Blackberry 10.3

by March 24, 2015 0 comments

BB10 goes flatter and organized
Every mobile OS is shedding that extra shadows and animations for a more cleaner and svelte look. BB10.3 also features a polished look with redesigned flatter icons and ditches the unpleasant boxed translucent shadows behind them. The overall UI interface offers a clean appearance. You can also add as many folders as you want to organize your applications in the app drawer.

To make the OS more user friendly, Blackberry has added two finger swipes down for quick settings throughout the entire OS.  You can customize them according to your needs and access them without minimizing the application you are working upon.

Searching becomes a cakewalk
You can find anything on the device by just typing on the new BB10.3 as the Universal Search is able to respond to everything in microseconds to your inquiry. We found it utmost accurate in delivering results from phone, notes, emails, contacts, music, videos, notes, etc. It even searches Twitter, Blackberry World, Facebook, Maps, Bing and a lot more.

Application base gets a boost with Amazon store
With the integration of Amazon Store, you can now install a variety of Android applications on your Blackberry device. You get a dedicated Amazon app on BB10.3 that has a base of 2,50,000 applications. However, it still lacks many applications that are only available in Google Play store. Besides this, you do have Blackberry world and the usual .APK file installation option from various websites.

The virtual assistant offers hands free support
The Siri and Google voice counterpart on BB10.3 – Blackberry Assistant is quite impressive. Though it takes a little time to register what you are saying, the results are very accurate. It interprets Indian accent very well and delivers myriad of hands-free options such as setting reminders, make a call, set appointments, check weather, reply to emails and texts, and can read aloud your text messages and emails if you’re driving.

Acton bar is smarter now
The Action bar now shows the commonly used functions in the centre which comes very handy. For e.g. it displays compose and reply when you are accessing email and text messages. Other useful options like search and attachment are provided on the sides.

Blackberry Hub enables better control
BlackBerry Hub that integrates all your notifications from various email and social network accounts also gets some useful updates. Now you can work on your notifications without opening up the individual applications. You can delete, mark, read or flag an email by just pressing it. You can download all the attachments in the email at the same time. You can even accept or decline an invitation from the calendar app directly through BB Hub without even opening the calendar app.

Storage capacity gets a boost
BB10.3 supports microSD cards of storage up-to 128GB. So now you can store a lot of media content on your Blackberry device running the latest OS.

BB10.3 gets improved camera UI
The camera now features capture button in the centre with selfie and video options on either sides. Focusing a subject is faster than before and you also get Auto HDR which senses the lighting conditions and can be turned on or off with a single tap from the banner notification.  There is also an option to edit the Time-Shift photos.


Some other useful tweaks
With everything getting gesture based on smart devices, Blackberry has also integrated some useful gesture controls in BB10.3. The Advanced Interaction in settings has options that can be turned on to wake up the phone screen when you lift the phone to operate. You can also mute the incoming call or put the phone on standby mode by placing the device face down on a flat surface. Setting data limits is easy now with the help of Data Management in the settings menu.

Blackberry Blend
Continuity of tasks from one device to another is not limited to iOS and Yosemite only, Blackberry Blend also allows you to display content such as conversations, calendars, media files, contacts, notes, mails, etc. from your BlackBerry smartphone to your computers and tablets that runs Android or Windows. You just need Blackberry Blend installed on the respective devices and can get the work done with USB, Wi-Fi or Mobile data. Moreover, the whole cross platform ecosystem is protected by the Blackberry’s security.

Blackberry 10.3 is certainly a definite improvement over the past BB10. We tested the latest flagship Blackberry Passport that comes with the new OS and is a joy to use. The UI looks clean with no unnecessary gimmicks and offers a sense of stability. There are no lags in screen transitions and we did not encounter any issues with the UI. The Amazon store features many Android applications that you can install.

Productivity in the new BB10 gets a certain boost with many useful additions in the Blackberry World.  Accessing quick settings from any part of the OS is definitely a handy option. The best part of the new OS is its smooth integration with the physical keyboard of Passport that can be used as a trackpad to scroll up and down in Contacts, Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry Hub, etc. Overall the new Blackberry OS feels much more stable and is able to compete with already established mobile operating systems.

Devices supported
Back in January 2013, the Canadian giant introduced fist BB10 devices, the Z10 and Q10 and later Q5, Z30 and the affordable Z3 joined the group. The company has confirmed that these devices will skip the latest BB10.3 upgrade and will get the first incremental update BB10.3.1 later this year. However, the exact date is not yet confirmed. The recently launched Blackberry Passport comes pre-installed with the BB10.3.

Should you upgrade to BB10.3?
The latest BB10.3 comes with numerous useful features that we have discussed above and adds stability to the overall user experience of Blackberry smartphones.
We recommend Blackberry users to upgrade their BB10 devices to BB10.3.1 as soon as the official upgrade rolls out.

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