CrackBerry Asks: Do you like the new BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 call screen?

By DJ Reyes on 20 Nov 2013 06:29 pm EST
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BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 has leaked. It is by no means official but a lot of you have loaded it up onto your BlackBerry 10 devices already. No doubt enjoying all the new features to be found. BlackBerry 10 has certainly come a long way since it first landed back in January 2013. Just take a look at the BlackBerry 10 Master change log we've put together.

BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 brings a lot of really awesome features and you can check out our walkthrough on some of those new features, too. It really has made me enjoy the BlackBerry 10 experience even more, it just keeps getting better and better. Like I said, the leaked OS of 10.2.1.1055 is by no means official and there will probably be lots to come once it becomes official. However, there is one feature in BlackBerry 10.2.1, at least in this leaked version is the new call screen. It has brought much debate in the forums and around the BlackBerry community. Some like it and some don't. That is too be expected. You can't please everyone. 

What side do I fall on? I'm on the side that are not too fond of it. I really like the current way to answer calls. Swipe down to answer, swipe up to reject. It is different. Unique. Very BlackBerry 10. Having it vertical means that whichever hand I use to answer the call, the distance my thumb travels is the same. Even then I can just flick, I don't have to swipe all the way. With the new way, if I pick up the phone to answer with my right hand, which I usually do, I have to swipe my thumb to the left. This is a bit of a stretch, more so on the BlackBerry Z30 which I am currently using. It now feels very awkward, especially now that it's lower down. Granted, I can still flick but it requires me to hold the device and a certain angle and requires more work. It also makes it look much like the Android call answer screen. Though I do like the green and red colour change when you slide it.

It has been said that the main reason for the change is that many people found it difficult to answer calls the current way. Michael Clewley, on his BBM Channel says this of OS 10.2.1

This release has been focused on making BB10 better, cleaning up the user experience and removing the think points. It's been focused on removing your detractors and eliminating return drivers. Some things needed change.

I think the current call screen is a 'think point' for many users, hence it was one of the things that needed to change. However, following the similar uproar when dark theme disappeared from the BlackBerry Q10 devices, I'm hoping that an option can at least be given to us.

With that said though, this is a leaked OS. Internally, they may be on a higher build already and some things may not make it to the official release or things may change. Squircle anyone? Either way, the call screen is a major change. I'm very fond of the current way due to it's uniqueness. 

With my rant out of the way, let's hear what you have to say on the matter in the comments and by taking part in our poll below.

Topics: Editorial

Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: Do you like the new BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 call screen?

594 Comments

I suspect they changed it because of the big (and possibly awkward) swipe motion on the z30 as well as on the rumored z50. It would be a tough task on the z50, and I have large hands.

Posted via CB10

For you, maybe. For people with smaller hands that are used to other call screens, the swipe up and down is cumbersome.

Posted via my Z10

which is why options are key! Let the user decide which call screen to use (settings in the "phone" app) This would just please everyone; would it be relatively easy to do?

Maybe options for one feature would increase the OS size. So I think it is important to settle on one method, whether it be unique, or practical. The former would be the vertical method, the latter is the horizontal method - seen on other OS's.

Posted via CB10

Yeah, I thought the exact same thing. If you have even just a smaller than average hand, trying to do the swipe motion could be a bit awkward.

10

I used leak 1055 on my z30, and that call screen looks fine. I prefer it to older one where you have to do a big swipe and will be uncomfortable for a bigger screen than z30.

You don't have to do a big swipe with the "old" screen. You can just flick it and it will respond. Like someone below said, swiping side-to-side is a less natural movement for a thumb, and I find it much more cumbersome than the up/down flick. I suppose it all depends on how you hold your phone.

I'm using the Z30. Have small hands and have no problem swiping up and down but just trying the side to side swipe think I will have difficulty.

I personally think I prefer the size of the z10 but like the z30 battery lie better

Posted via CB10

I haven't tried the new one yet but I can tell you that on the Q10 it's definitely easier to swipe down rather than from middle to left to answer...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Just do it....
Just flick it...
You don't have to swipe all the way up or down so any size hand can just flick up or down....i like the current way....:) my 2 cents

Collar ID: Qollars.com, what's yours? Shirt addict plan....coming soon

This should be an option us users should be able to choose from in the settings menu. As it has been said, for users with a q10 its much better to swipe up or down, for others with a z30 could feel a bit akward. I personally prefer swiping up/down. But I would like to have the option to choose from.

Posted via CB10

I agree. I have the Z10 so I don't know what is popular for the Q10 form factor. Also, the option for the rectangular shade for app icons should be optional.

