Early on Wednesday morning, BlackBerry (formerly known as Research In Motion) officially announced their newest mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10. With this new push for the current smartphone market, BlackBerry is trying to show that they've still got what it takes to compete in the wildly competitive smartphone industry.
Thew new OS has plenty of new features, at least when viewed from a BlackBerry-only standpoint. Things like Hub, Peek, Flow, and Balance are all noteworthy additions to the BlackBerry suite of operations, and have easy to remember names that should, hopefully, resonate with customers looking to get a new phone.
As far as details go, BlackBerry went as in-depth as we could have expected them to for the main launch event, especially around key elements of the OS. Specifically, we saw them show off Flow, which allows for the user to navigate throughout the mobile OS quickly and easily, while also being able to keep up with the notifications happening in real-time. The Hub allows for a fully integrated look at all types of conversations and interactions the user may have on their phone, and there is deep integration with services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, also saw a major improvement from its previous iterations. Users can still expect the same rock-solid service, but they'll also gain access to free calls, video calls, and screen sharing to other BBM users.
One of the other key, and most memorable features, is BlackBerry Remember. It's an integrated service, which combines with Evernote, to make it possible for the user to store their due dates, notes, to-do lists, even Web site or email information as quickly as possible, and access it later just as easily.
Here in the US, BlackBerry confirmed that we'd have to wait until March to get our hands on either one of the new BlackBerry handsets. It has been confirmed that Verizon Wireless will sell the BlackBerry Z10, in both black and white, for $199 on a new, two-year contract. The Big Red carrier also has an exclusive on the white version of the device. There has been no official confirmation yet as to which carriers will be getting which handset, but the full-QWERTY BlackBerry Q10 will launch in April.
Hopefully BlackBerry can get marketing for their new name, their new focus, and their new hardware and software off the ground in a big way, because Microsoft's Windows Phone is still making a hard push to be the third mobile OS of choice, a spot that BlackBerry would love to have.