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Photos: BlackBerry 6 - how the new OS looks

RIM's new-look BlackBerry OS includes tabbed browsing and universal search...
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By Natasha Lomas on
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1 of 7 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

RIM's new-look BlackBerry OS includes tabbed browsing and universal search...

BlackBerry-maker RIM yesterday took the wraps off its long-awaited new operating system: BlackBerry 6.

While BlackBerry 6 sports a revamped user interface, RIM has also retained the familiar BlackBerry look and feel to keep existing BlackBerry users feeling at home on the platform.

Pictured above is a view of the homescreen on BlackBerry OS 6 with one of the shortcuts menus pulled open.

There are five shortcuts menus, which are navigated between by swiping across them. The five shortcuts menus are: Favourites, Media, Downloads, Frequent and All (shown above).

The first OS 6 device, the BlackBerry Torch, was released yesterday. The device has a slider form factor and comes with both a capacitive touchscreen and a physical Qwerty keyboard.

Screenshot: RIM

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2 of 7 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

Homescreen shortcut menu contents can be personalised by the user - by adding contacts, webpage shortcuts, photos, music, videos and more.

Pictured above is a view of a folder being added to one of the customisable menus.

Screenshot: RIM

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3 of 7 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

Here's the full main menu on OS 6, with a familiar icon-based UI.

Holding down the Menu key on the device brings up a visual grid of all applications currently running, enabling users to multitask by switching between apps.

RIM has ditching linear text set-up wizards in favour of an icon-based set-up menu that allows users to dive in and out and set up functions as needed.

Screenshot: RIM

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4 of 7 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

The previous BlackBerry browser offered only linear 'back', 'forward' and 'history' options to navigate between websites. The new BlackBerry WebKit browser on OS 6 however offers tabbed browsing, shown above.

Other new features include pinch-to-zoom, and a double-tap zoom feature that auto-wraps text to ensure it's still legible on the device.

The new WebKit browser also renders HTML faster than RIM's previous browser.

Screenshot: RIM

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5 of 7 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

BlackBerry OS 6 also includes a Universal Search function - shown above.

Tapping the magnifying glass on the homescreen enables users to search for any type of content - be it media, contacts, emails, documents - on both the handset or the web, or on BlackBerry App World, RIM's application marketplace which comes pre-loaded on BlackBerry OS 6 devices.

Screenshot: RIM

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6 of 7 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

Social networking integration is another flagship feature of BlackBerry OS 6, which enables simultaneous postings to different social network accounts to be made via a new Social Feeds app, as shown above.

OS 6 devices come preloaded with RIM's Social Feeds feature which integrates various social networking updates and RSS feeds into a single stream, as well as filtered individual streams that can be swiped between.

BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook, Google Talk, MySpace and Twitter are all supported.

Screenshot: RIM

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7 of 7 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

BlackBerry OS 6 also includes a visual voicemail feature, as pictured above.

Screenshot: RIM

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