Brainstorming BB10: I just realized I never swipe up to see more Active Frames

Prior to the release of BlackBerry 10, we ran a lot of "Brainstorming BB10" editorials thinking about what it would be like to get BB10 in our hands. Now that it's here and we're spending quality time with it, it's time to keep the brainstorming going in the pursuit of constant improvement.

By Kevin Michaluk on 26 Mar 2013 06:22 pm EDT

I had a startling revelation yesterday. I realized that not once in my two months of regular BlackBerry Z10 use have I actually swiped up to see or open Active Frames beyond the most recent four displayed. Not. Even. Once. 

BlackBerry 10 allows you to run up to eight apps at once. When minimized but left running, these apps are displayed on the BlackBerry 10 homescreen as Active Frames, and sit to the right of the BlackBerry Hub and to the left of the traditional app launcher screens. If no apps are open, the Active Frame panel simply disappears and you can swipe from the Hub directly to your application icons.

On the homescreen, the Active Frames panel will display up to four Active Frames, ordered by their recency of use. However, if you have 5, 6, 7 or 8 apps open on the phone, you have to swipe up on the homescreen for them to slide into view before you can see what's on the Active Frame or tap on it to maximize the app again.

In practice, I never, ever, ever do this. I have found my homescreen swiping flow to be very horizontal. I swipe from the Hub, through the Active Frame panel and into my app icons. If the app I'm looking for is not displayed in the first four Active Frames, I simply continue to swipe right into my app launcher icons, and tap on it there. In many cases, the app is actually already open but is displayed as the 5th through 8th Active Frame. It doesn't matter though, as I would never open it again via Active Frames. It feels more efficient and consistent to swipe into the app pages, where I know exactly where the shortcut for that app will be.

I'm not sure if I'm alone on this usage behavior or not. If you're with me, or if you're not, please sound off in the comments. If I turn out to be an exception to the norm, then that's cool. No need for change.

However, if the vast majority of people end up like me on this, then I think there are some ways to further improve this homescreen Active Frames flow experience. The starting point? Getting rid of the need to swipe vertically on the Active Frame panel. 

I initially thought maybe Active Frames could become smaller, so up to all eight could be displayed on one page. However, if this were done they would become too small to offer up useful info.

Rather, I think it would make sense to add a second page of Active Frames. Give users the option to choose if they want the 5th through 8th Active Frames displayed as a second panel to the right of the first Active Frame panel, or keep it as is. 

OR yet another option - give users the ability to pin apps on a second page of Active Frames. The first pane of Active Frames would display the most recent four apps. The second pane could display up to four always-open apps. I know a lot of you are wishing you could pin your most frequently used apps. This would be a clean way to do it.

That's where I'm at with this one for now. I don't have the answer. I have a thought. Be sure to check out the video above, and get the discussion going on this one in the comments. That's what Brainstorming BB10 is all about!

Reader comments

Brainstorming BB10: I just realized I never swipe up to see more Active Frames


Definitely would love to pin apps such as Be Weather for quick information on top (2 at least).

Posted via CB10

+1, ability to pin things to the Active Frames, or at least being able to "secure" an app so that it doesn't close after you load a 9th app, would be a plus.

eg) Secure an app. It moves its way down to the 8th active app. You open the 9th. Phone sees that the 8th is secured, closes the 7th active app instead.

I think a toggle for more than 4 frames would be good! That way the user has the choice based on how they use the device.

Posted via CB10

Or you could just get an OS that allows the user to completely replace the stock launcher with one that works exactly how they want.

THAT way the user has the choice based on how they use the device.

I do the same thing. Have never used it. I used to spend a lot more time getting access to app & everything, for that matter.

Posted via CB10

True but I think a lot of work needs to be done to give active frames what they actually could do.

They could be so powerful but right now they aren't even the apps created by BlackBerry aren't using it

Posted via CB10

Word! --- Kevin u should think more in apps than the actual OS Style! My opinion because i Will always say thats whats BB needs right now.

In all honesty, I don't usually have more than 4 open. When I do, I don't swipe down either! All my useful apps are now getting close to being in muscle memory on where they are located on the phone. When I need it, I'll just swipe over and click it.

But that differs with what the BB flow is, i mean, that's what you do with iOS, when you need an app, you rarely use the multitasking (tap hold, or double tap home button) on iPhone/ipad, it's easier to just tap the icon which you know where it is, but that's when the active frames comes handy, not only for the constant updates, but for the easy access to currently running apps.

Guys, the process is heavier when open/close apps, than when their open in idle, it's like the A/C, it spends a lot more energy if you turn it on and off ever our, than when it just keep running for the strait 6 hours. Same thing happens with any resistance device, even with an engine, the process that spends more fuel is while starting.

So using the active frames for the apps you use the most is not only faster, but it also saves battery life.

Cheers !

