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A previously unheard of BlackBerry 10.3 Beta build has just leaked onto the web, giving us a sneak peak at some of the changes that the company formerly known as RIM has in store for us for 2014. While there’s not too terribly much new here – this is still very much the same Blackberry 10 we’ve come to know and, well, tolerate – there do appear to be a few new and interesting changes.

For one, the design has been updated with a new, more minimal, nearly “flat” design reminiscent of the design language of both Apple’s iOS 7 as well as Android 4.4 “KitKat”. Gradients all around have been removed and changed to some light shadowing, giving the operating system a sense of depth while also making the design feel fresh and more modern.

But the biggest change appears to be hidden, deep down into the non-functional depths of the operating system. Popular Spanish blog ZonaBlackBerry has discovered a new application called “Intelligent Assistant” that appears to work very much as a BlackBerry developed alternative to Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft’s upcoming Cortana functionality rumored to be found in the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update.

While Intelligent Assistant launches in the leaked build, it doesn’t appear to function quite yes, so we remain in the dark as to exactly how intelligent this assistant will really be. But BlackBerry’s got some big, big competition these days, so if there’s ever a time for BlackBerry to get it right, it would be now. BlackBerry 10.3 has yet to be officially announced by BlackBerry, however it could appear alongside the company’s upcoming BlackBerry Q20 and the BlackBerry Z3, the company’s latest lineup of smartphones revealed at MWC 2014 earlier this year.


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