replaces BB Messenger and yeh so? Gtalk isn't exclusive to BB's either. there's a reason why so many businesses still use RIM as their go to business phone.

in closing, not everyone wants to flash roms and "root" their phones but it is definitely one of the main reasons to get an android because the community is there to maintain it.
You seem quite happy with android and like i said earlier. androidcentral is that a way ---> :)

My sister just bought an Android phone and it shuts down on her constently. It even calls random people, and when I call her it doesn't even register that I call, only if I leave a voice mail does she know I called. Through her experience and being woken up at 3 am by her phone mysteriously calling me, I'm DEFINATELY going to stick with my blackberry!!! So glad this phone comes out the day before my contracts up!!!

Definitely, read the reviews before getting an Android phone. There are some great ones and there are some duds as well.

I agree.

i say if you want to go to Andriod then go dont have to sit here and look like an ass and go "f bb in going driod" or "bye rim. driod here i come" if thats what you like then go dont make your self look like a 3yr old crying over a blue lolly pop.

Me i like BBs does what i need it to do, the screen rez so what as long as i can see the screen im happy and 512 of memory yes that low but doesnt bother me because i dont have my phone loaded down with app i might use a total of 3.

to me it looks like a good phone and i am getting it even if its over the "crappy att network" or how people say when i have had att phone for years and have had no problems with it at all.

Do you get mad when the car you've driven for years, or even months, comes out with a new model and bigger engine for the same price? Do you expect FORD, HONDA, CHEVY etc... to just swap it out for you to keep your business? Or do you live with the decision YOU made and look forward to owning the newer model when the time is right for you? I know we are all tight on money, or I am at least, so we WANT the new stuff for free, but come on, is that really feasible? And if it does make good sense to you to give it out for free, then please tell me what kind of car you drive because i would love to own the brand that keeps on giving..... FOR FREE!!!

**Not trying to be an ass, just trying to open your eyes to the world of retail, phones are no different. ****

That's not a good analogy. Most people here are not asking for a new phone. Just an update to OS 6.0. A better analogy would be if Microsoft says you have to have one of the latest quad-core CPU in order to upgrade to Windows 7. I can understand it if you have a 2005 computer and you can't upgrade. But my Tour is barely 1 year old. In fact, it was only about 3 months old when RIM announced OS 6.0. RIM will not retain customer loyalty this way.

would make my parents happy. same phone application - teeny tiny picture id, and alerts and ring tones don't play through headsets.

This whole 6.0 is only a big deal if you are on At&t...and even then you have the Iphone, sorry rim wayyy too little too late.

WebKit + Social Feeds + Enhanced Media

WANT. NOW.

Haha, hopefully the upgrade for the 9700 comes soon. Or the Bold 9780.

pin:22155915

I want details of how it will be on the 9700, most these talked about features are how it will be on touch devices

It makes perfect sense for RIM to put the new OS6 on the newer devices to increase sales. After all, they are a business, and at the end of the day, it's all about money; not matter who you are or what business it is.
Now, if they don't plan to update the web browser to as many phones as possible, I think most of us will jump ship, including myself. For most of use this is one of the biggest complaints. At least give this to us!!!
I have a Storm2 and don't have any of the problems that I read about within the forums, (i.e.) freezing up, constant errors, etc. I've had my S2 for a year and it has only rebooted about 3 times on me. I bought it because I like the full screen; so, switching to anything but a full screen it worthless to me. Although it's nice looking, I don't like the Torch. Maybe if they made it slide up in landscape mood, I would by it.

as much as i love blackberry im going to have to call it quits, not being able to get blackberry 6 is a problem for me knowing its there and settling for 5 on my curve 8530 so im going to be switching to android i got a couple offers on craigslist and ebay, i dont have the money to buy a new bold on verizon and i wont be receiving an upgrade for another 15 months so why settle when i can upgrade get the better browser and apps

farewell blackberry you were my greatest ally =[

Even if "the rest of us" only got the webkit browser, I would be much happier.

Blackberry software may be (well, IS) behind the times, but I've never had any hardware issues at all with either of mine. I cannot say the same for Motorola phones, which I've had issues with each time I've purchased their products (hence my big hesitation to abandon ship and go with a droid). My 9350 works just as well as it did when I got it 20 months ago!