Mmm I just bought my Z10 today so I have not gotten enough practice to try this yet

Posted via CB10

Do I deserve a free accessory now? :P

I've already got a flip shell case, battery pack and 64GB Micro SD card (and I don't even have my LE Z10 yet ;)). *hint hint*

Hey guys, I'm new to the forum but if we're talking about efficiency I have about 150 apps on one page. I don't even have the need for a second page of app trays yet. Obviously I will eventually but check out my set up.! It's all about putting relevant apps together in one simple place.Maybe if they could tag apps indexed under similar headings like those in this pic, I think it could be huge!!.sorry to trouble you but what do you think about this? The picture is in the BB10 brainstorming Forum, could find the option to post it directly.

Posted via CB10

Personally I never leave more than 4 apps open I'm okay with the way it functions currently...I think I'd want only one page of active frames either way, since now that I think about it, I tend to swipe UP out of the hub to get back to the active frames page.

No more active frames pages please.

Minimise them like on the Nokia N9 where there is the choice to do that or not. That should hopefully satisfy everyone.

Tottally agree! The display resolution of Z10 is more than enough to display 8 active frames in a single screen. There we can pinch in/out to display 4 or 8 in one single screen.

The swipe UI of BB10 like Meego (and before Maemo in the Nokia n900) was the key to make me buy the BB Z10. Still not sold completely to the platform though.
SIP account integration is my top missed BB10 functionality.

Same Kevin, I only use the four that I can see. My only think with making some apps sticky is if they run in the background, which could be good and bad. Good for them always being open and ready, but what about battery life if that app constantly running as a sticky active frame?

Posted via CB10

Ahh man you guys are too quick.. iv always wanted to comment first and write the all so unwanted word 'first' dam it lol

Posted via CB10

LOL! You can see a white couch with some pillows in the mirror Kevin is sitting in front of. For a second, I though I saw CB Adam taking a nap!

I generally keep battery level and weather in positions 5 and 6 and then just peek at them when I want to see them. Think of it as a pseudo vertical peek.

Posted via CB10

I rarely have any Active Frames going. Twitter is probably the only one, sometimes the Stock app I have.

Other than that, I just access everything from the Hub. BBM, Calendar, Contacts, etc.

Can count the number of times I actually swiped up, usually don't have more than 4 apps open

Posted Via CB10 Á La Z10

Just yesterday I asked for the ability to pin active frames in BetaZone. Let's hope they listen to us, Kevin.

I actually swipe to see my active frames because in my mind I've associated swipe up to mean get out of what I'm doing now to that active frame panel.

Posted via CB10

Interesting, I notice i do end up using it in a very similar way, that im always swiping up to get to that panel, out of any app, and away from whatever app page im currently on. once i start closing apps (generally because of battery drain), i tend to only keep my BBM and Whatsapp open, but otherwise I do alot of the swipe up n down to see what else i have going. im used to the similar gesture from my now dead [ :( ] playbook, as thats how i would always get back to my main screen.

I realize, because I do use the 2nd page more, i tend to go less often deep into my app pages (ive got 5), as most apps that I use on a very regular basis are either open, or on the first page of apps... I do like the way the active frames are being shown in the pic Hoanglove8x is showing above, as having them horizontal seems to show more info, especially text in a more readable way, rather than just showing a mini version of a full screen app... however i do see the limitation for this when it comes to ported android apps, and theyd need to make specific code just for these horizontal frames... hopefully as more native apps come into use, there will be a way we can do this! wiget screen maybe? i definitely would like to have a screen showing basic info like Time, Date, next appt, weather, in a bigger format, much like the lock screen, but as one of our panels, much the same as the lock screen, but because i tend to power my phone on by swiping up, that screen is always gone in a flash, wish just a flick of my thumb!

I actually do swipe down occasionally to see the other active frames running.... mainly to close them. I remember some people grumbling about the fact that you can't close apps on BB10 by swiping them up and away like you do on the Playbook. Well, this is why. So you don't accidentally close running apps while trying to swipe to get to the lower active frame screen.

Ahh... Makes sense. I always keep trying to close apps by swiping up from the Active Frame and wondering why it doesn't work like it does on my PlayBook.

I don't keep active frames open much except for wallpaper changer since if you close it, the battery life bar goes away.

Does keeping the active frames open cause the battery to die faster?

Yeah it will, some will affect the battery more than others, i actually keep apps for does not update data continously like my calendar (i use it a lot! ) but for things like Twitter, Facebook or cb10, i open it when i want to use it only.

Posted via CB10

I played with a Z10 for the first time yesterday and swiped up to see active frames 5-8 because I had opened a bunch of stuff. I can guarantee I will do this when I have my own unit.

Wouldn't it be cool if you can do a pinch gesture in the active frames page to turn all active apps into the small icons. And a expand gesture to turn it back to frames.

Honestly, in the two plus months of using this phone, I only have the four Active Frames running (BBM, Weather, Music and Battery). Never had more than four Active Frames running on the device. I do like the idea of pinning Active Frames, but I don't think having a second page would be good for the UI. The four main ones (and pinned) are good enough for every day use.

