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Our 10 best features of BlackBerry 10

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BlackBerry 10 has arrived and we've already been checking out the first prototype of the new operating system from RIM. I'll show you some of the things we most like about the new platform.

The first thing you notice when you fire up the new BlackBerry OS is its lock screen. The fluid BlackBerry 10 OS is based around touch and multi-touch gestures. You slide to the right or the left to view the different screens, up to down to view the options within an app, or down to go back to the start menu. By moving two fingers upwards, you can open the operating system's virtual keyboard.

In this first screen, called Active Frames, you'll find the last applications that you had open, the majority of which, though not all, show updated information in real-time, something that reminds me a lot of Windows phone.

Messaging has been improved in the latest version of the BlackBerry OS. With a simple left swipe gesture, you will open the new BlackBerry Hub. This is your message center, where you can send and receive your text messages, status updates of your Facebook and Twitter contacts, BlackBerry Messenger messages and email, all in the same place. In this early prototype, the BlackBerry Hub is not available, unfortunately, but it certainly sounds very promising.

The BlackBerry 10 browser is fast. At least BlackBerry users can navigate the web in comfort this time. HTML 5 support has been beefed up and there are lots of new additions to the browser, such as the ability to search on a page and a reading mode.

The BlackBerry World app has been rejuvenated in BlackBerry 10. Much more visually appealing than before, BlackBerry World offers a much simpler way to navigate through the thousands of apps. RIM has announced that its store will be stocked with music and video content soon too, which should be something to look out for.

The BlackBerry Balance technology in BlackBerry 10 allows you to switch profiles very quickly. As a result, you can have certain settings and applications setup for your working life via one profile, then switch it when you get home to have a different kind of setup for your free time, such as having more games. Speaking of games, RIM has promised that, this time, its devices will be more conducive to gaming. Popular games, such as Jetpack Joyride, have already sprung up for BlackBerry 10.

The native camera application in BlackBerry 10 is improved and the stand out feature is known as Time Shift. This allows you to take multiple photos with just one shot. You can then choose which you like best before shooting it. You can share photos you've taken through BlackBerry Messenger, Bluetooth or using NFC technology.

The built-in Calendar application in BlackBerry 10 is great and it's perfect for busy professionals. The app offers notifications and allows you to share calendars with others, including the ability to select an appointment and see the LinkedIn profiles of the people who are attending.

Although there is a newer and more complete video editing suite called Windows Live Movie Maker, this is not compatible with versions of Windows older than Vista. For this reason, for XP users, and there are a lot of them, Windows Movie Maker is one of the best video editors, thanks mainly to its ease of use. So, how does it work? The first stage is to import your files. They could be videos, images or any kind of sound file. The formats supported by the software cover most of the most popular file types.

The second stage is to drag and drop your elements onto the timeline and start editing. Order the images and videos as you see fit. If you open the timeline view, you'll get a more visual way of working with your media. You can also drop audio files into this view and they'll appear as a waveform. This audio can be dragged around and used to accompany the videos and images.

Click the images and videos to edit them. You can add effects and manage them using the right mouse button. You can apply transitions of any type and easily create titles with their own effects and transitions. If you want to save all of these steps, you can instead choose the auto movie option. You just select the style of movie you'd like and Windows Movie Maker does the rest. When you finish editing, it's time to export and save the final video, choosing the quality that you'd like to save the video at.

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