Posted via CB10

Keep making BB10 devices and Im happy... Besides, in the US we wont have to worry about this feature for at least 2 more years....

Posted via my -10.1- AT&T Z10

Posted via CB10

Yes, but a configuration option to choose between them would be preferable as I have corporate users who like the vertical swipe better

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

I am hearing "give us the option" a lot. Too much of that makes the system impossible to support.

Check out my AZ MTB Channel C0006F5EB

And Android is the number 1 mobile platform because it offers users choice and customizability. Don't get me wrong, it's a cluttered mess. BlackBerry can figure out a way to give us choice and keep it simple to use.

Android become #1 because of all the free-to-cheap low quality handsets that are still shipping with Gingerbread, not because it's customisable.

Posted via CB10

I agree. I said No in the poll. It's not because the new screen is awful it is just because I like the original one as it seems very unique. Perhaps the new one will be easier to use. In earlier builds of BlackBerry 10 I had colleagues complain about answering the phone. Choice would satisfy both groups.

Posted via CB10

I also vote no. Because the new style looks very android, and it doesn't feel natural to curl up my thumb when rejecting a call. Up and down seems more natural. I liked the older style more. I just wished the bar where you drag up or down isn't in grey color. It doesn't look as modern.

Posted via CB10

Yeah I hope we get given the choice of choosing between the up/down swipe and/or side swipe in the OS. I'd don't know why there would be a problem having both options to choose from as a simple setting. As future versions of BB10 are released even more call answer/silence/reject gestures can be added while still keeping the familiar and comfortable original.

Posted via CB10

I agree. I prefer the look of the old one, but I love how big the caller's pic is.

My vote: I like the new call screen.

Posted via CB10

I'm still alive, so I don't really care. (By the way, this decision is obvious for big screens where it most likely doesn't fit in the one handed paradigm)

Posted via CB10

Accoriding to the article, it is actually easier to use the old call screen on a Z30 than the new call screen.

It's ugly, I prefer the current method. If they really must mess about and change it then they must give us the option to choose what suits best.

Posted via CB10

I am all for providing options, but I don't think it is a good idea to do that with a major feature such as the call screen. It needs to be consistent across the board.

Posted via my Z10

Same here dude! To be honest, I think BlackBerry should implement an option for users to to choose either the horizontal or vertical call screen to make everyone happy. That's my personal opinion on tit anyway.

Posted via CB10

Right, now where I can see ~40% yes and ~40% no's I'd recommend BlackBerry to give us this option so everyone can be happy.

But be careful BlackBerry don't become a 2nd Android where you can change every sh*t, why I'm saying this? Because BlackBerry 10 is a OS for those who do (sry Lenovo) it should keep you moving..
Android users mostly waste their time for settings.. you can change so many things... too much!

Posted via CB10

Really people? We're going gripe about a call screen lol - as long I can answer my phone I'm happy. There are so many other things to look forward too and get excited about.

Totally agree! I like the current 10.2 answer screen and I've never had trouble answering a call so for me no change would be best.

From my Z10 to YOU, BOO-YAH!

I often had to swipe up/down twice or three times, espacially if i was playing 3d games. Did not have that on the new screen so far. So, yes... sometimes it is hard, if the ui does not respond

I had a few missed calls because of unresponsive swipes. Many times it would register half the swipe but not answer the call. The old call screen was flawed.

Posted via my Z10

Personally I like the new call screen more.. it's cleaner and easy to use. The previous one was confusing for people especially those who are not tech savvy.

Posted via CB10

I don't understand how its confusing for people it's labeled on the damn screen with directional arrows... ._.

No, many times I have to silence an incoming call. I usually don't pay attention to where I tap the screen to do that.

Posted via CB10

Doesn't work with touch screen devices. To many accidental answers or ignores when pulling the phone out of your pocket.

Posted via my Z10

I don't really like it. It's not a think point especially in 10.2 the words swipe up to reject, swipe down to answer are there. It's just not very bb10 looking. If they changed the design then maybe.

Posted via CB10

The old one sucks. I haven't used the new one, but doesn't look any better. I don't like the idea of having to slide to answer a call.

Make it like the camera lock screen just faster, actually just make it customizable. Give us 3-4 different options.

Zed10

If you were holding the Z10 in one hand it was slightly awkward to swipe all the way to the top.. I feel likely this is where the change was generated from

Posted via CB10

Don't like it ,nothing was wrong with swipe up or down uniquely BB10!. its the only feature that I don't like on 1055 hopefully they give us the option on the final cut :).

