Darren Adams blogged about his experience running the new OS6 on his Blackberry Bold 9700 earlier this week. I have also been running that version (a leaked version I found, 188.8.131.524 to be precise) for a while now. I will not reiterate everything Darren already told, please go and read his review as well.
There are things I like, and things I don´t like as much. There were also things that were annoying at first, but that I quickly got used to.
I like the now home screen, with the expandable trays. Scrolling sideways is sometimes not as snappy as I would like, but I attribute that to the fact that the Bold 9700 only got 256MB of memory, not 512MB as the new model that is delivered with OS6 installed from factory.
I like the new notification bar at the top, and that I can click on it to see all new notifications and go to them directly. Clever. I miss the functionality I had in the theme I had installed earlier. When I selected the mail icon, the latest five unread messages were displayed on the screen. When I moved over the SMS/MMS icon, the last five text messages were displayed, etc. But I am starting to like this new functionality.
Talking about themes. OS6 only comes with one theme, using slightly spiffed versions of the icons in OS5. I was used to a nice custom theme, and I miss that. Hopefully there will be some themes created for OS6 and the Bold 9700. Blackberry Theme Studio does not support this phone yet, not even in the latest beta version. To be honest, I don´t like the default icons, they should been modernized. Or there should be a way to select another set of icons. And for custom folders, could we not get a few more choices?
Another thing I really like is the new camera application. Not only does it take the pictures slightly faster, it feels like, most of the settings are accessible directly from the camera screen, instead of having to open the menu, go into options, etc. One really nice feature is the geocoding of images. It is much easier to turn on and off, and after your location have been identified, the location is included in the file name. Very clever! The icon with the A is where you can select different presets, with A of course being "auto". There are settings for portrait, landscape, night, beach, snow, party and even text, when you want to take picture of text on a white background.
The sounds have changed. The old notifications are gone, and replaced with new ones. It is possible to get the old ones back, however. The first I would do is to change the alarm sound, or you may not wake up from it! Or at least test it to see if it works for you”…”
One thing I noticed is that either my battery have deteriorated very quickly (the phone is almost exactly one year old), or that OS6 is using more power. The battery is dying in the early afternoon, while it previously lasted all day. It may be the podcast downloads, or some other features that drain the battery by transmitting data. My usage is not different from a week ago when I used OS5. This does not bode well for Lotusphere, where I tend to use the phone much more for twittering, Facebook communications, etc.
I have not experience the dreaded "text message" bug since upgrading. That bug is when you get a text message but is unable to open it, while other messages can be opened. So it seems like they got that fixed. There are a number of other small fixes that makes OS6 very nice to work with. I would recommend an update, but be aware that your carrier may not support OS6 yet, and that things can go horrible wrong. make a backup of all your data first.