Review: BlackBerry OS 5.0

On October 26th, 2009, my BlackBerry Storm received it's awaited upgrade to the new v5.0 operating system. I was surprised to see how much faster the screen and application response time is. If you haven't yet upgraded your Storm to OS 5.0, then do so with all speed.

Many small updates to the OS 4 trickled in throughout the year, but they were nothing much to comment about. OS 5.0 has really improved the overall functionality of the Storm. The first thing I noticed was the touchscreen's animation and movement. The menus are fluid, opening and closing with a grow/shrink animation. When you scroll up and down, the screen bounces into place, and seems to be more touch sensitive. I hate to say this, but it seems like someone over at RIM took a look at the iPhone's touchscreen and said, "Hey...that's pretty snazzy. Maybe we can do something like that." So it was said; so it shall be done. In addition, the overall speed of application launches seems to have improved exponentially. Even the third-party applications I use appear to run faster. Of course, that could just be me getting older.

The other major update for the new OS is integration with SQLite and Gears for BlackBerry Widgets. With the amount of time developers are spending making apps for the iPhone, the news about the BlackBerry Widgets is a smart business move.

The new APIs with OS 5.0 will also extend the capabilities of their on-board applications. Advanced camera features like zoom and focus, third-party media players, and vast improvements to the browser have been included in this update. Enhancements to the contact list, calendar and the ability to use multiple phone lines are among the other features added.

BlackBerry's OS 5.0 will soon be available for other BlackBerry models, including the Bold, the Tour and the Curve.

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