Why on earth would RIM do a exclusive with such a phone? They could've made this phone on their own and released it to t-mobile along with at&t.

I know rim is worried about losing to android and iphone. This exclusive crap just made my mind up. Guess I need to make the switch to droid now. Sorry rim. In order to gain more users and market share, you need to release this to all people. Not just one carrier.

The Droid doesn't work on T-mobile either.

(and unlike iPhone I don't think the Torch will be AT&T only for too long)

Droid is a trademark of LucasFilms (the star wars people) which Verizon licensed to use as a brand name on their phones running the Android operating system.

Both Verizon and T-Mobile have Android phones, they just have different names for them such as Droid and MyTouch 3G.

For that matter, AT&T and Sprint also have Android phones.

I like my 9550 but hate the browser. I want webkit but since its not getting OS6...no webkit. RIM should of realized touch screen phone's OS is more memory but they failed to put 512 but instead put 256 device memory. I have lost the little faith I had in RIM. Once the droid2 comes out, I'm dumping the S2. I use my phone a lot for the web and OM5 is good but droid browser is so much better. And can't forget...Droid is has mobile FLASH 10.1 which is a plus for me.

Am I the only one that's bummed that OS6 won't be able to run 3rd party themes like on current Blackberrys?! :( 3rd party themes is a BIG part of why I love my Blackberry. I am really bummed I thought OS6 was going to be a big step in the themeing community but I guess not.

They didnt say it wont run 3rd party themes! They said they will be limited on what they can change due to the new UI! Do people know how to read or what??? Then they start rumors about BB cant do this! BB cant do that! Please READ CAREFULLY the details!

Hey guys, we dont care about you dumb F**ks switching phone!! go with Android that dont know how to make a solid phone that wont brake when you drop it or dont know how to manage emails properly or go with iPhone which dont know how to make no engineering mistake on their antenna! That was a HUGE one!!
One thing I have to admit, I'm REALLY excited for this phone and I will get it for sure! But RIM NEEDS to do something about specs in their phones!! Seriously!! I feel like I have no more ammos to fight the wars against the other duch bags out there owning there stupid toys in their hand! One thing for sure, BB`s are for serious people and not kids! So if you want to have a toy for a phone, get an Android or iPhone! If you want to be all about business and efficiency, get a BB!! Get it!

yeah the phone that cracks anytime you drop it is the "Motorola Droid" not all Android OS phones. and fuc.k the Storm 3 because you will get f.ucked by RIM again. I'm done with RIM not caring about loyal customers, I understand they want to make more money but if you want to keep your current customers show them some love. It took Microsoft almost 10 years to stop giving technical support and updates for Windows XP so I think RIM can support at least the 9550 for more than a couple of months. SO F.U.C.K. RIM

Perhaps you are misinformed. Android is the OS, created by Google. Android doesn't make hardware, or do you blame the fuel when your car breaks after hitting a tree?

Could you elaborate on Android email management? I haven't noticed any issues here, but I am a gmail user, so you could be referring to the "other" email app.

"One thing for sure, BB`s are for serious people and not kids!"
Now about that... Have you looked around? Most of the "kids" I see with a REAL smartphone use a BB. Blackberry has become the new Sidekick, and BBM is the new AIM.

"toy for a phone"
Is it? Cause it would be awesome if my daughter's See n' Say also had Google maps on it with turn-by-turn navigation, for free.

Oh! totally forgot about S3! By the way from what crackberry reported in the past, that will be there new super phone if we can say! from rumors it will have a 1GHz snapdragon processor, about 1Gb of Ram and a totally different OS of its own! So for you BB fans, be patient! Everything comes to does who waits...

Yes sure,
1Ghz. SnapDragon,
1Gig RAM.
But when??????
……….
May be by the time others use dual core 1 Ghz CPU or 2 Ghz. CPU. And 2 GB RAM.
…….

RIM should come up with another branch of mobile phone unit, dedicated for toy like mobile phones.

I have been a long time fan of blackberry each year upgrading to the newest and best rim has to offer until now. I have gone through. Five storms in the past 18 months two of which are storm 2. Now if i want a smartphone with a touch screen that actually works i have to upgrade again. Well no more. As i type this from my droidx i am realizing what i have been missing. A phone that works. I will still keep my storm2 to remind me of how archaic rim is and will always be. Granted droid is new to the market it just goes to show what real inovation is.

