With the launch of the BlackBerry Torch 9800, Research In Motion introduced BlackBerry 6, the latest version of its mobile operating system -- and reviews for the new operating system have generally been positive, particularly regarding the improved web browser, as well as new functionality like universal search and social feeds.
CrackBerry.com's Kevin Michaluk particularly likes the fact that you can access homescreen icons in five different categories: All, Favorites, Media, Downloads and Frequent. "[It] exposes more of your BlackBerry's apps to you," he writes. "A lot of current BlackBerry owners, myself included on occasion, only use their device for a fraction of what it's capable of because so much of the good stuff is hidden in folders by default... BlackBerry 6 is constantly reminding you that your BlackBerry can do so much more than email, make phone calls and BBM."
"Everything on the homescreen seems designed to help you get to your most used functions quickly, which is wonderful," writes Engadget's Joshua Topolsky. "Tapping on the time brings up your network connection manager and alarm settings, tapping on the profiles icon lets you choose your sound setup, and hitting the search icon naturally brings up your search window... It all works really well, and we feel like RIM has made the right amount of compromises here to make getting around the OS cleaner and easier."
"One of the most hyped features in BlackBerry 6 is the new universal search that can locate results both on and off your phone; begin typing, and the universal search feature automatically looks on the phone, in RIM's BlackBerry App World, on Google, and in installed apps," writes About.com's Liane Cassavoy. "It works fast and it works well."
"Universal search is awesome, and very much what it should be," writes Gizmodo's Matt Buchanan. "If there's one thing done truly well interface-wise it's universal search. Start typing for a contact, an app, a song, an email, whatever -- it'll pull it up, or offer to search the web, YouTube, App World and others. You can basically bypass the rest of the interface for getting to something, at least a good portion of the time."
"It's actually the best search we've seen on any mobile device; it really delivers on the 'everything at your fingertips' promise," writes Engadget's Joshua Topolsky.
"On touch devices... new contextual pop-up menus exist throughout the OS," writes CrackBerry.com's Kevin Michaluk. "When you touch and hold down on the display, the pop-up menu displays the most popular options. The pop-up menu always [displays] a link to the full menu too, so if you get in the habit of using the pop-ups you can still easily get to the full menu."
"The context menu demonstrates BlackBerry's advantage over the competition: full integration," writes BlackBerry Cool's Kyle McInnes. "Everything in BlackBerry 6 can talk to each other in a way that is totally streamlined and based on user preferences. Having used BlackBerry 6 on the Torch for some time now, I rarely use the Full Menu and find that the context menus provide all the navigation I need."
"BlackBerry 6 comes with an all-new WebKit-based browser, which is designed to offer faster and 'more robust' performance than past BlackBerry browsers -- and it definitely succeeds," writes About.com's Liane Cassavoy
. "I tested the new browser on the BlackBerry Torch side by side with an older version of BlackBerry's browser on a Curve 8530 smartphone. The new browser was noticeably faster, delivering pages that rendered much more quickly and displayed more accurately."
"RIM's first real web browser is the best it's ever delivered," writes Boy Genius Report's Jonathan Geller
. "In terms of rendering, web pages actually display as if they should on a desktop -- corrected and formatted properly most of the time. Pinch to zoom is a go, and while it's not as fluid as some other platforms out there, it does get the job done."
"The camera is a lot more responsive in every way," writes BlackBerry Cool's Kyle McInnes. "Previously, the camera app was very slow to take a picture, and with BlackBerry 6 there is continuous focus (can be toggled) so when you press the shutter button, the picture is taken immediately."
"All in all, I really am loving the Social Feeds app," writes CrackBerry.com's Kevin Michaluk. "Instead of thinking apps, apps, apps, sites, sites, sites I really just think people and news. It brings it all together and makes it easy to follow, and because it ties back to the fully featured apps, there's really no sacrifice often associated with an all-in-one type client."
"One of the funny things about BlackBerry 6 is that initially it feels almost too
connected and integrated," writes BlackBerry Cool's Kyle McInnes
. "After logging in to all your social networks, IM accounts, emails and [getting] your SMS set up, the notifications start flowing in like Hoover Dam just exploded. Immediately after setting up BlackBerry 6, you realize how connected your BlackBerry lets you be."