My favorite BlackBerry OS 10.3 features thus far

By adamschuetze on 8 Jul 2014 12:13 pm EDT
13
loading...
0
loading...
81
loading...

Although there are still updates to BlackBerry 10.2.1 being released, it's no secret that BlackBerry 10.3 is well on its way. The developer OS has been released, the developer tools have all been updated and BlackBerry has slowly been offering everyone quick glimpses of what's next for BlackBerry 10. There have even been a few leaks of the upcoming OS, and while there is still plenty of time to make changes, it is likely that the leaks represent the final product quite well. BlackBerry 10.3 is slated to arrive with the BlackBerry Passport in September and after that, BlackBerry 10.3.1 will be released to previous BlackBerry 10 devices such as the BlackBerry Q5, Q10, Z10 and Z30.

While some folks aren't entirely happy with having to wait a bit longer to get their hands on 10.3, it is important to clarify that everybody will get 10.3. You'll just have to wait a little bit longer for an official release. For the truly impatient, there will probably be leaked versions also.

As mentioned, there are a few leaked OS versions in the wild. These are works in progress, with varying states of functionality. I use 10.3.0.296 as my daily driver even though it has some issues, but your mileage may vary. Use caution and realize you're riding the bleeding edge. Don't be upset if things don't work perfectly.

Reader comments

My favorite BlackBerry OS 10.3 features thus far

300 Comments

Really like the new UI in 10.3
boxes removed from the icons,
changes to some of the icons,
signature action button in blue
endless folders,
two finger swipe for quick settings anywhere,
Options on the bottom screen ex camera app

Have 10.3 running on my z10. Looks pretty awesome

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

I hope they can give us an option to select which apps can get a sepearate tab in the Hub and push info there!!!!

Waiting for the BlackBerry Passport!!

"It is my hope that in future this feature will be expanded, so that when the device is not password locked (perhaps just screen timed out), the device will show full lock screen notifications, but when the device is password locked, the lock screen notifications will be restricted to sender only, or perhaps no lock screen notifications at all."

Awesome idea!!

Posted via CB10 App

Incremental, positive updates.

Expecting massive updates ever quarter is plane stupid.

But 'impressive' is a really big word to describe small changes that dont really change productivity of users in a bigger way.

Waiting for the BlackBerry Passport!!

Agreed. 10.2 was probably the best release till date. 10.2.1 comes second (or is it first?)

Waiting for the BlackBerry Passport!!

You must not get nearly as many emails as I do...

I want quick email actions and I want them now!!

Feel like I spend most of my day deleting and sorting my email.

Posted via CB10

+1. Email (Hub) management is sometimes the bane of my existence. The good: BlackBerry Hub integrates all of my mailboxes so that I can clean up multiple accounts at one time. The bad (so far on BB10): I have to select each email individually (even in Select More mode). I would like some way to quickly marquee-select a bunch of emails for deletion. I hope that will be part of 10.3.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10.

You can do that on 10.2... when you select an email to delete, long press to get the check mark to "select more", click on that, it will disappear, now Long Press on another email and it will be highlighted in blue, press on another email and so on until you decide how many you want to delete and hit the delete button and poof; all gone.

Posted via CB10

...and that's the problem. u have to select them one after the other vs choosing a range of emails to delete.

Posted via CB10

Oh i see what you mean. But being that you can't get more than a month of emails anyway it wouldn't take long to highlight a group of emails individually anyway. You're more likely to delete emails you do want on a screen size of a phone if there was a "delete all" button i would think.

Posted via CB10

Yes! This is possible in my hometown of Reno.

Don't know if my wife would allow me to celebrate this way though...

Posted via CB10

Lmao!!She would beat you up and snatch your BlackBerry from you. Bet you wouldn't mind being beaten but getting your BlackBerry taken would be next to murder!!!

 Incurable Q10  Syndrome.....Keep away!!!!!!

She will snatch your BlackBerry and jam it into dark orifice where the sun don't shine and you better pray it's not the BlackBerry Passport you are rocking.

ॐ BBM channeling at C003910CB

Got smashed again today by NL, 3:0

Too bad. GER will likely make it. Records and dry spells are there to be broken.