I am sure that os6 will be great but i just cannot continue to buy blackberries that are outdated in six months.

They didnt say it wont run 3rd party themes! They said they will be limited on what they can change due to the new UI! Do people know how to read or what??? Then they start rumors about BB cant do this! BB cant do that! Please READ CAREFULLY the details!

I know what I read dude...man why is everyone just waiting to pounce on a comment on here lol. I said that OS6 won't be able to run 3rd party themes LIKE the current Blackberrys. I didn't mean that it wouldn't be able to run then at all and I wasn't spreading rumors I just posted one comment. I love RIM and my Blackberry ok? Lol! I just can't imagine having a "theme" on my Blackberry that just changes the wallpaper and icons I would die :-Þ

Whatever it will be, I'm just disappointed that loyal Storm2 users like me is being treated like a stepchild and not getting the love we deserve.

I'm crossing over to the dark side to Darth Vader (a.k.a. Steve Jobs) and to the Death Star (a.k.a. Apple). Just waiting for the day iPhone4 comes to my shores.....

loyal storm2 users. how loyal are you. did you get a storm 1?

I swear loyal gets thrown freely around like its salt on chips.

You might have been a loyal blackberry user from a few models perhaps, but if this is truly your first phone. how loyal can someone be if the only thing stopping you is your contract or money?

I dont really care for brand loyalty but I do care about build quality and service. RIM does offer that but it unfortunate the phone you have now doesn't do what you had bought it for in the first place, to make calls, emails and browse the web (the web thing is a good excuse since the os 5 browser sucks :P but here's hoping 5.0 users do get the webkit browser)

I swear fans of blackberry really dont care what phone you switch to. this isnt iphonecentral or androidcentral now is it?

One thing I never liked about the BB OS is the black border on the top. Looks like not only does OS6 still have it, it is not on the bottom too.
had S1 and S1 becuase of the full screen.... not I have Droid X, so I like great wallpapers. On my Storms (which I dont miss) the borders always covered up part of the screen.


May be due to hardware restriction of Storm2 OS6 can’t be ported on it.
but they can at least try porting web kit browser.
May be only 3 tabs of pages, but it will be better than current browser.
.
Storm 2 users really deserve Web Kit browser, you can make full use of big screen.
..
May be RIM is working on it.

I love the new os but I'm not to sure ill ever see it or any time soon BBs arnt cheap especially new devises the one thing I loved bout bbs is that they always supported the changes an all of the sudden a new os 6 that won't be supported for any of recent devices just released last year that's messed up ppl spent of lot money for a devise that can now be tossed out cause no one will won't a old BB that can't be updated it would be nice to see at a new web kit for 85xx users but I just don't see it happening good job RIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

im sorry i had the curve... Storm 1..Tour... and the free Bold (replaced my tour)... im sorry i was Hooked on Blackberry but i figured let me check out the Droid X.
Best phone i have ever had... sorry RIM your waaaaay too late... No HD video 5mp cam come on, its 2010 not 2001..
Bye Blackberry :(

As Kevin said: "I just really wish all in-market devices with 256MB of ram could at least get the updated web browser. That would make a lot of people happy."

Com'on CrackBerry, use your influance to make RIM put the webbrowser update on BB5.0 and we will ALL be happy!

Reading Pootermobile comments, I am in the same situation. What makes me love the BB is the theme making part of it. We got so use to create our own themes and now how much we will loose of it? No one knows until we get the new version of BB theme builder, will DL when available try it with the 9800 simulator and if I feel I can't create themes the way I want it, bye bye BlackBerry!

as i sit here and read these comments iphone this ,droid that. i ask why would u put a newer better program on a phone that wont be able to use it right. Think about the iphone users that bought a iphone then wham oh 3gs yeah you can upgrade. but u still dont get the extras. now the iphone4 is out every phone has these upgrades. so all u crying babies go to verizon with horrible service and a 350 early cxl charge. and i bet you droid will do the same in the near future and ill laugh.

i am excited for the torch and i have a bold 9000 love it to death. not up for any upgrades etc but if you work and want things u buy it.

