BlackBerry 10.2: New Features, Availability and Release Date
The imminent arrival of BlackBerry 10.2 is almost as big news as the newly launched BlackBerry Z30, it debuts on. Officially it's rather awkwardly known as BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2, why say 10 once when you can say it twice, right?
The 10.2 update is a big one for BlackBerry users, there have been a number of 10.1 updates, but beyond custom notifications, changes have been rather minor. The 10.2 update offers a large range of interface and feature improvements, alongside performance improvements.
The main news that existing BlackBerry Z10, Q10 and Q5 owners will be gnashing at the bit for, is that as part of the Z30 launch BlackBerry dropped the bombshell that they can expect a BlackBerry 10.2 update mid-October, adding “Subject to carrier approvals” and it's likely to include regional rollouts too.
BlackBerry 10.2 - Features and Improvements
Starting back with the all-new BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry is boasting a number of 10.2 enhancements and features as part of its launch. One of its headline features is the existing Priority Hub, which is a serious lure for BB 10. The refreshed Priority Hub is now smarter, promoting important conversations and contacts to the top of the Priority Hub listing. Users can add colour coding and rules for prioritising. It's an important tweak to an essential element of BB 10.
BBM has been enhanced in an interesting and ubiquitous way, now when a BBM message lands it doesn't matter what app you're using, you'll get a preview of the message. You're also able to instantly reply to that message from within whatever that app may be. This preview system extends to the lockscreen, so with a couple of taps you can preview messages and notifications while the phone is locked.
BlackBerry has also taken the chance to apply some heavy spit and polish to the already decent interface. This covers all manner of areas such as refinement of the copy/past selector, refinement of many general interface elements with better buttons and sliders, and new quick settings on the Home Screen.
These interface refinements extend into other areas of BB 10.2, one such area, which could become messy is the much vaunted BB Hub. Currently BlackBerry restricts access to this vital comms area to native BlackBerry apps and big-name apps, such as Facebook. Any other third-party apps have their messages piped off to the notifcation area. With BB 10.2 it's possible for app developers to gain approval from BlackBerry to directly access the Hub. We're wondering if this could lead to Hub overload, but we'll see.
It's human nature to talk about the weather, it's a universal and it effects us all, which is why everyone will be glad the default BB10 Weather App has been given a slick new coat of paint. It's not the only one either, app updates extend to the Clock App, which has only just received multiple alarms. There's a new dedicated Evernote app, which spins its functionality out of the Remember app. Talking of which, the Remember app itself has received various improvement and now has a much needed search option.
A trick of BlackBerry 10 not talked about enough, is its ability to run Android apps. Until now the Android Player has been limited to supporting Android 2.3, which is starting to cause issues. With BB10.2 the Android Player has had a complete overhaul, reciving a much needed performance boost and support for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, opening up a whole boatload of fresh up-to-date apps.
At the system level, BlackBerry 10.2 introduces a number of key features that many take for granted on other mobile platforms and desktop systems. One such feature is a task manager and device monitor. It may seem a geeky addition, but for diagnosing issues, even common ones such as sluggish performance or high battery drain can require a task manager. As mobile OS continue in complexity it's an essential. Another are background apps, while BB7 supported these, no equivalent existed in BB10 until now. This means you will be able to leave apps running in the background without the need for a visible app frame.
It's an extensive collection of updates and goes further than what's listed here with tweaks affecting almost every part. On top of this little lot is a new file sharing screen, WiFi Direct connections, updated NFC Tags, better screenshot system, quick-sharing for photos, basic photo editing, new keyboard sounds, reject caller texts, tweaked browser interface and better start-up guides. 3G think this is an impressive update, BlackBerry just needs to convince the world it should be buying its phones once more.
By Kevin Thomas on 19th September, 2013