The BlackBerry OS and phones have been radically redesigned, centered on a simpler interface with clean, refined icons that provide more direct access to core functions and fewer options for fiddling with settings. You can use gestures and swipes to enhance e-mail and messaging, key functions for many BlackBerry fans.
The control system, called BlackBerry Flow, relies on finger sweeps and other gestures made on a touch screen. For example, sliding your thumb up from the bottom of the screen and then to the right takes you to the Hub, a list of calls, messages, and calendar alerts received by the phone. Slide your thumb to the right again to filter messages--say, by Yahoo or Gmail accounts. To access wireless connections, alarms, and settings, slide your finger down from the top of the screen. To return to the home screen while in an app, slide your thumb up from the bottom of the screen, or press the end button. This action also produces the virtual buttons for launching the camera and phone, or Hub. You can organize apps into folders.
The virtual keyboard has a predictive text tool that lets you "flick" suggested words up into a sentence. The keyboard's Flick feature suggests words it thinks will be next, based on what's already in the sentence. For example, type the word "Here" and the words "we," "you," and "is" will appear on the keyboard. The keyboard can handle multiple languages at once, making it easier to insert foreign words into sentences. The keyboard also handles more traditional predictive-text tasks, such as completing a word after you type a few letters. You can press and hold the period key to engage the voice-to-text feature, or the space bar for text formatting, such as boldface, italics, bullets, and font size.
BlackBerry Messenger supports video conferencing and lets you share what's on your phone screen (such as a photo or spreadsheet) with the person on the other end. Maintaining its business bent, the BlackBerry OS lets you separate business and personal data so your IT department can control corporate info while you control personal materials. You can easily switch between both.