CEO Thorsten Heins introduces the BlackBerry Z10, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in New York. / Mark Lennihan AP
Can the BlackBerry be cool again? That was the big question this week as the phone's parent company changed its brand and got on board with the touch-screen smartphone trend. Here's what you need to know about the week in Tech:
1) RIM becomes BlackBerry, adds products
The ailing phone maker had a huge week, with a name change and the release of a new line of products.
On Wednesday CEO Thorsten Heins announced RIM is changing its name to the more familiar BlackBerry. Heins also unveiled the BlackBerry 10 line, including the Z10 touch-screen smartphone and the Q10 keyboard phone.
Now for the important question - are the phones any good? USA TODAY's Ed Baig tried out the Z10 and said it is "very much good enough to keep BlackBerry in the game," but might not be good enough to knock the iPhone out of the top spot.
Here's a few of the best new features of the Z10:
â?¢ Touch-screen keyboard. much like the iPhone's autocomplete feature, the Z10's keyboard predicts what you'll type next in messages and e-mails. It will even suggest "predicted words" based on what you've typed before.
â?¢ Blackberry Hub. Lets users see all types of messages across many different accounts, from text messages and e-mails to Facebook updates and Twitter messages.
â?¢ Time Shift. When you press the screen on the phone to shoot a picture, the camera takes multiple images over a second. After shooting you can scroll through the images and choose the picture where all of your friends look best (eyes open, wide smiles).
If you want to check out the Z10 for yourself, it will be available for $199 on three carriers - AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile - next month. The Q10 will be available in April.
2) Facebook earnings beat Wall Street estimates
The social network on Wednesday reported that it had revenue of $1.59 billion in the fourth quarter, a 41% increase from the same time last year. Wall Street experts had predicted $1.53 billion in revenue.
What's Facebook's secret? Mobile. Over 70% of users access the site from a mobile device, more than those logging on from the Web. Facebook's mobile ad revenue makes up 23% of its total revenue.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call Wednesday that "there is no argument: Facebook is a mobile company." We hope this means new mobile features sometime in the near future.
3) Marissa Magic is all the buzz for Yahoo
If Yahoo is going to make a comeback, it could be under Marissa Mayer's reign as CEO. The company reported a solid $1.22 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, up 4% from a year ago.
But the company isn't out of the woods yet. USA TODAY's Jon Swartz said Yahoo has declining page views and search queries, and its share of digital advertising revenue in the U.S has declined.
So far Mayer has been vague about her plan for resuscitating Yahoo, which may include customized content and expanded mobile services. Swartz said Mayer may have to pick up the pace to impress the tech world: "If she is to retain Marissa Magic, Mayer needs a few more tricks up her sleeve. The future of Yahoo depends on it."
4) Microsoft wants you to pay as you go for new Office
Microsoft's "bread and butter," the Office software suite, just got a facelift. On Tuesday Microsoft launched the newest version of Office, the ubiquitous software suite that includes Word, Excel PowerPoint and Outlook.
Ed Baig took a look and said the suite has a few new features, but "none that I'd call earth-shattering."
The biggest update to Office is a new subscription model and cloud sharing capabilities. Users can pay anywhere from $9.99 a month to $99.99 a year to use Office on up to five computers, PC and/or Mac. If you just want buy Office without a subscription plan, it will be available in stores starting from $139.99.
Unfortunately, this Office update is only for PCs right now. New Mac users who subscribe to Office will get Office 2011 on their computers.
5) Apple to launch 128 GB iPad
Apple announced it will be selling a new version of the iPad with super-sized storage capabilities. The new 128 GB version of the fourth-generation iPad will be available Feb. 5 in black and white.
But lots of storage space comes with a steep price tag. The new iPad will start at $799 for the Wi-Fi model and $929 for the Wi-Fi/wireless network model.
Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com
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