Yea, I think this is just another aspect that was well thought out by Blackberry. On average, even heavy app users only use about 8. That's why, if we're honest, the apps race is overrated. Blackberry should take a different Niche approach to apps (although I understand why it's necessary to do what they're doing). They should take a Quality over Quantity stance on apps. Yea we only have 100,000, but they are 100,000 QUALITY apps. It would just add to the luxury & exclusivity.

What if instead of setting you could swipe down from the top of active frame page for the pinned active frames/ frequently used apps.

I was talking about this today,
me nor my girlfriend use more than 4 active frames and literally never scroll down for the rest of them

Posted via CB10

Not a big user of active frames as I shut down apps when not in use. But then I don't like using widgets on Android either.

That being said, I think the option to pin them to the screen and allow app shortcuts to be placed around it would provide much more flexibility to the user.

Love the Z10 ...... I was a bit worried about going to an all touch .... but I now realize that this keyboard is AWESOME.

To answer your question ..... I usually have 4 open ..... but it's nice to have the 4 extra, as in the future, my Z10 will become much busier.

I'm sure you've all caught on to the fact that you can actually hold the little pages square at the bottom of the screen and move it sideways allows fast jumps between screens? I don't have my Z10 (wow, that actually felt good just typing it :) yet, its arriving in a few days, but I have played on one we had as a loaner at work, and once I realized I could quickly jump screens to the one with any given app I wanted on it...I was constantly using this feature...even just to see the screens fly by ;) anyway, I havent seen a single mention of this and when Kevin said that he swipes between the screens to get to the one he wants I just had to say something already, but maybe its not a big deal even, just throwing it out there. :)

I discovered this too a couple days ago and it definitely helps you get to where you want to go in one touch.

About the active frames, I wish I could have more than 8. When I open a 9th one, the last one falls off, unless it's nobex, somehow they got their app to stay pinned. So ya, I scroll vertically because I hate opening and closing "apps". Wasn't that the point of BB10... no more of the in-and-out? Would be cool to allow pinning though.

O ... and BTW ...... I love the active frames in the browser. An AWESOME idea.

The browser ROCKS !

Garbage idea, we trying to distance ourselves from Android and iOS and you are suggesting they implement stuff that brings OS10 closer to them. I don't want widgets cluttering my UI and taking battery and resources.

Kevin, you just gave me an "Oh shoot" moment. Just looked. I have 6 active, with 5 and 6 forgotten.

PS: I was one of the guys drooling over the Z at the CB get together in Toronto at the Ballroom. Thanks for the drinks!

Posted via CB10

I am personally only keep a couple programs running because of the battery life issue. Hub++ and battery guru are the ones usually running. I love the device, but I am having issues getting a full day out of the battery running those programs, which I might add are kind of least the hub++ because of job responsibilities. I am really hoping another 20 to 30 percent increase in life is in the next update.

Anyway I have not run more than 4 programs so far. Multitasking is limited at the moment for my mind.

Posted via CB10

I have more than 4 sometimes. I would prefer them to stay put, making the whole Active Frames thing more user friendly. When we gain the ability to auto-start apps, pin them and prevent them from accidentally being closed, the whole Active Frames experience will become more useful, and numbers 5-8 or even 9+ will come back into focus.

I don't use the 5-8 apps open. If there is any open. I usually close my apps anyways.

But a second page of active frames would work better for me. The OS feels like a deck of cards. Swiping up breaks the flow

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry Games is a great way to discover new and popular games and get connected with friends.
Currently the most recent and popular games are:

Top 3 New Games: Pancakes!!!, Autumn Dynasty, Ice Age: Village
Top 3 Popular Games: GRave Defense HD, Great Big War Game, Super Stickman Golf

I don't leave more than 1 - 2 apps active. I close them with the belief that it will conserve battery, and because I'm neat.

It seems that you, Kevin, are somewhat of a newb when it comes to multitasking. From what you've written over the past year or so, you've used many different devices but haven't spent all that much time on your PlayBook. Your suggestion has merit because if implemented it would enable another level of functionality to the Z10. However, there are occasions when I have had as many as 6 or more open processes up and running on my PlayBook that I'm constantly cross referencing. This doesn't happen all that often but it does happen. Should I be doing two things at once that both require multiple open cross referenced apps then 8 might not be enough.

Multitasking is an acquired skill. It doesn't happen instantly because most of us think in the old in/out paradigm. However, when you have spent a great deal of time with a portable multitasking device, the ideas for how to exploit it start to come to you. You now are aware of what a secondary swipe will do and it will enter your brain's memory bank and you will begin to exploit it and it will come naturally.

I prefer the swipe and really if you can swipe once, you can swipe twice...I actually wish if you swiped up a second time it would take you through your recent 4 apps, kind of like flicking cards off a deck, so you could have like eBay going, camera, etc. and just 'peek' on them.

But alas I have a WP until I can afford a Z10, so I have the benefit of pinning.

