BlackBerry 6: Inside the NEW BlackBerry Browser


As the senior product manager responsible for browser development on BlackBerry® 6, I’m extremely excited to show off some of the new BlackBerry® Browser features in the upcoming BlackBerry 6! Our team has been working hard to bring an entirely new browsing experience to BlackBerry® smartphone users, and we can’t wait to hear what the response will be. Those interested in reading about how we approached developing the BlackBerry Browser in BlackBerry 6 should check out my BlackBerry Developer’s Blog post, but for now, let’s take a look at some of the new features!

New Start Page

Unlike the desktop experience in which browsing sessions are usually less frequent but fairly long in duration, mobile browsing sessions are frequent, short, and focused. In most instances, users open their browser with a specific site in mind; therefore, enabling quick access to that site is critical. In BlackBerry 6, we have streamlined the BlackBerry Browser start page and implemented a single URL and search entry box to make sure users can get to websites quickly. Users can simply start typing any search term to quickly initiate a search, pin-point a specific URL within the Bookmarks and History sections, or just enter in a new URL for the first time.

To further simplify access to favorite and commonly used sites, users can now save bookmarks directly to the Home Screen!

Tabbed Browsing

There is no doubt the new BlackBerry Browser in BlackBerry 6 will be used more frequently than any previous BlackBerry Browser. Powered by the new WebKit rendering engine, the browsing experience is enjoyable, and the content and applications served to the new browser are graphically rich. To help users make the most of this new experience, we added a few new features to help access and manage more content. For example, the new “tabbed” browsing feature is a great way to quickly switch between and view new content. Simply select the “Tabbed Browsing” icon on the top-right corner of your BlackBerry Browser to switch between tabs or create new ones. The icon will also always display the current number of open tabs.

Social Feeds Integration and Options Menu

The BlackBerry Browser’s integration with the new Social Feeds application will make it easy to discover and subscribe to new RSS feeds within your favorite sites. Simply select the drop down menu beside the “Tabbed Browsing” icon, and you’ll find the “Subscribe to RSS Feed” option along with a few other useful options. Interestingly enough, the ability to add RSS feeds has long been an option in the BlackBerry Browser, but the feature was not as easy to use in previous versions. BlackBerry 6 makes it fun and easy to discover, add and read new feeds!

Users will also find that we have revamped the “Browser Options” screen! Previous versions of the BlackBerry Browser “Options” screen could sometimes be confusing for new users. Aside from obvious aesthetic changes, we have streamlined the “Options” screen by eliminating options that are no longer needed due to performance improvements. (For example, we’ve automated transport selection so users no longer have to set their default browser!) Basically, we’ve cleaned house, and made sure the BlackBerry Browser works more efficiently!

Viewing Content Made Easy

In addition to updating and improving the BlackBerry Browser UI, we also worked to enhance the user experience when interacting with content. Significant effort has been made to make panning and zooming in on content much smoother. For touch screen-enabled BlackBerry smartphones, we have enabled pinch to zoom controls, and for all smartphones with trackpad navigation controls, users can quickly and smoothly zoom by holding ALT while using the trackpad.


To make reading text-heavy content simple on BlackBerry 6, we’ve introduced an “Automatic Font Size Adjustment” feature which allows users to quickly resize and confine content to the width of the screen. This new feature minimizes the need to pan horizontally to read “the entire story”. This feature couldn’t be easier to use on touch screen-enabled BlackBerry smartphones: just double-tap the article with your finger and the BlackBerry Browser does the rest!

Overall, the Browser development team here at RIM® is anxious to introduce the new BlackBerry Browser and show you all what we’ve done. This post only introduces a few of the many new concepts in BlackBerry 6. Post a comment and tell us what you think or of anything else you’d like to know about the BlackBerry Browser.

About Michael W.

Mike recently joined RIM after spending the last eight years working at the carrier and mobile startup levels of the wireless industry. Already a longtime and enthusiastic member of the BlackBerry® Community, Mike is now a member of the very ambitious and never satisfied handheld software product team.

