The Z10's virtual keypad also takes predictive text a step further. In the past week, I've send a lot emails to PR people and sources, and I closed many of these messages with my standard "Thanks very much for your assistance." Now, when I start typing "Thanks" on my Z10, it not only predicts that word, but "very" automatically appears above the "V" key. And if I slide my finger up to type "very," the word "much" appears above the "M" key, and so on.
7. BlackBerry Hub
The heart and soul of BlackBerry 10 is the BlackBerry Hub, and it's a standout feature. The BlackBerry Hub shows all your messages and notifications in a single place. And you can easily access it, whether you're using an application or navigating home screens, by sliding your thumb up from the bottom of the display and then to the right, to pull the active page to the side and "peek" at your Hub. If you want to open a message or notification, you just continue your thumb's leftward motion until the Hub takes up your entire display; you then tap the message or notification of your choice. If there are no pressing messages, you can slide your thumb back to the right and return to whatever you were doing.
BlackBerry Hub also lets you filter messages and notifications so you see only the items you want. For example, when you're in the Hub you can choose Email to see only email messages, or you could choose Facebook to see only messages and notifications from Facebook friends. Developers can build applications that integrate with the Hub, and the more Hub-compatible apps you use, the richer the information you'll find there. BlackBerry Hub is unlike anything in iOS, and though it takes some getting used to, it works very well.
8. Active frames
BlackBerry 10 can keep as many as eight applications running at one time, and each app is represented with its own active frame (a preview thumbnail) that appears on your main home screen pane. Active frames are dynamic windows that update themselves periodically with new information. Different apps provide different levels of information via active frames, depending on the software's integration with BlackBerry 10. But a deeply integrated app can provide a wealth of information just by viewing its active frame. It's similar to Windows Phone's live tiles capability.
A couple of examples: The active frame for the BlackBerry World store rotates through popular and spotlighted apps, noteworthy films, and music to show you what's hot at a given time without actually opening up the app store. And the BeWeather 10 app shows rotating weather information and graphics for your preset locations in its active frame.
9. BlackBerry Balance
BlackBerry Balance is a technology built into the BlackBerry 10 OS that lets IT administrators create two separate personas on your smartphone: one for work use and one for personal use. Although Balance sounds like a feature designed specifically for IT, it also benefits users because it keeps all personal information separate from corporate data, so IT never has to access personal files -- or delete them in case of a security scare. Balance couldn't be more unobtrusive for the user, so it doesn't affect the overall experience. And it provides piece of mind for both IT and Z10 users.
BlackBerry recently announced secure-workspace features that will bring Balance-like dual personas to iOS and Android, but the security features won't match those available via BlackBerry 10 and the required BES 10 management server. And the user experience will likely be less smooth.