BlackBerry 10 Updated

— June 30, 2014

BlackBerry 10.2.1 is here. The company said it included hundreds of new enhancements for more productivity and better connectivity. From Hub to radio, here are a few new features.

The BlackBerry Hub enables access to a user's messages and notifications in one place. With customized features, users can instantly filter the message list in their Hub, along with customizing it to show only unread messages, flagged messages, draft messages, meeting invites, sent messages or level 1 alerts. Once the filter criterion is set, it can be activated with a pinch gesture on the Hub's message list.

The phone experience has been simplified; with the new incoming call screen, users can swipe to the left to answer or swipe right to ignore a call. New intuitive icons, instantly silence a call, or send a reply now response through BBM, SMS or email notifying that the user cannot answer the phone right away. A list of standard automated responses or personalized note are options.

SMS and email groups can be created for more efficient broadcast communications.

The actionable lock screen notifications functionality includes "tap to open" a message that appears on the lock screen. It permits users to respond to an important message much quicker, or to check messages more discreetly.

A picture password is now available to quickly unlock a phone using a combination of a picture and a number (0-9), which is placed at a particular point on the image. When the user tries to unlock the phone, the picture will appear along with a grid of random numbers. To unlock, simply drag the grid so the number selected overlays the particular point on the image.

The settings menu can be customized including being able to quickly change the brightness of the smartphone's display, toggle various network connection and access the built-in flashlight. The menu also includes a toggle that permits users to instantly switch between their personal and work perimeter.

Current web pages recently browsed for later viewing can be saved, whether offline or without an Internet connection.

Users can choose the sync source for contacts to ensure they always have the most up-to-date contact details. When adding a new contact they can designate which sources they want the contact info to sync with, such as the corporate address book, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.

An improved device monitor provides essential details on battery usage, the impact of installed apps on battery life and memory usage and storage, as well as CPU stats. OS updates can be set to happen automatically over a Wi-Fi connection.

When combined with BES10 version 10.2, enterprise customers will gain additional security features and IT policies for when more granular controls are required, such as for regulated industries and for organizations that work with sensitive data.

Whether the user has a BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Q10 or BlackBerry Q5 smartphone, the new software unlocks the built-in FM radio in those handsets—users can listen to local FM stations, without a network connection.

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