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printed April 24, 2014
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Review: BlackBerry 10

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There's no doubt in my mind that BlackBerry 10 is the best operating system to reach the market from BlackBerry. It is clean, modern, and nails many of the communications basics thanks to BlackBerry Hub and excellent phone/contact apps. Part of me, however, feels like BB10 is incomplete. There are definite holes in the platform that give Android, iOS, and Windows Phone an advantage.

The biggest example of this advantage is the home screen element. BB10's lack of a central home screen for the owner's apps, content, and so on is a critical weakness in my opinion. BB10 also lacks some of the cloud-based services offered by Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. It falls completely flat on its face with respect to media consumption.

For BlackBerry, this new operating system is a foot in the door. Obviously it will improve over time. BlackBerry 10 is a much stronger platform than BB7 or any previous OS offered by BlackBerry. The Z10 and Q10 are decent smartphones and, together with BB10, could be what BlackBerry needs to win back some of the customers it lost to Apple and Google over the years. But it needs refinement, and new features, quickly.

Were I to rank the four major mobile operating systems from strongest to weakest, I'd put Android and iOS together, followed by Windows Phone and, last, BlackBerry 10. That's not to say BB10 can't surpass one of the others eventually, but right now it does not.

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