We're live from AT&T and RIM's BlackBerry Torch event -- follow along after the break!
11:48AM That's it -- we're racing off to get hands-on, hold tight!
11:47AM You won't have to wait long for the Torch -- it goes on sale August 12th, $199 with a two year data plan.
11:47AM That figure skating reference is sure to play well against the Droid ads.
11:47AM The Torch... it spins. Tagline: Less an evolutionary leap, more like a triple axel.
11:46AM Now, how are we going to market the BlackBerry Torch? We're making a significant investment in advertising. Starting this week you'll see national TV ads, backed up by print and other ads. Let's run the first TV spot!
11:45AM We've spent thousands of hours on the Torch working to bring the best experience to market. It starts with developers -- Torch apps will be the first to be supported by carrier billing. At launch, we're also having a joint webcast and detailed tech support to make it easy to develop apps.
11:44AM David's pumped! We're excited to offer the best BlackBerry ever, not only for traditional business users, but also for consumers.
11:44AM Handing it over to David Christopher, AT&T's chief marketing officer.
11:43AM We're talking about universal search and multitasking again.
11:41AM I did want to give a glimpse of how third-party multimedia apps can integrate into the BB 6 experience. Video time again!
11:40AM Apps that were written for earlier version of BlackBerry OS will run on 6 -- you won't lose your investment.
11:39AM Applications can tie into Universal Search -- searching brings back all kinds of results. We also have new ways of menuing, like cascading menus.
11:38AM The developers using HTML5 get all the same capabilities of our Java app developers.
11:38AM The third dimension is to make it easier to create applications. We've added a Webkit browser with HTML5 support -- now you can make apps with HTML5 and CSS, and distribute them through App World. These apps aren't limited to the typical restraints of a web browser -- they can run in the background, access files and media on the device, leverage location-based services, get notifications, and much much more.
11:36AM There are also new ad service APIs that let devs use ads to make money.
11:36AM We know have carrier billing in App World, so the purchase process is simple -- it's right on your AT&T bill. We also have the BB Payment Service, which lets devs add other payment models. Try before you buy, subscription models, new game levels, that sort of thing.
11:34AM You've heard a lot about universal search -- it makes it easier to find the apps you've already downloaded, but it also makes it easier to find apps in App World. Type "weather" and hit App World -- you'll get weather apps.
11:34AM Let's look at BB6 from the view of both the customer and the developer with this complicated slide that's hard to liveblog.
11:33AM I'm here to talk about what we've done with the Torch and BB 6 to expand applications. We wanted to make it better for users while making it easier for developer. We've made it easier to find and purchase apps, and for devs to make money. And we've made it easier to developer apps.
11:32AM Introducing David Yach to talk about the platform.
11:32AM We're very proud of our team and everyone at AT&T.
11:32AM Don is back! "That's a lot of stuff. The team has been busy."
11:29AM Video time!
11:29AM What's special about this is what BlackBerry is good at, which is integration across applications seamlessly. You can see I'm in a feed here, and I tap on a Facebook item and switch instantly to the Facebook app. As a user I'm unaware that I'm using multiple applications.
11:28AM You can swipe to the left to see RSS feeds.
11:28AM Moving on from media, there's Unified Social Feeds, which aggregates feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Google Talk -- there's a whole list on a tiny slide.
11:27AM So you can be out and decided that you want certain songs -- say by Lady Gaga -- on your device, so you can just tag those, and when you get home they'll be instantly synced.
11:27AM We've also added WiFi music sync -- with our new desktop app we've introduced wireless music sync. Besides just syncing the files, we sync the entire catalog -- the information that describes your library -- and sync that too. So you can tag your songs for syncing at a later time.
11:25AM We've added a podcast application -- you can browse and subscribe to podcasts, and you can download podcasts wirelessly.
11:25AM We also use geolocation in the camera and add the titles of cities to the photos, so you can search by city.