Posted via CB10

No!! Looks too much like ios especially with the little arrows. The up and down swipe was unique! I liked it much better...

Change it back!

New one is better on a bigger device like the z30. I have less distance to travel when answering a call. I saw many people with issues using the previous method. If an option is possible then I vote for that.

Posted via CB10

No I think it looks terrible. I wouldn't mind a transition to left/right answering if it didn't look so bad and unoriginal. As it stands the up/down screen is far more appealing to me. Both are functionally the same and I truly have no idea how anyone can find the old one difficult. If you use it once you know how to use it.

Posted via CB10

I think it looks nicer, I think the main point is to use a side swipe like android and apple so when someone picks it up they already know how to answer the call.
well done blackberry team

They will have to leave the option to choose, I'm lefty so it will be almost impossible to swipe left to answer for me

Posted via CB10

No i dont like it...!!! plz dont force it! let me pick the one i like, like choosing a theme orsomethiing

I don't care which way I have to move my finger to answer a phone call. 10.2.1.1055 is working well for me and the phone screen change was no big deal. I'm sure the BlackBerry community has more important things to consider.

Posted via CB10

Who cares about aesthetics, especially as it isn't as bad looking as some would make it seem? Most important thing for me is that it allows calls to be answered/rejected much easier and faster now on my Z10. Lots of time I used to find myself struggling a bit swiping up trying to reject calls; more often the case when I only had one free hand.

A more efficient way of dealing with incoming calls I'd say.

Posted via CB10

If they really want to please the masses, they should leave the option to choose between the two...

Posted via CB10

It looks nice in this leak but like what you said DJ, the past answer call screen is easier for me to use. And it looks good to for me. I wish to have it back on official release.

Posted via CB10

doesn't look like it can be done with one hand, Haven't got it so not able to try it. But looks awkward to do with one hand being that it is at the bottom of the screen. Maybe someone can give some feed back on it.

I'm really surprised so many people are voting yes. I mean I don't hate it, but it just doesn't seem any easier, and it's not unique or interesting at all. Having the option though would make BB10 feel more customisable, which is always a good thing.

Posted via CB10

I see mixed opinions, so give it a custom option to choose which one is best for the user. i like the old one better. swipe up or down. Its unique and handy.

I prefer the current call screen over the new one. I don't see any need to change it. Sure, a small handful of people may be having difficulties answering phone calls using the current call screen layout. Also the current call screen is a unique call screen layout that kind of differentiates it from say a call screen on a Android smartphone in the Samsung Galaxy lineup and the new call screen kind of resembles the one on Samsung's Android handsets.

Funny, I like the way the new one looks, but much prefer the way the original works.

I found the swipe up / swipe down awkward for the first week. No problems since.

Posted via CB10

The current method is too clumsy. Getting the phone out of the protective case and quickly swiping down is difficult and results unpredictable. A light touch on the case and you inadvertently hang up the call. Easier and better system much needed.

Another issue is that if you have appointments pending they prevent you from using the phone until individually snoozed or dismissed. They also pop up and interfere with whatever you might be doing on the phone - why not change to the notifications type used for emails and introduce a snooze all option?

Password screen should also be improved - looks like it was designed by a 5 year old and makes poor use of the screen real estate.

Posted via CB10

It's weird, when they first showed that preview video if BB10 the call answer screen was one of the cooler things. Kind of sad that they changed it. Either way, I don't get a lot of phone calls so it doesn't make a huge difference to me. So either way is fine.

-ARWestenberger, Maester of New Yevon

I do find the swipe up/down unique and I prefer it than side to side. I can understand the change cuz it is not very confy swiping up to decline. While an option of either or would be asking too much, maybe they can keep the current one but shorten the swipe required to answer or decline.

Sent from the best touch keyboard, the Z.

Also, it reminds me of the first version of Android for some reason. I don't remember a lot of people complaining about the call answer screen, I wonder where they get this feed back from...

-ARWestenberger, Maester of New Yevon

This is what I posted on a thread on here:

I don't understand what the whole fuzz is about. It's not like they're redesigning the whole os. They're just making the call screen much cleaner. Whether you like it or not it's your personal preference. Fact is that it's more practical. No more wondering how to mute it when you first get the phone. Answering and rejecting calls is better because you have to cover less surface area.

Posted via CB10

Do you know how many times I've almost dropped my phone, swiping up to deny a call?? The new way is cleaner, caller ID pic is larger, and the answer movement is more natural. Plus the UI is reminiscent of the old answer/end BB hard keys, from the Legacy devices. I love it.

