6 Things BB OS 10 Does Better Than Android

While I have been a long-time Android user, I recently got a new BlackBerry Q10 and it’s been an amazing experience for a lot of different reasons. Apart from a handful of Android apps I miss on BlackBerry OS 10, I’ve installed most of them (click here to learn how) and I am loving how the OS works. In this post I am going to be writing about 6 things I feel the BlackBerry OS 10 does better than Android.

#1. Swipe Up to Wake/Unlock/Advanced Interactions

I know we can get swipe to wake on Android (or double tap to wake) but it isn’t something that is available across the operating system or on all devices. The BlackBerry OS 10 however supports this feature natively and I love waking up my Q10 without having to press a key. You just have to swipe upwards from the base of the screen and it wakes up.

Similarly, regardless of which app you are using, you can simply swipe up from the base to minimize it instantly. That’s it, you don’t have to press keys, there is no delay – you simply swipe up. It’s quick, simple and efficient.

BB 10 OS Swipe to Unlock

BlackBerry OS 10.3 even has new ‘Advanced Interactions’ which allow you to wake up your phone when you pick it up from a surface.

Since the new 10.3.1 update is here (read this for our full coverage and review), the BB OS has gotten even better. The advanced interactions settings allow you to wake your device by simply picking it up from a flat service, mute it or go into battery saving mode by flipping it over and prevent it from sleeping as long as you are holding it up.

Advanced Interactions on BB 10.3.1

Note: If you want to use gesture control on your Android you should check this out.

#2. Multitasking

While it took a little getting used to, multitasking on BlackBerry OS 10 is much better than it is on Android I feel. Any app can be instantly minimized with the swipe up gesture and is then accessible as a small tile on a separate screen.

You can then go back to any app you minimized by simply tapping on its tile or choose to close it properly by tapping the ‘x’ in its title bar.

Moreover, multitasking is quite smooth and I have personally experienced no noticeable lag whatsoever, even when multitasking between several different apps.

Multitasking on BlackBerry OS 10

#3. BlackBerry Hub

The BlackBerry hub is something you learn to love in time. It unites all your text messages, IMs, emails, social network feeds, call records and voicemails in one centralized place. This allows you to get all your notifications in order and view them and respond how you want.

With the Hub I don’t really have to worry about missing an email or a message and even when I am busy, I know I can always get back on top of my incoming mails and messages when I get time. It just gives you much more control over your communication, something all smartphones should really do.

Moreover, you can easily access the Hub by swiping towards the right from the left edge of the screen. What more do you want?

With the new 10.3.1 update, the BlackBerry Hub gets even better. It is now faster, gives you more control over your communication and prioritizes the most important and useful actions.

BlackBerry 10.3.1 Hub

#4. Search

I love the BlackBerry OS 10’s search feature. You don’t have to open up a dedicated search app or function for it. Just start typing your desired term from the homescreen and the search window opens up automatically.

If I type ‘Hello’ for instance, the search app instantly shows me a variety of results, including those in my contacts, my emails, my text messages and my IM conversations along with extended search options in services like Bing, Google, Yahoo and Twitter.

You actually have to try this to see how truly useful it is. A surefire winner in my opinion.

BB 10 OS Search

#5. Notifications

Notifications are also done superbly on BlackBerry OS 10. Regardless of which app or screen you are on, all new incoming messages and notifications are shown momentarily towards the  top edge of the screen with a quick reply option.

While there are several apps on Android which provide the same functionality, they don’t work well with all apps like games etc. where notifications can only be checked if you minimize the running app. Here they work on every app and have virtually no effect on performance.

BB 10 OS Notifications

#6. Security

While Android phones can be flashed to bypass the security lockscreen and get access to documents stored on the internal memory (unless it is wiped), the same can’t be done on BlackBerry OS 10.

If you use a security password for locking your BlackBerry, it gives you 10 attempts at unlocking it. If you enter the wrong password 10 times, the phone automatically shuts down and starts shredding your digital files.

There is no way around it if you forget your password, so be careful.

Even though I feel someone with a bad sense of humour could use this to give you a heart attack, it is still a great security feature giving you peace of mind in case your device gets stolen or lost.

BB 10 OS Enter Password

Writing this post doesn’t mean I no longer love my Android devices, but the truth is, there are certain things Android could do better. The features I have mentioned above really make the BlackBerry OS 10 shine and aren’t just gimmicks. They are actually useful and provide real-world benefits and advantages.

