Video: BlackBerry Z10 and Nokia N9 MeeGo Swipe UI similarities with BB10

| February 1, 2013 | 84 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 11.37.58


When we first some glimpses of the new BB10 OS, we saw it had a lot of similarities to Nokia’s revolutionary Swipe UI in the MeeGo-Harmattan OS. BB10 seems to be a collection of different OSes into one, and the Swipe UI homage might find some new fans for the z10.


Previously from Nokia Experts, concentrating on ZDNet, Matthew Miller notes the following similarities.

  • Tap/swipe the screen with no button press to turn on and unlock device
  • Swipe up from bottom to return to “home”
  • Display of applications and folders, one with multitasking tiles that are live, and one with recent comms (BlackBerry Hub)
  • Swipe down to reveal upper menu
  • Slowly move finger across the screen to see elements behind active one
  • Deep multi-service integration.

I think their clock is similar too no (at least it was at the time).


Thanks NSX for the tip!


Category: MeeGo, Nokia

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • Silthice

    At least BB know how to appreciate good stuff…

    • It’s not a fair comment because I haven’t used BB10 yet, but I think Swipe is still simpler/more intuitive.

      There are other aspects of BB10 I’m liking too though.

      • Noki

        Yes I have the same opinion and I have a bb10 device. Swipe was one of the most elegant and innovative UI paradigms I seen. BB10 does a few number of things really well, but it does not thrill me as the n9 did.
        On the app world comments, For some reason BB as been lounching apps into the app world on a daily basis and did not launched them all at launch day soo every day I see like 2000 new apps there… not sure how come they are doing it like that.

        • Oleg Derevenetz

          They still busy processing apps from past port-a-thons. As I know, some developers complains that their apps, submitted in December, are still in QA. There was really huge income of new apps in a few last months.

          • Noki

            yeah I have 4 still waiting to be approved :(.

            • correct

              Why are you here? You’re not a Nokia fan.

              • hary

                I am guessing he is one of the Qt devs. So switched to BB10?

                • correct

                  Again, that further backs up my comment. WHY is he here? If any of these Meego devs have become Android or BB10 devs, then WHY still be here? Clearly they’re not fans of Nokia at the current moment.

                  • arts

                    lol, that guy wants nokia to be bankrupted. for some reason….

          • Deep Space Bar

            Nokia should have done that with Meego and Symbian…like WTF they would have had shit load of apps already on both OSs and made 2x the money

        • What I’ve seen from BB10 made me feel that it is a hard OS to learn to navigate. Harmattan on the N9 was/is way easier to learn with basically just 4 gestures and nothing more. BB uses a few ‘up and to the left’ or something like that ones and they feel way to convoluted. No, Nokia got it right on that one.

          Regarding apps for BB, the 70.000 number sounds impressive yet I feel they really fluffed the numbers with very, and yes I mean very, poor Android ports. They’d better concentrated on say a 1000 or so really good ones and not these stupid ones they have now.

          • rustyknight17

            Odd , what I from BB10 makes it seem simple and intuitive to learn …`ve seen

          • DesR85

            “What I’ve seen from BB10 made me feel that it is a hard OS to learn to navigate. Harmattan on the N9 was/is way easier to learn with basically just 4 gestures and nothing more. BB uses a few ‘up and to the left’ or something like that ones and they feel way to convoluted. No, Nokia got it right on that one.”

            I am not a big fan of Swype on the N9, but I do agree that it is more intuitive when compared to BB10. The part where the RIM rep swiped up and left to show notifications looks like a hassle to do and reminds me of the way how Windows 8 handle viewing background apps.

    • Gordon Ramsay lopettaa juttujaan hauskasti

      Some of us really prefer to have the home button.

      However it will be interesting to see how this phone will do with unit sales.

      I would be interested to know how much it does have native applications and how much Android applications from that 70 000 applications they have in the store.

      It’s a huge risk that most of the application will be running on Dalvik because it’s not so tempting to create native ones.

      • Oleg Derevenetz

        There is one point though – you will not be able to utilize BB10 services (like payment service or BBM or invocation framework or push) from Android apps for obvious reasons. So there is at least one reason (apart from BB10 GUI advantages like peek gestures and so on) to make app BB10 native. However, it doesn’t matter for games or entertainment apps – they can run as is.

        • Noki

          depends alot on the app, games, it does not mater any way native android is almost 100% compatible with native BB10.
          its more in the apps area that it makes more sense to go for native, places were you want the same type of consistency menu navigation, like the side menus, or the pull out menus… there the adroid apps look out of place, and you already see people in the bb world complaining about some apps not being native. the android thing is just a steeping stone for them so they get some big name apps in the beginning and a lot of volume… I belive they have alrady over 100.000 apps submitted for approval (some one told me so) and the number should vastly go up, its really easy if you are working in the business to adapt your app to bb10, as its mostly “compatible” with everything else.