I was actually about to tweet the same thing earlier today.... in my case, I rarely ever have a fifth active frame open. I like that the option is there though and I appreciate the way it was designed. I would rather it stay the same.

Posted via CB10

I do like the idea of active frame, and app displaying useable info even while minimised. Since just minimising the whole app itself would mean the info won't be legible. And the ability to pin apps definitely helps. But i'm not sure if having 2 pages for active frames would be more convenient. Imagine if you have 2 apps pinned in one page, and 1 recent app in another page. Its kinda a waste of space. Also if you're trying to get from the first page, into the app launcher to launch another app that you don't already have open (I'm sure as more apps come on board BB10, we will have more than just 8 apps that we use frequently, so this might happen a lot), you need to swipe twice instead of once. I feel that swiping up to get to another page is not much different from swiping to the left to another page. It only takes one swipe, just in a different direction. Plus even though you're in the second page, you can still swipe right once to get to the Hub (instead of twice if you happen to be on the 2nd page), and the left once to get to app launcher again (instead of twice if you happen to be on the 1st page).

Just adding the ability to pin apps would be better imo, of course plus the ability to side swipe to quickly jump apps like on the PlayBook. Perhaps we just need to get used to swiping up?

But to be honest, its something I rarely use simply because of trying to conserve battery life. When I was on WP, i turn off live tiles whenever I can. On Android, i don't have any widgets that will auto update itself.

I keep several open all the time, battery monitor twitter, weather, and often Playepub Reader. It's like having the book I'm reading open at my last page all the time. I got used to swiping up right away.

Posted via CB10

I think the current implementation of swiping up and down to reveal more active frames is good. I think the reason why nobody seems to be using more than 4 active frames is not the extra step of swiping up and down, it is about how unpredictable it is what those extra 4 frames on the lower pane show.

Why swipe down and hope to be lucky enough to find the app you are looking for than going straight to the app icons?

Having the bottom pane only show sticky active frames might fix this. If you want to check weather, battery status etc, a quick swipe down and you see all information.

+1 on this. You won't know what is actually on the bottom page. So often perhaps people would rather just go into the app launcher page.

Henrik! Totally a smart call. It's a lottery ticket swiping up, when swiping to apps is a sure thing. Good idea!

Posted via CB10

Swiping horizontally for Active Frames increases Flow: you can flow through all your running apps and into the Hub or App Carousel. The vertical Active Frames scroll breaks the Flow : you can't see everything open at a Glance, you can't Keep Moving. You have to stop and then go up and down.
A page of pinned frames (or the option to ) makes sense. They could call it the option to 'Hang Your Frames '.
This idea just Flows!


I almost never have more than three frames open at once...the current swipe format works for me

Posted via CB10

You're one of a kind, Kevin.

Though, it would be nice to have some sort of indicator, like maybe the top 15% of Active Frames 5 and 6, peeking up like a hint of more.

Posted via CB10

110% with you on this. I always exit active frames through inhabitual habits so I rarely ever even get more than 4 active frames to swipe up on!

Posted via CB10

The only time I've had more than 4 apps open was to see what it looked like (and what happens when I open more than 8 -- they close in the order of the least recently accessed). I hardly ever have more than two open; usually it's none.

I do leave apps up on the PlayBook but on default mode some are paused. I'm really looking forward to getting my Verizon Z10 so I can see for myself how BB grew PB2.1. True multitasking is, at least in my experience, not an every day occurrence but it is so cool to be able to run with a notion and have QNX multitasking there to take you away.

I never have more than four open at one time. But I think that this has more to do with there are only like three or four apps that actually use an active frame screen. Really I don't think developers have figured out what to do with them yet. CB app probably uses active frames the best, with BlackBerry weather being next.

Posted via CB10

I have never swiped up either and routinely "restart" apps that are already running... Kevin is onto something here. I would love to be able to "pin" BBM and others...

Show a small icon at the bottom of the screen for each active frame running on page 2 in a row to remind you they are there. This can still have things like count numbers and BlackBerry spark. Tapping them opens that app full screen.

Swiping down puts page 1 active frames in an icon row across the top with the same features and has page 2 frames now large.

This will fix the issue of people just forgetting about page 2 and works seamlessly with flow in a hub-like manner.

Also basically allows active frames to be essentially pinned if you are able to drag them to page 2 and set them to always be in an active frame.

Swiping right to left from page 1 or 2 should show the rest of your apps as it does with page 1 now and remember which active frame page you just left when you return.

Again flow is preserved.

Posted via CB10

Another idea, which would incorporate Kevin's thoughts on smaller active frames but without the downside of keeping them that way, would be to have a gesture that would 'zoom out' the active frame screen allowing the all eight open apps to be seen. Perhaps simply allowing pinch to zoom or shrink on the Active frame display?

"Rather, I think it would make sense to add a second page of Active Frames. Give users the option to choose if they want the 5th through 8th Active Frames displayed as a second panel to the right of the first Active Frame panel, or keep it as is.