Recommended for you: 15 Best Android 5.0 Lollipop Tips, Tricks & New Features

If you’ve got something else you’d like to add to this list, please feel free to comment below and let us know!



  1. Michael Arscott

    January 14, 2015 at 1:25 AM

    Yeah, you nailed it, these are 6 very important ways BB10 is better than Android, although not necessarily in that order. The other thing of course is the keyboard. But less well known is that the virtual BB10 keyboard on full screen devices also works better than Android keyboards.

    • Hunain Naseer

      January 14, 2015 at 2:06 AM

      Thanks for the feedback Michael. And yes, you are right, the virtual keyboard on BB OS 10 is also better than the stock Android keyboard. However, most Android fans (I am one too) are all too eager to bash BB OS, which I think is unfair.

      • John

        June 11, 2015 at 6:44 AM

        So many shortcuts on the virtual keyboard as well. Don’t know if Androids do this but hold down the space bar on the virtual keyboard and it disappears.

        • MePiikan LzBolaz

          June 11, 2015 at 5:33 PM

          Swipe down on the keyboard with two fingers and it closes as well.

      • Dale

        June 11, 2015 at 8:16 AM

        Actually, it’s ok to bash BBOS. It is NOT fair however to bash BB10 based on experience with the legacy BBOS which was replaced over 2 years ago.

        I find that most people have no clue what BB has done over the past 2.5 years.

        • Hunain Naseer

          June 11, 2015 at 10:20 AM

          Exactly, they don’t.

  2. president

    June 11, 2015 at 4:20 AM

    You forgot BlackBerry Travel App. Best app ever.

    • Hunain Naseer

      June 11, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      We were focusing more on the core features and native capabilities of the operating system, but thanks for the heads up!

  3. Ken Balaz

    June 11, 2015 at 4:25 AM

    You aren’t actually correct on the try password 10x and it starts shredding files. If you try 10x and get it incorrect, it will ask you to verify your blackberry ID before it starts shredding. Don’t know blackberry ID, it just locks the phone. this with the latest update of 10.3.2

    • Hunain Naseer

      June 11, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      Thanks for the tip Ken, we didn’t try entering the wrong password with the new update, and honestly, we won’t risk it, lol.

  4. Mike Duarte

    June 11, 2015 at 4:35 AM

    just got my new BB classic. I love the phone, all the things you’ve mentioned and more. ive never been a fan of surfing the net on my phone, ive had androids and recently an iphone. the speed of the browser on my bb is amazingly quick and smooth. just holding the phone you get a sense that your holding a quality device.

    • Hunain Naseer

      June 11, 2015 at 10:25 AM

      Very true, the BB browser is actually quite fast, but I personally feel that heavy web browsing is more suited to large-screen Android phones.

  5. Jeff M.

    June 11, 2015 at 5:01 AM


    Great article! I am a die-hard BlackBerry Z10 user but it also own a Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet user. I think you hit the big 6 perfectly. I like Android and find it useful. However for work and play on a phone, BlackBerry does it well!

  6. Jeremy

    June 11, 2015 at 5:25 AM

    Great list! The key here is, you don’t need an app for that…BB10 already does it! Like the commenter before me, the virtual keyboard is way ahead of the competition. You wouldn’t think of “shortcuts” on a smartphone, yet BlackBerry has done a great job with it! Another thing to add to the list is the native browser! I hardly ever have trouble loading sites on BB10, and sometimes I prefer it over my Google Nexus 7.

  7. Luke

    June 11, 2015 at 5:34 AM

    Thanks for the honest review. Perhaps we will soon see the day when we get full Google Play services on BlackBerry 10.

  8. Nora Kernisant

    June 11, 2015 at 5:39 AM

    Blend is another one too. You can access your phone from your laptop, iPad and Android tablets. The StoryMaker app which is included in the Picture app makes showing off your photos a joy. You can also pinch the Hub to see all of your unread messages. And the paperclip icon on the bottom of the Hub will bring up all of your attachments which is huge when I am looking for a document.

    • Hunain Naseer

      June 11, 2015 at 10:28 AM

      True, the StoryMaker is actually a very nice little app, tried it a couple times and loved it. Ditto for the Hub, especially after the new update.

  9. dodo27

    June 11, 2015 at 6:03 AM

    You missed shortcuts, navigation and battery life.

