BlackBerry released its first update over the weekend for the BlackBerry 10 operating system.
The only available smartphone powered by the BB10 – BlackBerry Z10 – can get the update over-the-air.
BlackBerry announced the update in a blogpost dated Friday, March 1.
“Today we issued a software update for BlackBerry 10 smartphones that’s focused on your feedback. It’s already available from some carriers and we’re working closely with all our carrier partners to get it to you as soon as possible,” the company announced.
“It’s almost been a month since we officially unveiled the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones and many of you already have a BlackBerry Z10 in hand. You’ve been using it for weeks, and we’ve been listening to your feedback, and have been working on an update just for you,” the blog said.
Here are some of the improvements to the software:
#1 Third Party App Performance
BlackBerry 10 was the most criticized by users that graduated from the previous software only to find that some of their apps – such as WhatsApp – did not work with the new software. The Canadian firm received a lot of flak from users, who claimed that it was downright annoying to not have an app that was supported earlier go missing in the new software.
“We’ve improved performance for third party applications, so developers can build apps that run fast and smooth for you. With this update, you might want to keep an eye out for some fresh new app launches in March, like WhatsApp,” BlackBerry said in the blog post – so it’s coming… back.
#2 Phone, Calendar, and Contacts
This was again among the foremost criticisms of the new software – the lack of sync with everyday applications such as Gmail Calendar. Early adopters of the BlackBerry 10 software were, in fact, trying to use round-about ways of accessing and syncing the Gmail calendar.
They no longer need to.
“Among the top improvements and features are fixes for Gmail calendars on BlackBerry 10. You’ll also find improvements in the BlackBerry Hub for logging calls log and how conversations are handled. We’ve also made general improvements to importing contacts from online sources,” the company has announced.
This is perhaps one of the few changes that are fresh – and not a sort of ‘revert’ to the features offered by the old software.
“We’ve optimised the camera for better photos in low-light situations. You’ll love the difference this makes for photos where you don’t use a flash – like the Time Shift Camera feature.”
About time too, as every other new device and software is bragging about their low-light abilities.
#4 Browser and Media
Small, incremental improvements have been made to the browser, but these will go a long way in adding to the user experience.
“With more and more of you using the gorgeous screen on the BlackBerry Z10 to consume online videos and media, we’ve made a number of improvements to the software in the way the browser handles video playback to provide a fantastic experience,” BlackBerry said.
#5 Battery Life
This is great – not that the battery life of BlackBerry Z10 wasn’t already a marked improvement over ther previous BlackBerry devices, this one will make it even better, claims BlackBerry.
“The software team has included a number of battery life optimisations with over 60 battery saving improvements since launch to keep you moving. These combined improvements are designed so that you see improvements in battery life and heavy users especially should see a longer average usage per charge cycle.”
Well done, BlackBerry, but the swift update – a month after the launch of the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone – only abets our theory that BlackBerry rushed the launch of its latest software and smartphone in a bid to beat the imminent launch of the other phones – Sony Xperia Z and HTC One, for instance.
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