Research In Motion (RIM) today announced BlackBerry 6, a new operating system for BlackBerry smartphones. BlackBerry 6 features a redesigned interface that works with a touch screen and trackpad, expanded messaging capabilities that simplify managing social media and RSS feeds, a new Universal Search tool, and a new and efficient WebKit-based browser that renders web page quickly.
BlackBerry 6 offers multiple views that help users better organize their applications and content. Icons are arranged on the Home Screen in 5 customizable views (All, Favorites, Media, Downloads and Frequent) that are navigable with simple swipes. Users can organize where they want their icons to appear, and can add contacts or web page shortcuts directly to the Home Screen. Also new to BlackBerry 6 are context-sensitive Action Menus. Within a given application, by clicking and holding the trackpad or through an extended touch of the display, users can bring actions or tasks of an application to the surface. In addition, users can multitask by holding down the Menu key, which pops up a visual grid of all the applications currently running, so users can instantly switch between applications.
A Universal Search tool is also accessible from the Home Screen. By simply clicking or tapping the Universal Search icon, users can search for any content on their handset, the web or in the new BlackBerry App World, which is also integral to BlackBerry 6.
BlackBerry 6 integrates a new WebKit-based browser that renders web pages (as well as email) better for a great browsing experience. It features tabs for accessing multiple sites simultaneously, an auto-wrap text zoom feature that can wrap text in a column while maintaining the placement of a page's key elements, and pinch to zoom.
The new Social Feeds application simplifies the management of social networking and RSS feeds and provides integrated access to the native BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger applications for BlackBerry smartphones. Social Feeds streamlines the user experience, provides an integrated view of friends’ activities across multiple social networks, and let's users post updates across multiple networks simultaneously. Users can also easily add their favorite RSS Feeds from the Social Feeds application or directly from a website while browsing.
RIM’s new Text Messages application also adds exciting new features for users who communicate mostly via SMS and MMS, including the ability for users to now view a conversation in one threaded 'chat' as well as share photos, videos and other rich content.