"Verizon with horrible service"??? I have had Verizon forever and have never had any problems with their wonderful service, but if you live in an area where you get At&t service and not Verizon service that's f.ucked up because every where I have been there is no At&t service anywhere close. I'm also not sure what you are trying to say with "all u crying babies...and ill laugh" because I'm waiting until I am eligible for an upgrade which is in about 17 months because I LOVE having another Blackberry that I can own for about 2 years and get only like 3 updates in the first month and then RIM move onto newer customers leaving Loyal Customers in the dust.

I think this is a good step in the right direction for Rim. Seems they did their research and implemented a lot of improvements the public wanted. to be honest I think this is a distraction to not lose too much market share as they rebuild something from square one, just like Microsoft, and Palm. It's a shame they didn't get Palm, BB OS and WEB OS would have made a crazy combo!
As for the Storm 2 not getting the update all you have to do is look at the screenshot above, the new OS takes up 277MB on the 9800, Last I looked the storm 2 only has 256MB. As for the hardware specs, obviously more is better, but was it required? Screen resolution should have been higher, but who knows maybe it wouldn't render properly on a high resolution screen and the lower end screens. As for the processor too much can be overkill and affect battery management. If the software is written properly and utilizes the processor efficiently, a 1GHz processor is not required.

I wish we knew when this OS will be released. I want to upgrade my phone maybe to the BOLD and can upgrade Saturday. DO I go bold or wait unitl Verizon and RIM put out a new phone with OS6 on it? My storm is almost to the end of life.

I say wait if you can. I have a suspicion that the Bold is going to be outdated in a few months, if RIM continues along this path. You would be better off holding on for a while, at least, to see what happens.

Just my opinion, mind you.

You're Storm was at the end of its life a month after you got it because if this is the 9500/9530 you are talking about then RIM stopped caring for the people that supported RIM's first touch screen phone and if you are talking about the 9520/9550 then RIM stopped caring for the loyal Storm customers.

Think RIM is moving in the right direction with OS6, next step would be to allow applications on the on-board memory... which having 4GB of on-board memory may be an indication that they may be working on that feature.

But as PALM learned, it not just about the OS...

Personally, I like the look of OS6... in my opinion, it is much more functional than iOS... no experience with Android so I can't compare other to say I like the UI better with BB.

However, from the standpoint of going beyond the experience of just the phone OS, you need apps and that is one area that we will have to see how OS6 pans out... I hope more people embrace because I'd really like to stop using my iPod Touch for the things I can't do with my BB. (I still use by BB more than the Touch though).

Why do people take this shit so seriously. I have been reading this post and laughing, so thanks for that i guess. I dont think people get this upset over somebody insulting their mother so why be insulted by someone bashing your favorite mobile platform? Now please continue, i could use the entertainment.

I know, its quite entertaining that people are getting so worked up over this, especially with all this arguing over which mobile platform is the best.

Great Review! I just wish the part about what phones were getting it was way at the top so I didn't waste my time reading it. I have a Storm 2, which I purchased a short 6 months ago!!! WTF!!! Before that I had a Curve and have been a loyal BB user for over 6 years. Mind you, defending RIM to all my friends that have iPhones and Droids, saying BB is a smarter phone.

Needless to say, I need to vent my frustration. Like everyone else, I feel cheated. How can a phone, that is supposed to be the Big Daddy touchscreen smartphone (iPhone killer they called it), not be given updates? I purchased this S2 only 6 MONTHS AGO! Brand New! I guess they are not smart phones after all. Now I have to tuck tail as my friends ended up being right. 18 more months of this crap!! RIM, you suck for this! I agree where somneone said RIM will be phased out by 2012, if they keep this crap up.

The one thing that I cling to is BBM, which really is no different then the other IMs already out there.

Sincerely Disappointed,

Your Loyal Customer Base That Have BB's Older Than 9 Months and Are Still Locked Into a F'ing Contract!

The biggest thing I read from you is that RIM is not planning to give Apple or Google their business. They are putting up a good fight. They've taken some punches, but they are not out of it. In fact, they appear to be back in the game.

