8:35pm – And that's a wrap! BlackBerry Live has thrown up some really interesting possibilities and a new smartphone. We'll be bringing you in-depth coverage of all the announcements from the event. Stay tuned to tech2
8:30pm – BBM coming to multiple platforms this summer. Will be available for free on Android (ICS or higher) and iOS (version 6 and higher) as well. All platforms will get Screen Share, BBM Video and BBM Channels. “We want to give this premium mobile experience to everyone,” says Heins.
BBM coming to Android and iOS along with all features such as BBM Video and BBM Channels
8:25pm – BBM Channels will launch in beta from today. Mercedes Petronas F1 team, Alicia Keys, Goo Goo Dolls, Tegan & Sara will be present at launch. New channels will launch every few weeks before the feature goes out of beta.
8:23pm – Formula One and Mercedes team driver Lewis Hamilton now on stage. He says he's been using BBM for years and social media is paramount these days. He's excited about connecting with fans through BBM Channel.
BBM Channels, the social side of BBM
8:19pm – More than 10 billion BBM messages and more than 50 percent of them are read within 20 seconds. “That's a great level of engagement,” says Heins, who has now returned to the stage. And just like that Heins has introduced BBM Channels. A new social engagement platform within BBM. Users can subscribe to channels and get notifications when new messages come in. You can chat one-to-one with brands, celebrities, your friends or other people who are also on the channel. It's BlackBerry's take on making a more social BBM experience. “Real-time engagement between much-loved brands and their fans,” says Heins.
8:14pm – BlackBerry will be launching new apps for Formula One fans watching the race. The company will be one of the sponsors for the Mercedes team. BlackBerry's voice prowess will be used for communication between drivers and the pit crew.
8:10pm – Alicia Keys, who, if you haven't heard, is the Global Creative Director at BlackBerry, is on stage now. Keys says, “56 percent of BlackBerry users are women.” BlackBerry is making a long-term commitment to getting more women in the field of technology and levelling the playing field. BlackBerry Scholars Program will be offering scholarships for girls students with mentorships and special programmes to bring more women to the tech industry.
Alicia Keys, the company's Global Creative Director
8:00pm – The BlackBerry takeover strategy was part of an education programme to spread awareness of BlackBerry 10, says Frank Boulben, Chief Marketing Officer. Boulben is going on at length about the various marketing strategies adopted by the company. BlackBerry has tied up with influential celebrities to inspire more people to switch to BlackBerry 10.
7:55pm – BlackBerry Secure Work Space is in beta now and will launch this summer for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android. “Our solution truly offers a secure end-to-end solution,” says Tear.
7:40pm – BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.1 launched. BES 10.1 supports devices across platforms. “The amount of personal data that can be accessed on a smartphone is astounding. BlackBerry is the most secure platform. Security is built-in from the ground up,” says COO Kristian Tear. He then goes on to talk more about BlackBerry Balance, a crucial part of the BB10 platform.
A first look at the BlackBerry Q5
7:25pm – A lot of car-related features of BB10 being talked about. Maps update is seeded directly to the in-car system. We must say this conversation inside a car on a grand stage seems more than a little surreal to us. But there are some very interesting things baked into this system. The entertainment system can be adapted for all kinds of cars. Heins says “We are clearly leading the industry for mobile intehration in automobiles.” The point being emphasised right now is that BlackBerry will be filling in niches in all mobile end-points. It's a truly mobile platform, says Heins.
A BlackBerry 10-powered in-car entertainment system
7:20pm – Now we are seeing an in-car entertainment system running on BB10. There's a Bentley on stage right now with a very high-end entertainment system. It features a video conferencing facility leveraging BBM Video. Thorsten Heins and Mark Rigley from QNX are having a video conference with BlackBerry's Vivek Bhardwaj. As soon as the car starts to move, the video feed shuts down and changes to an audio-only call.
7:15pm – BlackBerry 10 now has 120,000 apps. “This is excellent. In 12 months!” Skype, Moog, Doodle Kingdom and Twitter client Black coming to BlackBerry 10.1.
7:05pm – Desktop experience on a tablet? Heins doesn't agree. “Experience on mobile device should be purpose built for mobile.” Anything else “simply doesn't work“. BlackBerry's only focus is mobile. “BlackBerry is the original mobile first company,” says Heins.
6:50pm – Thorsten Heins shows off the BlackBerry Q5, the latest BB10-running smartphone. The Q5 is targetted at emerging markets and will launch during the course of the summer. It will launch in several colours and is aimed at young customers.
6:40pm – CEO Thorsten Heins is talking about the response to BlackBerry 10. He says customers, businesses and BlackBerry clients all love the platform for various reasons. Heins is explaining the new features of BlackBerry 10.1 update to the Z10 and Q10. By the end of the week, most carriers will be launching 10.1 update for Z10s as well. The BlackBerry Q10 will launch in various markets starting this month.
BlackBerry Live is about to get underway now. Formerly known as BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Live is targetted at customers, clients and enthusiasts of BlackBerry.
What's next for BlackBerry?
After changing its name from BlackBerry World, this year's event is a low-key affair. But we have a feeling that BlackBerry is driving down expectations and might just pop out a surprise or two – and perhaps even show off the low-end BlackBerry R10 smartphone.
We'll be updating the story regularly with everything that's going on at the event.