Connect with us

BlackBerry 10.3 Review – Flatter, Faster, Better

Blackberry News

BlackBerry 10.3 Review – Flatter, Faster, Better


Since its announcement and reveal on January thirtieth, 2013, BlackBerry 10 has advanced tremendously. Three full main OS updates and fewer than two years later, BlackBerry 10.3 has formally arrived on the newly launched BlackBerry Passport. Check out our Passport evaluate here.

BlackBerry 10.3 is a recent tackle the world’s strongest, multi-tasking working system. While the a lot of the OS’ UI might have been refreshed, what makes 10.3 one of the best iteration of a cellular computing platform is what BlackBerry has added to gasoline much more productiveness. There’s rather a lot to speak about, and right here’s all of it breaks down.

BlackBerry 10.3 UI

App Icons and Active Frames

Icon UI

BlackBerry 10’s icons have gotten a refreshed look with the brand new OS. BlackBerry has opted to go together with a flatter, extra intuitive and trendy design for all their app icons, they usually look fairly nice. If you’ve been utilizing a BlackBerry 10 gadget for some time, this UI change might come as a little bit of a shock, little question, and even look barely unusual at first. But belief me when I say it’s for the higher. The firm has gotten rid of these hideous shadow frames across the icons that earlier OS variations had, which makes icons match and look higher on the homescreen.

Another nice half about these new icons is how nicely they match round third social gathering app one as properly. If the developer has taken the time to make a very good wanting icon, it first proper in with the native ones.


Active Frames on BlackBerry 10.3 received some tweaks visually as nicely. Gone is the see-by means of bar with the identify of the app that’s opened, and now a flatter, strong white bar with the app’s identify occupies its place. This delicate change in shade goes completely with the tweaks that the BlackBerry Hub has acquired on 10.3.

BlackBerry Hub


The BlackBerry Hub is likely one of the most distinguishing options of BlackBerry 10. Thankfully, with 10.3, the Hub will get much more helpful with a number of welcome tweaks.

The BlackBerry Hub has been altered a bit visually. The prime and backside bars at the moment are white, with the latter that includes new signature actions. These new icons mirror no matter most important motion most logically matches what you’re doing in the meanwhile. For instance, within the Hub’s important tab, ‘Compose’ is the signature motion icon. If you open an e-mail, the signature motion icon turns into ‘Reply’ or ‘Reply All.’ If you’re already replying, it modifications to ‘Attach.’ As with situations everywhere in the OS, the BlackBerry Hub’s new signature motion function adjusts to you.


The BlackBerry Hub additionally options on the spot actions that provide help to get extra finished. Instant actions is a reasonably easy function, however extraordinarily helpful. When you again out of e-mail, for instance, two immediate motion icons will present up on that line of the Hub permitting you to take motion on that exact merchandise. You can set these prompt actions to be flag, delete, mark as learn; and so forth. These may be set within the Hub’s setting labeled Speed Triage.

That’s not the one option to entry on the spot actions on the Hub although. The prime proper hand nook of the Hub options slightly icon (it’s three strains throughout with a small verify mark) that when clicked, permits you to take these similar actions on every part in your Hub with out having to open an e-mail and even depart that fundamental tab.

BlackBerry 10.3 Functionality


Camera UI

BlackBerry is introducing a model new digital camera UI and performance with OS 10.3 that may make it simpler for newcomers to the platform to take pleasure in taking footage. Starting with this new replace, the digital camera may have a devoted on display button to snap footage. Many of us hardcore followers have gotten used to tapping anyplace on the display to take an image, however in actuality, most individuals generally want a button, or icon to press. It might sound dumb, however making this swap is a superb transfer for BlackBerry and the 10.3.

BlackBerry 10.3 additionally features a native panorama mode that might be good for these occasions that a tremendous large shot is required.


Phone UI

The telephone app has additionally gotten a pleasant makeover. A new strong white backdrop makes names and numbers stick out much more. The new flatter design additionally provides a nicer contact space when dialing a quantity on the dial pad.

