Continuing down the path of Brainstorming for BB10, another topic I want to tackle is the integration of the Peek gesture in BlackBerry 10 when using the phone in landscape.
To date, when the flow experience of BlackBerry 10 has been demonstrated by RIM, the phone has always been in portrait. You're in an app, the LED flashes red that you have a message, you swipe up from the bottom and move to the right and you can unveil the BlackBerry Hub, which brings together all of your messages and texts from various sources. It's brilliant.
But what about when using the phone in landscape? I was Probing Some Humans last night on the Dev Alpha B, holding the device in landscape, when the LED started flashing with an incoming BBM message. At that moment it struck me that unlike in portrait, based on what we have seen of BlackBerry 10 so far, I wouldn't have the same gesture-friendly way of peeking into the hub to quickly decide if I wanted to act on that message or just leave it be.
On the Dev Alpha B, when in landscape you can swipe up from the bottom of the display (the right side of the display in portrait, bottom in this case the way I was holding the phone sideways) and it will minimize the app back into the Active Frames, which are still in a portrait orientation. It quickly became apparent to me that the most efficient thing to do in this was go back to holding the phone in portrait and Peek from there.
In the video above I illustrate the usage case for Peek in both portrait and landscape. I use the web browser as the app to demonstrate with, as it works in both portrait and landscape orientation. [ Side note: It's kind of interesting to see that right now if you minimize the web browser in landscape, it stays landscape in the portrait-oriented Active Frame. Also interesting that with the web browser in Dev Alpha B BB10 preview build, there's a bit of a conflict right now sometimes between sliding up the keyboard and minimizing the app ].
Looking ahead to the official launch of BlackBerry 10, I'll be curious to see if RIM makes any changes to the flow in landscape. If they left it as, I wouldn't complain. It keeps things a little more simple to lock Peek into only the portrait orientation. At the same time, I can't help but think at some point RIM will want to figure out the implementation of peeking into the hub in landscape as well. We've pondered previously on BlackBerry 10 about how RIM will integrate the Hub onto a tablet - and a tablet with a 7" form factor like the PlayBook is very much a landscape device. So if they figure it out for the tablet, then it could potentially work the same for landscape on the phone.
Check out the video above and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments!