Research in Motion launched their new line of Blackberry smart phones Wednesday morning and were met with praise from local app developers.
Local startup Weever Apps was one of 500 companies to get a preview of the phone weeks in advance of the launch. They've been playing around to make sure the technology synchronized with their software and giving feedback to RIM on the new product, according to Tim Richard, co-founder of Weever Apps. So far, the feedback has been all positive.
"Overall, the functionality works great," Richard said. "It takes a couple of minutes to adjust, but I think Android and iPhone type touch screen users would find it easier to adjust."
RIM launched two versions of the phone on Wednesday, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10. The former is a touchscreen device, the latter has a full Qwerty keyboard.
"We know there are a lot of keyboard lovers out there," CEO Thorsten Heins said. "We heard you loud and clear."
The team at Weever Apps had the Z10 version and were pleased with the functionality and design of the new product, which Richard said synced up perfectly with their software.
"We take into account our customers and their users: we want their access to the app to be seamless, intuitive and optimized for that screen," he said, adding the Z10 checked off all their boxes.
"[RIM] was smart. They knew they needed to get it right, they took the time and they did get it right. I think they will be able to re-capture some of that market they lost."
In Canada, the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 will be available on Feb. 5. Pricing will vary by carrier, but it will retail for around $149.99 on a three-year contract, BlackBerry announced Wednesday.
The Q10 will be available some time after that, but pricing and availability information on that keyboard version wasn't immediately provided at the launch event Wednesday.
Canada will be the launch pad for the devices ahead of other markets, including the United States. Other countries have launch dates on Feb. 11, 2013. The U.S. launch date is some time after that.
Among the features on the devices are something the company is calling BlackBerry Balance, which will allow one machine to be switched between work and personal user accounts.