BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s 10.3 OS is again hogging the limelight as developers have reportedly built in a new multitasking feature into the BB10.3 SDK beta on BB10 QWERTY phones. Website BBin posted a new .gif image in which the space bar on the QWERTY keyboard can minimize activity on the screen if pressed for long. Also it can be used to open apps and navigate directly on the home screen.

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BlackBerry OS 10.3 expected features

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) could make this feature available only on the BB10 devices with physical QWERTY keyboards. At present, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s Q10 and Q5 are two of the company’s flagship smartphones with QWERTY keyboards. There was another image leaked recently as well. It showed the home screen app icons without the box outlines. BlackBerry may have made this change after receiving feedback from users.

The new operating system might also have a virtual assistant just like Siri for iOS or Cortana for Windows Phone. In the screenshots that have surfaced, an icon for the intelligent assistant appeared back in March. It is still not clear if the feature will be voice-based or not. A smart search feature might also come with the new OS. BB10.3 OS could also include a simply designed music player, a new keyboard layout, and a red and black color scheme.

A new feature that could accompany the latest OS would be a battery saving feature which would turn on power saving once the battery discharges. The “Lift to wake” is another interesting feature which would light up the phone when it is picked up. Various leaked screenshots of the OS show some other latest features like BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s camera app, panorama settings, a timer and the ability to shoot 720p video in 30 fps and 60 fps. The camera could have the ability to auto suggest camera settings to the user, like when to use HDR for multiple exposure, based on conditions.

QWERTY Keypads in focus

Back in January, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen said that the majority of the newer models will have a QWERTY keyboard, including the low-end models targeted at emerging markets. Foxconn, which is BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s contract manufacturer, is designing, producing and warehousing these low-end phones. Both companies will share the profits. BlackBerry will come up with the high-end models like the BlackBerry Classic and the Q30.