BlackBerry 10.2.1 Begins Global Rollout

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BlackBerry 10 smartphones receive pinch filters and simplified calling screens

BlackBerry has launched the next version of its BlackBerry 10 operating system, promising hundreds of improvements for the struggling platform.

The company says BlackBerry 10.2.1 will start rolling out to all BB10 devices in the US, Canada and Europe, including the Porsche Design P’9982. The update is subject to carrier approval, and hopes to make it easier for handset owners to stay productive on the move.

Users can now pinch the screen to filter messages by pre-defined criteria in BlackBerry Hub. The company has also added SMS and email groups, as well as actionable notifications in the lock screen.

BlackBerry 10.2.1

BlackBerry Z30 Front SquareA simplified call screen allows users to swipe left to accept a call, or right to reject it, while the reply now button sends a BBM or SMS message with a template or more personalised note.

A new picture password system lets users choose an image and a number from 0-9 to quickly unlock the phone, alongside a new customisable quick settings menu, improved battery monitor and the ability to save web pages for offline reading. The update also unlocks the FM radio in the BlackBerry Z30, Q10 and Q5 models.

Automatic updates can be enabled when the BlackBerry device is on a Wi-Fi network, and the company promises new enterprise features and IT policies for BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10.2 users.

The last major update to the BlackBerry 10 operating system was released in October, while BES 10.2 was rolled out in December, adding improved support for Android and iOS devices to the mobile device management platform.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said he expects the beleaguered company to return to profitability by March 2016 thanks to a recovery plan focused on high-end smartphones for businesses, BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and QNX embedded software and connected cars.

Will things improve for BlackBerry in 2014 Try our 2013 BlackBerry quiz!

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