  10. bryan

    June 11, 2015 at 6:27 AM

    You missed two other important and amazing features….blackberry blend, and blackberry protect. While protect has been around prior to bb10 it has grown immensely. …

  11. shawn

    June 11, 2015 at 6:49 AM

    Found this link on a BBM Channel post. Great to see open minds out there. I’m partial to BB10, but also love to try other operating systems. Now, if you want an amazing experience, try the award winning BlackBerry Passport. After a few short days, everything else honestly seems odd to use.

    • Hunain Naseer

      June 11, 2015 at 10:19 AM

      Hey Shawn, I really wanted to try the Passport but I am not sure that aspect ratio would work for me, but I am sure its a solid device.

      • yessuz

        June 12, 2015 at 12:47 AM

        I got few friends who are (were) die hard Android fans.
        One is rocking Z30 over his Nexus 5 and some other android phone as daily driver.
        another one, was concerned regarding aspect ratio. had Note 4. tried Passport. guess, what is his daily driver, and what he says about aspect ratio…

        personally myself – I could NEVER go back to narrow screen, unless life turned to the sh*tty side and I could not use Passport any more.

  12. Candice

    June 11, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    The native file manager with Dropbox, Box, and One Drive integration is what won me over. What’s more, I can also see files from my PC and SD card in the same place, allowing me to save or copy files as I please from anywhere to anywhere.

    • Hunain Naseer

      June 11, 2015 at 10:31 AM

      You’re right Candice, the file manager is great and deserves a mention, we’ll be sure to highlight it in future posts.

  13. Greg

    June 11, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    It was nice to see a level balanced review without any posturing for one OS or another. A cool side effect is that all the comments were nice and neutral with no bashing of anyone. A refreshing experience to be sure! Thanks for the article and to the posters, thanks for the good comments.

    • Hunain Naseer

      June 11, 2015 at 10:32 AM

      Cheers Greg!

  14. Chuck

    June 11, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    I find USB mass storage much more useful on my Z10 and Z30 than on my Samsung SIII.

  15. ciaragall76

    June 11, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    Blackberry Passport is the best phone around. Have had iPhone, Android tablet, Windows and without a doubt BB10 platform is superior. Love the keyboard, battery life, and the browser speed is the fastest of all of the phones I’ve tried. Everything is just that bit easier as a phone with the BlackBerry. Was definitely a bit nervous when I got the Passport but after a day or two I loved it. Long live BlackBerry!

  16. Frank

    June 11, 2015 at 7:02 PM

    Congratulations Hunain. It is really refreshing to see an open and honest appraisal of a non Android device on an Android forum. I use Android devices for leisure and i value the experience. I also use BlackBerry 10 for work and I value that experience. I think people sometimes look at these different devices in an unfair way. A BlackBerry is a terrible Android device and an Android, although adequate is not the best device for work. With a locked OS10.3 passport, without using any add-on apps I can access files remotely from the office, I can open any file, send any file, attach multiple files, type paragraphs with zero errors, edit spreadsheets, word docs and PDF’s, share any file to anyone or anywhere with a click. The hub is a one stop shop for all messages and I can easily show just work emails or just twitter feeds or gmails or everything. I also have a thirty hour battery which is really useful when flying about Europe. However the BlackBerry OS10 does not have Google services and I know there are tricks to get around that but as I said, my work phone is not for that. There are loads more advantages to both systems but I am just glad to see a balanced discussion for a change 🙂

    • Hunain Naseer

      June 11, 2015 at 11:55 PM

      Thank you for the feedback Frank. Yes, both devices have their own pros and cons. On a personal note, while I love the customization options, apps, games and root possibilities on Android phones, I don’t think I can do without a BlackBerry now – the latter just makes me much more efficient and streamlines all my communication, be it personal or professional. So at the end of the day, my choice of device depends on my priorities.

  17. Sir Mengler

    June 13, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    A well written and unbiased article. Very refreshing with all the constant flaming over mobile OSes that goes on. As a former BlackBerry employee I have always been a strong supporter of BlackBerry devices, but have also had the opportunity to spend a lot of time on an S4 and an iPhone 4s over the past year and have to say that all the OSes are fantastic in their own way.

    I think more people should switch platforms when their plans come up for renewal. My last phone was Android, going to use BlackBerry for my next phone, then iPhone next time around. Experience them all.

    Now I need to get my hands on a Windows phone. 🙂

    • Hunain Naseer

      June 13, 2015 at 8:33 AM

      I strongly agree, people should give all platforms a go at least once. I am also considering a Windows phone for some time now, and I am sure there are somethings it does better than BlackBerry, iOS and Android.

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