Notification and System dialogs getting revamped for BlackBerry 10 with the addition of Cinnamon and French toast features

BlackBerry 10 French Toast system dialog
By Bla1ze on 24 Oct 2012 02:17 am EDT

With the path RIM has taken in building the BlackBerry PlayBook OS and BlackBerry 10, it allows them to go ahead and keep everything their customers love about their current BlackBerry devices and bring it over to their next generation computing platform.

In addition to that, it also affords RIM the opportunity to go ahead and improve upon many things that the previous OS had limitations with. We've seen plenty of that in action already, but now we're getting an even closer look at some of things they'll be vastly improving upon with BlackBerry 10. 

One of the improvements on that list is directly related to how BlackBerry 10 handles system dialogs and notifications - those little pop-ups that happen on your device to let you know when things are happening. All those buttons, windows and yes, even error messages, are getting revamped using toasts or, more specifically, Cinnamon toast and French toast. 


'Toasts' themselves aren't anything really new. Some app developers used them in their BlackBerry OS 6 and OS 7 applications previously and other OS' make use of them as well. With BlackBerry 10, they'll become part of the core OS and open up several new functions along with adding to the overall visual styling of BlackBerry 10 as a whole.

Cinnamon Toast

Back in May we posted some documentation pertaining to how BlackBerry 10 would make use of notifications and the lockscreen. In that documentation, a system called Cinnamon Toast was highlighted as being one of the new and significantly unique additions to how dialogs and notifications are displayed on BlackBerry devices.

Cinnamon Toast

In the same vein, some new documentation posted by N4BB adds a little bit more to the explanation. Essentially, as a notification comes in you can tilt the device slightly to view more info, then again for another line of info, and so on until all the info is displayed accordingly. For example, a text message comes in, you can tilt the device to see who sent the message, then tilt more for the message itself.

Perhaps the most interesting piece of info on this new documentation is the fact that the actions are reversible. In other words, if you pick your device up and look at the info and then proceed to put it down, the info you revealed will be once again covered back up in real time to keep it out of sight when it is not really needed or intended to be seen.

French Toast

The other portion of the toasts addition to BlackBerry 10 deals with system dialogs. BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha owners may already be familiar with this as it is built into the currently available OS on the device and is highlighted throughout the BlackBerry 10 system dialogs documentation on the BlackBerry developers portal for Cascades.

"A SystemToast contains a message to display to the user. You can display a message to a user that will time out and disappear after a preset amount of time. This approach provides users with progress information and allows them to continue with the application after the toast times out."

They even provide some sample code for you to make use of, just in case you want to go ahead and create your own.

French toast

To add to the already publicly available information, N4BB posted up some further guideline information highlighting how french toast is to be used within the system. It addresses the placement, length of time which the french toast should show, and specifically highlights the deletion of items as a use-case scenario. Stuff developers should already know, but still interesting to see laid out.

French Toast

As noted, this is available on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha so looking at the image above, you can see I deleted the browser history on my device and instantly a toast appeared on the screen letting me know two specific things:

  • The history was cleared.
  • I can undo the action if I choose to. 

The dialog, as per the guidelines, is supposed to stay there for a period of 3 seconds allowing you to go ahead and reverse the action taken. Delete that email and need it back, you can do it. No extra apps needed because it's now built into the core OS that is BlackBerry 10. Something, I might add, that Google is only now adding directly into their GMail client for Android. I'm just saying.

Overall, all of those things combined are nice additions to the OS and shows that RIM is paying attention to even what some may consider 'small things'. Now, we'll just have to wait a bit longer before we can get our hands on it.

I've said before and likely will say it again as well, there is much more to BlackBerry 10 than what RIM has shown off thus far and it's only going to get better as we get closer to the actual launch date. 

Sources: BlackBerry Developers, N4BB

Reader comments

Notification and System dialogs getting revamped for BlackBerry 10 with the addition of Cinnamon and French toast features


+1. Sounds good, actually delicious. Makes sence to have new notifications with a new OS.

Is it me or are devices taking on the names of food alot. Android has Jellybean and Ice Creme Sandwich. And now our BB10 is gonna have Cinnamon and French Toast. All we need are for Samsung and Kindle to come out with new features called Bacon and Eggs, and we'd have a great breakfast.
I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

"there is much more to BlackBerry 10 than what RIM has shown off thus far and it's only going to get better as we get closer to the actual launch date. "
That's what I'm talkin ' about...
Say "Amen!", somebody!