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  • RIM Provides More Details On BlackBerry 6 WebKit Browser | - Mobile Edition

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  • Guest

    zzzz. no storm2 support and not enough for all of OS 6 to compete the way it needs to. also, a 624mhz processor in the Torch? Seriously? Who’s smokin what in Waterloo? you guys have to step it up or get stepped on. you just lost the top OS spot in the US to Android. wake up.

  • Zaib Ali

    looking forward for this

  • Guest

    What if I’m on a BES? Will I be able to change my default browser to go through my carrier not my BES? I can do that now.

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  • Angry Man

    very cool. Welcome to 2008 rim, glad you finally made it.

    • Eva Wong

      Well Said!

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  • Caspan

    I think we all owe you a beer! The browser looks great and was well worth the wait to be released when it was done. Amazing job again RIM

    • Nopatria

      Im in for the beer.

  • Ozmen Emr

    cant wait to use it on my bb bold !!

  • Guest

    Will the browser have full functionality on the 9700? When do you expect, roughly, for OS6 to roll out for the 9700 to carriers (knowing that carriers will adjust time lines and determine if they'll release it).

  • Tfrankson

    I’m very excited about this new WebKit. Finally a better browser.

  • Guest

    I'm pleased that the browser is becoming enhanced. That is, I will be once I hear absolute confirmation that the 9700 on Rogers (Canada) will be getting the update. The problem with RIM is the big secrecy as to who is getting what combined with RIMs suprisingly lack of support for its existing devices that some of which are less then 4 months old. RIM should be much more outright with what is coming, when is it coming exactley, and which providers will it be working with. Likewise, it's all great to hype a new operating system – but if it doesnt work on any phone that is less than a year old; then who cares – u just allienated your own fan base. Sorry for being so negative, but I'm really tired of lack of support that RIM shows existing phone users.

    • Prom1

      Dude READ the press release: 9700, 9650, and 9100 are ALL getting BlackBerry 6 with Webkit engine in a few months or less; carrier approval of course. If you’re on Windows just google/yahoo for updates that are leaked by carriers testing them as always.

  • Brett Griffith

    How will the “Automatic Font Size Adjustment” feature work wirh trackpad devices like the 9650?

  • BillW

    Will I get this browser on my Storm 2? If not, I'm afraid its bye-bye Blackberry!

    • Prom1

      Bye Bye! You want this better browsing experience optimized either for a capacitive touchscreen device or NON-TouchScreen device – for a device that is click screen and already has its own issues?! Sorry dude that Storm was horrible – and sucks to be you for believing the carrier hype on Verizon for pushing it: its the CDMA carrier fault as they pushed RIM to making it.

      Upgrade and keep what you know is unique to quality experience on a BlackBerry that no other HH provides.

  • Sorry

    I hope this makes it to the Storm 2

  • Matt

    How do you do that now?

  • AG

    When does BB6 software come out?

  • Caspan

    We should start a RIM group that get together every other month and just snicker about our BlackBerry Smartphones. Let me know who is in for Waterloo…

    I'm game for doing it at awesome patio with microbrewery attached.

    • Prom1

      I’ll take the GreyHound there JUST for patio & brewery and good laughs.

  • Caspan

    We should start a RIM group that get together every other month and just snicker about our BlackBerry Smartphones. Let me know who is in for Waterloo…

    I'm game for doing it at awesome patio with microbrewery attached.

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  • guest

    Go into the browser.
    Press Blackberry button and go into Options.
    Go into Browser Configuration.
    Change Browser from Blackberry Browser to Internet Browser.

  • guest

    Go into the browser.
    Press Blackberry button and go into Options.
    Go into Browser Configuration.
    Change Browser from Blackberry Browser to Internet Browser.

  • Prom1

    Mike. Congratulations on your Team. A few comments and hopes:
    1. will this eliminate issues with downloading images for html emails (the constant warning of your email address will be exposed)?!
    2. Can we STILL bookmark current viewed pages, highlighted links within an existing page; all while creating a new subfolder/folder for the bookmark being created on the fly?! If not you BETTER bring this back! This is unique to the BB and I want this function always, PLEASE!
    3. will other apps take advantage of webkit.

    And future articles focusing on Webkit Engine & Browser for secure banking access, payments, transfers etc?!


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