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The New BlackBerry OS 6.0: Video and Details

Illustration for article titled The New BlackBerry OS 6.0: Video and Details

After reviewing the new devices we saw yesterday—the Blackberry Bold 9650 and the Pearl 3G—RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis revealed what we've been waiting for at this year's WES: BlackBerry 6.0. Updated: Video!

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It's been a while since we've seen anything new for BlackBerry users in terms of interface (we were beginning to feel like Nokia users!)—but finally RIM has confirmed BlackBerry OS 6.0 will be out later this year.

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During an analyst call yesterday, RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis confirmed the new OS was on its way, arriving sometime in the third quarter—between July and September, basically. Leaked screengrabs have already shown it'll have a new homescreen with customizable icons, a brand new browser with tab support, and a redesigned media player.

RIM has released the following video showing off BlackBerry OS 6.0:

Here's what we know so far, courtesy of BGR's leaked report:

• Homescreen: A new design with smaller wallpaper real estate, the customizable icons will be arranged any which way you want. Pages will work similar to how the various screens of Android already do, with media-centric icons grouped together and so on.

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• Browser: It'll support multitouch (kiss goodbye to the little magnifying glass), new favorites, and tabs. Judging by the leaked screengrabs we've seen, changing tabs will be similar to on an iPhone or Android—with the ability to open new tabs by pressing on a + sign.

• Media player: supports multitouch, with a finger swipe needed for browsing album covers, and again, it's very iPhone-like. Better start ensuring you've Google imaged and added all the album artwork to make the search functionality work well.

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• Multitouch: It'll be included natively in all sorts of programs, including emails.

• Messaging: It'll stay roughly the same, which is a good call for RIM, considering they're famed for having the best messaging system available for phones. There'll be a few small additions, such as larger thumbnails to determine the type of message, and integrated RSS feeds—which could be a bit too much work and hassle.

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• Commands: Instead of constantly pressing menu, touchscreen models will support pop-up commands. Sending an email, you could click and hold the email and choose send from the pop-up box, as opposed to hitting menu and send from there. It's not revolutionary, but may be better designed and intuitive.

• Media: Photos will appear all at once, instead of loading one by one—which irritates the heck out of me.

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We're not sure the redesigned media player is enough to sell us (Kat's used her Bold's media player once in total), but the browser sounds worth every penny. Check out the video above for even more information about BlackBerry's next phase. [All Things D]

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DISCUSSION

It is really difficult to put lipstick on a blackberry - they are just so tiny, but I am impressed those Canadians can do it.

Clearly, they are playing catch-up, and that says more than anything. Instead of taking us to the next level with video conferencing or some other "gotta have it" feature they are merely trying to respond to the feature list of the competition. Not surprisingly, however, that will likely be good enough to keep them from losing market share in the year ahead. However, if they truly want to make it as a consumer device they are going to need to challenge themselves and the industry and come up with something truly innovative.

Nice lipstick, RIM.