BlackBerry 10 is a much more modern and user friendly platform than earlier BlackBerry releases, with impressive built-in security features and messenger services. However it is let down by a number of minor bugs and glitches.
Gesture based UI is interesting, BlackBerry Hub is useful, good multitasking, impressive keyboard, strong device management and security features
Number of bugs and quirks, Maps App doesn't match up to rival platforms
The BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system is one of 2013's biggest releases. The OS was originally due to be released in 2012 as a "fresh" start for BlackBerry, intended to reinvigorate interest in its smartphones.
However, things were not meant to be and the OS release suffered a slew of technical and managerial setbacks that pushed its launch date into early 2013.
Thanks to the delay, BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion) saw handset sales plummet in 2012 and its share of the smartphone market dwindled.
Because of this, BlackBerry's future existence could very well hinge on BB10 succeeding, leaving us with the question: Now that it's finally out, does BB10 shape up?
Unlike previous BlackBerry operating systems, BB10 has been designed with touch interfaces in mind. This means that its user interface is radically different to the older versions, looking much more like like Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems.
Powering the OS up you're immediately confronted with BB10's lock screen. The screen is fairly empty only displaying the time and date on its top and unread message notifications on its left. The device is unlocked simply by swiping up on the screen.
Once unlocked BB10 is a multiple window UI. Shortcuts to the apps and services are displayed in a four-by-four grid format - something users of Apple's iOS will find familiar.
It's only when you look at input shortcuts that sit across the bottom of the screen or swipe left that you begin to see how different BB10 is to most other mobile systems.
For a start, unlike any other mobile OS, BB10 doesn't have a home button. Instead the bottom of the screen is lined with Phone, Universal Search and camera buttons. To get back to the home screen when in an app, users must use an upwards swipe gesture from the very bottom of the screen.
Universal Search and BlackBerry Hub
The Universal Search is function designed to let users quickly search for information stored on the phone and online.
Once the central shortcut button is clicked Universal Search offers users the ability to search their messages, contacts, apps, music, pictures, video, and documents for a specific file or name.
Next: Universal Search and BlackBerry Hub continued and Security