I do have one comment... You don't want to run apps off a MicroSD card. Doing so will quickly compromise the BlackBerry as a "friend" can replace your card with his and auto-run an app to crack into your device. What RIM needs to do instead is to allow apps to run from device memory! This is far more secure and allows RIM to free up RAM for running apps! Doing so will allow BlackBerry 6 to run off a Storm 1 as apps can be installed in device memory, and its measly 128 MB RAM can be used just for running apps.

On another note, I don't like the app switcher. It sux! They did such a great job with the webkit browser tabs, but they couldn't do the same with apps and allow users to see exactly which app was being selected? C'mon! Make multitasking easier!

Honestly, hearing you say the words "it's honestly made me fall in love with my BlackBerry all over again" really tells me a lot! Thank you for that! Can't wait to see a new Storm running BB6 with much upgraded specs... PLEASE, RIM!!!

FINALLY! reading a commenter with sense.

I really hope the device memory you speak of does occur.

A lot of negative comments about RIM not supporting older devices. I can understand the frustration by all of these folks, but if they are happier with Android or iPhone, then c'est la vie! I'm really happy for you. Genuinely.

Really, it's not just about RIM wanting to sell new hardware, but users want the latest stuff! I know I do! My Storm 2 is aging so it doesn't matter if it doesn't get BB6. I want a faster CPU, more RAM, larger & higher def screen & camera, and even a front facing camera.

Fortunately, my provider will allow me to upgrade to a new device every 2 years, so what's the deal with sticking with a 2 year old BlackBerry and expecting the latest & greatest OS? Do you want giant leaps forward or just some incremental updates? Already, I can't wait to upgrade to a newer device!

Any chance they either got rid of, or give an option to getting rid of, that damned shutter sound when you take a pic?

Seemingly great and detailed article.
But frankly I just do not have the time to read it all.

Questions:
- does OS6 still take forever to boot?
- does it require battery pulls periodically (realize you may not know yet)?
- does an SW upgrade (realize you may not know yet) still take like 1 hour plus? And are you still hoping it will work afterward?

These things are painful.
I have used BB from the beginning and would look to stick with them.

But a few things:
- they just seems to be out of it in general, perhaps they grew too fast. most people I deal with in Waterloo are like two titles above their abilities
- co-ceo's seem to be out of it. I think they are operating in a different universe. they have lost touch...
- what the heck with engineering, realize Waterloo is no design house for user interfaces, but sw/hw engineering is like really having some issues. have to think it is mgmt and BS politics, because I have had a lot of good experience with the engineers

??? who the heck is product mgmt there? geez what the hell. there have been a couple major issues they should have fixed immediately -- of course the browser - so they aquire a company and dick around to put it into os6 which will only be support on a limited # of platforms...

what the f are they thinking - that is so, soo stupid.
well no we have os 6 - meanwhile leaving the installed base to go to android, iphone, wp7, nokia, etc.

look product managers - the life cycle of a phone is short - so you think customers will upgrade to BB 6 capable phone - when you could simply update the browser and keep people happy for a long time???

gee, I hate to say, because I have been loyal, but it is not working for me and I am afraid that I am jumping in the very near future to Android. I cannot take it any longer. I have a Storm and an eval 9300 and while I will say the Storm is generally crap (pre 5.0 is was totally junk) and the 9300 is not all that bad -- the 9300 still has a crap browser - so forget the web. 9300 is some cost-reduced variant, but not so bad, just whay the heck should I pay for data plan and have essentially and unusable browser, and half baked apps???

Is there product mgmt at RIM?

Again I can barely take it.

Enterprise customers are feeling the pain and opportunity. To some extent they are locked in a bit but on the other hand they are ready to jump.

RIM could easily see a 6-12 months cycle where they lose massive market share. Easily. Looks like the path they are on. E-staff out partying, lame mid-mgmt, who cares workforce. shaping up to be a Harvard business case study of how to f-up.

I really hate to, but I am fighting off just going and changing out my phone(s) everyday. This OS6, blah, blah does very little to give me any ANY confidence.

Heck I could have been happy with a Storm and updated Browser + keyboard layout. But no some product mgrs (or execs) thought they knew that I need to buy a new phone. Only thing is if you put me in the position of buying a new phone - guess what - I just may buy someone else phone! Which is most likely what I will do.

When are the updates coming out for the Bold 9700?
Will they be available in my country? I'm in South Africa.

