RIM has just announced BlackBerry OS 7 at BlackBerry World 2011. It will offer faster web browsing and other enhancements, and is a direct update to BlackBerry 6, not the anticipated QNX-BlackBerry OS merger.
BlackBerry 7 will first debut in two new smartphone models from the BlackBerry Bold line: the Bold 9900 and 9930, which were both announced today in conjunction with the announcement of the new OS.
What to Expect in BlackBerry 7
BlackBerry 7 features a host of upgrades and new features, possibly none more appealing than BlackBerry Balance. This will allow users who employ their BlackBerry?s not just on the job, but also for personal use, to separate these functions of their phone more effectively. Users can have their Twitter, Facebook, and personal email as active apps on their smartphone, and with BlackBerry Balance and BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.3 these features of the phone will remain removed from its professional functions.
Among other tasks, Balance will block work related content and apps from being sent to personal contacts, and will offer the possibility to wipe corporate data (and corporate data alone) from a user?s device.
The next version of RIM’s operating system is also going to feature more voice support, with voice-activated search available to peruse the web or the smartphone itself. And BlackBerry 7 will come packed with the full, premium version of Docs to Go, letting users work with MS Office file types and featuring a native PDF viewer.
Merging BlackBerry OS and QNX OS
RIM had designs on completely combining BlackBerry OS with the QNX OS it recently licensed for the PlayBook, but this will most likely not occur until sometime in 2012. BlackBerry 7 OS is the stopgap for the time being until RIM is able to integrate its tablet and smartphone systems, quite possibly making BlackBerry 7 the last QNX-less version of the BlackBerry OS.