BlackBerry 10.1, the first large update to hit BlackBerry’s BlackBerry 10 operating system since it launched this past January will bring a large amount of changes according to reports from developers who are posting the changes as they find them on CrackBerry. Thanks to the updated software development kit for the 10.1 update, we now know that Blackberry is touching up the operating system everywhere.
BlackBerry shipped its first device with the operating system, the Z10 back in January and is due to follow up with a QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen device, the Q10 sometime this spring if reports are correct. It recently entered certification at the Federal Communications Commission, possibly confirming that rumored spring release.
So far the highlight of these new features has been its inclusion of an option to allow users of the BlackBerry Z10 to support HDR or high-dynamic-range imaging. Simply put, the software update will enable the device to capture a wider range of colors in between areas in a photo that are light and those that are dark. Depending on the user’s tastes this could result in a more visually pleasing photo.
BlackBerry 10.1 will also include support for PIN to PIN messaging, allowing users to send text messages that are completely encrypted. Since every BlackBerry device has a unique ID number, the operating system will be able to send messages to a contact in a user’s address book via only both device’s PIN instead of via phone number, email account, or instant messaging account.
Users will also be able to edit their phone’s wireless network settings with BlackBerry 10.1’s new APN editing, though this could remain a feature that is determined by the wireless carrier on which the device is available. Typically this feature is more for use in business settings where IT managers might need to set special settings to allow devices to communicate inside their corporate networks.
There are also smaller changes to the operating system as a whole that will enhance the user experience of BlackBerry 10, but might not seem like much by themselves. For example, texting highlighting has had its color changed to green for easier reading. BlackBerry 10.1 also allows for easier highlighting in general and ads a new select all option for broadcasting messages.
Users will also be able to turn off notifications from specific applications. Additionally, the update will add a new tutorial designed to help users get acclimated with BlackBerry 10 –something that is needed since BlackBerry 10 does rely on users now a few gestures to take full advantage of the device. BlackBerry World, the platform’s applications and media store will get support for coupon redemption as well.
Though these features are in the BlackBerry 10.1 SDK, their inclusion in a possible update could change at any time. Reports peg the 10.1 upgrade as allegedly being available to users sometime this month, however, BlackBerry has yet to comment on a release time frame.