At CES, BlackBerry revealed it new OS update. BlackBerry 7.1 will begin rolling out in coming weeks. New features of BlackBerry OS 7.1 include BlackBerry Tag, Mobile Hotspot, Wi-Fi calling and FM tuner support (for 9360 or 9380). Some core BlackBerry apps have been updated and enhanced.
Here's what RIM as updated in BlackBerry OS 7.1:
- BlackBerry Tag is new NFC way of sharing. By tapping an NFC enabled BlackBerry smartphone against another NFC enabled BlackBerry smartphone, users can connect easily. They can instantly invite a friend to BBM, exchange contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia content, and they can also pair their BlackBerry smartphone with an NFC enabled Bluetooth device.
- Personalized experiences with support for animated avatars (animated GIFs), a dozen new and fun emoticons to spice up conversations, and the ability to customize chat bubbles with different colors.
- BlackBerry Messenger BBM app allows users to add customized personal messages of up to 160 characters in their online Profile, more than double the length supported in previous versions. Users can also now set the picture for their BBM avatar directly from the camera app – simply snap a picture and select “Set as BBM Display Picture” from the menu.
- The BlackBerry can turned into a mobile hotspot and shared by up to 5 Wi-Fi -enabled devices, including laptops and tablets
- The 7.1 update supports carrier implemented Wi-Fi calling services (UMA/GAN where available) without using airtime minutes.
- The Universal Search capability now includes an auto-suggest feature that intelligently filters Bing search results to offer users a variety of relevant websites based on their search terms.
- The FM radio circuitry is already built in to the Curve 9360 and 9380 models and BlackBerry 7.1 provides users with a new app that allows them to tune in and enjoy local FM radio stations. Listening to the FM radio does not require a data plan or use data services.
BlackBerry Traffic (version 3.0), a free app from RIM was release. BlackBerry Traffic determines a user’s estimated time of arrival (ETA) based on current traffic conditions, and now includes hands-free turn-by-turn voice guidance.
BlackBerry Travel app now offers contextual deals, such as offers for hotels and car rentals, or for arranging limo services to and from the airport. BlackBerry Travel can automatically keep track of a user’s bookings and schedule and quickly notify them if their flight is delayed or cancelled, and can then help them find a new flight right away. The automatic trip scanning feature pulls the travel details into the app, allowing the user to see .
BlackBerry Maps has been enhanced in the BlackBerry 7.1 OS update. When users launch the new BlackBerry Maps application they can discover special offers, coupons, and discounts from nearby vendors. Users can immediately act on the deals presented to them by clicking to call the vendor or clicking to get the best route to the location where the deal is offered.