Siri-like Voice Commands

Despite disappearing with the latest update, the Dev Alpha had a Siri-like voice command system in place.  It was not complete by any means, but it did seem to have support for updating Twitter and Facebook statuses, and messages contacts.  None of the functions worked, but it does provide strong evidence that we will a better voice command system with BlackBerry 10.

New text Cursors

Similar to what is implemented in iOS at the moment, when pressing and holding text on the screen, a large circle appears to make it easier to select text.  It doesn’t do much and doesn’t magnify the text at all, but this is understandable in a developer device.  There is a slight vignette inside the circle.  It may provide clues to how RIM will be implementing text editing in BlackBerry 10.  In addition, the latest Dev Alpha update also added a new text selection cursor that resembled a large tear drop.


You can Receive Phone Calls

Despite being a developer device, there is a way to receive phone calls on the Dev Alpha if you have a SIM card inserted.  To get around the lack of any “Phone” app, connecting a Bluetooth headset allows you to answer incoming calls.

BlackBerry 10 Apps

Recently, RIM has allows the submission of BlackBerry 10 apps in App World.  With the latest update, there is an App World icon that allows you to download apps just like you would on the PlayBook.  Obviously, only developers can access these apps and they are not available on the PlayBook either.

Ultra-sharp Screen

With a “pixels per square inch” (ppi) of 355, the Dev Alpha’s display decisively beats the “retina” display of the iPhone and any phone you can think of.  If you took the Galaxy Note 2, added over 61,000 more pixels, and then shrunk it down to a 4.2 inch screen, you’d have the sharpest screen on a smartphone in the world, the Dev Alpha’s.

What other cool things have you heard/seen on a Dev Alpha?  Sound off in the comments below!