Hate the names, hate them, just hate them, hate all the stupid android names. I know it's a marketing thing to get people talking about them, but to me, I don't see it that way, I just feel astoundingly stupid even saying them in my head, I can't stand them. I'd be too embarrassed to own something with names like that attached to it LOL. If you wanna copy something, copy the app situation, not some hipster naming fad...

I'm confused. Where, exactly do you see any marketing material. All I see is a bunch of developer information and what I can only assume to be, internal slides not exactly meant for the general public.

While I enjoy leaks and pre-official information as much as the next person, so many people try and read beyond the info and percieve whatever they want out of the information and stick to that. Need to take it FWIW, stuff RIM never really intended for you to see and stuff that could, at any time, no longer exist.


Chill - a toast is just a user interface element that is a small popup that gives you notification of something happening. In this case it also looks like you can take an action from the toast...

If I want something named after a foodstuff I will toast a cinnamon Pop Tart. Geez the naming of devices and software features makes RIM appear psychofrenic in an effort to be more Apple iPhonish and Google Androidish. Thus far BlackBerry 10 lacks a decided air of professionalism. Is RIM still hiring interns and putting them in charge of these projects?

RIM did not come up with the concept of toasts! They've been around for a while...It would be silly for them to start calling them something else unrelated to "toast" at this point.

Eh, better than having some old dudes naming phones 9350, 9360, 9810, 9850, 9860, 9900, 9930.

I'd rather have names like that rather than numbers or something.

Doesn't matter what it is to me though, either way you're identifying some sort of function, product, or service.

Then just call them toast's, don't add hipster cinnamon and french in front of it... Gawd... Just awful.

The new *notifications* look really cool! I wasn't overly impressed with the so-called "cinnamon toast" (and thought it was more fluff than anything) until I read far enough in about the part where leaving the phone flat on the table will not allow for surreptitious reading of messages by other parties... how only physically picking up the device will allow the full content of the message to be visible on the lock screen... Definitely a boon for privacy. :D

Otherwise it does look like RIM's acquisition of TAT is finally bearing fruit. Here's to hoping that the BlackBerry brand survives and thrives for years to come...

And you ain't gonna see BlackBerry 10 released in January. The pep squad / cheerleader mentality pervading this forum has crossed the boundary of reality. We will be lucky to see BlackBerry 10 released by 31 March 2013.

LOL I love people like you. so bitter.

remember your bitterness and remember this post, and if you have any guts at all, you will be back on the boards in january to apologize and admit you were wrong.

Word up!

First Quarter. I'd love to have BB10 on January 1 but if it takes a couple of extra months to make BB10 flawless then that's good by me. RIM has to get this upcoming release absolutely right even if that means slapping on a "home button" decal for as you may recall lack of a home button was a fairly common criticism when the PB was first released (I know it sounds stupid now but that was an actual complaint). Heins was absolutely correct in not rushing out BB10 as RIM surely could not withstand any Siri, imap or antennagate stumbles.

I love it and I think its brilliant that they named some features. Oh shit I deleted something worries use French toast....oh what's French toast? You can explain what it is since its a feature. When it comes to an OS it has zero meaning like jelly bean ....what is it? Oh its an OS....oh ok? I can't imagine bb10 has more tricks up its sleeve as I'm already sold and willing to give up my SG3.

Terrible taking on the naming game, with food. You can name it but why go the food route? If it was the other way around and android did it...there would be an article on it, lets be real.

RIM is dead, they came come back to life but they are RIP at the moment. This is them walking away from the bright light but it doesn't change the fact.

LOL - gotta love "RIM is dead comments". Lots of companies in way worse financial shape are still 'in business'.

Out of curiosity, what have you done in your life to rival them? Made your own multi-billion dollar company with 80 million customers? Packed away 2.3 billion in your bank account?

RIM didn't invent the concept of "toasts". They're a UI element that's been around for a very long time. But I agree, let's be felt the need to say something negative based on an assumption you made (which was wrong)...who's being terrible now?

Ignore the_consumer, if you read his posts, they are pretty much all negative with nothing constructive about them.

As for the toasts, innovative and useful.... Perfect!

I don't know why it wouldn't, maybe they'll change it before launch. They should give the user the option as to whether or not the toasts are displayed even with a passcode. When swiping up on the toast to go to the HUB, it should still ask for your passcode.

Doesn't seem like this should be an all-or-nothing situation.

