10 Reasons Why BlackBerry 10 is Better Than iOS 6

(Updated February 17, 2013 to include the BB 10 browser’s new HTML5 Test score)


iosvsbb10Combining the powerful Neutrino OS from QNX, beautiful UI from TAT and industry-leading WebKit browser from Torch Mobile, BlackBerry has created the most advanced mobile platform in the market – BlackBerry 10.  In addition, incorporating an advanced contact management system from Gist and licensing the SwiftKey keyboard has allowed BlackBerry to take its traditional strengths to the next level.  After using the Dev Alpha B (running BB 10) for the past 3 months, I have discovered 10 ways in which BB10 has surpassed the outdated and stagnant iOS 6.

1) Dynamic Lock Screen

BB 10 has a beautiful lock screen that is also informative. Users can take a look at the lock screen to see if they have any new emails, BBM messages or messages from social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

At a time when few people wear a watch and instead rely on their smartphone to provide the time, the dynamic lock screen is particularly useful. A user can wake the device (and show the lock screen) with an upward gesture from the bottom bezel. After looking at the time and notifications, if there aren’t notifications that requires attention, they can simply move their finger back down to the bottom bezel to turn off the screen (and save battery).

With the design experts from TAT putting in their magical touch, waking the smartphone is slick and enjoyable.  The lock-screen fades beautifully as more of the home-screen is revealed.  The fading effect adjusts to wherever your finger is on the screen, and allows you to move your finger from side to side as you also move up.  This is in contrast to Apple’s comparatively boring lock-screen, which requires a fixed, one-directional movement to unlock the smartphone.

Putting the device to sleep for the night is also intuitive and slick.  You simply move your finger down from the top bezel to pull down a black screen (like shades for a window).  As soon as the device is put to sleep, an alarm clock appears for you to set the alarm for the next morning.

2) BlackBerry Hub – A Powerful Communications Center

Continuing with BlackBerry’s strength in messaging, the Hub allows users to receive and send emails, text messages and messages from Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). In addition, users can post status updates to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn without leaving the Hub. Continuing with BlackBerry’s specialty in saving users’ time, this removes the need to open a Facebook app, a Twitter app and a LinkedIn app when a user wants to update their social networks.

In addition, the Hub also contains several of your upcoming calendar appointments. When you are in the Hub, you can simply drag down to reveal the next calendar events. Thus, it saves you time by removing the need to open the Calendar app in order to view your upcoming events.

3) Peek and Flow

The Hub is not an ordinary application – it is always running in the background. Thus, no matter which app an user is using, they are always one gesture away from the Hub (and their messages).

To Peek at your notifications, you simply swipe up from the bottom bezel (no matter which app you are currently in). Once you see your notifications, you can swipe back down to continue with what you were doing (if the notifications are not important) or you can swipe to the right to enter the Hub, to view the message in detail (or reply).

 

 

4) Advanced Touch Gestures
BlackBerry 10 gets rid of the outdated physical home button on the iPhone 5, and allows uses to use touch gestures to control the OS. For example, when in an app, the user can swipe to the right to reveal the context menu. In addition, the user can swipe down from the top bezel to reveal the action menu (e.g. to select the Help button). To activate the keyboard, one simply swipes up from the bottom bezel with two fingers. The touch gestures are intuitive and powerful. Getting rid of physical and capacitive buttons also frees out space for a bigger screen or smaller phone.  This UI is simply the future of smartphones.

5) Industry-Leading Browser

HTML5Test

With a HTML5 Test score of 485, BlackBerry 10 has #1 browser in the industry.  In contrast, iOS 6 only has a score of only 386.  In addition, the BB 10 browser is ahead of any desktop browser.  For example, its HTML5 Test score of 485 is higher than Chrome Canary’s 453. The QNX Neutrino OS and RIM’s acquisition of Torch Mobile are the reasons behind the industry-leading browser on BB 10.

Having the #1 browser in the industry also increases the number of apps available on BB 10.  This is because the browser can use HTML5 web apps on the internet.  Thus, the number of apps on BB 10 is significantly higher than the number in the app store (BlackBerry World).  Through its ability to use web HTML5 apps, the number of apps on BB10 is increased to a nearly infinite number.

BB10 Active Frames6) Active Frames

BB10 (unlike iOS 6) supports real multi-tasking. Thus, an user can have 8 open apps at the same time. When minimized, these running apps form a Active Frame, which provides tidbits of useful information. For example, from the Active Frame of the Calendar app, you can see the name and time of your next calendar appointment. Without opening BBM, you can see a contact’s updated profile picture, and their latest status updates.