Pasted via CB chen

Excellent article. I've been curious about 10.3 myself. But ever since the 10.2 release, I have stayed away from leaks. Been very happy with the official ones. I can wait until 10.3 is official. BlackBerry is doing well with the software updates.

Posted via CB10

Good stuff. The video camera option is not currently in the overflow menu for me, it's in the icon on the upper right.

Posted via CB10

Yes, the option to select Timeshift, video camera, or still camera pops up on top right of screen for a few seconds after opening the camera app, so the 10.3 change only moves it to the bottom of the screen. However, the ability to switch cameras without delving into the overflow button us new and appreciated.

Posted via CB10

Yes, both are pretty huge time savers! :)
P.S. 10.0 should have had these basic efficiencies.

Posted via CB10

Good one, now that you reminded me of it, that's one feature I used on the previous BBOS models I've had.

Posted via CB10

Looking forward to settings adjusting automatically based on Geo fencing. Like when I arrive at work and it jumps on the wifi I would love to pre-set so that my phone automatically goes to silent mode and when I leave it, it jumps back to normal notifications. Stuff like that.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

I would like to see that the icons in the folders can be moved to the bottom or middle of the screen. How about a justify option just like in a table or cell? With a folder, the icons are usually lining the top one or two rows, so it takes for a big stretch or hand adjustment (on a Z30 that is). I know that this has been discussed before, but I'd think many would like this.

Also, what was the reply to your question about streaming mp3s from box to Neutron Player?

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

They answer was "yes, and no.". The BB10 file manager caches the file to your device before neutron would play it. So you are sort of streaming... there will be lag between songs as each song is downloaded.

I agree. Very nokia...... but very welcome indeed. All the big stuff is great but it's small touches like this that really help to make bb10 so friendly to use. It would be really great if we could have the standby clock like on nokia on blackberry too. 10.3 is shaping up very nice indeed.

Posted via CB10

I wud love for a offline voice assistant which can do simple tasks like calling, messaging, setting an alarm, reading a message

Posted via CB10

Some nice touches to polish the OS a little more. Nothing to jump to a leak in my opinion.
It would be really great if they said here's 10.3 and oh btw you can now run iphone Apps as well as Android and Blackberry apps. Have a great day! Now that would blow people away. :)

Running iPhone apps would take away their advantage altogether but I'm sure Apple would be after them with a few lawsuits and other apparel due to licensing violations etc.

Posted via CB10 on my Q10 running 10.2.1.2156

Here it is!

What I don't like about the Z30:
1. ...it's not the Passport? But to be fair, I might prefer the Z30 once I play with the Passport for a while.
2. It makes me spend way too much time on my phone.

Sorry, I tried my hardest to make the list longer.

Posted via CB10

Pretty impressive features. I'm especially fond of the camera adjustments to have both video and stillshot options as well as the switch camera option available without having to go to the overflow.

Posted via CB10 on my Q10 running 10.2.1.2156

Any chance that email signatures can incorporate a graphic such as a company logo in OS 10.3?

Posted via CB10

I would really like to be able to insert my company logo on to my emails.

All typos are from my Z30 BlackBerry

That would be cool for companies that allow it. My company's policy on email signatures strictly prohibits adding images :-/

That's because adding images to a signature isn't normal practice. Most signature guides will advise against adding an image to the signature.

I personally love the look of OS10.2.1 how it is!

It's kinda sad to get those "clean" icons.
I like the little details in each of it!

Posted via CB10

The 10.3 icons are definitely more current. The original BB10 icons might not look outdated yet to many people, but they would be looking more and more so as time went on.

Nice to see BBRY staying with the curve instead of chasing it.

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

I sure hope so. I stopped using one of my two favourite utility apps, Wallpaper Changer HD, because of that annoying toast.

(If anyone was curious, my other favourite utility is ClipMan. Love it!)

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

I wonder if OS 10.3 can make the "Emergency Call" feature less prominent, or less susceptible to accidental activation? Maybe a slide confirmation or a smaller icon to press? Children have a way of finding it easily.

Not only children, I've done it myself 4 or 5 times with it just being in my pocket. Very very annoying.

Posted via CB10

Is the OS going to be only offered with a white background theme?? I don't like that! I prefer the dark theme we've had!