          • incognito

            There is nothing ‘native’ about Android that transcends into Blackberry – NDK-powered apps from Android won’t work on Blackberry without some QEMU magic for which the Z10’s hardware is certainly not capable.

            I get what you’re saying, but I always cringe when I hear ‘native’ and Android in the same sentence.

            • Noki

              Was talking about openGl based games, said native Android so people would understand.

        • Gordon Ramsay lopettaa juttujaan hauskasti

          It will be interesting to see hoe many native applications they will get.

          Android applications may not perform that well. Maybe that’s not a problem or maybe it is. Who knows?

          If this device sells well I suppose Nokia fans consider it as a proof that MeeGo would have succeeded. But if it fails, it’s not a proof that MeeGo would have failed.

          Some double standards?


          • correct

            Android apps DO NOT run well at all on BB10. It’s software emulation of already bloated Android code.

            • Jiipee

              Does it apply to all apps or specific ones?

              • correct

                It apples to Android apps on the BB10 app market. They’re essentially running in the emulation wrapper. They’re not exactly ported; merely submitted then approved for the app store, to run in the software emulator on BB10.

                Some apps run better than others, but all Android apps will run a lot slower than native BB10 apps. Also some Android apps won’t work at all. The software emulator is a 2.3 Android emulator, so newer apps are likely to have more problems.

                • Jiipee

                  thanks gor the reply. I googled briefly. They arent using Myriad’s Alien dalvik arent they? Is there any hope that it could be faster. Dalvik in any case is a virtual machine in itself.

                • Oleg Derevenetz

                  Well, I’m not sure what do you mean by this. First of all, Android apps are in fact Java apps compiled to Dalvik bytecode and should run in Dalvik VM. This is how things are going in Android and the same is in BB10. Is the native code in BB10 faster than Dalvik apps? May be yes (it depends). Are Dalvik apps in BB10 slower than Dalvik apps in Android? Hardly. I briefly tested some on BB10 and SGS+ and I don’t see this. The only problem is that apps that destined for newer Android versions are likely will not run, but most apps are still built for Android 2.3 to run on as many devices as possible. As you can see here:


                  devices with Gingerbread are still make up half of the total number of devices.

                  • correct

                    Read The Verge’s review on Android apps on BB10. That and other reviews. Clearly Android apps on Dalvik in BB10 do not run at the same level as Android apps on Android.

                    • Oleg Derevenetz

                      I have read this:


                      Author complains that Android apps are ugly, disconnected from the core OS and no relationship to the rest of the operating system – well, this is in fact true, there is no magic to turn Android app to BB10 app, they will have different interface styles, menus, toolbars, etc. Are they all sluggish? May be some of them, but not all. I repeat again – I tested some of them on my own BB10 device. I think that Android runtime should be enough to bring games or entertainment apps from Android to BB10 (app interface style doesn’t matter here), but no more. In general native apps should be better, of course.

          • Jiipee


            Funny how you blaim all the others, who do not agree with you of being religious of this and that, but do not have the capacity to balanced intellectual thinking.

            I agree, anti-religious freethinkers also define themselves through teligion, which means that the religion in fact is important to them. It would be interesting why Symbian and Meego are so important to you even after they are being killed that you cannot free your mind.

            • Noki

              You know its like in an elevator wen some on farts… its usually the guy asking “hey which MTF just farted?” that spew the methane cloud.

      • Stoli89

        About 40% were ported directly from Android at start, purportedly.

    • kues

      Much was already present in Blackberry’s Playbook tablet, which launched before the N9 was announced…

      • tomwhat

        I think we can mention this here 1000 times more before this gets accepted 🙂 (Happy owner of 2 N9s and 3 Playbooks in the family)

        • Noki

          Yes, its true, but would like to point out that the N9 refined the concepts in the most elegant way.. Its a pearl and now its lost for ever.
          I have a alpha device, and playbooks as well. you see the evolution from the playbook and they borrow ideas from the n9 and webos.
          Its not as elegant but its nice overall. And its my platform of choice for now.

  • Elvin

    Swipe UI rocks!

    • dss

      Yes, its the best way (to date) to navigate trough an OS on a sub 5 inch screen.