Quick Settings


We’re used to BlackBerry 10’s drop down settings menu being accessible from the homescreen and the Hub. However, on 10.3, you'll be able to attain the fast settings from anyplace on the OS. The trick is utilizing BlackBerry 10.3’s new two finger swipe down. Even for those who’re in an app, the 2 finger swipe from the highest will convey up the primary settings, not the app’s. If you’re considering that this new gesture has been borrowed from Android, you’re not alone. But then once more, everybody borrows from BlackBerry, so it’s type of good to see them take a helpful gesture from a competitor and incorporate it into their very own OS.

Amazon Appstore

Back on June 18th, BlackBerry announced a major partnership with Amazon to deliver one other nice storefront for apps to BlackBerry 10. With the launch of the Passport, and BlackBerry 10.3, the Amazon Appstore makes its first official look. Amazon’s app storefront might be pre-loaded on all units launched with OS 10.3, and can be obtainable for in-market units with the upcoming OS 10.3.1 replace.

Amazon’s Appstore brings a ton of apps to BlackBerry 10 customers that they might have needed to beforehand sideload independently. Major gaming hits like Candy Crush, Subway Surfers, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and lots of others at the moment are out there to anybody with a BlackBerry 10.3 gadget.

Netflix in Amazon

In phrases of apps, Netflix leads the best way of featured apps that the Amazon Appstore now provides BB10 followers entry to. Add to that HBO Go, Hulu+, Roku, Flixster, Fandago, and lots of, many others, and the horrid app hole doesn’t look that dangerous anymore, proper?

Now, to be truthful, the Amazon Appstore doesn’t have each app Google Play and the App Store have. You gained’t discover any apps that use Google providers – like Google Maps, Google+ – for instance. Even although Instagram is out there for Amazon Kindle Fire, for some cause it’s not out there within the Amazon Appstore on BlackBerry 10.3.

Thankfully, you possibly can nonetheless sideload no matter apps aren’t there, so for those who can’t discover them, put them on there.

Apps, Apps, Apps

Native apps on BlackBerry 10.3 run like they’re on steroids. Seriously, they run that properly. If you’re a daily shopper, you might find yourself utilizing extra Android apps than native ones on the Passport and K’9983 and that’s the place issues are nonetheless a bit tough.

To be clear, the power to run Android apps has gotten so much smoother with this 10.3 replace. The Android App Player has been improved – although it nonetheless sits at Jelly Bean (Android 4.3) – so that you’ll see a rise in fluidity when operating apps from the Amazon Appstore, for instance.

On the flip aspect, one of many irritating elements about operating Android apps on 10.3 although is the nonetheless-current lack of notifications and alerts for Android apps once they’re not operating on an lively body. This will not be an enormous deal for some, however should you’re operating apps that sometimes push notifications and alerts to the consumer out to the consumer (like Swarm, Instagram, Vine; and so forth) and also you anticipate these to work like they do on an Android system, you’ll be dissatisfied. There’s at present no method for an app to ship you an alert to the Hub if the developer of stated app hasn’t particularly made tweaks to the app for it to occur (like Skype, for instance).

BlackBerry did inform us they’re taking a look at methods to get these Android apps to push alerts and notifications to the Hub in a future replace, however for now, the shortage of this function is probably the most disappointing a part of BlackBerry 10.3.

Active Frames


In phrases of consumer expertise with apps and lively frames, BlackBerry 10.3 has a brand new sequence for minimizing lively frames that differs from the sample we’ve grown used to. In earlier iterations, the present app that will get minimized would occupy the primary slot (prime, left), and as you went alongside opening and minimizing extra apps, the most recent one would take the earlier one’s place, and each app received bumped over one area. We’ve grown used to this cadence however 10.3’s tackle it has shortly grown on me.

