BlackBerry Q10 Gets Keyboard Optimised Skype and WhatsApp

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Skype and WhatsApp arrive on BlackBerry Q10, but Z10 users miss out on VoIP app

QWERTY-optimised versions of Skype and WhatsApp are now available to download for the BlackBerry Q10 ahead of the smartphone’s UK launch next week, but BlackBerry Z10 users will have to wait a little longer to get hold of Microsoft’s popular VoIP service.

Users are unlikely to be pleased given they have been waiting since day one for Skype, which has been one of the most notable absentees from the BlackBerry 10 app catalogue.

WhatsApp was first released on BlackBerry 10 earlier this year, but developers have had to ensure their apps work with the device’s smaller screen and take full advantage of the physical keyboard.

BlackBerry Q10 apps

Skype BlackBerry Q10The lack of apps on BlackBerry 10 has been one of the key criticisms of the operating system since it was launched in January and BlackBerry has been working hard to rectify the situation, offering developers a range of incentives to port their applications to the platform.

Both the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 have been well received by critics, including TechWeekEurope, and are seen as vital to the company’s chances of a revival after its share of the smartphone market has been eroded by rivals such as Apple and Samsung. BlackBerry hopes the platform will appeal to both consumers and the enterprise, bridging the divide between business and pleasure.

The BlackBerry Q10 is the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone to boast a physical keyboard. It sits below a 3.1 inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, which is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor.

The smartphone has an eight megapixel rear facing camera and 16GB of storage, which can be upgraded to 64GB via a memory card slot. It features a removable battery, Near Field Communication (NFC) support and will work on 4G networks.

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BlackBerry Q10

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BlackBerry Q10 Rear