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BlackBerry 10 launches, Research in Motion rebranded

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BlackBerry 10 was today (January 30) formally launched at events held simultaneously in London, Dubai, Toronto, Johannesburg and New York.

Research in Motion chief executive Thorsten Heins unveiled the mobile operating system and announced that the company has been rebranded as simply BlackBerry.

Blackberry 10
Blackberry 10

© Research In Motion



Two devices running the new software were announced at the events - the Blackberry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 - the former a high-end device with a touchscreen interface, and the latter sporting a physical keyboard.

The new OS enables seamless multitasking through a system called BlackBerry Flow, which enables users to have all of their apps running at once and switch between them smoothly without the need for a home button.

A feature dubbed Peek allows users to preview any new alerts without closing any media they have running.

BlackBerry 10 is built around a central hub called BlackBerry Hub, through which users can access their social networking accounts, BBM, email, calendar and more without opening any separate applications.

Blackberry Q10

© Research In Motion

Blackberry Q10

© Research In Motion



The Blackberry Z10 features a virtual keyboard based on the design of the physical inputs found on past BlackBerry hardware, offering sophisticated predictive text and autocorrect.

BlackBerry Balance allows users to split their handset into personal and business accounts, with work applications and secure communication tools housed in the latter, and switch between them seamlessly.

BB10 video calling adds a new BBM feature called Screenshare, which allows contacts to share pages of apps, icons, emails, pictures, websites, books, documents, Powerpoint presentations and spreadsheets with one another.

A new application called BlackBerry Remember lets users create folders with reminder items, such as emails, web links, voice notes and photographs related to a specific topic, such as a holiday.

Blackberry 10 launch

© Research In Motion



BlackBerry 10's camera software includes a built-in picture editor for cropping, resizing and adding effects to photographs. An app called Story Maker provides video editing features, such as filters and cuts.

The BlackBerry World store will play host to a rich library of movies, TV shows and music, as well as more than 70,000 BlackBerry 10 apps at launch, including Skype, Kindle, WhatsApp, SAP, Angry Birds, Facebook and Foursquare.

Major mobile game developers including GameLoft, Sega and Electronic Arts are backing the operating system and launching their high-end games for devices running it.

The Blackberry Z10 will be available in the UK from tomorrow (January 31) in the UK, with prices varying depending the operator. The Carphone Warehouse is offering the device for free from £36 per month on all major networks.

Black and white models will both be available, with the latter exclusive to Phones 4u at launch. The first 250 customers to purchase a new BlackBerry Z10 from the retailer online will also receive a 64GB BlackBerry PlayBook.

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