Not to be outdone by Nokia's big news today, BlackBerry offered a series of major announcements this morning. The company formerly known as Research in Motion released a new device, made an update to its latest mobile operating system and let everyone know about its new BlackBerry Messenger application for iOS and Android. Let's break down the news.
Q5 smartphone has BlackBerry 10 and a QWERTY keyboard
The latest device to run BlackBerry 10, the Q5 smartphone seeks to make the new operating system accessible in emerging global markets. BlackBerry's press release focused heavily on the "youthful and fun" features of the new phone instead of specs so it is not immediately clear to us how the Q5 is different from the Q10 that BlackBerry released earlier this year in the U.S. As far as camera features go, BlackBerry made sure to mention that the Q5 has both TimeShift and StoryMaker. Check out our review of the Z10's camera here.
BlackBerry 10.1 ready for download
BlackBerry's latest operating system has seen its first major update. BlackBerry 10.1 includes a more restrictive work-only setting, better visualization of device information and Z10 users will get an HDR camera mode. Check out the full details on BlackBerry 10.1 from BlackBerry's press release. Download availability will vary based on cellular carrier, but it is expected to be available in the coming weeks.
BBM coming to iOS and Android
BlackBerry's BBM messaging service has been a popular feature since the "Crackberry" craze of the early 2000s. Android and iOS users will soon be able to rekindle their love of "D" and "R" notifications. Users of the BBM app can connect to friends with PIN, email, SMS or QR code scan, no matter what operating system they are using. The apps are awaiting approval from Google and Apple, but BlackBerry expects them to be ready this summer. Check out more details here.
Sprint offering 4G LTE and "Truly Unlimited" for Q10
Users of BlackBerry's Q10 smartphone will soon be able to us 4G LTE from Sprint. The Q10's physical keyboard is comforting for BlackBerry diehards who did not want to convert to the touchscreen Z10. Sprint's 4G LTE will be available for Q10 users this summer. Read the full release here.