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We're here at CARLU Toronto for the official unveiling of Research in Motion's BlackBerry 10 range of handsets. We know we're going to see two handsets, one touch only and one with a QWERTY keyboard, but beyond that there has been very little rock solid information. With the conference set to start in about 3 minutes, you can find out everything you need to know right here!
11:24 And that's the conference over. We'll have more coverage as the day continues, as there's a lot more to come!
11:23 SCORE! All invited guests have just nabbed themselves a free Z10. Beautiful.
11:22 Andrew is thanking the suppliers, retailers, app developers and networks for their help in the forthcoming roll-out
11:21 $149.00 on a 3 year contract - that's the Canadian price. That's extremely reasonable.
11:20 Brian wants us to experience, feel and touch the devices for ourselves. JUST LET US BUY ONE NOW DAMNIT!
11:20 Heins is thanking everyone for joining him from around the world, and now we're back to the stage here in Toronto with Brian and Andrew
11:19 And there's Alicia being clapped off after her bit...
11:17 Just taking a break from the actual BB10 stuff for a moment, these seats aren't very comfortable and my ass hurts.
11:15 Apparently, she's actually going to be working with app developers, retailers, network carriers and more. This really is bloody strange but, hey, if it works it works. Seems like they're just trying to add a little bling to proceedings. Clinical, but Keys handles herself well here. She's a smart woman and if she does actually have some involvement, we're sure she'll do a fine job.
11:13 A couple of really strange gym analagies later and Alicia is telling us that she's incredibly excited about her new role, while we're wondering if she's actually going to be doing anything. We suspect she won't, but you never know.
11:10 BlackBerry has created a brand new role, a Global Creative Director role, and the person to fill that role is... Alicia Keys. Well that's... kinda weird
11:09 "Our success will come from listening to our customers", Heins
11:09 Handsets to be competitively priced, but carrier dependent.
11:08 Canadians get the Z10 on February 5th, the USA gets it in March, and the UK gets it TOMORROW!
11:07 Heins has read our minds! Looks like we're going to find out when we can get our grubby mitts on it momentarily...
11:05 So it looks like they're sorted on the app front anyway! Users should have no problem finding the most popular apps available on other devices when BB10 hits stores. Surely it must be time for that announcement at this stage? WHEN CAN WE GIVE YOU OUR MONEY BLACKBERRY?!?!
11:04 "It's important that no matter where you are, you can get the content you want"
11:01 EA, Sega and Gameloft included in substantial game support.
11:00 Skype, Kindle, What's App and Angry Birds among others are confirmed for BB10
11:00 Over 70,000 BB10 apps available right now, with thousands more to be added every week.
11:00 "The deliberate decision to build a platform with developers and applications at the heart of it has paid off"
10:58 BB10 will launch with a huge collection of movies, video and music (all major studios and labels have signed up to provide content to BlackBerry World). Now we're going to hear about the app situation from Martyn Mallick, VP of Global Alliances & Business Development
10:57 "This is the new BlackBerry", says Heins, to a massive applause.
10:55 Now we're looking at BlackBerry Story Maker. This lets users add photos, videos and music before the system puts everything together to create a presentation of sorts. The presentation he put together in literally 10 sconds looks really, really impressive and slick. Incredible stuff.
10:54 Thorsten just noted that all this happned without ever opening up a grid to select which app to open.
10:53 Once your photos are taken, you can hit edit to open a brand new image editor. They've got some generic filter affects in there, like halftone, sepia etc. There's also the ability to crop to any desired size through Free Transform.
10:52 Onto the media aspects of the devices. We're going to get a look at the camera on the Z10. Tapping anywhere on the screen takes a photo, you can drag your focus around on the screen with your finger.
10:49 Time for another new feature, BlackBerry Remember. Users can flag emails, videos, voicemails, websites and more to Remember. Items get stored in folders created by the user, and the system will automatically figure out where everything needs to go. We're not quite sure how it works, but it's quite clever.