Posted via CB10

The white theme is default for the Z10 and probably the Passport. All other devices (with OLED displays) have the dark theme. Most apps have an option to change it, the Hub being the most notable exception.

AFAIK Passport is OLED screen too.

Please someone correct me if I'm wrong! (With a link to correct info please.)

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

According to the information floating around, Passport may have a LCD (most likely) or TFT. Also, looking at the images it has white theme.

There is both light and dark theme. I prefer light, so that's how I took all the screenshots. No dark theme in hub yet though...

@adamschuetze, thank you for the great and informative post, and I'm really looking forward to the official release. I have two questions that hopefully you can answer:

1) Will this release resolve the Android runtime problem that users like myself have experienced with OS 10.2.1 that prevents Android apps from running and/or even staying open? Currently, none of my Android apps will stay open for more than a few minutes before spontaneously closing.

2) Will 10.3 be released directly through BlackBerry or will we have to suffer through slow releases from carriers again?

Thank you!

What Android apps are you having issues with? I'll try them.

As for your second question... no idea. I've been running leaks since the first day with my Q10.

Thanks Adam. I've installed the following:

YNAB, Amazon App Store, Duolingo, FEMA. Dropbox and Snap were giving me problems but seem to be working fine now. I also installed my security system app (prefer not to name), and tried to install POYNT (which I gave up on, but may try again today). There were a few others that I tried a while back that I don't recall the names of.

Any suggestions you can provide are very much appreciated!

I hadn't used those Android apps before, so I installed them and tested them a bit. I've been using Snap for a few months, works great. All the Android apps you listed run really nicely on my Q10 on Q10SQN100-1/10.3.0.296.

Adam, thanks for trying the apps out. I did notice that you're using 10.3. I'm still on 10.2.1.2179. Some users who have the same release as I have have had trouble getting some or most Android apps to work, and as far as I know, the majority of us are running the official release. I'm REALLY hoping that the update resolves this issue.

As for Dropbox - thank you for showing me something new (three things now for me today with my BlackBerry!)

Keep up the great work, and thanks for taking the time to help and respond.

Not ashamed of the 'Berry I carry. BlackBerry by choice!

Also, there's no need to use the Android Dropbox app anymore because now you can share files by URL right from the native file manager, via the Dropbox plugin.

Agreed, I barely get through the day on a Q10 and the wife's Samsung Galaxy gets a good 3 days. Let's hope Blackberry is listening!!

Posted via CB10

My device monitor shows I'm averaging 19 hours of battery life per charge. It's not three days, but I'm a pretty heavy user and I work in an area with poor LTE/HSPA service (which adds additional load on the battery). Seems pretty good to me.

When is the official 10.3 update dropping for the Z30? I don't want install the current leak.

Posted via my Zee Zed 30

The Z30 won’t get 10.3, only 10.3.1 which is expected at the end of the year. You’ll probably have to manually install leaked versions til then.

There will be no 10.3 for the Z30... only the Blackberry Passport will receive that.

There will only be a 10.3.1+ update for the Z30, Z10, Z3, Q10, Q5
Which should launch on November 11th ±

Folder sync already works by selecting the folder in the account from the drop down, and enabling it with the sidebar action. Nothing new there.

Posted from Thor's hammer...my Z30!

Doh, you beat me to it! Good thing I scrolled through the comments before posting the same...

It's definitely there on 10.2.1, can't recall 10.2.0.
You can even also change it in a reply, which otherwise defaults to format of original email you received. Love it!

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

I would love a shortcut to automatically take a picture and or video. I understand it will still take time to load up the camera app, but it would automatically take a pic or begin to record for those "holy s#!}moments"

Posted via CB10

Hate the can't tap anywhere to take a picture anymore. Dedicated area to tap for pictures is so last Gen loved how it used to work will take awhile to adjust to this again.

Posted via CB10 on my blazing fast Z30

I just found out that the USB OTG on the Z30 works with a portable external hard drive as long as it's formatted in FAT32 or 64 or 128. On my laptop I could only format FAT32. I plugged it using the usbotg cable and presto. I formatted an empty hard drive. I sectioned out 32 gb of the 120gb to FAT32 and the Z30 recognized it.You can't format the whole thing in FAT so you have to partition out 32gb sections to be able to use FAT32. You can name each volume

ΛהƊ¥ ®  Z30

Advance interactions and speed triage are my favourite. The other functions are available on other OSes already.

