Thorsten trumpeted BlackBerry 10's security capabilities, which had been the top reason enterprises were slow to drop the BlackBerry, even as it became stale. BlackBerry 10 supports Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), like iOS and Android, for basic security; previous BlackBerry OSes did not. BlackBerry 10 also supports a wide range of security and management tools -- more than are available in iOS or Android -- for companies that adopt the new mobile device management suite, BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES) 10, whose final version is due in May.
As previously promised, BlackBerry 10 uses the Balance technology introduced with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which sets up an IT-managed corporate space and a personal space for apps and data on your device, keeping them separate but easy to switch between. It requires BES 10. The Hub shows updates from both environments, so users don't need to switch between two separate Hubs. Although iOS allows IT to manage apps and data from corporate servers separately from personal apps and data, the separation is less clear and usually involves the use of homegrown apps or use of the Business App Store.
The popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service has been enhanced to support both video chats and -- unique to BlackBerry OS -- screen sharing.
Other enhancements include a slick photo-taking app that lets users save multiple moments in a photo session to choose the best one later; a photo-retouching app similar to that in Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean;" and the Story Maker app that somewhat similar to Apple's $5 iPhoto for iOS. As previously announced, BlackBerry will offer a music and video store like Apple's iTunes Store, Google's Google Play, and Microsoft's Xbox Store.
BlackBerry 10 will be available on two new smartphone models: the touch-only Z10 and the keyboard-equipped Q10. The Q10's keyboard is essentially the same as that in the former flagship, the BlackBerry Bold, which the Q10 strongly resembles. The Z10 looks like some of the slicker Android smartphones available or a curvier iPhone 5. The Q10 will ship about a month after the Z10.
Promised BlackBerry 10 apps include Rovio's Angry Birds, Microsoft's Skype, SoundHound, Cisco's WebEx, Box, Amazon.com's Kindle, and unspecified SAP client apps. The company says users can expect hundreds of games plus reader apps from most major news publishers. A big change in BlackBerry 10 is that a reboot is no longer required after installing apps.
BlackBerry is working on a BlackBerry 10 update for the existing BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, but is rethinking its tablet strategy before introducing any new models, Heins said.
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