Blackberry Hub, or Android Notifications
The Blackberry Hub in Blackberry OS 10 is being touted as an exciting and innovative concoction that consists of the right mix of notifications and a messaging inbox. The feature is implemented quite interestingly. Messages from the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, SMS and more are all grouped into the same list, and each individual application can control what types of messages show up in the Hub. Users can act on the items in the Hub individually, and depending on how the app is coded you can either “respond” to an item there, or jump into the app to do it.
Well, Android’s notification pane — which has been with the operating system since launch and has been greatly improved since — offers much of the same. Apps can serve up notifications however they like, and they can all be acted on individually. Most apps won’t do what the Hub does — such as sending notifications about individual emails and messages as their own new items inside the notification pane — but this is not about any limitation as much as it is about respecting the users’ screen real estate. The Blackberry Hub is, in fact, fundamentally different in that regard, but at the end of the day it’s still a glorified notification system.
Active Frames, or the AndroidApps Switcher:
Active frames is Blackberry 10?s preferred way to switch between apps. When these apps are “minimized” and you’re looking at them in the active frames view, the apps — depending on how they’re coded — will show you a condensed version of the information you’re looking at. For instance, if you were looking at a specific contact within the phone app, that contact’s picture could show up with the latest status update from one of their social networking profiles. A minimized Foursquare might show your latest check-in, and a minimized email app will show you a quick preview of your inbox.
Switching apps (in Android 3.0 and higher) isn’t that much different, with the recent apps button giving you snapshots of your most recently used apps. The difference is that these snapshots only show you the last state of the app, so you’re not getting that updated and “live” information ala Windows Phone. It’s something that could change in the future, but half the concept of active frames has already been captured in Android, and the other half has been a staple of Windows Phone since its inception.
Quick Toggles, or Android 4.2?s implementation of them:
Universal Search, or Google Search
Universal search in Blackberry 10 digs deep into various settings, apps and areas of the operating system to find the information you’re looking for. It’s something that the PC world has become accustomed to, obviously, and those of us on Android have become quite used to it ourselves. Blackberry 10 goes a bit deeper by default, going as far as allowing you to search documents, text messages and your image gallery.
BB10 Voice Assistant, or Google Now
Some might argue that Siri was the first “useful” and “easy” implementation of voice assistant, but the truth of the matter is Android has had some of those features for quite some time. Legacy versions of Android didn’t have nearly as much, but it was still able to do things like send text messages to friends and dial phone numbers via voice. Siri might have “beautified” and expanded that approach, but Google came right back with what is now known as “GOOGLE NOW” and ran with it.
Blackberry 10 boasts much of the same features, allowing you to compose emails, perform web searches, set calendar appointments, alarms and more through the use of voice. Neither platform seems to have a huge advantage over the other, but Google’s implementation predates Blackberry’s, and still holds a nice edge thanks to the Knowledge Graph, automatic updates and all the information Google has stored about you (as scary as that may sound)