      Nav buttons are outdated.. all screen front is the way to go. Nokia.. yet again, had the right idea, but didn’t know what to do with it.


    after seeing both side by side, i prefer the meego os and the n9 design.
    with blackberry’s future hanging on the bb10 os i dont think it can survive.

    would love some swipe action on lumia phones, it’s a great way to further differentiate lumia from other wp8 phones.

    • Mee too. They say it won’t work because of the pivot system in WP, but there must be ways around it.

      Even at least have a third swipable screen on the left of the tiles for notifications like N9.

      Other N9/Nokia things I’d like. Always on screen. Might not be feasible for non AMOLED but still would be nice. Oh and double tap to unlock.:D

      • Noki

        btw double tap vs swipe from the bottom I prefer the swipe from the bottom. works a bit better

        • incognito

          The swipe to wake doesn’t have the crowd pleasing capabilities as the double-tap, tho.

          1) Create a wallpaper that says `Who’s there?`
          2) Lock the phone.
          3) Gather around innocent spectators.
          4) Double-tap with your index finger knuckle on it saying loudly ‘Knock, knock’!
          5) Watch the spectators sigh in awe 😀

          • Noki

            heheheheh 🙂 also amazing was giving the phone to any one that never used it and seeing they figuring it out 🙂 good times….

            Men so sad that it all was wasted under the, there can only be WP mantra, really really sad…

          • That’s a good one. If there isn’t a video about that, I’ll be recording one :p

            • incognito

              Don’t know about any such video, but I pulled it on a couple of my friends who were either amazed, puzzled or just thought that since I hack everything I can get my hands on – that I did it with some timing event or that I pulled some sleight of hand covertly pressing the power button 😀

              Pro tip: For extra points, if you have the unicorn N9 you can put it on a desk on top of its pouch which will resonate the ‘knocking’ sound quite well, so you don’t even have to say `knock, knock`.

              Warning: Doing such ‘neat tricks’ might relieve you from your beloved N9. My girlfriend was so impressed with such little tidbits that my black N9 ended up in her possession. On the other hand, I got me an unicorn N9 instead, so everybody’s a winner 😀

    • rustyknight17

      Must disagree , BB10 is great from what I`ve seen !

  • incognito

    Harmattan looks way better, no argument there. Still, the life goes on, and I tend to agree that for those who were enamored with the N9 purely because of how the UI/UX looks and operates, the Blackberry Z10 is kind of a natural evolution. Tho, Jolla may still surprise us, I wouldn’t be too fast to judge them out…

    For the rest of us, who loved what the N9 is under the hood, the Blackberry Z10 is nowhere near a fitting upgrade. Mind you, I also love the N9 looks (I still consider my unicorn N9 the best looking pocketable device both in hardware and in UI stylishness) but it wasn’t the prime reason I bought it – I could settle with the N900’s looks just as well had it had some better hardware. Now, throw in Harmattan/Fremantle on the Z10’s hardware, and you’ve got yourself a deal. Sadly, we won’t be seeing that anytime soon, but I still hold high hopes for Jolla…

    • The Nokia N9 was stunning in hardware and software. BB10 and Z10 is kinda like the less pretty cousin.

      I’m also interested to see what Jolla will do. From previews of their OS, it’s also no where near as simple as Swipe UI on MeeGo-Harmattan (though some other nice traits of its own).

      • incognito

        If there weren’t trademark/patent/whatever issues, when it comes to UI’s, one should take the Swipe UI from Harmattan and add to it:

        – The ‘pulley’ menu from Sailfish, including tactile feedback of it, and also implement it for the quick launch bar in the horizontal direction. With little muscle memory you could do hell a lot of things without looking at the device this way.

        – A consistent way for going back within an app – buttons at the bottom/top of an app pane are both ugly, inconsistent and don’t fit the gesture-based OS paradigm.

        – Keyboard from the BBOS 10, but with better looks – it’s almost as ugly as the WP’s one (not talking about functionality here). Or just make Swype the default one and be done with it.

        – Hubs concept from WP, but with extensible API so any app can attach itself to any hub providing even deeper integration that is currently present.

        – Left/right swipe on apps in the multitask pane for quick control, but if possible with a bit more style than it is currently present in the Sailfish previews.

        Then put it on a phone with the N9 design but with, for example, Samsung Exynos 5 Dual SoC (it’s not all that bigger than the OMAP 3630, really), 2 gigs of RAM, two USB-OTG-enabled ports and a micro-HDMI output (there is enough space at the top if you move the 3.5mm jack to the bottom, I don’t need it anyway) – and no buttons whatsoever (capacitive stripe on the side is fine for volume up/down if you can’t live without it).

