I have been a passionate Blackberry user for about 6 or 7 years now and an avid supporter of their products. But lately, I find myself getting a little jealous of the iPhone users. Definitely not because they drop every freaking phone call, but because their Internet web browser and applications are far better. Blackberry just announced today the release of their newest product on AT&T, the Blackberry Torch. It is being called by AT&T’s president Ralph de la Vega “the best Blackberry phone ever.” RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis describes the device as the first “touch qwerty slider” for BlackBerry, meaning it features both a slide out keyboard and a touch screen.
Personally, the one reason I have not moved to iPhone is because I can’t imagine finger blasting my phone for an hour while I try to send an e-mail on a touchscreen. Now with the Blackberry Torch I can have the touchscreen capabilities, the new and improved web broswer, and still be able to type a message on a keyboard. Sounds like a win-win to a blackberry fan. The Torch goes on sale August 12th and will cost $199 with a two-year contract.
Here are some of the new features according to Mashable.com that are “fresh, but familiar”.
Redesigned Home Screen
- Notification previews: a tap on a notification provides you with more details about it.
- Additional content and views: put individual bookmarks and contacts on the home screen, plus swipe actions that let users navigate between frequently used items.
- Universal search: searches all of the content on your device — e-mails, texts, BBMs, calendar appointments, etc. — plus the web. One cool example: search for an artist and you can pull up their music in Slacker Radio.
- View pictures by folder or date.
- Ability to select multiple pictures at once via touchscreen: you can then share them with friends or move them to different folders.
- Geolocation: camera names pictures based on where you are according to the device’s GPS.
- Podcast app: subscribe, download and listen to podcasts
- Wi-fi music sync: see your entire library of music on your device
- Unified social feeds: an aggregation of feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.
- Simplified app discovery: on the Torch, BlackBerry App World comes pre-installed. App search is also built-in to the new universal search feature.
- New payment options: developers can now setup a try before you buy option, subscription models, and the ability for in-game purchases, like buying additional levels on games.
- New advertising APIs: developers get access to multiple ad networks and analytics for their ads.
- Enhanced dev platform: ability to access more stuff on the device, like calendar and location.
- Apps developed for earlier versions of BlackBerry will still working on BlackBerry 6.