BlackBerry OS is an operating system developed and owned by Research In Motion (RIM). It is exclusively used in the BlackBerry series of devices manufactured by RIM and is generally a popular choice with business users.
Main Key Features:
BlackBerry OS is currently used only in the BlackBerry series of smartphones designed and manufactured by RIM. Modern BlackBerrys usually feature a full QWERTY keyboard and a trackpad positioned beneath a landscape oriented display. In recent years, BlackBerry designs have also come to include touchscreen features. BlackBerrys have been produced that feature large touchscreens and slide-out keyboards, as well as BlackBerrys that forgo the traditional keyboard entirely in favour of full-touch control.
Because RIM develop both the BlackBerry OS and the phones it runs on, hardware fragmentation is no real issue and a smooth and consistent experience is usually ensured. However, older models and budget models do not always support all of the features available on modern, high-end handsets.
Applications are available for BlackBerry users to download through the BlackBerry App World service. There are currently over 15,000 apps and games available in the App World and over 7000 themes for customising the look of the OS. Though there is a mixture of both free and paid apps available for BlackBerry OS, the focus tends to be on higher quality apps with a small fee attached than on a great abundance of free software.
Reflecting the more business and productivity oriented nature of the BlackBerry OS, there is a much higher number of functional applications than games available on the platform. There are, however, well over a thousand games available for the platform and a very wide range of applications, from maps and navigation software to mobile document editing software.
BackBerry OS has received a number of major updates in the over 10 years since its first creation, and the modern OS bears little resemblance to its original form. With each iteration of the OS, bugs are found and fixed and features are added and improved. Which BlackBerry phone models receive updates to later versions of the OS depends mainly upon hardware compatibility, though mobile networks sometimes hold back some updates for other reasons.
The latest edition of BlackBerry OS available is BlackBerry OS 7, which was released in August 2011. BlackBerry OS 7 features a number of significant improvements over earlier versions of the OS, including improved visuals through BlackBerry’s ‘Liquid Graphics’ interface, a much improved and faster internet browser with enhanced Flash support, and support for 720p video capture and NFC (Near Field Communications) technology. BlackBerry OS 7 is not reverse compatible with older BlackBerry handsets, which means that BlackBerry phones released before August 2011 cannot be upgraded to OS 7.
Prior to OS 7, the most recent version of BlackBerry OS was OS 6, which also brought significant changes from earlier versions. OS 6 was designed to better support touchscreen operation, with a largely redesigned home screen, enhanced user interface and a new internet browser. Other notable changes included improvements to the camera and media applications and better integrated social media applications.