RIM launches BlackBerry 6 platform, BlackBerry Torch 9800

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After months of rumors, leaked pictures and a couple of teaser videos, Research In Motion today finally unveiled its updated BlackBerry 6 operating system along with the first device to use it. The new software has been designed to work with touch and trackpad input and among its most notable features are a universal search option, social network aggregation, Wi-Fi powered media sync and an all-new WebKit-based browser with support for HTML5.

Despite offering a refreshed look and feel RIM claims the interface should still be familiar to current BlackBerry users. For developers, the company released an updated SDK that should allow them to take advantage all the new features, including universal search, Wi-Fi geolocation, reverse geocoding, and estimated travel time APIs.

The new BlackBerry 6 OS will debut on the Torch 9800 handset, which features both a 3.2-inch multi-touch screen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard in a slim design. It also offers an optical trackpad for navigation, 5-megapixel camera with autofocus, Wi-Fi, and 4GB of onboard storage plus a 4GB media card (up to 32 GB supported). The Blackberry App World will come pre-loaded on the phone along with Slacker radio for on-the-go music streaming.

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will be available through AT&T on August 12 for $199 with a two-year service agreement. After initial availability on the Torch, RIM has also committed to bringing BlackBerry 6 as an upgrade to the Bold 9700, Bold 9650, and Pearl 3G, "subject to carrier certifications in the months ahead."


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