OR yet another option - give users the ability to pin apps on a second page of Active Frames. The first pane of Active Frames would display the most recent four apps. The second pane could display up to four always-open apps."

How about options for all of the above? User option to load the second 'page' of active frames vertically or horizontally, and the option to pin as many of them as you want. I know I would like to pin an app or two at the top, but obviously not everyone has that same preference. Tap-and-hold an active frame to move it, and on the bottom left corner of the frame (opposite the 'X'), a Pin icon to pin (or un-pin) the frame in its current location. That would rock.

Very excited to get my blackberry Thur, Already pre-orderd thru Verizon ... been watching all the videos ,already feel like i have a good handle on it because of crackberry.... thanks... P.S. my wife wanted to know what brand of glasses you have Kevin she loves them not for her but her brother... if you want to share.. i look forward to sharing my feed back after i get my phone... thanks for all the info

I dont see a problem swiping down for more active frames. Even when I used webOS for about 2 years I never had more than 8 apps open. It was too easy to flick them up and get rid of them. If I needing something I would just launch it and you had 5 things on the Swipe bar in webos so moving your thumb over and grabbing one of those like phone, email or whatever was very easy and fun!

I wish BB10 had a launch bar like webOS. Blackberry should bought webOS.

I have more than four open most of the time... I have a heavy use of the device, on a daily basis.. Now the idea of pinning is great, but I would love to have the ability to pin the frame onto my desired grid location, for apps like Hub and Wallpaper Changer..
Second thing would be to have the ability to quick vertical scroll, like the one for app icons... a kina page indicator; page scroll shows up only when there are more than four apps open...

Posted via CB10

You need to stack all 8 apps open apps on one screen like cards. Then you can bring one card to the front by tapping it. A second tap opens the app. You can scroll through your open cards by slowly dragging your finger across the screen

Posted via CB10

I was thinking this the other day. I realized that I don't keep more than a few active frames going because its so fast to reopen the apps I want, I don't feel the need to keep them open. I'm always opening and closing facebook and twitter rather than keeping them active.

I never have any active frame open, mainly for longer battery life. I'd rather take the second or two to open it from the apps screen / tray type deal lol. Most of my communication is from BBM and that I only use the hub as it gives me landscape mode as well.

Posted via CB10

For me it depends on the scenario. If I am in the mode where I'm using my phone for short periods at I time, I agree with Kevin, because I'll likely have forgotten what was open anyway so I'll just go directly to the app grid. However, if I'm using the phone to do some actual work or a more involved task - I've used the full set of active frames to quickly jump between apps.

So I can see I need, but either way, the ability to pin a few apps would be great.

This will be the 2nd day with my Z10 and I've noticed I may have 4 at the most opened at once for my work... .calendar, web, weather and phone. I haven't been leaving any open if I'm not using them as I don't know how leaving any frames open will affect my battery. Still getting used to my battery life and trying to optimize it the best I can. Trying to get a full day out of it. I'm getting maybe 6hrs if I'm lucky before I have to resuscitate it, but for me it's only day 2 with the phone.

Just got my white Z10 beauty on Telus and can comment now yay!. After 3 days I've been cautious having more than 3 or 4 apps open... but when I have had more open I do use it going verticle on active frames... certainly will when I get my battery bundle ;) personally want the ability to have that many open and flip around quickly. Pinning might be a cool option. Haha this flip typing is fun as hell! Take care everyone!

Posted via CB10

I'm swiping up all the time, but that's because I'm trying to use active frames as widgets, but it's a #fail for bb10. We need true widgets on top of the active frame concept.

I think you are used to swiping right do to being trained by an ipad or iphone. Kinda like syncing music.

It's not a bad thing, just a learned behavior. You've been trained well. I personally enjoy the vertical scroll and have become used to it.

My 2 cents.

Posted via CB10

When you surpass 8 open apps, does BB10 automatically close the oldest app? If so, it would be nice you could just toggle how many open apps you want running at the same time? (8/4/0) 0 would disable the multitasking all together.

I rarely use more than 4 apps before it gets too overwhelming and I start to close everything.
I've also not had to swipe vertically, though I'd imagine there are some who keep certain apps open all the time.
I prefer to close things when I'm done.

(Unlike on my browser where at any given time I'll have 5 - 10 tabs open) Now THAT is chaotic.

I routinely have about 4 open. If I go past that, I tend to close something down. I usually keep the weather, BBM, browser, and crackberry running. Sometimes I'll keep the calculator up, or globe news as well. I wish there was a way to pin active frames. I like my weather to be up constantly.

Posted via CB10

I don't use them at all mi close the apps out when I'm done using them...I'm off my phone for hours at work and it's just as easy to reopen apps I guess

Nice threads Kevin. As your CrackBerry wardrobe critic; I applaud your recent upgrade in your whole look. Hair, glasses, nice shirt, cool jeans and an awesome watch.. Perfection! Now you truly look like the fearless leader of CrackBerry/Mobile Nations. Well Done!

