Just caught up with the new Blackberry 10. It looks cool but the smartphone revolution wow factor has passed for me. I’m struggling to find the innovation. Touch, voice, video messaging; they don’t make me say “ooh, gotta try that” any more. I’ve had it in my pocket for five years already.
What stuck with me most though was the developer documentation: https://developer.blackberry.com/design/bb10/
If you’ve done any iOS development it’s hard not to see which paragraphs and sections they’ve copied; the icon guide especially seems eerily familiar.
The whole “we can too” revolution was an obvious step to take for many companies to take. Android and Microsoft have already copied the mighty iPhone and iPad. For BlackBerry to ape it so closely over half a decade after it was interesting though; that just smacks of desperation.
I’ve owned and own Android, Windows, and Apple phones. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but there is no getting away from the fact that they all came from the iPhone originally. Android copied fast enough to be able to still feel innovative. Microsoft made a mess of WP7/8 with change disguised as innovation. All they have done is confuse people.
Apple have sadly stagnated, each year looking like their own worst competition. The iPhone 5 is a great device but iOS is really starting to look dated.
With BB10 though, it all just looks like a cheap knock off of iPhone 3 tech built in a basement somewhere. From a company that used to be known for its innovation, I was really hoping for more.
iPhone/iPad remain, for me, the most intuitive devices I’ve used if not always the most flexible or powerful. Android bring the most options, but with it lose some of the ease of use. Windows is the Ralph of the group, having eaten its crayon and then vomited the colors onto the start screen. BB just look tired and for a company that used to truly innovate that’s a real shame.