BlackBerry needs more "exclusive" functions like these. It separates it from the other OSes.

I do hope future IM apps will integrate the hub somehow especially for notifications and instant reply.

But the future looks like a whole bunch of android apps which wont take full advantage of BB10 functionality.

Differentiate or Die

We need the option to hide media files,because sometimes the third part application crash the all the files are lost

Posted via CB10

Wow, sooo many nice features! I wish I could see all of them in nice short ad on TV. It could definitely help BlackBerry with sales.

Posted via CB10

the transparent frames after reboot looks cool. can I restart that app by tapping the transparent frame? really glad this is being relooked at.

Searching function in whole IMAP folders is the best feature in 10.3. Before only history from 2-3 was shown, but now i can search for even 2- years old emails.

Sent from my Q10\ 4G LTE in PLAY PL

Great article! It's all these little details that count . The hard part is getting people to see them in all their glory!

From my z30

I am running 10.3, It's a refreshed BlackBerry 10 experience.. hope to see more in the official release

Posted via CB10

I disagree with removing Adobe. This is one of BB10's selling points.

It motivates you to stay at 10.2.1, but Adobe should not be kept unpatched.

Minor things, not very important for me but is good to see that there is a progress in improvement of the OS.

Sent from my Z 30

Each and every one of these features is amazing! What I want to know is, just how BlackBerry is going to market these features?!

I've never really owned Android or iOS devices but I think these features are pretty cool and smart. But how would BlackBerry plan to advertise their OS? More people need to know about these features. In my opinion, BlackBerry's biggest USP - BB10 - is equally hard to advertise. These aren't apps or hardware features, probably what makes them harder to highlight. Needless to say, word has to go out. Sales people at phone stores cannot be relied upon at all.

BlackBerry needs to be everywhere, getting people's attention. The Z3 release here in India hardly got any attention. One ad on the front page of a newspaper and that's it? I'm really, really desperate for BlackBerry to do well in India and obviously abroad.

Can't wait for 10.3! And the Passport! And the Classic! It is going to be an awesome year! :D

Posted via CB10

I'm still waiting for the function that will allow me to go directly to the Remember app when flagging an email. As it is now I have to flag the email, then look up the item in the Remember app to set the due date with reminder and select appropriate folder. This would make a huge difference for me.

Posted via CB10

For those running 10.3, are there customizable notification volumes? I'd like to turn the ringer volume up high while keeping sms/bbm volume low.

Does this Os available for STL 100 -1 with same features as in the picture ? IF So give me the link..

Posted via CB10

Great new features. But the icons look too toyish like the iPhone. BIG NO for that. Keep them classy n bold, removing frame n putting in extra gradient effect would have been super. Let's hope for the best. And I hope it makes the Z10 or P9982 more faster in performance.
Cheers.

Posted via CB10 from P'9982.

I so much love 10.3. Eagerly waiting for my z10 to be sexier than it is at present. They are really making it so damn productive. Already I think that BlackBerry 10 is the best os if you have to get things done quickly. And with 10.3 it will be simply awesome.
One thing which hasn't been mentioned and I want to see in 10.3 is better contacts app. That is must.

Dear Adam & everyone,

Many thanks for your insightful post. As a keen user of brilliant Q10 I would be most grateful for your expert advice on whether Java Script and Barclays App will be available for Q10. Obviously, some full sites need Java enabled, but it seems it's not on Q10.

With best wishes

D.

Posted via CB10

I hope these new phones have duel sim cards (possibly with some sort of balance) work phone and personal merge into one... would be amazing! Save me from carrying around a z30 and q10

Posted via CB10

I just wish I would be able to setup the volume of the notifications individually per application

Posted via CB10

Now we just need a nice article about all the horrible UI "innovations" of 10.3 that are our LEAST favorite. :P

I sure hope they change those things before they release a production build. Here's just a few:

"Large icon default action" - not useful, clutters the UI.

Multi-selecting items ie in Hub is ridiculously inefficient. You have to wait for the menu to "bounce out" from the right side, then scrollllllllll all the way to the bottom to get to the "select more" menu item, every single time. Their "instant actions" IMHO are poorly-designed and not efficient, actually make managing messages - for me - much slower than before.

