BB10 is a bad remake of Meego

I know BB10 isn't an successor to Meego, I know Nokia owns the "Swipe UI", but its obvious BB10 took a lot from Meego. Blackberry just did a bad job of it of almost every aspect, rather than taking something amazing and improving on it. I'm not saying nothing is better, they keyboard is better, the browser is better, its not a dead platform, the video editor is cool, the camera software is probally better. I'm not saying they didn't do anything right, just the way the OS works is a huge step back. I'm also not saying anything about the look of the OS, just the function.

Josh stated in his review there are 4 states to BB10, in app, homescreen, app tray, and the Blackberry Hub. This is similar to meego with 4 states. In app is the same, the homescreen is like meego's multitasking screen, app tray is like meego's app tray or many call the homescreen, and the hub is like the notification center. You can see already how similar they are in a basic use of the OS. You use swipe gestures to move through the OS on both. Your drop down box is setting, instead of notifications, in both. They both support Qt and QML dev tools, you can unlock both with out a unlock button, both have account sharing, etc..... Josh mentioned in his review as this being a hybrid of IOS and Android and I see that a bit, but its way more influenced by Meego from what I can see.

Now I'll tell you why I don't think its as good in all the things that it shares, starting with the 3 main screens or views.

I'll start with the home screen. In BB10 you can have up to 8 things open at a time and see thumbnails of them and they update live to act like widgets. But they are not very useable as widgets, because you have to keep them open at all times, if they are over 4 apps old they are not glanceable because you have to scroll to them. In meego you also have thumbnails, as many as you want, and either 4 or 9 on the screen at once because you can pinch to zoom to 2 different views. These also update live, in fact Cutetube (the most popluar youtube app) you can watch and listen to the video while its in the thumbnail view. So you don't have the hard limit of 8, and you can have as much as you want open. Win Win for meego


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Next is the app tray. So BB10 works very much like IOS here, or at least by glancing, its a grid of 4X4 apps and folders that you can swipe to the side to move in pages. On the bottom you have 3 icons search, call, and camera. Meego has a grid of 4X6 and it scrolls vertical With nothing at the bottom. I personally don't like pages in my app tray because they are slower than kinetic scrolling. To swipe from page 1 to 3 take 2 swipes, get more pages more swipes. Kinetic scrolling with all your apps on one page you can reach everything with one touch. Since we want to make things faster to get to with less touches, I think one page that scrolls wins over multiple pages. The other issue with BB10 using an Iphone like app tray is that its unlike the rest of the UI, The hub and the home screen are one page the scrolls up and down, the app tray has pages to the side. If it was like meego you could have a carousel or 3 main pages and you are always one swipe away. Again slower and less intuitive, and causing more touches to get anywhere

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(I know I said 4X6 but I modded mine but you get the idea)

The last of the main sections is the Hub, so this is all about an everything inbox. Its a very "blackberry way of thinking. Its focused around email and everything works like email. There are many issues to this that Josh went into, the last thing you opened is the first thing you see, every thing acts like email, so certain notifications are going to be clumsy if they are not a "email type of notification. Its takes a lot of touches to navigate it. Meego's is based around social instead. So you have 3 parts to your notifications screen. Top is Clock, date, and weather. Middle is notifications, you can clear all or click on to view it. Bottom is a long scrolling social feed, you can add facebook, twitter, rss, calendar, youtube, and more to it. The Meego hub or notifications is less touches, easier to get to and more information on it, and thats what a hub is all about

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Gestures are the next issue in BB10 you have one main gesture, a swipe up, then you have your peek gesture swipe up and then right, you can swipe left to get to the hub from anywhere, you can hold down on the bottom right to get a "glancing across" view. These are good, its gesture, you don't have to go off the screen for buttons. But its kinda confusing. Meego has one gesture, swipe. Swipe up, left, or right to minimize an app, swipe down to close an app. Swipe right and left to move through your three screens. So where ever your thumb is you can swipe, left or right hand, doesn't matter. BB10 is just not nearly as easy. When meego came out eveyone that used a device for the first time started trying to swipe on their android or IOS phone when they moved back to them, without thinking of it. They just did it on accident, I have not heard one person yet say they can see themselves accidentally trying BB10 gestures on their androids/ios phones.

The next part about the gestures is where they leave you or take you. So in BB10 a swipe up always takes you to the homescreen, left from an app or homescreen (not app tray) to the hub. So if you are in the third page of apps to get to the hub you have to swipe twice to the left, to get to the homescreen then another time to get to the hub, or swipe down then left (starting to sound like nintendo cheat codes). Now when you leave the hub to do something different and then want to go back, you go back to where you left off, instead of seeing the new notifcation, but a swipe up always brings you to the homescreen instead of where you left off. Its not at all consistent. In Meego when you swipe away an app you go where you left off, not a default spot, and since you have a 3 screen carousel you are always 2 swipes from anything, as simple as you can get. They played around with always bringing you to one screen and realized its wrong.

I was really excited to see BB10, now I'm more interested in seeing what Jolla or Ubuntu can do, because this just seems like a big step backwards for me. I can't think of a single reason to give BB10 a try outside of curiosity.