I'm sooo excited :-D wow!!! This iz just too great people, isn't?

after playing with the phone the size isnt what the pictures show. its allot smaller than it looks and the option of having the combo is very nice being that its so clean compacted and strong all in one unit. i didn't like it at first but now yes its very nice and the fluid touch screen with 3G this is really the next big hit after the 9000. to bad the storm isnt made like this with the screen but i still like the storm. just this adds more options and with os 6 it rocks on. ill be getting mine soon just want otter box to make a case for this one it will need it thats for sure.

Does anyone know whether Blackberry 6 enables wireless sync for pictures and videos as well as music?

"With BlackBerry 6 RIM really dug deep into the BlackBerry framework and did some serious renovations."

And yet, every review on a website that isn't a RIM fanboy blog acknowledges that it's still way behind Android and iOS.

My contract is up in two weeks. Based on what I've seen so far, my decision to ditch BlackBerry hasn't changed.

Wow, you totally nailed it out of the park with this review in terms of detail and the important points.

(I know this is unlikely, but) what are the odds that the curve OS gets an upgrade past 5 at this point?
I am literally salivating.

Great review but bad news for Storm2 users.

This is really disappointing...

I would be happy even with some "stripped" version of OS6. Call it "OS6 Light" or so, but release it for S2 users.

everyone posting that there gonna go for the android or the iphone, then go already. no one give a rats ass about u complaining already. give it a rest...........seriously. if u want new updates then get a updated phone. i had to pay retail $500 for my bold......so suck it up

I'm excited. As much as I love everything about blackberry, I have to admit the OS was getting really stale. I picked up a few android devices at the store and they were way more fun to use. At the same time, I can't stand the whole slider/lack of keyboard form factor, so Blackberry has always been my number one choice, and I inevitably would not end up wanting an android device as a result. I'm so glad the OS is being revamped because I really have not encountered any other phone that was quite as awesome, and with the browser improvements I'm so excited :D The browser was the only thing that would make me want to permanently switch to android/iphone, and now that its enhanced I have no reason to switch!

One time I was sending pictures to my friend's Nexus One. he was absolutely amazed at how fast my phone sent them. So obviously BB still has something going for it if someone with a top of the line android device is getting jealous.

Based on what I see here and of my 5 min hands on with a Torch it is significantly better than my experience with a Storm1 and 2. That being said, I don't see anything about an OS 6 device on Verizon anytime soon and ATT is simply not an option.

Let me be clear. I like the BB OS and feel now OS 6 provides the experience I expect for dual use purposes - as highlighted in the most recent ATT TV Commercial. My concern is ostensibly with the hardware. Circle back to my Storm comment and couple it with the love affair with the 624MHz processor. BB devices need a bump in horese power to make it a better experience.

I liked the review it covered allot of information. I've had the Storm 1 and now the Storm 2, the fact that RIM won't provide the new browser is a real issue for me. Where I work we are now supporting not just BB phones, finally we now have a choice and we need how to support all of these different phones in our corporate environment. I have an Apple for personal use, every OS has it strength's But this was a big mistake on RIM's part to not support the older phones. At least say your sorry - or do something. The spec's on the Torch aren't that great except for the memory & OS 6 it's not that powerful. I'll make my decision in January and see what Verizon has out then but RIM is no longer my only option, let the games begin.

phone is a comunication device.....email..text..bbm...call quality...nobody does it better than rim.....you wanna surf the net,buy a laptop

We Live in South Africa ( Firstly We Cant Get HALF The Apps ) And i Bought Many Storm 2's Because Of Suretype. Easy To Type if You Have Big Fingers..... now We Will Be Stuck Without OS 6 i Bought The Storm 2 1 Month Ago ..yep 1 month ago AFTER Hearing Bout os 6... Look i Like the bb Service But i Think they Are Stuffing up here maybe make OS 6 For Storm 2 9700 etc Available for A Fee ??

Anyone know if they still have the option to have the SureType Keyboard on the touch screen when the phone is upright? To me thats the saving grace of the blackberry storm i own.

I was recently looking into switching to the new droid x or droid 2 in october, thats when i get my upgrade :P i was so excited to see that OS 6 was coming out for blackberry, but then i was horribly torn when i found out that 6 probably isnt coming to the storm 9530 :(

So i think that just gave me a violent shove into switching to a droid in october .. ill miss you blackberry!

