I love tech, so I was fortunate to attend the launch of the new BlackBerry 10 devices today in New York. An unexpected bonus was receiving one to take home with me. Here are my VERY initial thoughts, in no particular order:
1.) New OS and devices put BlackBerry back in the game. Seriously.
2.) Z10 is a very nice device and BB10 is, at first glance, extremely good. The "predictive typing" feature, where it guesses words and allows you to swipe above a letter to insert that word is beyond cool. It may be the single best typing feature I have ever seen on any phone EVER. It has to be seen to be believed. It raises the bar substantially, putting current typing on iPhones and Androids to shame. I also like the Hub concept, where all your messages - email, social media stuff - are in one place. No need to go to separate apps.
3.) App support will be an issue to watch. I quickly went through the BlackBerry store and there was a lot of chaff. For example, I could not find a single stock tracking app for free, even though there are about 1,000 of them for iPhone.
4.) BIG disappointment that US availability won't be until March. That's probably why the stock got hammered today.
5.) Even though I received a phone, it is not connected to any carrier at this point, so I can only use it on WiFi. So, I'll have to wait until I can use it as a real phone. We are told that we will receive a SIM card "...in the coming weeks." I look forward to it.
6.) It has a replaceable battery!!! A zillion "thumbs up" for that alone!
7.) The Q10 - with an awesome physical keyboard in the BlackBerry tradition - is an intriguing wild card. I hate typing on the iPhone and all touch screen phones. (Though, as noted above, the new typing experience on the BlackBerry is a game-changer.) It will be interesting to see how this device will be received by the BlackBerry faithful, who still number in the tens of millions worldwide. It will also be interesting to see if people like me, who miss the old BlackBerry keyboard, could be coaxed back.