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Everything you need to know about the big BlackBerry 10 unveiling
Alicia Keys and new phones like the Z10 and Q10 all had their time to shine at Wednesday's showy event
Thorsten Heins, the chief executive of BlackBerry, shows off the new Blackberry 10 smartphones.
Thorsten Heins, the chief executive of BlackBerry, shows off the new Blackberry 10 smartphones. Mario Tama/Getty Images
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IM is no more. The company officially changed its name to "BlackBerry" to signal the start of a new era after a disastrous past couple of years turned the Canadian phone-maker into the tech world's laughingstock. On Wednesday, a newly baptized BlackBerry (which will trade under the stock ticker BBRY) formally unveiled BlackBerry 10, the long-awaited mobile operating system charged with the monumental tasks of eating away at market share from the mighty iPhone and a formidable army of Androids. Here, everything you need to know from this morning's big unveiling:

Huh? RIM changed its name?
Yep. No more Research in Motion. No more RIM. Just BlackBerry. "We have redefined ourselves inside and out," said CEO Thorsten Heins. "RIM becomes BlackBerry. It is one brand, it is one promise."

Okay. But do people actually still use BlackBerrys?
A small sliver still do. According to ABI Research, 5 percent of all smartphone owners still use BlackBerrys, compared with 67 percent for Android and 20 percent for iOS. (For what it's worth, RIM is still beating Windows, which is hovering at 3 percent market share.)

What did BlackBerry reveal today?
The company gave a demo of BB10's capabilities and pulled the curtains off two new phones: The BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10. The Z10 will be BlackBerry's flagship device. It looks a lot like an iPhone or Android with a 4.2-inch touchscreen. The Q10, on the other hand, looks more like a traditional BlackBerry and comes with a physical keyboard for purists. Think of a BlackBerry Bold, but with a small touchscreen instead of a thumbpad.

What's new in BB10?
It's an entirely new operating system. Since the Z10 and Q10 are being pushed as enterprise hardware, the company formerly known as RIM channeled its energies into making BB10's OS super efficient (The jury's still out.) Joshua Topolsky at The Verge says "the interface shares much in common with Android and iOS, and at times feels like a hybrid of the two."

In terms of new things, there's something called the BlackBerry Hub, which serves as a depository for alerts — email, text, messages, and such. You "peek" at it by sliding your thumb to the right. BlackBerry insists that its platform doesn't have the "in and out" feel of other devices. Everything is supposed to "flow."

BlackBerry Remember is BB10's version of Evernote, which collects notes, videos, links, clips, and more into a folder for organizational purposes. (It also syncs with Evernote.)

There's also something called BlackBerry Balance, which separates a user's work apps from their personal apps. It should be a handy feature for phone-owners who previously had to carry around two separate devices.

Anything about BB10 that stands out as really good?
BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, looks pretty good. It's reliable. You can video chat inside of it. And on the Z10, the virtual keyboard employs "predictive typing" to help you hammer out messages faster. Walt Mossberg at All Things D says "the Z10 keyboard is the best and fastest out-of-the-box virtual keyboard" he's ever used:

It displays words that are likely to come next right above the rows of letters, and lets you flick these words upward into the text you're composing. It learns what mistakes you typically make in hitting letters, and adjusts. And it learns words and abbreviations you frequently use, even proper names. [All Things D]

Here's a short demo of some of BBM's capabilities:

What's the app situation like on BB10?
Overall, not too shabby. There's one app called StoryMaker that doesn't look like anything that comes bundled native on iPhone or Android. Essentially, it splashes together content like photos and videos into a slideshow-like storyboard. It looks easy to use, with different transitions and animations to blend everything together. BlackBerry says there are more than 70,000 apps in BlackBerry World, including all the standard stuff like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Kindle, etc. Angry Birds, too.

How's the camera on the Z10?
Fairly standard. There's something called TimeShift mode, which auto-captures a series of photos to work around blinks and ugly faces when you're snapping a photo. There's also a built-in photo editor that lets you do the standard cropping, rotating, and adding borders.

What's the general consensus about the new products?
On the whole people are saying: "It looks great. But all things considered, there's nothing truly groundbreaking here." 

Wall Street was unimpressed. The company's stock fell as much as 8 percent at one point, but overall it's up 25 percent since Jan. 1. In one of the show's weirder moments, Super Bowl national anthem singer Alicia Keys was introduced as the brand's new Global Creative Director (whatever that means). "I was in a long term relationship with BlackBerry, and I started to notice some new hotter, more attractive, sexier phones at the gym," Keys said at one point. "So I broke up with you, but started to miss how you organized my life."

Keys' husband, hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz, seemed thrilled:

Others couldn't help but make jokes:

But the real winner of the day might've been Samsung, which hijacked the #BlackBerry10 hashtag on Twitter:

The Z10 will be available in March for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. It's expected to cost $199 for a two-year contract. Unfortunately, no pricing or availability was announced for the Q10. BlackBerry.com was sparse on additional information.

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