I am a BES server admin, and of course I have been carrying a work BlackBerry for years, unfortunately I also carry my personal phone at the same time. I've been hoping work would just go to a stipend funding model so I could just get my own 'berry and call it a day.

Well that's never going to happen. Anyway one day I dropped my personal non-smartphone in the toilet. I decided to get an LG Ally which is an Android phone, and I thought maybe it would replace my BlackBerry for work communications as it can tap into the OWA server at work via Active Sync. If it worked good I could finally be down to 1 phone.

Fat chance. The Exchange support in Android is not good at all. I can't choose which folders to automatically forward to the Android exchange client, or even view folders for that matter. The calendar integration totally sucks. It's supposed to update in real time but it's very sporadic even when connected via WiFi. You can't trust it.

If you are someone who has a highly customized BES environment at work, the Android won't cut it. Neither will the iPhone for that matter. There's just no substitute for a BlackBerry at this point in time.

Maybe the Android and iPhone will be better on a future software revision and a newer version of Exchange (2010+, we are running 2007 now).

Now, all that being said, if you're not in a BES environment, the Android is a nice phone. For personal use I recommend Android, just make sure your chosen phone is either running the Android 2.2 OS or is upgradable to the 2.2 OS.

I find that I use my BlackBerry at lot less for things like checking my Gmail and hitting the mobile web now that I have an Android phone. Part of that is my 'Berry is an 8320 and has a small screen and no 3G. But still the Android interface is great. I have downloaded about 30 Android apps from the Marketplace that I have lots of fun with.

So anyways for now I am sticking with two phones. haha. Maybe I'll get down to one at some point. OS6 looks nice, I'd like to get my hands on it.

I echo those about the disappointment of the Torch and OS6 only being on AT&T right now.

Guess that's it. 207C229D

Does OS 6 give BIS, or non BES users a proper email client for IMAP. To date the greatest shortcoming for me with BB is its appalling excuse for an IMAP client. There is no proper synchronisation nor any ability to use folders. In all honesty, email with BB without BES is crippled and useless.

Is this fixed in OS 6?

I am a hardcore iPhone user and has been using iPhone since 3g, 3gs and now iPhone 4 and will stick to it as long as it still has the edge.

Android is very tantalizing but i like iPhone better.

The only reason I use BB is to use its BBM and email. Unfortunately my country right now is the 2nd largest BB market and everybody keep asking for my pin (before I had a BB) and thought my iPhone 3GS is of somekind of the most advanced BB ever... haha

So, I'll keep my 8520 as long as my network use BBM.... If there is no BBM, for sure I will only use iPhone 4 alone...

BB is retard by using its RAM for apps.... should at least put the app that don't need to much security (such as games and themes) to the media card so people could have a lot of storage....

I just flashed my 9700 with the leaked OS6. looks very good with lots of features to adjust. I was just wondering:

does this OS contain WAP or hotspot browser? or is this selected automaticaly?

Hope to hear something soon.

Brgds,
Ivo

I've been anxiously awaiting an upgrade to my Blackberry's OS, so that the web browser and e-mail client "would no longer suck"! I have a BB Curve and of course, the OS is not going to be made available for my phone. So, BB has helped me to make the decision to upgrade to a new phone. Unfortunately for them, after two years of dealing with this miserable and poorly thought out excuse for a phone, I'm moving on to something that is high tech, fast and upgradeable, the HTC EVO 4G. It appears from the new phone sales figures that Blackberry is headed in the same direction as Palm and is paying the price for failing to innovate and keep up with their competitors. Adios BB!

I on the home page of BB that curve 3G 9300 is indeed included on the list for the update!! and also it says same on my carriers home page... hmmmmm
anybody updated their curve 9300 yet?

Been using a 9930 for several weeks now, overall it’s the best BlackBerry I've used in twelve years!
BUT...
The Alarm applet has been reduced to a sub-function of a Calendar appointment (lame).
The Search function is what I miss most. Now there is absolutely no way to find any of those tidbits of information (part numbers, vendor account codes, directions, recipes, etc) that have been squirreled away in MemoPad or a Contact note.
Does anyone know if RIM will ever reinstate a version 5.0 type search feature?