On BlackBerry 10.3, the order by which you open an app is what determines the place its lively body will probably be positioned. Let’s say you open the Music app, reduce it, open BBM, reduce it, open BlackBerry World, and reduce it. The Music app would keep within the first slot (prime, left), BBM would keep within the second place (prime, center) and BlackBerry World stays within the third slot (prime, proper). Even in the event you went again and opened BBM, and minimized it once more, its lively body would keep in the identical actual place.

On the Passport, you possibly can open three lively frames on the primary/prime row, and three extra full lively frames on the underside row. When you open, and reduce the seventh and eight apps although, it will get just a little complicated. The GIF above exhibits the sequence BlackBerry has chosen to go together with, and admittedly, I’m unsure precisely why they did. It is a type of belongings you simply get use to, however I’m questioning if it’ll change with future OS updates.

BlackBerry Assistant

One of my favourite additions to BlackBerry 10.3 is the brand new BlackBerry Assistant. Think of the BlackBerry Assistant as a extra productive model of Siri or Google Now. Yes, the BlackBerry Assistant can provide the climate the place you’re at, however what makes it distinctive is the truth that you need to use pure speech to arrange conferences, alarms, reminders, amongst many different issues.

I can simply say one thing like, “Set up a gathering with Lucas Atkins tomorrow at 9am” and the BlackBerry Assistant understands it’s a calendar occasion and units it up for me instantly.


The BlackBerry Assistant might be reached from any display by urgent and holding the Play button (the center button between the 2 quantity rockers), or by means of the homescreen. If a consumer needs the BlackBerry Assistant’s assist, you merely begin typing on the Passport’s keyboard and you'll mechanically be launched into its providers.

Check out how the BlackBerry Assistant features within the video under:


No Limit of Apps in Folders

Say goodbye to the times of getting to select and select which apps you'll be able to put through which folder since you’re operating out of area in one in every of them. In BlackBerry 10.3, there’s not a restrict to the variety of apps you'll be able to maintain in a folder.

Advanced Interactions


Another nice new function that’s been added to BlackBerry 10.3 is Advanced Interactions. Advanced Interactions allow you to do some fairly cool issues based mostly on how the system is oriented. For instance, you should use ‘Lift to wake your gadget’ to have your Passport’s show activate if it’s face down and also you decide up to take a look at it. Advanced Interactions additionally has ‘Flip to mute’ and ‘Flip to save lots of energy’ as further options which you could have arrange. They’re fairly self explanatory in what they do, and truly do assist save a little bit of battery life.

Separate Lock Screen Wallpaper


BlackBerry is including the power to set a selected wallpaper on your lock display that differs from no matter you've got as your common backdrop in your system. This new choice is discovered inside the System Settings, and can in all probability find yourself making quite a bit customers very glad. These are the kind of small touches that I really feel make a distinction with the common shopper versus somebody who could also be all enterprise.

Looking Forward

BlackBerry 10.3 is a unbelievable OS to launch on the model new Passport and K’9983 smartphones. It’s a multitasking powerhouse, and elevates media and apps to a degree we hadn’t seen earlier than on BlackBerry 10. This new OS additionally works completely on each a big touchscreen – just like the Passport’s – and a smaller one – just like the G’9983.

For now, these two units are the one ones that may get BlackBerry 10.3. We’ve recognized for a while that 10.3 will not be available for current in-market BlackBerry 10 devices as a result of they’ll as an alternative be getting the upcoming 10.3.1 OS replace later this yr.

For now although, in case you do determine to select up a Passport, you gained’t be dissatisfied with BlackBerry 10.3′s expertise on it. The OS is clean, lightning fast, and appears completely lovely.

With 10.3, BlackBerry has reemphasized their concentrate on effectivity and getting issues accomplished, whereas not forgetting that even the busiest of individuals need to use their units for a bit enjoyable too. BlackBerry 10.3 can in all probability be greatest described as a brand new recent, and trendy tackle productiveness and enjoyable. And that’s a reasonably nice mixture when you ask me.

BlackBerry 10.3 Review – Flatter, Faster, Better written by JT Teran on N4BB

Continue Reading

More in Blackberry News




To Top