Doesn't really make sense to me. If you're holding one of the full touch Blackberry's then your thumb is in a great position to answer with the vertical option. Not so with the new version where you have to most likely adjust your hand position to move down for the horizontal version. Keep the current up/down.

Oh and DJ, the current version also glows green and red as you move to answer or not.

 BBM Channel: TheGroupRide C00055B7C

Ideally they should take the 10.2.1 call screen icons, colors and flip it back to vertical! Best of both worlds problem solved!!

Posted via CB10

Can't see poll, probably blocked by my ad blocker.

I think the new call screen is a vast improvement. Much easier to use, better and more clear options, and on a Z10 the distance you have to swipe to receive a call is much smaller and thus less likely to fail because you "didn't swipe far enough".

i don't have a bb10 device yet, but i'd think the up/down is much more intuitive than left/right. way back in the day when phones were attached to walls, when you'd pick up a call you'd physically pick up the phone and when you're done you'd physically put the phone back down. thus swiping up and down i would think would be intuitive. to the left or right, however, is not as intuitive for reasons mentioned in the article and then some.

i hear people saying that the swipe up or down is too far to travel but i also hear that a simple flick would do the trick. if bb would improve on that flick (as opposed to swipe all the way up or down), that would be a much bigger improvement than a left or right.

I didn't vote because i don't know if I like it or not need to use it first. I think I would like it but I'll be very disappointed if I can't switch between the two.

Posted via CB10

Personally I think it's backwards. Typically I answer calls more often than I reject, and swipe up is a familiar gesture so it should be answer. The new call screen is still backwards, left to answer?

NO! I love the vertical. Slide up or down. The new one reminds me of iPhone and Android. Please give us the option.

Posted via CB10

OLD ONE

Simple

I don't see how the new one is more intuitive. Current Bb10 has a mix of up, down, left and right swipes, so the learning curve for answering a call in the current state will be exactly the same for a new user in my opinion.

Please don't change it or you'll end up changing loads of other great features, a bit like when you've prepared something and convince yourself it needs something more, then you add to it and ruin it.

Posted via Z10 on CB10

They should allow for an option on the call screen. This should not have been that much of a think point. BlackBerry put in the arrows to let you know what to do. If you cannot figure that out, well maybe you need a Jitterbug. I do like the bigger caller id picture coming up, however. If BlackBerry could implement that with the up and down swiping motion, I would be one happy camper. The new method is not horrible; I just think it is too Abdroid-esque. The old BlackBerry 10 call screen was very unique to the OS. I loved that. The Squircle was the same way. Why get rid of stuff like that? It makes no sense to me. Concentrate on actual think points, not manufactured ones.

Posted via CB10

At first I was very much against the change. Then I realized that I do think about whether to swipe up or down when I get a call and it isn't instinctive (maybe because I don't get a ton of calls). I haven't really had to think with the new way, but I'm not sure if it's because it more closely aligns with the position of the call/hang up buttons on legacy devices or if the visual is more striking. So now I guess I don't care.

I think I miss the squircle more, mainly because that was such a cool hypnotic animation, only to be replaced with a plain loading ring that was worse than the original.

It grows on you, I can tell you now for sure.

At first, I was sceptical, and "iffy" but after a few weeks, its really grown to the stage of acceptance, and understanding. It's actually well done, and works much better than the original grey bar.

It looks nice too.

Not many can understand, but on a Z30, this call screen works 1000x better! No more reaching to the middle of the display, and pulling in a direction - this means no more fiddling, faster call answers, and 100% one handed use.

I don't like the design, I think it looks a bit lame.

However I do prefer the function. For me with the new call screen I don't have anymore pocket answering - which was an issue that drive me nuts.

Having the option to choose would be awesome. But should they keep the new call screen, work on making it look cooler.

Mike Duncan on my Z30

Now that it's being shown on a Z30, it makes sense to change it for convenience. I would imagine swiping from the middle down, or up, would be challenging on a 5 inch display.

Posted via CB10

old way is better, but what the hell why don't just give an option to the ppl

Posted via CB10

Has anyone tested the mute feature of the new call screen..? I like the fact that I can tap anywhere on the screen to mute a call.. Does it still work the same or is it necessary to press the mute button..?

From the Z...

My Z10, Z30 and all agree. NO, do not like the new one at all. Like the up down originality. The new one looks like it's from a cheap android device from 3 years ago.

...we are all connected...

Yes, much easier. Now, if they could give you an option for your own personal preference , that would please everyone.

