Following RIM's BlackBerry World conference earlier this month, we were given a brief demo of some of the features coming in the BlackBerry 10 platform for smartphones and tablets later this year.
The demo was on one of the Developer Alpha handsets, which is actually running a modified version of the PlayBook tablet operating system, and so is not representative of the final handsets that RIM intends to deliver when BlackBerry 10 is ready.
Giving the demo was Vivak Bhardwaj, RIM's head of software portfolio, who said that BlackBerry 10 is focused around multi-tasking and enabling BlackBerry users to communicate more effectively while on the move.
To this end, the user interface is designed around gestures and is optimised so that users can carry out tasks using just one hand, if necessary.
The home screen in BlackBerry 10 shows all the running applications. Swiping left from here shows the familiar set of application icons, and swiping right takes you directly to your inbox. The inbox presents a unified view of emails, BBM messages and social network updates such as from Twitter and FaceBook.
In the unified inbox selecting an email opens it as usual, but with BlackBerry 10 applications, users will be able to use the "glance" gesture to pull the open email aside and look at the inbox again, if necessary.
Bhardwaj also showed how the same applies if the user opens an attachment such as a PDF within an email, so they can glance back to the message or back to the inbox as required.
RIM intends this functionality to apply throughout the BlackBerry 10 platform, enabling users to easily get to the information they need while on the go.
While RIM will continue to offer BlackBerry devices with a physical keyboard, the company is trying to bring the "BlackBerry feel" to soft keyboards on touchscreen handsets, Bhardwaj said.
To deliver this, the keyboard monitors and learns your typing style, and even adjusts the target area behind each key if you keep on activating an adjacent key instead of the intended one.
The keyboard also uses an advanced word prediction algorithm that learns from all the user input and analyses the kinds of words you use in order to better predict what word you are beginning to type.
These predicted words appear in the keyboard as you type, enabling you to flick the correct one up to join the rest of the text. This can speed typing considerably as the device learns your style, according to RIM.
Meanwhile, swiping down on the keyboard switches to let the user key in numbers or symbols, while a leftwards swipe is interpreted as delete.
RIM has a video clip demonstration of these features which can be viewed below.
Another feature demonstrated by Bhardwaj was the camera application, which lets you "rewind" an area of the image, if someone in the shot has their eyes closed, for example.
This works because the camera captures a burst of images as soon as you open the app, Bhardwaj said, allowing you to select an area of the final image and "go back in time" using an on-screen dial control.
A video clip showing the camera app in action has also been released by RIM.
At the moment, this appears to be the limit of what RIM is prepared to show off for BlackBerry 10, but we hope the firm will be more forthcoming as the launch date nears later on this year.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago