Here it is! The moment soooo many of us BlackBerry users have been waiting for.... an official first look at BlackBerry 6. Check out the video above and be sure to drop a comment letting us know what you think.
When Mike Lazaridis introduced it during the WES 2010 keynote, he said the development team had three key design principles in mind while working on it:
Watching the video, it looks like BlackBerry 6 is well on its way to taking the BlackBerry experience to the next level. It's still very BlackBerry (which is definitely a good thing), but with BlackBerry 6 we'll be getting a bunch of new features and refinements throughout the operating system. The best news here is that Lazaridis said we'll see it launch in the next calendar quarter, so we won't have to wait too long to get our hands on it. The wait should give us just enough time to master the BlackBerry 6 dance moves.
Touchscreen friendly: The preview video makes it clear that BlackBerry 6 will be much more touchscreen friendly than what we have seen in the past from RIM, with new gestures, multitouch support and improved feedback for the user (kinetic scrolling, rubber banding). We've also heard that BlackBerry 6 will work well with non-touchscreen input as well and it looks like it should suit the optical trackpad.
Revamped UI and OS/Homescreen Experience: At first quick glance during the video BlackBerry 6 looks familiar, but then all of the new and improved features start to jump out at you... Search from Homescreen, a pull down for notifications (sweet!), pop-up contextual menus, etc.
Revamped Native Apps: It's clear that RIM has put a lot of effort into key native apps as well. The inbox and contacts and media apps are all getting updates, and they're looking good.
WebKit Browser/Rendering Engine: RIM's new WebKit rendering engine is going to really speed up the web browsing experience while keeping it efficient. The browser gets much-needed features like tabbed browsing.
All in all, the BlackBerry 6 video to me is very compelling. It keeps the best of BlackBerry and modernizes it with some of the features we have been seeing in other mobile operating systems (and adds some new ones of its own). If RIM can execute and deliver an enjoyable and fast user experience, it's going to go a long way in keeping RIM fighting in the smartphone game. Will it be enough to keep RIM's momentum going strong? We certainly hope so. During the keynote Lazaridis told us his mission... he wants to see the number of BlackBerry subscribers double from the current 41 million to over 100 million. BlackBerry 6 is definitely fuel for the mission.