Back on task, can't wait to have my Z10 in my hands so I can know what you're talking about in regards to this feature.

With Kevin. I actually never had more than four running until hubby asked me about it the other day so I opened 8 just for him. Generally I have my battery app up and that is all...and even that I forget and close. It would be great to have two pages and be able to pin certain apps as always running or have an always running folder or something along those lines. I would then keep my weather app up too.

All of this said, if it was a big drain on my battery then I wouldn't keep anything running. I find my biggest complaint is the battery life on every electronic device I have. I feel like I have to constantly be plugging in (and I do use my LTE because dammit I bought a phone an plan that use it!!!)

Posted via CB10

It would be cool if there was a peak gesture into the next app in que. Swiping up and to the left could do this pretty easily. Would be cool.

Posted via CB10

I use the vertical swipe frequently... usually have at least 6 apps open at any given time. I prefer the vertical swipe - definitely would NOT want a second "window" for open apps (ie another horizontal swipe).

Foe the normal apps screen, i only use one "Window" and put similar apps in folders. I actually wish i could vertical swipe there. Too many horizontal swipes and its annoying to get to anything.

Posted via CB10

Kevin I actually don't keep any active frames open. Never looked at it as you do.

Posted via CB10

Funny, I was just re watching the blackberry z10 & q10 launch earlier today on YouTube, and I noticed the swipe up and down on the active frames, a few hours later I read this article, irony? Lol

Posted via CB10

Like most comments I don't usually keep Apps live probably because I don't like to see my battery colour in the red or yellow. However, I gotta tell you it seems common sense to swipe up for the other 5+ tiles. I mean since the Z10 has entered my life I've been swiping every which way possible hoping to possibly reveal a secret path. Damn Android ports. Point is, swiping is now part of life and yes there have been some nice surprises as you yourself Kevin have experienced today.

I use it frequently...well, whenever I have 4+ apps running i will pull up to see what else I got running.
I can't imagine how the crackberry guy didn't at least check that part out :O

Must be busy with all those awesome interviews!

Via Z10

As useful as active frames may be, I usually don't even bother leaving the active frames open because I heard they take a hit on the overall battery life and so to save on battery life, I tend to close the active frames I have open most of the time. I've only left them open like three times or something like that. So, if they didn't have such a big impact on battery life, I'd probably leave them open more often.

I never use more than the first four frames - but to be honest - I find the "shifting / changing" content that is shown in the active frame makes it difficult to determine what app it actually is at a glance. The active frame for BlackBerry World might look like my Music app or CB10 depending on what is shown at the time. Even the Phone app in its Active Frame state looks completely different from hour to hour depending on my recent activity. I find the information provided in the active frame useless for the most part - just give me an instantly recognizable icon so I can get into my most common apps and do my business.

Just sayin.

I'm always having as many apps open. NYTimes, the Guardian, browser, twitter, whatsapp, crackberry, and the occasional sports app (F1 24, NFL, UFC, etc.)

Posted via CB10

I don't have a Z10 just yet but I can't imagine ever needing more than 4 apps open at a time now. The only time I ever have that many apps open on my 9930 is if I am using BBM, WhatsApp, Texting, Email, and maybe Facebook or my browser open.... and BrickBreaker of course! Now with all my messaging apps directed towards the BlackBerry Hub that cuts everything down to just having my browser open because BrickBreaker isn't on BB10 :( that being said... I agree with Kevin.

I rarely use the bottom 4 and also usually reopen it yet occasionally I will check there. I don't like a pinned pane either though. I think possibly making it possible to have the Z10 active frames the same size as the Q10 which would allow 6 active frames shown per pane.

So if you would have the: HUB - ActiveFrames - StickyActiveFrames - Icons sequence like Kevin suggested, what would the Swipe-Up action accomplish? Any suggestions?

I would like to pin my four key use able apps on my home page.
Also on the current Z10 contact app, I seem to make a lot of calls / text / BBM / email out of my Fav contacts. BBRY should have a Fav contact app to add your 16 most contacted contacts separate from your contact app. The App could be called FAV Contact Hub. Reason is, if you make a call out of your current Z10 fav list the Phone frame opens and then you have to swipe out and go to your Contact list find fav and start again. With a Fav Contact APP, I should be able to quickly make a call , then move to my next contact seamlessly asap . But why stop there why not be able to set up Fav Contact HUB's, eg. Family Fav contact Hub , Biz Fav Contact Hub and Friends Fav Contact Hub. Thats why I like BBM , I can stay in BBM and flow easily between contacts

I actually do use the vertical swipe for the active frame screen...Although the idea of being able to PIN a page of frames is a good one that I hope we see

Posted via CB10 on my At&t Z10

I haven't used a Z10 myself yet, but having 8 active frames does seem to take away from the "flow." Having to scroll down just seems like a waste of time because you don't know which apps are down there and if you know what specific app you want to open, you can quickly scroll to the icon. BB10 is brand new. Just give it time to develop. We are the developers, so in time it will only become better with our experience! Maybe just make the active frames smaller so it can fit 8 in one section...