Thus, with BB10, the user can obtain relevant and valuable information without even opening apps.

 

7) TimeShift Camera

I have heard “wows” from colleagues and friends every time I demonstrate the TimeShift feature on the BB10 camera. The camera has a facial recognition ability, and allows you to move forward and backward in time to avoid blinking eyes or change facial expressions. The most incredible use case is when there are multiple people in the picture. You can put person A at +2 seconds, person B at 0.5 second and person C at -1 second. Thus, you have created the perfect moment that did not actually exist.

8) More Development Languages and Tools

BB10 SDKsBlackBerry 10 offers 3 ways for developers to develop native apps – C++/Cascades, Webworks (HTML5) and Adobe Air. In addition, developers can port their Android apps to BB 10 using RIM’s Android porting tools. Of course, developers can also use cross-platform tools such as Unity/Union, Marmalade, PhoneGap and Sencha.

This is in contrast to iOS 6, in which there is only one method available to developers – iOS SDK. The lack of a HTML5 SDK means that the many web developers that exist cannot put their skills to use.

BB10′s ability to run Android apps is a significant advantage over iOS.  In fact, from talking to BlackBerry employees in the past, BB10 could run iOS apps too (if iOS was open-sourced).  This also applies to any other OS (e.g. Windows).  Thus, by buying a BB10 device, you are virtually also getting an Android device for free.

9) Support of Open Standards – DLNA, NFC and HDMI

DLNA Functions

DLNA has many uses, but it is not supported by the iPhone 5 (or any other iOS device).

BlackBerry adopts open-standards including DLNA, NFC and HDMI, which is convenient and results in cost-savings for consumers. This is in contrast to iOS, which supports none of these three standards.

With the launch of the Bold 9900 in August 2011, BlackBerry was the first major smartphone maker to support NFC. In Canada and the U.S., customers can already use their BlackBerry to make payments via NFC at thousands of locations that display the Contactless symbol. The L-series has a NFC chip, and there are already several NFC sample apps for the Dev Alpha available for developers to use to create NFC apps.
BlackBerry 10, like the PlayBook, has a HDMI output. This makes it easy for the user to display pictures or videos on a large-screen TV. In contrast, a lightning-to-HDMI adaptor is required for the iPhone or iPad, which costs an extra US$39/CAD$45.

Unlike Apple, BlackBerry is part of the http://www.dlna.org/.  This allows you to wirelessly display pictures, play videos and music from your BB10 smartphone on a TV (or any other electronic device with DLNA support).  In order to use a similar feature on the iPhone 5, you would need to buy the Apple TV for $99.

10) BBM – Beyond Instant MessagingBBM Video Narrow

BBM currently has 60 million active users around the world. With the launch of BBM 7 this month, free voice calls over Wi-Fi is now available. BBM Video Chat on BB10 has been confirmed by Thorstein Heins. In addition, a collaboration feature, in which users using BBM Video can share documents and files instantly, has been leaked in pictures and videos. This is particularly useful for meetings.

Furthermore, RIM executives have recently said that BBM Money is “coming soon”, with the interpretation being late 2012 or early 2013. This feature allows BBM users to transfer money, which is convenient for friends who owe each other money, or in-person transactions (made through Kijiji for example).

BBM 6 already had far more functionality than Apple’s iMessage.  With the addition of voice calls, video, collaboration tools and BBM Money, BBM is set to widen the lead further.

Related:  BlackBerry Z10 is Crushing iPhone 5, Galaxy SIII and Note II in Customer Satisfaction

Related:  BlackBerry Z10 is a Smash Hit From Canada to Europe to Middle East

Do you have more reasons why BlackBerry 10 is better than iOS 6? Post them in the comments section below.

  • depo

    just lmao. hope whole blackberry die soon.

  • guy

    Well said. The Apple police and short sellers will attack you shortly or pay you off to remove this – lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/Hispanico77 Pietro Pavan

    not convincing at all… not quite happy with bb10. Unable to use old apps for old OS in the new bb10 system, this is way too limiting. Considering I just bought it for using Company provided apps, which I discovered only work on older blackberry phones… really sad.

    • Peter

      You can’t please everyone!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579790028 Bichard Rettridge

    I never hear anyone talk about universal search. Huge fan. With pages of apps, thousands of emails etc, I go to one place, universal search and start typing, Works very quick. I was addicted to this on my bold, it’s actually faster to get to a youtube video by typing a search term in universal search instead of going into the browser. It’s much faster in fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579790028 Bichard Rettridge

    I need to point out a correction. But be known I love blackberry 10, the browser is sick. But from what I can tell on html5test’s site, the desktop to mobile scores arent apples to apples. The mobile devices score points for feature compatibility that simply doesn’t apply to desktop browsers. As in, some of the html5 support that mobile phones get a couple points for are for mobile only features.

