BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is all set to launch its next flagship smartphone, the Classic, which will feature a five-button “toolbelt.” BlackBerry believes Classic loyalists will get the feel of old BlackBerry smartphones with the traditional send / menu / back / TrackPad / end keys. However, long-time BlackBerry developer and creator of the popular Pixelated game Eric Harty from Ebscer, believes toolbelt is not going to be of much use.
Will “toolbelt” in the BlackBerry Classic be of use?
“For anyone looking forward to this phone, they are soon to be very disappointed,” said Harty.
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Harty also said the Classic smartphone is being eagerly awaited by a large number of BlackBerry fans, as it is the first BlackBerry phone in the past three years to come up with the “toolbelt” row of buttons across the middle.
“Having a physical menu key allows the screen to remain clear of any navigation, and makes it quick and easy for the menu to be accessed at any time,” said Harty.
He added that for most of the apps, this key will function more or less like hitting the “more” button on the action menu. Also for “both Cascades and Android based apps” there is no guarantee of a physical menu button, therefore, the majority of the apps will have a virtual menu button on the screen, says Harty.
Usefulness of TrackPad functionality could disappoint
Indirectly, TrackPad functionality has also been curtailed in the new Classic smartphone, which could be the biggest disappointment for potential customers, believes Harty. During text selection, TrackPad will work smoothly, but for app navigation, he thinks it will be a disappointment. BlackBerry is expected to enable the TrackPad to efficiently support home screen features and in the hub, but he said there will hardly be any support for third party apps.
When the BlackBerry 10 smartphones were launched, the major dissatisfaction among users was the swipe gestures. As a result, those users who did not want to use the swipe gestures went back to old BlackBerry devices or switched to an Android smartphone or iPhone. The Canadian smartphone company wants to resolve this issue and lure hard-core BlackBerry users to upgrade to BlackBerry 10. However, after the comments from the developer, it will be interesting to see the end users’ response to the phone, which will soon be available.