If these features work smoothly and instantly, it will be a fantastic, functional, and addictive experience that I can see as a huge improvement even over current toasts since no clicking is required to get in and out of a message or notification. Between peek and flow and this, I think we have a lot to be excited about, given there should be more of these positive developments to come. These types of slick enhancements should bring back many former users who reluctantly moved on.

You guys really need to chill on the food names. As Bla1ze already mentioned, these names are developer names, FOR INTERNAL PURPOSES ONLY....this is leaked information, not a commercial showing new features and they are calling it toast or whatever. Think it through....Cinnamon toast, meaning a 'pop up message' (toast 'pop' out of the toaster), and the cinnamon reference is cause it's damn sweeeet!!!

It's just what developers are calling it internally, nothing to do with marketing or anything for the public. People need to just focus on the cool feature and not get so hung up on the names.

Relax people! Just enjoy the cool feature, and to think that there is plenty more food to come out of the RIM cupboard!!!!

"Something, I might add, that Google is only now adding directly into their GMail client for Android. I'm just saying."

Look, I like everything I'm seeing and I am very much looking forward to the release of BB10, but I'm not sure why you crow about RIM beating Google out for a feature when we don't actually have it yet. In fact, if Google is working to add that feature now, there's every reason to believe Android users will have it in their hand before we get new BlackBerry phones.

I'm glad you and the developers have new toys to play with, but until the general public can get it, RIM hasn't actually DONE anything.

Not hatin', just sayin'.

Bashing RIM again aren't we?

You tend to forget this feature is just about making it to an single app (called GMail app) while RIM is adding this to the whole OS. Since it would take years for you to read the article and a few decades to understand the whole concept, let me simplify it.

The food names are INTERNAL only; meaning they will not be used for marketing and end users. RFH121LW is the model that got Bluetooth v4.0 certified, it would be a marketing nightmare to use this model name in commercials.

Dead: Synonyms = defunct - deceased - extinct - lifeless. I don't think you would understand synonyms too. When you say 'dinosaurs are extinct' you can't find them anywhere in the world. You can still find RIM devices across the world and new ones sold everywhere.

App Functionality vs OS Functionality: A single app is a very small part of the OS. The spreadsheet I'm working on is a single app and it runs on the OS. It's like a skating rink. A single app will be a pair of skates that run in that rink. Some dudes will have better skates but it will not affect the whole rink. With the OS feature, the whole rink is considered and not individual skates. The lines of code required for a pair of skates will be significantly less than the code required for the WHOLE OS (the entire rink in my example).

If you still don't understand, please go back to whatever shadows you came from and continue playing marbles.

To whom are you responding? There is no bashing in my post, nor do I raise the issue of the food names (they can give the features care bear names for all I care).

Your point about the difference between adding a feature to an app versus integrating it into the OS is well taken, but doesn't blunt the thrust of my editorial quibble. Whether in the OS or in the app, it's a feature the consumers don't yet have in their hand. Therefore, it seems a little premature to boast about it. My opinion, which you are free to reject.

I prefer BlackBerry to Android. That's why I'm here. I gave away my Razr Maxx to go back to BB7. I like RIM's design choices, even on version 7, compared to what Google has done in Android. I have no doubt that BB10 will be superior to what Android offers WHEN IT IS RELEASED. I just still can't believe that won't be until next year. ;)

Hey dude, it wasn't directed to your post, it was for the consumer.

I hear ya, your point on end user availability is rightly taken.

I really like the concepts and the Names as well. Its rather intuitive, and again much like the use of the thumb, RIM is looking at natural human reactions and packaging them in software...

I really don't get why people are throwing a hissy fit at the names... 1. Its a Leaked slide, 2. Toasts are not new.. RIM just add an ingenious twist to it rather than change the name completely. I don't see what's hard to understand in that.

Crackberry attracts some of the stupidest RIM hating trolls period. If you dunces are going to troll..atleast try to make sense.

As amazingly cool as this is... what happens if you get a confidential personal or bussiness message and people see the 1st message and as you pickup your phone and tilt it even more confidential details are displayed. I guess there should be a way to activate or deactivate this feature or maybe have it only work if your holding the phone in a certain way to prevent you from displaying a confidential message when your not alone. @richardkaw

Your article was a great read. Thanks for the sources and images too.

Very we'll articulated!

I'm not sure how this will turn out in real world scenarios, but I'm glad to see more of where BlackBerry is headed. Looking forward to more.