  • TS Yew

    You forgot Reason 11: Accessible File System, with a file manager on the phone itself as a bonus!

    This feature (also on android, windows phone 8, and almost every dumbphone in the last 10 years) means the phone can be plugged into any computer running any desktop OS, be it Linux, Mac, or Windows, and literally all kinds of files can be transferred back and forth between the phone and the computer without the need to install any horrible 3rd party software like iTunes. So if you’ve got some nice music on your BB and you want to share it with your friend, plug your BB into his PC, drag the MP3s off, done! You can’t do that with an iphone even if your friend installs iTunes due to Apple’s uber hateful restrictions on file management. It also means a BB can be used as a fully functional USB drive if the need arises.

    for apple apologists, don’t bother trying to mention the cloud as an acceptable alternative to an accessible file system. At least not until LTE speeds with unlimited data become affordable to the masses (and by then a wired file transfer will probably be at 1 GB/s…)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579790028 Bichard Rettridge

      You can access your storage wirelessly. The phone is basically a mobile wireless file server. Pretty handy. I just have my phone mounted as a drive on my computer.

  • RRS

    BB 10 memory to 16 + 64 GB, for lesser price

    BB 10 “Remember” booklets for task/project sorting!

    No iOS6, iOS6.1 or iOS6.1.1 “crashes”

    Carrier billing for Apps

    Adobe Flash for CNBC business news videos, G&M videos and BNN business TV videos.

    No “freezes” of emails as to 10x monthly data charges

    No “crashing” apps that must be deleted for system to work

    No “Safari” links that do not work on sending to Microsoft devices.

    No 600000 apps to sort thru the garbage apps; simplicity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579790028 Bichard Rettridge

      Remember is a great app. I didn’t need an evernote app installed, I just added my evernote account and boom.

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  • Eman

    …?

  • Eman

    Skype is accessible in blackberry 10.

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  • Alfonzo

    Swipe is Nokia N9 (Meego/Harmattan) functionality.

    Multitasking as well and the best implementation came from HP / Palm Pre…

    I think it is a natural evolution for smartphones.

    The Z10 feels to me a mix of thoses techs including BB exprertise and a best eco system.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikorf578 Khis Ariasaif

    I’ve had every single iPhone since it came out in 2007, definitely gonna buy this new blackberry phone when it comes out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nikorf578 Khis Ariasaif

      One reason why I always stick with iPhone is cause of the superior camera, one issue I had with my 9900….THE CAMERA SUCKED!!! They need to step up their camera tech.

  • Itam

    #11 – Better Security
    #12 – Removable battery
    #13 – BlackBery Balance
    #14 – Excellent Development Tools (
    Limited Edition Dev device trade-up program)
    #15 – BB10 has a faster browser
    #16 – BB10 has LTE
    #17 – screen resolution ,screen size, PPI.
    #18 – reader mode (in browser)
    #19 – touch zoom in camera (iOS not have)
    #20 – touch autofocus point in camera.
    #21 – screen share (in BBM Video)
    #22 – BB Bridge (connect with PlayBook)
    #23 – LED indicator
    #24 – encryption
    #25 – most cloud services of all mobile system (Box,DropBox,SkyDrive,BBCloud,ODS)
    #26 – BB10 has real push mail. (iOS has pull mail)
    #27 – better front camera (2Mp)
    #28 – active case
    #29 – BB has a better (more innovative) keyboard than the iOS.
    #30 – BB10 has memory card reader
    #31 – BB10 support for host USB
    #32 – BB10 supports more media format (more audio and video codec)
    #33 – BB10 has FLASH in web browser !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    #34 – BB10 is more “liquid” operating system than the iOS. (BB10 has 60fps. – iOS ???)
    #35 – BB z10 has more RAM memory (2 Gb).
    #36 – BB10 has more integrated applications. (BBM,phone,text messaging,push notyfication)
    #37 – BB10 has more open API for developers.
    #38 – BB has own and secure servers network (BIS and BES)
    #39 – BB10 has HD Voice
    #40 – BB z10 has more sensors
    #41 – BB Browser has function tagging bookmarks. (iOS not have)
    #42 – BB10 has “Mobile Fusion” for the administration all mobile operating system. (Apple not have)
    #43 – BB X10 has physical keyboard !!!!!!! (iPhone not have)
    #44 – BB10 has largest ecosystem and the most advanced mobile platform.

