RIM’s big launch of its BlackBerry 10 platform and devices has been a long time coming considering they announced today’s event a month in advance. The company hasn’t been doing as well as it would like to be doing considering Android and iOS devices are on the minds of the majority of people who own mobile devices.
Today’s press event not only introduces the BlackBerry 10 OS and new devices that will be running the operating system, but it also may mean the future of the company if their new platform and devices are considered a hit or miss. So let’s take a look at what RIM announced today and where they plan to take their BlackBerry 10 platform and devices in 2013.
Developer Support & Fans Make A Difference
RIM started today’s launch showcasing feedback from developers from around the world. As is expected, many of the developers had only positive things to say in regards to the platform as well as the developer kits they have been using for months.
As important as developers are, RIM interviewed a number of BlackBerry fans including their #1 BlackBerry fan who promised he would cut his hair as soon as BlackBerry 10 launches. It launched today, and so, he cut his hair live at the launch of the BlackBerry 10.
RIM President & CEO Thorsten Heins Takes The Stage
RIM’s President and CEO Thorsten Heins took to the stage to personally thank the BlackBerry community made up of developers, customers and employees to help with the launch of BlackBerry 10. Heins described the BlackBerry 10 as being a device for people who are hyper-connected socially, multi-taskers who like to get things done as quickly as possible. The BlackBerry 10 OS will allow for its users to jump from app to app with a simple swipe, unlike other platforms that require the use of a “Home” button in order to move across applications.
Not only did Heins highlight who the BlackBerry 10 is for and how it can be used, but he also took a moment to announce the rebranding of RIM. Going forward, RIM is rebranding its company to simply be called “BlackBerry,” showing just how dedicated the company is to its platform and devices.
The BlackBerry Z10 And Q10 Are Here
The two devices BlackBerry will use to launch its new platform are the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10. The BlackBerry Z10 features a 4.2″ screen, 356 PPI resolution, and a textured surface back. The BlackBerry Q10 will be BlackBerry’s first BlackBerry 10 device to have a physical keyboard and will feature a 3.1″ screen and a textured back as wel.
Vivek Bhardwaj Showcases BlackBerry 10 HUB
BlackBerry’s Head of Software Portolio Vivek Bhardwaj joined Heins on stage to showcase a number of features of BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry Flow and BlackBerry Peak all allow for control over your device with just one thumb with all of the applications fully-integrated into the HUB. All applications are running in real-time and aren’t paused when another application takes center stage.
The on-screen keyboard on the Z10 will resemble the traditional look BlackBerry owners will recognize immediately with its white background and black keys. Users will be able to flick words to type, swipe to delete and the keyboard will handle multi-language automatically on the fly.
Having one device for personal and one device for work will now be a thing of the past with BlackBerry 10 as users will be able to switch between personal and work spaces with BlackBerry Balance. Personal and work apps will be completely independent from the other space.
BlackBerry Messenger will also receive an improvement in BlackBerry 10 as users will be able to make video calls within the app, but also through Screen Share, allow for one user to take full control of another user’s screen with their screen to show off photos, apps or anything else that would require the feature.
Your Favorite Apps, All Located In BlackBerry World
BlackBerry’s Vice President of Global Alliances & Business Development Martyn Mallick took to the stage to discuss applications on BlackBerry 10. At its launch, BlackBerry 10 will already have 70,000 applications readily available to download from BlackBerry World. If you have a favorite application on a competing device, it’s most likely going to be available on BlackBerry 10 like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
BlackBerry 10 Coming Soon to AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile in the U.S.
BlackBerry didn’t announce a specific date when U.S. customers could expect the BlackBerry 10 to be released, but they did say they plan for it to be available this March. Carrier partners would be making their announcements in regards to what BlackBerry 10 device will be available on their network and for how much, so until each supporting carrier comes out with their news, we’ll just have to wait.