Posted via CB10

I think this is a sellout. For the first time BlackBerry is selling out to Andriod and iOS gestures. Whats next, back to the home button? I like the way it is. It's very natural. I think it would be a crying shame to eliminate a super unique element of the experience.

Posted via CB10

I think it's better, for some reason I always had to 'think' whether to swipe up or down with the old version even though I have been using it for six month or so on the q10. I still have a work 9900 and instinctively want to answer with a left move of the thumb. So for some who still have the old OS along with the new it works better.

Q10 10.2.1.1055

I like the new one better.

It will be easier to convince people to join BlackBerry if all barriers of entry are eliminated no matter how small they seem to us.

Keep in mind that we will get over a small detail. But there are many that will find any reason not to like it.

Posted via CB10

Don't really understand the swipe to the left to answer a call. Most people are right handed and since we all answer more calls than we decline, it makes more sense (and more comfortable) to swipe to the right to answer a call. Just one of those little annoying things. I don't think there was anything wrong with the way it was.

Posted via CB10

I don't have the leak installed, but I already find the downswipe to be too big of a motion when answering calls...z30 and z50 would be worse...willing to try the shorter side swipe.. .

Posted via CB10

holy crap didnt think it was such a split vote! i second the unique answer screen. i dont like the right to left or whatever. i suppose people who dont like change from other platforms or older UI, would like this.

I think they should put an option in. I mean you can change what clock you want and stuff like that. I still think that the circle in the middle should be the blackberry symbol too.

Posted via CB10

I've the new graphical elements of it, but honestly my biggest bother with this is the 'swipe left' to take a call. I understand why they're doing it, but they'd do better to have the slider vertical still.

They could have it along the right side of the screen, with the picture to the left with name/number info etc. Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to implement a "left hand answer" for the lefties out there either.

Alternatively incorporate the new graphical elements but keep it vertical and Centred

Either way, it looks great. Can't wait to load my phone up with 10.2.1

Posted via CB10

Haven't tried it, but I like it the way it is now. Probably because i'm on a Q10.

Posted from my awesome Q10

I like the current up down. Unique and separates us from the rest...

Posted via the best phone ever. The white Z10.

Don't like it at all! Not sure why they changed it. It makes it look more like an Android I think one of the first things that caught my attention was BlackBerry 10's call screen. I thought it was interesting, different and aesthetically pleasing. I really, really hope they don't change it to that for the 10.2. Hoping they keep it exactly the way it is on 10.1.

Posted via CB10

Shorten the swipe on the old one. Not hard to do. Why copy everything android does. It's a ugly ui and ackward left right.

I personally prefer the old style visually, and thought it seemed simple enough, although I would have liked to see the bar moved down to make for easier one hand answering. However, I can say that every time I handed off my phone to someone else to take the call, they had to ask me "how to I answer it?" after tapping in the green or trying to swipe left and right. The new system is more intuitive and easier to do one-handed, even if it isn't as visually appealing.

I'd go back to the swipe up/down design. Just bring the horizontal bar down to the bottom third of the screen instead of right in the middle.

i've been swipping up and down with ease, plus it's unique to BB10. Haven't used the new method. but I will stick to the devil I know m comfortable there

Posted via CB10

Yes, I like the new phone answer screen. I also like the original. So, the wishlist entry will have to be a setting to support a user selection between the two. I suspect you (BB) already expected this to be added to your simply outstanding ui. Keep up the exceptional work and know we are ALL pulling for you. Love the direction of BB10!

Posted via CB10

I installed BlackBerry OS 10.2.1.1055 on my BlackBerry Z10 STL 100-1. The FM Radio feature is not supported on BlackBerry z10. And in the camera! The panoramic photo option is not available either in BlackBerry z10. My question is if the official version of OS 10.2.1 at least you can have the panoramic photo option z10 stl BlackBerry 100-1. ?

Posted via CB10

Even if BlackBerry does go out of business, you'll have to run me over with three buses, a train, and drop me from an airplane to be able to pry this phone from my cold, dead hands.

A bit extreme? Nahhhhh.

Posted via the super amazing BlackBerry Q10

Old way is better, and I'm not buying that bit about think points. Following the vertical arrows is pretty intuitive for me.

Posted via CB10

I don't like it and I have no idea why on earth they felt they had to change swiping orientation. It feels unnatural now. Not so the up/down method. If they felt they had to improve optics and/or to make it clearer how to accept calls, they could have done so without changing orientation.
I really hope they will change their minds before official release.

Posted via CB10

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