What's new in BlackBerry 6 OS

Article ID: KB23697

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 11-27-2011


Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry Bold 9700
  • BlackBerry Style 9670
  • BlackBerry Bold 9780
  • BlackBerry Pearl 9100 Series
  • BlackBerry Curve 9330
  • BlackBerry Bold 9650
  • BlackBerry Torch 9800
  • BlackBerry Curve 9300
Jump to: Environment | Overview
  • BlackBerry® Smartphones
  • BlackBerry® 6

BlackBerry® 6 introduces several new features to the BlackBerry® smartphone. These features are grouped into the following categories:

An overview of several of these new features is listed below.

Home screen/User Interface

BlackBerry 6 includes new graphics, icons, Home screen, and a new interface. These enhancements make it quick and easy to navigate the BlackBerry smartphone!

Context menus

Touch and hold, or click and hold the trackpad, to display the graphical context menus. The graphical context menus are designed for a quick and easy way to perform actions without having to display the full menu. The menus can be launched by touching and holding an application icon, email message, calendar appointment, contact, and other places within the BlackBerry 6.


Application switcher redesign

The new application switcher provides a list of all currently running applications on the BlackBerry smartphone, making it easy to run multiple applications simultaneously and to switch between them. Press and hold the Menu key to display the list of currently running applications, then touch or click the application to bring it to the foreground.



The browser now leverages the Webkit (www.webkit.org), a powerful open source and standards based rendering engine. Webkit provides the BlackBerry® Browser with faster and more robust HTML and JavaScript® rendering performance.

The Webkit implementation provides the browser with broader standards support, including partial support for new and emerging standards such as CSS3 and HTML5. Enhanced standards support results in a significant improvement to rendering fidelity, and support for more robust web content on the BlackBerry smartphone.

Tabbed browsing

Open and manage multiple and concurrent browsing sessions within the browser using tabbed browsing. Simple and intuitive controls allow BlackBerry smartphone users to access tabbed browsing, as well as initiate and terminate browsing sessions or pages.

Simplified Browser selection

The BlackBerry Browser continues to leverage multiple transport options such as BlackBerry® Internet Service, BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, BlackBerry® Mobile Data System, and Wi-Fi® technology; however, the smartphone user is no longer required to change and configure these settings manually. The browser automatically leverages the optimal transport available at any given time, to ensure optimal performance and minimal impact to the cellular network. Additionally, the manual controls to change settings have been removed from the browser options screen to simplify the user experience.

Zoom controls

Enhanced zoom controls have been added for smartphones with touch screens, which allow smartphone users to use two fingers to “pinch” the screen to zoom in, and expand two fingers to zoom out.

Universal search

New to BlackBerry 6, the universal search allows a smartphone user to quickly and easily find contacts, calendar appointments, email, instant or social messages, make phone calls, launch applications, find help on the BlackBerry device and much more.

To launch the universal search, either touch or click the magnifying glass on the Home screen, or start typing the information you are looking for.

Universal search is also integrated into Messages and Options on the smartphone. Touch or click the magnifying glass within Messages, or start typing the desired options within Options to start a search.


Group messages by subject

Email messages can now be grouped by subject. To enable this functionality within the messages application, click the Menu key, select Options, Message Display and Actions, and change the Display Style from Single Messages to Group by Subject.


There is an updated Day view, Agenda view, Week view, Month view, and event details view, as well as Graphical Context Menus (GCM) support.


The initial Contacts refresh is now present with contact photos in the list of contacts, a newly presented contact details screen, and support for Graphical Context Menus and recent activity.



The enhanced Pictures user interface allows a much faster and easier way to view pictures on the smartphone. The Pictures application now supports pinch and zoom controls, making it easier to zoom in to and out of them.


The music player is completely redesigned to provide an engaging, visually stimulating, and full featured user interface. Offered in both portrait and landscape mode, the music player allows a smartphone user to see the full album art and metadata (for example, song title, artist name, album name) for the song being played.

Smartphone users are able to touch and/or highlight the album art for the currently playing song to put the carousel “in focus”. This allows a smartphone user to slide or scroll (touch or use the trackpad) left and right through the “Now Playing” list to view the previously played or upcoming songs. Smartphone users can select any of these songs for immediate playback.

The new music player also allows a smart user to select the artist or album name of the currently playing song, to view the albums by that artist or the album details respectively.


From the Home screen of the Videos application, users have the ability to launch the video camera as well as view a list of all videos on their smartphones. A thumbnail is automatically generated for each video and can also be set or changed by the user by selecting the Set Video Thumbnail option from the menu when playing a video.

The video player has a new look and feel with the ability to change the video playback size between Fit Screen, Full Screen and Actual Size (top right corner). The controls appear when the smartphone user taps on the screen, and fade away or tap away if the smartphone user taps again.


The updated Setup application is designed to help smartphone users to easily and quickly set up and customize their smartphones.


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Visit the BlackBerry Technical Solution Center at www.blackberry.com/btsc.