RIM’s big BlackBerry 10 launch takes place tomorrow: years overdue, the company is finally overhauling its ageing software and prepping some slick new phones to go with it. All the news kicks off from 3pm, but ahead of that we’ve got a primer stuffed full of what to expect. Read on!
Hidden BlackBerry 10 features
BlackBerry 10’s basic structure is no secret by this point: while its homescreen of apps is fairly traditional, it stands out from the crowd with clever app switching from the top of the screen, and clever Work and Personal profiles to keep everything separate. But you can bet RIM’s got some extra flourishes to show off tomorrow, whether it’s more partners for its new app store or a new way to wirelessly stream your media, AirPlay style – or perhaps even BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone and Android.
Apps, apps, apps
RIM knows that BlackBerry 10 will live or die by its apps, and you can expect it’ll have some to talk about tomorrow. Rumours are flying that the store will launch with as many as 70,000 – certainly a lot more than Microsoft kicked off Windows Phone with two and a half years ago. It’s the big names that count though. Will it have persuaded the likes of Netflix and Instagram to jump onboard though? Time will tell.
The BlackBerry Z10
Of course, BlackBerry 10 needs new hardware to run on, and the BlackBerry Z10 is it. We’ve seen too many leaks of this touchscreen-only phone for it not to be real by this point: its leather-style back and completely buttonless front look stylish from what we’ve seen. Here’s hoping it’s as hyper-speedy as the iPhone 5 and the latest Android blowers however.
A QWERTY cousin too
The BlackBerry is the BlackBerry because of its keyboard, of course, and RIM’s not forgotten this. We’ve also seen leaks of another new BlackBerry 10 smartphone with a Bold-style design and QWERTY panel on the front, and the company confirmed it’ll be launching tomorrow earlier this month. Can it bring the lowly button back into fashion?
A new PlayBook tablet
It’s been year since RIM launched its iPad wannabe, the BlackBerry PlayBook. Perhaps with the launch of its new OS, it’s time to return to the world of slates once more? We’ve not heard any rumours about a new RIM tablet due tomorrow so far, but anything’s possible – and with so many apps right out of the box, this one could escape the originals’ digital photo frame fate.
An embarrassing launch video
While BlackBerry 10 looks promising, there’s no denying the Canadian company lacks some of say, Apple’s cool. From the CEO’s promise to “rock and roll this” to the cringe-worthy music video aimed to tempt developers over to BlackBerry below, RIM is the tech equivalent of your dad announcing he’s just discovered the Arctic Monkeys. Expect someone to do or say something equally awkward