Updated with videos, below. After more than a year, RIM has finally taken the wraps off new BlackBerry smart phones that use Version 10 of its operating system. And RIM has officially changed its name to BlackBerry.
Two new phones were launched at a press event today: the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10. The Z 10 has 4.2 inch display at 356 ppi; the Q10 has a physical keyboard, much like the BlackBerry phones of yore, and a 3.1 inch display.
The primary and most distinguishing characteristic of phone and platform are the simultaneous but separate support for business and personal activities, which leaves IT departments in complete control of corporate data while leaving personal materials such as photos and social networking apps in control of the phone user. You can jump between the two "worlds" with just a swipe of your finger.
The new OS also ditches the common backing out of apps using a Home button and, instead, lets you shuffle between apps by swiping and other gestures. This is called BlackBerry Flow. And the new Flick feature is a predictive-text tool: You literally flick the
suggested words up into a sentence as they become available.
The BlackBerry Hub puts email, messages, calendar events, and social networks in one spot. Using Flow, you can easily jump from a video other content with just a swipe.
In addition to other capabilities I highlighted in my CES BlackBerry 10 preview post, the virtual and physical keyboards let you delete words you just typed by swiping your thumb to the left.
BlackBerry messenger now supports video conferencing and lets you share what's on your phone screen like spreadsheets and photos with the person on the other end.
Camera Story Maker app lets you put together slick videos with music and other elements. It's very similar to Video Wiz on LG phones.
BlackBerry promises a robust selection of apps and content from the number major studios and content providers. BlackBerry 10 has more than 70,000 apps, including Skype, Amazon Kindle, and even Angry Birds: All the major social networks and dozens of leading publications.
The Z10 on Verizon should be available at most US carriers by March for $199. And Sprint announced it will carry the BlackBerry Q10 smart phone powered later this year.