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Home >> BlackBerry 10: The Juicy Details
NEW YORK — All four national U.S. carriers have agreed to carry BlackBerry 10 phones, and three of them will offer the full-touch Z10 with 4.2-inch display in mid-March, said BlackBerry president/CEO Thorsten Heins.
All models will feature 4G LTE.
The Q10, which features a physical QWERTY keyboard and a 3.1-inch touchscreen, could be available in the U.S. about eight to 10 weeks later, he said in later press reports.
Verizon Wireless announced a $199 price for the Z10 with two-year contract in black and in an exclusive white version. Verizon also said it would carry the Q10.
AT&T said it would carry both phones, and T-Mobile said it would sell an LTE-equipped Z10.
For its part, Sprint said it would sell the Q10 sometime “later this year” but didn’t disclose Z10 plans.
Both phones feature 1.5GHz dual-core processors, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and an expandable memory card slot. Both feature a MicroHDMI port for presentations, nearfield communications (NFC) and NFC ability to exchange information by tapping phones.
The phones feature all-day battery life, said president/CEO Thorsten Heins, but for power users, the battery is removable so the battery can be replaced by the user with a fresh one.
Key advances of the new OS over the current BlackBerry OS include BlackBerry Balance, which lets users switch between personal and enterprise profiles at the flick of a finger. The feature will let enterprise users carry one phone instead of separate personal and business phones. The enterprise profile enables users to securely access the enterprise’s network and emails servers, and the enterprise can restrict the apps used and the web sites accessed. IT departments can also remotely wipe enterprise data from the the phone in case of loss or theft. Apps from the personal and enterprise profiles, however, can run simultaneously.
Also new is BlackBerry Flow, which lets users move seamlessly from app to app and feature to feature by swiping, making it unnecessary to go to a home screen to switch apps.
BlackBerry Peak lets users push an app or the home screen to the side to view the content of the BlackBerry Hub, which aggregates incoming messages from email, social networks, ext messages, and the like into one screen view.
The OS also lets people using the BlackBerry Messaging (BBM) instant-messaging service to switch to a video call by swiping. BBM-enabled ScreenShare lets users share what’s on their screen — from pictures to PowerPoint presentations — with other BlackBerry 10 users, with the presenter in control of what appears on other phones’ screens.
A BlackBerry Remember feature lets users toss documents, emails, web links and the like into the same folder for future reference.
The camera’s Time Shift feature captures a person’s image over a few milliseconds so the user can choose the best shot.
The Z10’s virtual keyboard is designed for one-thumb typing, and the phones’ predictive-text entry lets users flick suggested words to the sentence being typed.
The Z10 launches with the “largest catalog of apps ever for a first-generation mobile OS,” said Alex Sanders, developer relations VP. More than 70,000 are available now, and more than 100,000 apps will be available in time for the U.S. launch. Apps coming to the platform include Skype, Kindle, SAP and Angry Birds. Apps already available include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Cisco Webex, BMC, and vertical apps for healthcare, finance and government.