BlackBerry's Updated OS 10.2.1 Turns Phones Into Radios

On Tuesday, BlackBerry Limited launched a new version of its BlackBerry OS, bringing the platform to v10.2.1.

According to a list of new features, the update will unlock the FM radio found on the Z30, Q10 and Q5, providing access to local radio stations, which does not require any network connection. Another "offline" feature is the ability to save webpages for viewing when an Internet connection is unavailable or not in use.

Another notable feature is the picture password for quick device unlocking. While this may sound all too easy to hack, there's a catch. Users must also designate one number that will be hidden in the picture. To unlock, simply select the number in a provided grid of random numbers and drag it over the hidden number.

The platform also includes a new and improved device monitor that provides information about battery usage, the impact of installed apps on battery life, memory usage and storage, as well as CPU stats. Automatic updates when the phone is on Wi-Fi are also part of the updated platform, keeping the user up-to-date.

BlackBerry boasts a simplified phone experience with the launch of the new OS, which now provides a new incoming call screen that allows users to swipe left to answer or swipe right  to ignore a call. There's also a Reply Now feature that will send a response through BBM, SMS or email stating that the user can't answer the phone right away.

Thanks to the new platform, device owners can now create SMS and email groups for more efficient broadcast communications. Users can even "tap to open" a message appearing on the lock screen, making it easy to check messages more discreetly and answer messages more rapidly.

For a longer list of features, check out BlackBerry's announcement here. Subject to carrier approval, the update is available now in the U.S., Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America for the Z10, Z30, Q5, Q10 and the Porsche Design P'9982 phone.

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  • Laser_Skeletor
    Finally, the killer feature they have been missing! Surely Blackberry will make their comeback now.
  • brandonjclark
    Now the radio works. Great. NSA tracking enabled.
  • meltbox360
    Forgot to mention that you can now install android apps ota and they work a lot better.