The most frames I have open at any one time is 2. I usually close apps I'm not using because I'm very conscious of battery life.

Posted via CB10

I like swiping up for active frames 5-8 I definitely wouldn't want a second horizontal swipe to get them. However I would like a small indicator of sorts to let me know if I have 5,6,7 or 8 running. Like at the bottom of 3 and 4.

Posted from my Zed10!

There is an indicator. A little arrow is added below the active frame windows shortcut on the bottom of the screen.

Posted via CB10

When I create a folder with two apps in it, then decide to move one of the apps to the main grid, both apps are moved. If I have three apps in the folder only the intended app is moved. Not quite what I want happen.

Posted via CB10

I scroll to see all of them. Didn't realize there is a four app max on it though, guess that explains why some apps seem to close by themselves sometimes.

Posted via CB10


Not sure if anyone said this. But Palm had a great idea years ago with their Web OS. They were able to keep cards (active frames) open, by sticking one on top of each other. The cards were still active and you didn't have to scroll up or down.

I don't find having a second active frames page would be very good. It would create clutter and I can already hear the tech Bloggers out there complaining about swiping inefficiency.

Good point. Another very good point you made in your initial review is that when you enter an item, like an email, from the hub and then multitask away, when you later try to peek at your notifications and messages, you see the item you were in last. Users should be given the option of having the hub reset back to notification list view after they leave so that BB10 has an always on notification system that can be peeked at like other OSes have one that can be quickly pulled down. As it stands, you can't always quickly check your messages and recent notifications with a gesture... although you can on iOS and Android.

We all have so many different ways to use our phones I think we should just get the option to do what we whatever works for you I guess

Posted via CB10

Never have had more than four open. Have not thought about this till now. All the concerns months ago have pretty much gone out the Window.

Posted via CB10

Never had more than four apps open at the same time. Never thought about this till now. Looks like all the concerns months ago have pretty much gone out the window.

Posted via CB10

I find myself exitting the apps instead for some reason but through time, I just don't open more then 5 apps.

I have it since a couple of days only but I don't use the vertical grid. I like the playbook style for multitasking better tough. They should find a wat keep the swipe horizontal. Good observation.

Posted via CB10

I tend to keep active frames open only while I'm multitasking, so I rarely have more than 4 open at the same time anyway.

then when I've finished what I'm doing I'll close all of them.

Posted via CB10

I love the active frames and always keep 4 apps running to maximize the usefulness of them, normally battery monitor, stocks app, one game and a random. Never have 8 apps running because of exactly the issue mentioned. Would love a second screen to the right of first, possibly with option to pin? Maybe I'm asking too much this early on.

Anyways love the interface, bb10 should be called bb1000

Posted via CB10

I prefer smaller active frames screen. That way you can fit 6-8 frames on a screen.

But keep in mind active frames are meant to help multitasking. We should not advise BLACKBERRY to remove second page since multitasking is a first necessity.

But I don't think these arguments are enough to convince RIM to change the design at the moment.

Posted via CB10

because of the ease of horizontal flow between the hub and the apps icon, the ability to choose the placement of the second active frame pane horizontally or keep it vertical as we currently have will be awesome

I rarely have more than 4 apps open and when I do, I'm similar to Kevin and swipe sideways to get the app. I think it is a forget item more often than anything else. The side to side swiping is where my brain is at with the Z10. I would like to see as you hit 5 apps, the active frames shrink to allow all on one page.

Posted via CB10

I always use it. I find I swipe vertical first because the app I want is usually open already.

Posted via CB10

Hi Kevin,

Agreed with you point of view... although that would not be a big deal because swiping bottom down and side to side is a common thing to do event during the PB days, Well I dont mind your idea to in-cooperate on the next update but, would not be a big deal to other users.


I never have more than 4 active frames running. I try to close them to save battery life - lol...
Sticky app would make sense for most power users - for me - it's mostly email, text and calls -
Cheers -
Note to Kevin - love the PAM - what model is yours ?

I personally never have had more than 2 frames open at one time. And those would normally be BBM and Whatsapp, and as soon as im done with my convo i close them.


The reason you never do it (and I don't either) is because we have forgotten what else is open and don't want to waste the gesture going down, then over.

I've just finished reading through 169 comments and only KPBUTTON has got it right. (go 7 previous)

By making the frames smaller to fit more, it solves many problems.

1. you can quickly access any open apps with one tap
2. you don't forget what is open
3. keeps ui consistent with how speed dial list works
4. reminds you to close some apps when there are too many to make them readable!

thanks for the provoking post!

I don't as yet have a Z10 yet but I got a chance to play with one at the ATT store and I was thinking about this same thing even in the short period of time I was playing with the device. One solution could be to have several options to invoke different views of the active frames, like in a file manager type fashion. For example,
1. Default view - as it is now with 8 large tiles.
2. Small view - with all 8 tiles (smaller) showing on one page.
3. List view - This shows all 8 on the same page with just the icon in a list.
4. Carousel view - Two rows of 4 large tiles but you can carousel through the top and bottom with a quick swipe but never have to leave the home screen. Something like the PlayBook.
5. Dynamic view - Dynamically re-size each active frame in to the single page as more apps are open up to a limit of 8.