Their insistence on continuing to truncate and "fade away" all sorts of important textual data in the UI is horrific. (Example: Contacts app. Make an entry with a long company name and the ONLY way you can see the entire name is going into "edit" mode. It is IMPOSSIBLE otherwise.)

I am collecting a library of examples of this stupidity. It would not be so bad if there was a way to actually retrieve this info and see it, but in many cases it is IMPOSSIBLE. Whoever decided on or approved that UI design deserves to be fired and if you want to know my real opinion, have very uncomfortable things done to them.

Text editing is still a mess. (There are cases where ie the "edit circle" literally covers-up the "copy/paste" options, UGH) Though some aspects are slightly improved in 10.3, especially for Android apps, where there was a strange problem with some apps invoking native Android text editing UI, others using a "partial" BB10 UI, and worse - many of the ones that used the Android UI had no functioning copy/paste functionality. That seems like it might be fixed now.

He kinda just did LOL.

But I'm with Omnitech... there are a few WTF moments on my Z10 almost every day. My current fave pet peeve is the way the BBM messages disappear under the keyboard. For example, I'm in a bbm chat with someone, the screen is full of the chat text and the keyboard. I see his last message and I type my reply. I press send. Then, after pressing send and not touching any other part of the screen, I look at the screen... and where is the message I just sent??? I kinda feels like did I really type that and press send? Then I scroll up the chat messages and voila there it is... it was hidden "behind" the keyboard. WTF.

Oh and here's another one. I send a photo to someone on bbm with an ever so clever comment. Then I think, oh, so and so would also like to see this photo. Switch to that contact, attach the photo, but wait, can I copy and paste the previous clever comment. Nope. WTF.

Stuff like this drives people nuts.

Posted via CB10

If those are the small details, I can't wait for what the big features will entail!

Don't give too much away though, because Apple and Samsung will just copy BlackBerry (again).

I would really like to see a few additions though..... not major... BlackBerry Have already done it in os 6&7....firstly No Audio Eq and Secondly the option of Hiding a Folder..... I'm sure all the BlackBerry Users sorely miss these than any other additions which are always welcome....

Posted via CB10

I can't try it yet as I rely on my phone too much right now to worry about any possible glitches. But looks like it's finally shaping up to be a killer OS. They just need to start integrating basic apps like FB and twitter and BBM/Whatsapp into more apps. I could care less but obviously the kids and ladies care about that stuff.

Posted via CB10

Sounds good, a lot a nice "minor" additions. It would be nice when a better customisation of the LED per contact would be supported by the OS directly (I don't to drive BeBuzz and Hub++ out of business but they don't work reliable...).
I'd also would like to see the option to lock the device (via off button) without having to set an autolock time.

Finally a question: what happens, if you have 'Flip-to-silence' enabled and the device is faced down? Is the device silenced or does it ring and you turn it to silence it again? (my previous Nokia kept silent as far as I remember)

You can already lock the device by holding down the off button until the restart counter starts and then hitting lock at the bottom

I still think it'd be better to give us the OPTION to either use two finger swipe down or corner swipe to access quick setting from anywhere because two finger swipe needs two hands or one hand if the phone is on a flat surface for example, BUT corner swipe can be done with one hand.

Personally, I prefer corner swipe.

Posted via CB10

Cheers, BlackBerry. I shall raise a toast or three in honor of these vastly superior features you are implementing. With luck, I will see them before the next Star Wars movie. (that, naturally, means I am in the US)

Posted via CB10

I like the show sender only! My favorite feature! That combined with the fact that it would wake the screen on notification

Posted via CB10

We need a "select all" option, for hub and file manager etc. Takes too long to manually select multiple emails or files.

Posted with the brilliance of my Z10

LOL... don't you wish CB allowed us to edit these comments for typos like that?... like we can in the forums area of cb.

I had to giggle over the batter comment cuz the pancake batter is flying here in Calgary during the GREATEST OUTDOOR SHOW ON EARTH!

YAHOOOOO!!!

