BlackBerry 10 borrowing even more from webOS | webOS Nation

BlackBerry 10 borrowing even more from webOS 24

by Derek Kessler Tue, 01 May 2012 3:10 pm EDT

When you're doing something awesome, people can't help but notice. They might not acknowledge it, but they take note and sometimes they just outright copy it. We saw it before when Research in Motion introduced the BlackBerry PlayBook, and we're seeing it again with today's introduction of BlackBerry 10. Where the PlayBook copied wholesale the multitasking card user interface of webOS back in late 2010 (prompting a "heh, good luck" from HP), today in 2012 RIM is copying the sliding panes of Enyo into the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system.

Unveiled today at the BlackBerry World 2012 keynote, the BlackBerry 10 developer alpha is both interesting and confounding. While it looks nice, the operating system amps gestures up to a level unseen by even webOS. At least with webOS phones the only non-standard gestures you have to know are the back swipe and tossing away a card - everything else is self explanatory. With BlackBerry 10 gestures have become essential to every aspect of the operating system, with few visual cues that we could discern to help increase discoverability and lessen the learning curve. Strangely missing from the demos was the multitasking UI of the PlayBook OS.

The BlackBerry 10 dev alpha is based off of the PlayBook OS, which has had its own share of struggles, though RIM at least seems to have learned a lot in the process. We're intrigued by the pairing of predictive text with letters on the keyboard and how it apparently will learn how you type and adjust the tap area for buttons accordingly, yet amused in an admittedly somewhat condescending manner with the faux-realistic appearance of the virtual  keyboard (down to entirely non-functional 'frets' between the rows - on the physical keyboard they serve as tactile guides, on a virtual keyboard they are there just because).

Understandably, Kevin and the gang over at CrackBerry are excited by today's announcements. We're cautiously optimistic, as RIM has for the past few years been showing off awesome tech demos that never made it to a shipping product (or when they arrived were nowhere near as awesome as the demo). With the future of Open webOS devices a big unknown, we have to ask: is anybody giving BlackBerry 10 consideration?

Check out for all the latest BlackBerry 10 coverage.


The conversations and commentary over at crackberry are pretty much what was said here when WebOS was announced. Really it looks too little, too late - from the very little we saw of the OS from the very short demos, it looks pretty nice - but the actual OS (as we saw with the failure of WebOS) is now only a small (but important) part of the overall picture.

Having said that, it's quite funny watching the blackberry hardcore hurting their backs as they desperately twisted from "virtual keyboards suck!" to "wow, virtual keyboards are great" in the blink of an eye.

yep.. I was like.. what .. they copied Enyo! .aghh.. it's amazing how everyone has never heard of webOS yet .. everyone steals from webOS

Yes!...i miss webos so much that even a copied version by BB is welcome. BB might be dying but they are still "alive". There is a company behind it trying to make it better, not just left to die like WebOs

No im not optomistic...theres so much damage to BB right now that I dont know if any of this can save them....but if they can pull out some decent phones running BB10 with a rocking keyboard...Ill jump in head first!

"With the future of Open webOS devices a big unknown" ?  Open webOS is an operating system.  Can you imagine in the 90s people saying  "Since nobody is selling Linux desktops at Best Buy, the future of Linux Desktops is a big unknown?"
Your phone is a computer.  Open webOS is an operating system.  The real question is whether the operating system continues to be developed and is viable.  Phones are not "android phones" or "webOS phones"  any more than a PC is a Windows PC or a Linux PC.
</rant>  :)

ummm dude...this makes no sense....why even waste time posting it. Its not the same as can install Linux on any hardware you cant install webos on a tablet or phone that will operate on any network. That doesn't exist, and might never

So is unknown...and now that that stupefying puzzle is out if the way....would you buy a blackberry in the event webos doesn't make its way to another device?


