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What to expect in the new BlackBerry OS 7

New BlackBerry's, new operating system to go along side it. A quick round up of what to expect.
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1 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

BlackBerry OS 7 has already disappointed a vast number of people, as the new operating system is not based on QNX as many had hoped.

Still, what Research in Motion has been able to release is what is effectively the same as BlackBerry OS 6.0 and 6.1, except is unable to run on older phones.

A bit of a kick in the teeth, many think. Anyway, on we go.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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2 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

This is taken from a BlackBerry 9850 simulator -- a fully touch device, which runs the BlackBerry OS 7.0.0.103 -- the latest beta version available. With some tweaks yet still have yet to be ironed out, on the whole, the interface and functionality are pretty in tact.

You can see here that the keyboard has some similariites to that of iOS devices, but without the natural keyboard divisions each layer down. Frankly, it's a bit 'blocky', and can be tricky to use.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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3 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Voice search works quite well, but have yet to really understand why people would use it. You can just as easily type in what you want, and no keyboard -- regardless of how blocky it is -- is that bad. 

But because BlackBerry's use data compression over the networks, you can send a lot of data in little bandwidth.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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4 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

The menu and the icons are still in tact -- with very few changes -- beyond that of the icon changes. Each and every application still has the same functionality, but has a new and improved icon and feel to it. 

This gives the impression that BlackBerry OS 7 is new, and feels revamped, whilst maintaining the very vast majority of the previous functionality, so one isn't forced to re-learn the entire operating system.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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5 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

As I said, though the icons have been revamped, and generally performance is a lot better -- hardware dependent, of course -- the operating system is very much how it was in previous versions.

It does make one question why OS 7 won't run on older phones, though. It really does not make sense. 

I'll explore this in the next few slides, however.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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6 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

One of the new features to BlackBerry OS 7 is the ability to watch and stream 720p videos -- something the iPhone has been able to do for some time now.

The quality is good, but one has to remember that 720p videos take up a huge amount of space, and can render your memory card all but immediately full.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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7 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

BlackBerry App World is pre-installed with OS 7, allowing you to access the best applications for your device. Also included in Facebook and Twitter. 

But as Facebook 2.0 for BlackBerry has just been released, you may notice that the installed version may need updating as soon as you have booted it up for the first time.

At least it tells you, though. Every cloud...

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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8 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

You will probably at some point be asked to link your phone to your BlackBerry ID -- the universal access point for BlackBerry email, App Store and other features. This moves away from the traditional email username and password, allowing you to take your BlackBerry ID with you on any phone.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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9 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

The browser somehow looked different when I first opened it. Noticing that there was no search functionality, I had to dig for it.

Maybe it's because this is a non-branded, non-network specific simulator, I am not too sure. Nevertheless, you'll be able to add your search provider through the manual method in the Options panel.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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10 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

There is multi-touch support on this device, and OS 7 generally supports multi-touch wherever available. 

The functionality offers similarity to iOS in that you can select text with two fingers, and you can swipe and enhance the browsing experience with multiple tabs and gestures.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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11 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Because this device is touch-only, the short menus can be accessed by simply holding one finger down on the screen. This brings up a panel of menu options which offer shortcuts to various features and functions.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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12 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Surprisingly, at least for a BlackBerry, the browser offers a very enhanced interface and abilities. With an Acid3 test score of 100/100, one can browse any website and be presented with full compliance and everything where it should be. It even renders AJAX pages and HTML5.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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13 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

As mentioned, one can plug in custom search engines. Though it is not clear (though suspected that Bing will be the first one over Google) which search engines will come with BlackBerry OS 7, you can easily plug in the values to offer custom search results from any search provider.

Well, I say "easily"...

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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14 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

As this device and the new devices run OS 7, one has to look at some of the new features available. New in this operating system is an accelerometer and advanced positioning features -- so one can use a compass, and augmented reality.

However, this still does not fully explain why OS 7 does not run on older devices. Very little has changed, and if one wants to apply a 'Windows perspective' on this, hardware which does not support a specific element to the operating system should simply be hidden, and not ruled out completely.

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Read more about BlackBerry OS 7 and the new line-up of BlackBerry phones:

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15 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

This has me baffled. In the bottom right hand corner, you can see a little pen icon next to the keyboard input. Though I suspect, I cannot confirm, this may be "Palm" functionality seen with previous Palm devices -- where you can write in your text and it will be transposed into text.

I am merely speculating though, however. Even iPhone's can't do this.

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