This type of customizable solution (some of which have already been mentioned) is true to BlackBerry form where there are options available to suit everyones taste and how they use their device.

Well.. i istill haven't got my hands on one of those BB10 phones, i'm still a 9860 proud user, yes Kevin a 9860...

This is my idea: they could keep the current vertical layout of the active frames and add an extra row in the bottom part of the screen with (up to) four icons of the apps opened on the second page, that way you know all that's opened and you can also access any of those apps directly from the first page without having the need to swipe up to see the second page. But you still have the option to scroll down and see the active frames for those apps.

The answer is simple. Although I never swipe up to see active apps, I like the option. What I would find very useful is this; obviously blackberry has gone to great lengths for users to be able to open an app with one gesture, however closing an app always minimizes first, then "X" out. I find sometimes I would rather have the option of minimizing or closing the app completely with one gesture. How about a swipe about a third the way up the screen and hold to "Pin" the app, and a full motion swipe to close app. This makes sense to me. Anyone agree?

Posted via CB10

Why not make the Active Frame apps smaller or resizeable so you can see more in one screen. I too never scroll past the first 4 but that's only cause I close apps to save battery life.

And here I thought you had the BB10 all figured out! From a demo I had at CES I knew you were supposed to see eight "active frames" but it still took me about two or three weeks to determine that you had to swipe up to see the "second four" apps. Been doing that for a few weeks now.

What I also found out was that, looking at the small "markers" at the bottom of the screen I could instantly jump to any of the app pages. For instance when I want to open NHL Game Center I jump to page 5 of my apps screen and it's there to ready to be opened. (I usually only leave it open during games as I follow one particular player who was a neighbour).


So many possibilities with BlackBerry 10 being written from the ground up. The 8 max is great minimising maxing out RAM so swiping down to see more is great on usability. I wish the pinning option was available as well in way of Favorites like on OS7. Maybe swiping up and right (opposite gesture to go to Hub) would be a good place holder. I found this video on a iOS7 concept that could be of added value to improving BB10 in future updates (not all elements in the video are applicable*).

Up and left is how I would go about it, like the hub on the reverse and create an apps hub, this would be awesome. was the first thing that came to mind.

Convert an active frame into a "Live Tile" kind of thing like Windows Phone or "Widget" like Android so that it has like others have mentioned, weather, and maybe other types of like information traffic etc, I don't know i'm not great with ideas but definitely seems like it could be useful.

I'm with Kevin in that I never use the vertical swipe. I believe it is simply a case of out of sight out of mind. We simply don't remember the frames that are below the 4 main ones always present and therefore simply swiping horizontally to the app page seems faster. The simple solution would be to automatically create a row of small icons below the 4 indicating which ones are active for the vertical swipe. I believe this to be the easiest solution without creating an extra page.

I do swipe with my Z10. I have the weather app running minimized and once a while I would swipe up to glance at the active frame.

Post via CB10

I have the same problem too. I always forgot to swipe up to see the other opened apps. Active frame app pinning will be a great addition to functionality.

Posted via CB10

I have used it a couple of times but the habit is not there to swipe vertical (I also forget vertical swipe shortcut a lot when I use the keyboard). However, I do still think the 8 active frames in one 'pane/column/window' is very convenient.

So my personal opinion on how to improve this highlighted situation is to have a mild glow at the bottom of the screen to remind you that you still have active programs open beyond the 4 recent ones in view. Not just to remind you to use them and that there are more hiding below but also that it's a battery saver as well! Coz I know I left my Maps open all day Monday and drained half my battery lol. (perhaps the tiny squares, at the bottom of screen indicating which page you are on could glow red, very subtle but very effective)

Posted via CB10 on my Zed10

Once I get my Q10, I'm going to have a ball with it. I don't need pinned active frames, I'll be happy the way things are anyways. Any apps I'm not using can be closed and re-opened when needed like I do with my 9900 and playbook. :)

I rarely get more than three apps running. Lol

I guess it's the older BlackBerry user in me, closing unused apps all the time for fear of losing battery life quickly or making sure everything remains running smoothly.

Posted via CB10

Damn. I'm always in the minority. I actually like the way it currently is. I rarely use more than four frames but I do swipe to get to the others at times. The only thing that I do get lost with occasionally is the order if the frames as I switch between them so *maybe* the ability of pinning them could work.

Posted via CB10

Forgive me for not reading the rest of the posts but rather than an additional pane why don't you sticky them below your active frames ie, have however many active frames and below them, a few 'passive' ones

Posted via CB10

Oh yes, I do use all 8 of them, and i love your idea of making it horizontal, rather than vertical swipe.

It would be great to see horizontal come in in any of the future updates.

Posted via CB10