Posted via CB10

Just a great update with perfect addition especially for the notification lock screen.
Much jumped at me!

posted via my Z10 

On the recent calls. I hope to call a particular person in that log, it must be a swipe action instead of single tap to prevent accidental dialing which is frequently happening in my z30

Then in the arrow down option there is no more call option because redundant. Instead replace it with a trash can icon to quickly remove that person on the log.

Posted via CB10

I like the in app 2 finger settings feature the most.

hopefully work has been done on the contacts to be honest. it's still a bit finicky.

Yes, but have they fixed notifications yet? Does tapping on the Notifications button in the quick settings panel cycle through "silent, normal, loud..." etc...?

The camera and video options when taking a picture is a feature that's been on Samsung phones for a long time. Glad to see it now on BB as well.

I really wish they'd bring back colour notification. That way I can tell if I need to respond to a BBM or email based on what color the indicator is flashing.

With red you have to look at everything

I would like to see when you delete an icon, everything automatically shifts over so there's no empty space.

Posted via CB10

Not a great fan of Active frames. I find no use in them. Takes so much screen space. I would rather love to see PB style multi-tasking.

I want discreet email account icons for the lock screen with custom icons for each account like OS7 had. I'd like to know whether or not I need to check the message right away (who wants to check work email on a weekend?) I'm interested in stuff that shows up in my Yahoo account, not so much interest in stuff that shows up on my Gmail account.

Also on the lock screen there should be a button to dismiss the blinking message light.

Verizon has not even released the latest 10.2 yet and some are worried about 10.3? I will be on the passport before this runs on my Z10

Double-Finger Swipe Down From Any App To Load Settings Menu - it is not convenient enough. Why not swipe down on left side for App Settings and on right side for Quick Settings? Also, no shortcut to turn off screen without using power button? Try harder BB!

Pretty nice. I'd love native custom notifications and more shortcuts. Also, need to address the time it takes when phone automatically switches from wifi to cell service ( wifi out of.range) It's slow and renders my phone useless when this happens

Posted via CB10

Adam, great article, there are a number of features I'm going to be looking forward to in the release. One of the commenters said there was a new task manager. Can you tell us more about that? I'm quite interested to see what improvements they've made there.

Posted via CB10

I would love to see them sort out contact linking. When I back-up my Z10 all contact links become unlinked. Also if they can make multiple links instead of one at a time or suggest a link by name saved?
When you go to add a contact link it goes back up to # hit the letter scroll through till you get to the name you want to link the hit add link. ...not the slickest admin tool ever.

Loving me updates though!!!

Is 10.3 have camera brightness and timer function...?
Is 10.3 have Email to view old emails or send..like Gmail in Android..?
Is 10.3 support UC Browser and opera or Firefox or chrome browser...because some time the in built browser refused to download...?
Is 10.3 have video call option from 3g network only..?
Is 10.3 have equaliser in music app..?
Can we change the audio language in dual audio movie in video player in new 10.3....?
Ramesh Seju

Posted via CB10

I feel like the darker theme on blackberry 10 makes it seem much more professional and less gimmicky, it has a sense of importance unlike the teenage girl ui of ios.

While the flip and email additions are good, I would still like to have the group function returned to text messaging. Too many times I want to send a group text to my team but with BB10 I have to recreate the list every time. I miss this function from the legacy devices.

Posted via CB10

How about giving us the option to vertical align the icons?? And maybe add a timer feature to the camera. Hmmm

Posted via my Awesome Q10 running 10.2.1.2102

Please bring me back my "different notification settings for different apps" including separate volume level, light colour and number of rings as I used to have on my old curves

Posted via CB10

I want the Home screen shortcut keys back on BB10 for my Q10 (just like BBOS), this feature will make Q10 more completely.

Hello, I have a Q10 (Dev alpha C) and I Need the Last leaked version of 10.3 can I have help to find that ?

Posted via CB10

Everything on 10.3 is brilliant, the only bit I don't like is the UI, personally I think it looks a mess.

Posted via CB10

I'm still surprised that they're not addressing customizing the apps on the Home Screen dock/quick launch bar. How is that not a priority?

Posted via CB10

I hope there is a fix to those using Gmail accounts on BB10, ability to show labels and notification of filtered emails.

Posted via CB10

I would love to be able to select an email and add it to calendar. Just add a title to it.

Posted via CB10

Pages