Back on May 1, 2012, Blackberry officially unveiled the Blackberry 10 platform, and we’ve seen a lot of cool things about Blackberry’s announcement. But if Blackberry wants to take on the big players – iOS and Android, it has a third place contender to deal with first, in the form of Microsoft’s Windows phone. So, let’s see how it does that. This is Blackberry OS10 versus Windows 8.
So, our Blackberry OS10 and Windows 8 comparison starts at the lock screen – and the differences also starts there. But, there are a lot more similarities in this example. They both slide effectively from the bottom; you really can’t slide a Windows phone from the top too well. And there are a lot of cool similarities: We have a big time display, we have a big date display, we have a preview of events, and a preview of notifications. The big difference here is that, the Windows phone, just like any other operating system, besides Blackberry - almost, makes you unlock by pressing a physical button. You can’t press the home button – you can’t do anything – you can’t do anything fancy. You just have to press that button, and unlock the screen. With Blackberry, you can just drag your finger up from the bezzle, and you have unlocked your device, which is pretty awesome.
Next huge difference is going to be in Notifications. Now, this is a big sore spot on a Windows phone, because there is no real notification’s center. As most of us have known, people have been clamoring for a Windows notification’s center. Microsoft is rumored to have been working on one, but it is just not there. It’s probably gonna live to the left of the home screen. Notice that when you swipe left that nothing happens. It’s just begging for a notification’s center, but it is just not there. So, for right now, you have Live Tiles – with notification counts on each specific live tile. You can arrange these tiles as you like, but it is not a unified notification’s center – it means always having to return to the home screen to check your notifications.
The situation on Blackberry really could not be any more different. In addition to the Peek Functionality, which lets you see your message counts from any app - even if you are on the home screen. Now, the home screen is one thing, but if you are inside say, the settings application, you can just slide up and peek, see if any of those are worth it to you, and just go back to the app. But, if something does pique your interest, you can continue the movement by dragging over to the right, and you have the Blackberry Hub – this is a unified list of everything that has been built into the account, which include email accounts, Twitter accounts, Facebook Accounts, etc. And this is accessible from any point in the OS. And then if you want, you can filter and take out accounts from a unified state. Also, Blackberry has been very good at unified inbox for a while. Also, it would be negligent if Blackberry’s iconic flashing red notification indicator, which lets you know when you have messages waiting, missed calls, or something like that. Windows phone, although they have flashing LEDs, they don’t have this feature.
So, all this taken together, it seems like Blackberry has notifications in the bag, in this particular comparison.
So, what about Local Search? Well, on Windows phone 8, there is no local search. You may notice that there is a dedicated search button that takes you to Bing, which is a really nice shortcut there – and you can search the internet, but it only searches the web. We can get local results, which is nice, but there is no local results at all – you cannot search the device. If you want to search the device for a contact, you have to go into the People Hub, and so on. It is a very solid experience on a Windows phone – if you are searching for something, you have make sure that you are in the right place, before you start your search. That is not at all the case on Blackberry OS10. If you unlock the device, you will have a search function that is positioned front and center, very similar to the Bing shortcut, and that persists when you are at the out drawer. It does go away when you jump into an app, but it is always accessible via the Hub functionality. And local search for the Blackberry is reliable.
So, these are philosophically different platforms. Windows 8 Phones, emphasizes simplicity and minimalistic design. Whereas Blackberry OS 10, places a much higher priority on functionality, at the expense of intuitiveness; so, there is a higher learning-curve on the Blackberry device.
There really are some differences to these two platforms, but then again, it is very nice to see two contenders for the number 3 spot in smartphones that are so very different, in very good ways.