10:48 Now they're using screen sharing to share photographs in real-time!
10:46 BBM now lets users make video calls, and we're about to see a demo of it right now as New York calls London for the world's first ever live public BBM call. Users can now move from text chat to video chat with just a tap of the screen. Making things even better, another touch means that users can share their screenns over the system. No that is damn well impressive. From New York to London there's a slight delay, but it's still quite cool.
10:45 Now it's time to chat about BlackBerry Messenger. They've got something up their sleeves here...
10:42 Now we're going to talk about the disconnect between private and work devices. BB has identified the problem and have made it so that people no longer need a separate phone for each. BlackBerry Balance allows users to switch between work and personal profiles with a single gesture. This means that everything switches, from Apps to wallpaper, between the two giving companies full control over the work environment, where necessary, but no access to the user's personal profile.
10:41 Multi-launguage support means that the phone knows when you've started typing in another language, and adjusts its word suggestions and dictionary to suit. Perfect for any multi-lingual types. This typing thing is like bloody Skynet.
10:40 Now we're taking a look at the typing experience. As we mentioned, we've had hands-on with this and it really is impressive. We get a demo of how it's possible to type on the touch screen Z10 with only your thumb in seconds without having to worry about mistakes.
10:39 Searching is now a thing of the past. Everything is there in the Hub - and it's just been noted that despite everything that's been shown so far, we still haven't actually left the Hub. Nice.
10:38 BB10 pulls up-to-date social and professional information about your contats within a single timeline. From Tweets to Facebook status updates to LinkedIn profile information to recent emails and texts... it's all there in the Hub. Goddamn that's impressive.
10:36 Hub continues to impress, with another swiping gesture, this time from the top down (we think) bringing up your task list, calendar and more. So many swipes, but it really streamlines everything. Flipping between apps continually is no longer necessary.
10:35 All your social interactions (email, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, etc) can be monitored and accessed through a swiping gesture, without actually needing to open a new app. They're all available through the BlackBerry Hub, again ensuring full integration of user content without slowing things down.
10:34 We're shown how we can check our emails while watching a movie without stopping video playback through swiping gestures, without even leaving the video page. It's quite a handy looking feature, and one that ensures users keep their "Flow" going at all times, pardon the pathetic pun.
10:33 Let's take a look at the device in action then, starting with the BlackBerry Hub, and BlackBerry Flow. Flow enables users to swipe their way through their devices in real time, which is nice!
10:32 "Absolute best typing experience in the industry", says Heins. From our time with the Dev Alpha devices, we agree.
10:31 For the people who demanded a physical typing experience.
10:29 4.2" display on the Z10 for those of you who were wondering.
10:28 And we have phones! The touch screen device is, as expected, called the Z10, while the QWERTY enabled one is the Q10. No surprises there.
10:25 So, after the usual platitudes, we have the first big announcement - RIM is now to be known as BlackBerry.
10:18 He's doling out the thanks to everyone involved, from customers to employees
10:16 And here's Mr. Heins...
10:12 Concerned about a lack of apps? Well BB10 will be launching with the largest catalogue of apps ever seen for a first generation launch of a new platform. Take THAT naysayers!
10:11 Still waiting on things to kick off in New York...
10:07 They're showing each of the cities on the big screen and Toronto seems to be the only one that looks like a crappy webcam feed. Who's downloading a movie?!
10:06 And we have our live feed to the New York event where RIM CEO Thorsten Heins will be lifing the curtain on the new platform. Are you excited? We are!
10:05 Events taking place simultaneously at six cities around the world for the official unveiling, taking place with Thorsten Heins in New York
10:04 BB10 not just a smartphone, but it's a brand new mobile computing platform
10:03 Company "Laser focussed" on bringing BB10 to market - Bidulka
10:00 Managing Director of Canada, Andrew MacLeod, and CFO Brian Bidulka take to the stage to give us a little history on the company, citing the company's accomplishments to date, while thanking the Canadian audience, and public at large, for their support.