Last night, an early build of BlackBerry 10.3 leaked, and now we get a chance to fuss around with and explore it. I loaded this build up on my BlackBerry Z10 and have been pretty surprised with the small, but noticeable changes across the UI and OS. There are new features aplenty and it really stands as a testament to how dedicated BlackBerry is to the success of this operation system. Now, since this isn’t an official build, and BlackBerry 10.3 hasn’t even been announced, it’s possible they could completely change everything we see here today. However, we can have some fun with this build, and see what’s new and cool about it.

Off the bat, you’ll see the gradients behind the icons have been replaced by a very soft outline shadow which gives the icons some depth. The UI in general, trends toward a flatter, more minimal look; less chrome, less use of gradients. But to say this UI is flat may be a misnomer, because there are generous areas of gradients still in use.

All and all, I love that it looks nothing like iOS7 which to me looks like it was pulled out of a Hello Kitty manga.


Overall the keyboard is flatter, and there are more interactive voice controls. I highly suggest you take a look at the video above, which goes through the changes in more depth.

New camera options that have been rumored since 10.2, and others finally are making their way into the OS it seems. It’s great to see BlackBerry plumbing away on these builds and continuing to make their OS even more user friendly and efficient.

***Some notable things left out of the video are the flatter keyboard shown above. The ability to set wallpapers for lock screen and home-screen, and the ability to restart the device and have running applications running even while the device reboots. Very interesting indeed.

There are some new applications playing around here as well. In the coming days, people will tear open the leak and unveil even more of its secrets. So keep it locked here on N4BB for all of that.

Overall this OS, while early, is definitely a big step from the 10.2.1 OS which was just launched 3 months ago. Again, it’s incredible the pace BlackBerry 10 OS teams are working on this. The competition should be very worried. BlackBerry in no way intends to slow down. This new OS offering is an early example of great things to come.

Drop a comment below, did you enjoy the video hands on? What did you like, and what are you not liking?