        Then ask for whatever price and you shall receive it from me 😀 Oh well, one can dream…

        • Noki

          one could dream :(.

          things the bb10 does way better. the keyboard (its not that ugly btw)
          the browser just wow, the mail app that simply just works.
          The multiple user idea that is really good for company phones… And a few other things…

          But my love will for ever be the meego n9 harmatan.

        • Jiipee

          Couldn agree you both more. Outside UI, the email client especially would need to be improved.

          N9 was using Maliit (or similar) ipen souce keyboard and the Sailfish demos look alike. Do you know, if there has been any improvement.

          • incognito

            Oh, I was talking only about the OS… When it comes to apps, the list of those need to be vastly improved probably includes half of the bundled apps with Harmattan.

            Most notably the Mail app, of course, tho I’d replace that one altogether – I think it would be easier to just write it again from the scratch than trying to improve on it. Other apps that need a severe improvements are the browser (both speed wise and feature wise; I for one would welcome a refined MicroB instead of what comes with Harmattan), the calendar (week view is the most notable omission), Maps/Drive app (slow, clunky and severely lacking in features), Music and Videos ought to be the same app called `Media Center` (or something along those lines) and should be a hub-like app, Messages app needs more features, most notably service aggregation, etc. etc.

            As for the keyboard, I don’t know if Sailfish uses Maliit, but I’d guess it does. The biggest advantage of it is that you can essentially run any kind of keyboard through it so, technically, a BBOS 10-like keyboard can be implemented through Maliit without having to sacrifice the looks. I saw a demo of modified Swype keyboard which had ‘glowing’ letters for possible words and had a dynamic word completion at the top bar so you would just need to start ‘swyping’ and in the top bar you’d get a progressive choice of full words based on your swipes – so instead of completing your word you just swipe up to that word – kind of similar to what Blackberry has implemented. I wouldn’t mind either of those input methods.

    • Noki

      Yeah, I know were you are coming from, its not the same thing, its closed in many ways, as bad as many other systems out there not to happy about it, but its what we have, and still gives you alot of freedom to code with in any way you see fit.

      Get me a meego running on this hardware and some sort of future and I will buy it now, But since we can’t have that. I will stick with what we can have, i will get the first jolla device as it comes out (if the hardware is decent enough). But there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the wonder the meego could have been with the fabulous UI/UX paradigm plus platform openness. But we could not have that could we?

    • rustyknight17

      I haven`t had a chance to evaluate the Z10 myself , ut based on the demos and reviews I`ve seen , the Z10 is a fitting upgrade ! So my question for u is have u tried the Z10 ?

      • correct

        I’ve tried a demo unit of the Z10, and it’s a mess. It’s not intuitive, and the software is quite buggy. The touch response is inconsistent, and the gesture controls are not very precise.

        • Noki

          I smell BS, what demo unit were and wen?

          • correct

            I smell a Meego troll. It was in a carrier store. What does it matter where and when?

      • Noki

        I did, I have a alpha device for over 2 months now, its ok, kinda android meets N9, meets the playbook. takes you no more than a couple of minutes to get the way it works. its in no way harder to learn than say WP.
        What impresses the most is… the browser best in the market IMO (flash as crappy as it may be does improve web browsing experience alot), the keyboard once you get the way it works its super fast to write entire sentences in a go. The mail and overal acounts integration, similar to the n9 but beter. IMO. Also side-loading android apps if not already in the store. testing googlemaps now

        The overal experience is ok. clearly pointed at people that deal with lots of mail and connectivity, but more than ok for fun and games an smart-phone like things.

        Its not the wonderfully tailored n9 experience. but its what comes closest.

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  • Sefriol

    Imo they should have continued meego support with lowest possible budget. Like a testing ground for certain hardware. QWERTY styled Lauta comes to my mind as an easy test subject.
    Though, I don’t know how much it would take to make LTE and Dual core support for Harmattan…
    But without Sailfish succeeding in China there isn’t much to do with Meego. So many other OS’ are appearing to the scene. I just fear that Jolla is too late already.

    • Carbontubby

      A year ago I would have welcomed the raft of new mobile OSes. Now I’m apprehensive if any will survive more than a year and not become another Meego.

      In today’s market, apps and services define whether a platform lives or dies. You can either get the manufacturer to have most of that functionality in the OS itself, or come up with good frameworks that third party developers can easily use. For web-linked services like Twitter and Facebook, apps should be easy to come up with.

      It’s stuff with DRM or platform specific features that could be lacking on these new platforms… if I’m already coding for Android and iOS, why should I bother to cater to niche markets like Windows Phone, BB10, Sailfish, Ubuntu Mobile, Firefox OS, Symbian, Meego or even WebOS? The same amount of effort on Android and iOS can target a huge market while that same effort on the rest only caters to a tiny number of users. Netflix, Kindle, Zinio and Skype are good examples of this.

