18 New Features + BlackBerry Device On the Way

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — May 15, 2014

In April, BlackBerry gave a heads up to developers that the next iteration of the BB10 platform would arrive soon. Now it’s official; as the company announced BlackBerry 10.3 SDK BETA on its Developer blog.

According to the posting, this version will bring added functionality for apps. This is all laid out in SDK roadmaps which have been updated to reflect the changes. When BlackBerry 10 was first unveiled, one of the initial criticisms was the lack of apps.

What might cause more general interest, are the hints to the next device. It’s been over a year since the last smartphone was launched in for the U.S. market. The blog states, “Another important note for developers is that BlackBerry 10.3 is targeted only for new device hardware being introduced later this year. This new hardware will follow our promise of keeping the square screen (1:1 aspect ratio) and 16:9 aspect ratio, including our common 720×720 and 1280×720 resolutions. Also, when you fire up the 10.3 beta simulator, you’ll notice another square screen. This is for a new device with a 1440×1440 resolution and pixel density of 453 DPI.”

No More Details
The posting acknowledged that everyone would want more information on the device itself, but no details were given. The BlackBerry Classic, formerly the Q20, was previously announced as coming in 2014. A platform for updates on this device will also be provided. “BlackBerry 10.3.1 SDK will be mainly focused on supporting the Classic device updates, and we’re looking into a few small SDK additions.”

18 New Features
Over on the Inside BlackBerry blog, 18 “planned end user features” that will arrive with the 10.3 OS were detailed. These include “signature action,” updated icons, endless folders, empty home screen, fast quick settings access, and more apps on screen.

In the Hub look for the ability to download all attachments, delete original text, perform a remote IMAP search, file sent messages and reset.

On the calendar, agenda, tasks, notifications and remember updates will all be improved, plus a better camera UI, album view and settings menu arrangement is on tap.

The company also announced this week, that it will enable mobile device management (MDM) companies to directly manage devices with the BlackBerry 10 operating system.

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