BlackBerry earlier this week released the BlackBerry 10.3 OS SDK beta to give developers an opportunity to get familiar with the upcoming release and start work on getting their apps ready for it. BlackBerry Director of Software Product Management, Michael Clewely, has now posted a blog post that looks at 18 upcoming features. These range from changes to the user interface to updates to the Home Screen and Hub and more.
The user interface will be updated with new icons promising a cleaner and flatter look. But the more interesting change will likely be the updated action bar at the bottom of the screen. The most commonly used action will be positioned in the center and will be highlighted in blue to give it focus. Additional actions will flank the ‘signature action’ on either side.
The Home Screen will receive Endless Folders to allow users to pack as many apps as they want into a single folder. The home screen will also display the “running apps grid” even when no apps are running to improve the consistency of the user experience. System settings will also only be a two-finger-swipe away. The BlackBerry Z3, Z10 and Z30 will also get an extra row of apps while the the Q5 and Q10 will benefit from an extra column of apps.
BlackBerry Hub has been updated with useful features like the ability to download all attachments with one button, delete the original text in an email you are responding to, file sent messages to specific folders and a reset feature that will auto-save and default back to the list after 30 minutes of inactivity.
The Calendar and Remember apps have been more tightly integrated and a new Weekly Agenda view has been added.
Other changes include an updated interface for the camera app and an album view when sending a picture from the file manager.
More is to come. As he closes the post, Clewely says, “This is a developer beta – there may still be some changes. Also, I’ve only talked about what is in plain sight and found in the BlackBerry 10.3 beta SDK. There’s much much more to come!”
Left unmentioned in this post but announced in the SDK release one is that BlackBerry will add support for a new square resolution. At 1440 by 1440 pixels and a pixel density hitting 453 pixels per inch, the display could be as large as 4.5 inches diagonally. That would make for quite the broad device. It also sounds like it could be none other than the BlackBerry Windermere with its three-row keyboard.