A quick look at the BlackBerry Hub

Gone are the pesky hourglass pop ups we were once prone to witnessing on the older BlackBerry operating systems. Enter the suave, slick BlackBerry 10. Powered by a 1.5 Ghz dual core processor and 2 GB of RAM the OS is designed to offer users a whole new experience in a much smoother environment. It’s a completely fresh experience and hopefully the future of what the next generation BlackBerry smartphones will be like. BlackBerry has truly delivered on a mobile experience that wows. No more of the old, inefficient open app, close app, click on home button business. The BlackBerry Flow user interface is completely different from other smartphone UIs—gesture-based and designed for single handed use.


Here's a quick look at the BlackBerry Hub -


In a line, BlackBerry 10 is designed to be a true multitasking OS made for productivity. A simple swipe upwards from the bottom bezel gives you a ‘Peek’ from any application. Peek allows you to see why the front LED light is blinking without closing the application. If it’s important enough (say a work e-mail), then you swipe right into the Hub, which is arguably the best iteration of a communications centre in any smartphone OS today. You can define what goes into the BlackBerry Hub and it’s important to note that this is all about communication. So, the Twitter feed is your direct messages feed and not your timeline, the Facebook one has notifications and direct messages. Everything from BBM to text messages to e-mail to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, GoogleTalk, Foursquare, calls, voicemail and more is in the Hub.

One stop space for all your notifications

One stop space for all your notifications



Swipe right and you come to the live application grid where up to 8 applications can be open at any time. In my experience 8 were more than enough, though Shayne discovered that when he went beyond 8, an IM app he was using was shut down and he didn’t like it one bit. This is something BlackBerry needs to address, perhaps by providing a warning dialog and allowing users to choose which app should close once the 9th app is clicked on.


Swipe even further right and you come to the application deck which also features some snazzy deck transitions as you move between decks. Swipe down from the top bezel and the settings menu will drop down. Very much like the settings on the PlayBook settings menu, regular BlackBerry users will notice that the granularity that was available earlier is missing. For instance, earlier I could set a notification for every e-mail box, which provided me audible differentiation for work e-mail, but that level of granularity is missing here. Another issue for BlackBerry to address.


Check out our live demo of the Hub and Peek in action -



The whole point of the Hub is to give you quick access to all of your notifications in a single space and thanks to the additional Peek feature, you don’t even have to stop what you’re doing in order to access it. It has a few things that could use tweaking and we’re hoping that in the coming weeks BlackBerry will address the concerns and we’ll see a few new additions to the feature.