That's exactly the point, assuming that the Open webOS project releases the rest of the source code to a fully functioning operating system, you will be able to install webOS on a tablet or phone and have it operate on any network.  That's exactly what Cyanogen does today and there's no reason that we can't do the same with Open webOS.
Installing your own Operating System on a phone or tablet is something just as possible as for PC's.  Do you think Linux got to the point where you could just install it on any laptop or desktop overnight?  This is just an exercise in porting, like anything else.
You don't need to come up with a great "webOS device", you just need to take a great device and install webOS on it. 
Hell, even Touchpad was designed and developed with Android first (ie "an android tablet" if you want to call it that) before a webOS version for it was finished.

To me, it looked much more like the gestures of Meego on the N9.

It feels like Palm all over again.

Deja vu.

We're cautiously optimistic, as RIM has for the past few years been showing off awesome tech demos that never made it to a shipping product (or when they arrived were nowhere near as awesome as the demo).

Time to get a super reader to swap the word RIM for Palm or HP and see if the story holds.

The more features BB copies from webOS the more appetizing it gets m...m..m

looking forward to bb10 phones. always wanted webos to incorporate even more gestures

It can be copied but not matched! webOS has pass some time now on the "dead" tech zone but it's still in the needy eye of the lack_of_innovation_crowded_with_non_natural_features_plain_simple mobile software companies that haven't found the path to webOS great looks and performances.
But I'm with Bokal here; seems more like MeeGo (which by the way some claim webOS stole some features of :-O).

Stolen? Does it even matter?
I'll be happy if anyone gets the good features of webOS to market. It's not like RIM is going to steal market share by copying features. Not that they can save themselves anyway. (So we can go through this all over again)

The frets clearly delineate the three sections of the keyboard. On a lot of virtual keyboards the letters can look like one big sheet/mess. This gives theel of a real keyboard, I.e. go below the bottom fret to find B, G will be in the middle etc. I think it's very clever, as well as looking great.

Well, RIM does needs to do something big to save themselves, so I guess this is the road they're taking. I've just started using a Blackberry phone in the past few weeks - a Torch running OS 6, and the user interface is pretty bad. It looks nice, but is unintuitive and clunky to use.. I don't know if OS 7 improved this much, but if not, no wonder people are leaving Blackberry in droves for iPhone and Android. I've never had to ask much how do I do this or that on an iPhone or webOS, but trying to use a Blackberry as my daily phone for the first time ever is a painful process, and how many people nowadays can really afford to spend so much time figuring things out? If Apple and Google were to decide tomorrow to put out models with more features specifically targeted to meet the needs of business users, RIM would not survive.

RIM still make phones and tablets. Nokia don't make the N9 anymore, HP don't make anything with webOS on it. If it means I can still enjoy the good ideas that both platforms brought before being cancelled, I'm all for it!

I don't think its Palm all over again. Blackberry still have a decent corporate following, and have made a big push into India and now into Africa. Palm concentrated mainly on the US, and paid the price for such a US-centric outlook.

And I'm still not sold on Open webOS....I have a feeling it will spring a few little offshoots (like Enyo), but as a platform I can't see it getting much traction - unless there is a similar amount of developer support like Linux receives. With only a small group, it might end up being a small niche like the Amiga in its current guise is.

PS I agree with Bokal - there is a lot of Meego in this new release.

One big reason why webOS flopped was that it runs slow as hell and lags a lot. If blackberry can make a smooth experience then who knows. Problem is the mobile space is becoming crowded.

all of my phones to date have been <£10 per month after cashback with pretty good deals, if blackberry can manage to do this with decent hardware with BB10 then I'm sold. WinPho has not been able to do that, and encroached too far into iphone and high end droids territory and out of my reach otherwise that looks promising too

if a webos device never surfaces i'd settle for an imitation :)

(yes i'm being facetious)

Wait, you mean the Pre3 isn't coming to Sprint??

I would happily jump over to Blackberry, if they position their phones with reasonable prices and better-than-WebOS usability.

"We're cautiously optimistic, as RIM has for the past few years been showing off awesome tech demos that never made it to a shipping product (or when they arrived were nowhere near as awesome as the demo)."

So the interface is not the only notable trait RIM shares with HP/WebOS.

I think bb10 is the closest to open webOS (development platform choices, true multitasking) so yes I'll buy the first device to run either OS.