      All the more reason for truly open source, free software on mobile. If the manufacturer drops support, another company or even the community can take over. My hope is on Ubuntu to make a bigger splash and survive longer than the others.

      • RIM

        Maybe because ios and android markets are already saturated with apps. Plus in bb10 you don’t have to actually do anything other than submitting your Android app.

  • Shen769

    Waiting for jolla…

  • vince

    that vid makes me really want an N9 over the Z10 tbh

    • Aaron

      Agreed. I ordered a 64gb N9 last night after watching all the BB10 videos and such. Should be a nice little upgrade from my N8.

      • Noki

        its a wonderful device, the only major minus IMO is the not so great screen, but overall a very nice little device

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  • manohar

    1 like = 1 hit for lumia 620
    Like this page…………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dss

    Harmattan is better, but BB are on the right track for sure.

  • Carbontubby

    BB10 on the Z10 looks like a more confusing version of the N9’s Swipe UI. Most of the gestures were ported from the Playbook tablet which has a much larger screen and a capacitive bezel, so gestures like swiping down from the top bezel to show a menu or swiping left/right from the bezel to switch apps work well.

    Here’s a list of Playbook swipe gestures:

    bottom bezel to screen center – brings up multitasking view and app list
    bottom left bezel to screen center – brings up virtual keyboard
    bottom bezel diagonally left and up – Android app back button
    top bezel down – brings up app-specific menu
    top bezel corners to screen center – brings up notification pane and system menu
    left/right bezel to screen center – switch to app card running on the left or right

    Almost looks like an SNES secret code 🙂

    Not easy to learn but it’s fast once you get the hang of it. The problem is that apps put buttons all over the place. There’s no mandatory back button in the same place so you need to discover each app’s interface. The Z10’s problem is that it has a much smaller screen than the Playbook so bezel gestures are going to be clunky.

    • RIM

      you are talking out of your ass.

      Took me no time at all to learn to use my z10.

      • correct

        What are you doing here? Is this message sponsored by Blackberry? This is a Nokia fan blog, I think you posted here by mistake.

        • incognito

          Where did you get the idea that this is a ‘Nokia fan blog’? This blog clearly states:

          Random, informal Nokia blog for Nokia, Symbian, Maemo, MeeGo and Windows Phone news, reviews, rants, suggestions and applications.

          Where did you see ‘fan’ in that? Just because it happens that Nokia fans are, naturally, more interested in the stated ‘disclaimer’, thus they are the majority on this blog, it doesn’t make it a requirement to be a fanboy in order to comment.

          Furthermore, where from did you get the idea that a Nokia aficionado cannot also share the same sentiment for other companies, including RIM, err, Blackberry?

          • Janne

            Actually, I think many times Jay and other people writing on this blog have agreed with and used themselves the description of “Nokia fan blog”. Feel free to disagree Jay or others, if you do, but that has been my perception and certainly it is the way the blog is run.

            That said, I don’t think people need to be Nokia fanboys to post here, nor do I think the people running this blog think that either. I do think they would consider being reasonably polite and on topic a requirement though.

            Do you think “RIM” was that? Considering that you challenged the response to him…

            • Noki

              yes RIM was not very polite, but Carbontubby was actually talking with very little experience on the Z10, i have a dev alpa device and can say its rely easy to get how it works its just as bad as WP or android devices, better in some areas worse in others.

              Also in my alpha device the edges have been covered with a stupid plastic cover and still i have no problem with the gestures so i’m absolutely sure that in the real z10 that is no problem at all.

              • correct

                Alpha device has little relation to final device software. Of course you’d love it, you’re a Meego fan so naturally BB10 being a Meego imitation would make you like it.

                • noki

                  “Alpha device has little relation to final device software.” hahahahahahaha you funny, you are aware its the same device are you not? they just placed am ugly plastic cover around it…

          • correct

            Seriously? Do you have some reading comprehension problems? Look at the URL itself “”. Jay has stated this is HIS Nokia blog, as a Nokia fan. Also based on the description you posted, it’s still a NOKIA blog. NOT a RIM blog, NOT a troll blog. It encompasses Nokia direct and indirect news, but it’s STILL a Nokia blog at the end of the day. If you’re not a Nokia fan, then you shouldn’t be on this blog.

    • correcy

      Exactly. It is quite clunky and not exactly that intuitive. The whole UI is quite gimmicky.

  • migo

    The only thing that’s fair to call it an homage on is the multitasking view. Everything else, BB had first with the PlayBook.

  • James


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