    Why ? – Beacuse BB10 based on QNX.
    QNX is used in markets:
    -Automotive,
    -Industrial,
    -Medical,
    -Networking+Telecoms,
    -Security+Defence,
    -Mobile Operating System (BB10)
    -RTOS Systems.

    iOS – only mobile and desktop computer systems.

    • Itam

      I’m sorry but my English is very poor.

      • qprod

        your English is good man. very nice post!!!

        • Itam

          Thank you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/abidakun.mayowa Mayowa Abidakun

      omG, i wanted to buy Z10 before, nnow i can’t wait, am gonna steal one… lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/jpentecost15 Jesse Pentecost

    Cant wait to get one :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004139313717 Sam Iam

    What about UMA? I believe Blackberry is one of the only phone makers to consistently support this technology. As a traveler I’m a huge fan of UMA … At least on T-Mobile Blackberries, a wifi connection allows seamless calls and text messages with UMA … FREE … no matter where you are (a coffee shop in Shanghai, a basement in the computer science building, a pre-war apartment with a crappy celular signal). Why every phone doesn’t incorporate this amazing technology is beyond me. But here’s to hoping RIM doesn’t let it fall away.

    • Michael Li

      Thanks and good point! I believe BBM Voice uses UMA technology, so that should be here to stay.

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  • http://twitter.com/gyubok Gyubok Baik

    Some points are stronger than others.

    #1 iOS lock screen is rather useless. BlackBerry 10 seemed to have reinvented the lock screen mechanism
    #2 Hub will be amazing since communication is the single most accessed element in a mobile device and BlackBerry 10 will definitely improve the way we read and send messages
    #3 I find that peek and flow are not as useful as RIM made out to be. From using the dev alpha for BBM/contacts/calendar for several months now, there isn’t any actual use for me to go back two pages. Of course, I’m haven’t experienced the peek and flow in full extent but based on my experience so far with the beta version, they are not as useful as I hoped. In fact, it seems to be counter intuitive and confuse the hell out of me every time.
    #4 I was hoping that RIM would utilize the side bezel to switch apps or scroll in browser but what I’ve experienced so far still beats any physical button
    #5 Browser is amazing but I hate the fact that browser and settings app in BlackBerry 10 is built using WebWorks. If they don’t rebuild these two apps using ndk, BlackBerry 10 will receive harsh criticism upon launch.
    #6 Active Frame is very interesting concept except for the fact that we only see 4 apps at a time as tiles on home screen. If you think about it, how much time do we really spend on the app switching screen? With the active frames updating every 30 seconds (minimum), we really wont be gaining much information from each app. From my experience, Scene Cover implementation is more powerful feature than Active Frames.
    #7 TimeShift feature of the BlackBerry 10 camera is also an interesting concept but the current implementation is pathetic to say the least. Upon taking the picture in TimeShift mode, you literally hear the burst of shots being taken by the camera and the quality is worse than the normal camera mode…
    #8 To be honest, from the 5 development tools, only 2 of them provide the best user experience. WebWorks works (heh) but takes away too much of the fluid experience compared the native apps and Android ported apps are.. hm, garbage, in terms of user experience and content.
    #9 Support for more standards is good!
    #10 I love the BBM on BlackBerry 10. With video chat and document/screen sharing feature coming on board on launch, it will definitely be one of the strongest buying factor for many people.

    All in all, good article Michael, keep up the good work!

    • Michael Li

      Thanks Gyubok! Great feedback as always! Agreed, removing the need for a physical button is huge, since Android, iOS and WP 8 rely on physical button(s). And ya BBM Video with document/screen sharing would be huge for meetings.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579790028 Bichard Rettridge

      Two comments. Active frames isn’t super useful but does offer something. I wrote a ip cam app, and when its in active frame it will cycle through stills of my security cameras. I don’t really have to go into the app to peak around my house.

      I wrote my app in webworks and I found it quite good actually. I was able to use bbui.js to get a native look and feel to the app, it is hardware accelerated and over all I have a very nice polished app and I really don’t even know how to code very well. Also being able to use invocation in webworks apps is nice, one line of code to use the camera for example. And I can make my app invokable, so I can import features from it into future apps that I may write.

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  • Jon

    “With a HTML5 Test score of 484, BlackBerry 10 has the fastest browser in the industry”

    HTML5Test is not an indication of speed.

    • John

      But it is the fastest compared to actual tests done including side to side with iphone 5.

      • BertrandsBox

        They might want to have mentioned that and given a source then.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579790028 Bichard Rettridge

          Agreed, I forget the site but there’s a graphical performance benchmark for browsers somewhere on the net.