11:25AM It would be tedious to move pictures one by one, so we've created a new gesture -- two finger tap -- to do multiple selections. You can select multiple photos and take actions on them -- send them to email, Facebook, whatever.
11:24AM We've introduced the ability to look at your pictures by folder or date -- you can manage the folders all the device. That's a degree of control on a device that we've not seen.
11:23AM Let's talk about media. How can we expand the media experience and make it extremely powerful?
11:23AM I'm going to type in U2, and you can see that I have some music and videos, but I can also go out and search Slacker, and podcasts, and YouTube. Universal Search doesn't just search the device, it searches the web.
11:22AM (He's demoing all this, but it's happening in a really display on the slide, so it's sort of hard to see what's happening.)
11:21AM As you type, results are being returned -- I've typed GRE, and I have a contact named Greg, but there are also emails and calendar entries.
11:21AM And the last feature that I want to spend time on is Universal Search: it'll search calendars, emails, BBMs, text messages, everything. The Torch is perfect for search -- just slide it open and start typing. Nothing else required.
11:20AM A great homescreen feature is notification previews -- a tap on the preview bar reveals some more information about your notifications. Another great feature is more content on the homescreen. What we've added is the ability to but individual contacts and bookmarks on the homescreen, and a quick swipe to the left will show you frequently sued items, and a swipe to the right reveals your favorites.
11:19AM We've actually redesigned the entire homescreen experience -- but it still looks like a BlackBerry.
11:18AM The third principle is flexibility and power -- moving between the touchscreen, the keyboard, and the trackpad all feels completely natural. You don't even realize it.
11:17AM That's quite a line from a RIM exec -- they haven't been super into touchscreens in the past!
11:17AM Out second principle was to make the UI approachable and easy to learn. This is best applied to the touchscreen, which really invites you to use it.
11:16AM Our first design principle was to be fresh but familiar -- it has to remain familiar to BlackBerry users.
11:16AM Our main priority was delivering a great user experience -- not just existing customers, but new customers as well.
11:15AM Don: Mike already hinted at some features, but I want to talk in depth about the UI.
11:15AM Introducing Don Lindsay to talk about the UI.
11:15AM I'm really excited to be here, and really excited about our partnership with AT&T.
11:15AM We also redesigned the media environment -- we've made the sync work over WiFi so you can sync seamlessly to your PC. It's also easy to use Bluetooth to connect to your car or your Bluetooth headphones.
11:14AM We invented something called auto-wrap text zoom -- it's never been done before.
11:13AM Another thing that's really exciting about BlackBerry is universal inbox -- it feeds Facebook, Twitter, email. When you clear it out, it goes away -- there's no clutter.
11:12AM There's something called universal search, and it really defines this product -- you just open it, and it searches your BlackBerry, your feeds, your settings, your email, whatever. Just touch the icon you're looking for.
11:12AM We're also launching this with BlackBerry 6 -- if you've ever used a BlackBerry, you'll get a sense of how to use this. We've spent a lot of time on the detail, on how the features interact.
11:11AM It's a celebration of all the things we like to do -- it's almost seamless in its operation.
11:11AM Why did we call it the Torch? It's the first BlackBerry with a Webkit browser -- that came from a company called Torch Mobile, which became part of the RIM family.
11:10AM The BlackBerry Torch is our first touch QWERTY slider. You can get a sense of the quality of the materials and the simplicity of its design.
11:10AM We just love introducing a well-engineered product. Today we're introducing a really special product for us. Today we celebrate and announce the BlackBerry Torch.
11:09AM We took the basic idea of the Blackberry and developed it, and we're now selling BlackBerries in over 175 countries over the world. We write our own 3G stack, we make sure our battery live is stress-free. We make sure it all just works.
11:08AM Ralph just introduced Mike Lazaridis.
11:08AM AT&T President Ralph de la Vega is live on the stage!
Three things have put the US back on the map: faster and more intelligent networks, smartphones, and applications.
AT&T and Rim are introducing the best BlackBerry ever!