    • http://www.facebook.com/oscar.estrella.9 Oscar Estrella

      Not only the HTML5 test, go to youtube and look at the ringmark, MP, etc. tests, BB10 wins them all !!!!!!!!!!

  • veeru789

    key board shortcuts are confirmed on BB10. i saw a tweet from a RIM employee.

    • http://twitter.com/gyubok Gyubok Baik
      • Michael Li

        It’s impressive that they put in keyboard shortcuts for the virtual keyboard. I thought those would be gone.

        • http://twitter.com/gyubok Gyubok Baik

          Lol no, the keyboard shortcuts are only available for physical keyboard

          • Michael Li

            Haha, that makes more sense.

  • Stewartj1

    Security. No one tops BlackBerry but iTunes and QuickTime both have the distinction of being on Kaspersky’s Top 10 Security Threats. http://onforb.es/T17Zdv

  • TJ Parker

    Re #1. Have you turned off notifications in iOS? That’s where my e-mail and anything else I’m interested in, is announced. On the lock screen.

    Re #3. Again, I can always swipe and get notifications on iOS? What’s your point?

    Re #4 How is swiping up from the bottom with two fingers to get a keyboard either intuitive or powerful. Doesn’t it make more sense for the keyboard to appear exactly when you change focus to a field that requires text input, as iOS does? When else would you want it?

    Re #5 “the number of apps on BB10 is increased to a nearly infinite number”. Okay, I’m going to stop here because clearly this review isn’t even attempting to be serious.

    • Garth Simpson

      Your bias rules out reason…
      IPhone – the smart phone for dumb people

    • Berto K.

      lemme handle this Garth

      #1(actually numbered 2)
      You said it yourself ‘announced’ but not actionable until you enter the seperate email app. In multitasking it is always a disconnected experience emails, facebook, twitter are all sectioned off. You cannot compare the Hub to Notifications in iOS.
      #3
      Yes, however the experiences are totally different. On iOS you swipe, see a notification then enter the app centered on it to execute further action. Multiple steps that the Hub deems unecessary; gesture to halfway for preview, fully to enter Hub. See present and ‘past’ events all actionable instantly….within the Hub.
      #4
      That swipping gesture is there for convenience to user, to do with as they please. Keyboard shortcuts are a favorite among BB users, ergo keyboard. When a composition (email,text field,etc) is required it is automatically displayed. ‘common you seriously thought that was omitted’.
      #5
      Mathematics states that there are many possible definitions of infinity, some infinities are larger than others ( :P ). In this statement i believe he is referencing the 70,000+ apps to be available in BB World.

    • BBBYCHOICE

      Re #3: You can see notifications, the difference is each notification becomes an individual entity & you’re in fact leaving what you are doing if you intend to respond to that notification. The gestures on BlackBerry 10 allow you to treat all notifications together in a unified spot, and you’re not leaving the application you were previously in.

      RE4: this is incorrect, to get the keyboard you swipe with one finger (usually your thumb) from the bottom left of the screen.

      RE#5: BB10 will have 70-100k applications at launch, more importantly it will have the top 200-400 applications per region.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579790028 Bichard Rettridge

        It’s two fingers to bring up the keyboard. The corner swipe was for playbook os.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579790028 Bichard Rettridge

      I currently have 17 pages of useful apps on my phone. There are fewer apps but there is little shortage of useful apps.

  • NeilM

    #14 Excellent Development Tools. You don’t have to pay for any of the development tools (which are awesome by the way) and you don’t have to pay to register as app vendor. Not to mention the 10k developer commitment they have and the Limited Edition Dev device trade-up program. RIM Loves Devs.

    • Michael Li

      Good point, Neil! The cheapest Apple developer program costs US$99/year. Meanwhile, it’s absolutely free to develop for BlackBerry!

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  • http://twitter.com/superfly_FR Antoine Bapst

    #13 dual waterproof environments for private and work ! Could be in the 10th IMHO ;)

    • Gadget Masters

      Thanks Antoine. Agreed – BlackBerry Balance is something that is nearly impossible for the competition to offer.

      • Michael Li

        True. Balance is something that enterprise users always ask me about whenever I demo BB10.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nshuti.olivier Nshuti Olivier

      # 14 The fastest Browser on the planet :)) hehe
      # 15 The most advanced OS in mobile computing and the list goes on ……

  • John

    #12 removable battery!

    • Michael Li

      Ya I’m always pleasantly surprised from talking to iPhone users that they would much rather have a removal battery.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Hispanico77 Pietro Pavan

      yeah, removable battery, but it does not even last for a day !!!!! Sometimes it shows half charge, and suddenly the phone shuts down

  • Stephen

    11) Better Security