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BlackBerry OS 10.1 leaks its secret goo over all the web

Half-baked next version to try, if you're mad enough

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A work-in-progress build of the next BlackBerry OS, version 10.1, has leaked onto the interwebs.

This latest update is due to ship this month to coincide with the planned launch of the BlackBerry Q10, a touchscreen phone with a QWERTY physical keyboard. This model follows its all-touchscreen cousin the Z10, which went on sale in January and runs BlackBerry OS 10.0. The 10.1 upgrade is not yet available but can be ordered from retailers.

BlackBerry users who have dared to reprogram their expensive Z10s with the leaked work-in-progress "v.10.1.0.1429" operating system - and thereby risked bricking them completely - report performance improvements and a wide range of usability changes.

However the absence of some applications suggests this release is in an early stage of development.

The camera software has had some work done: it now has a High Dynamic Range (HDR) option and closer integration with the picture editor. The web browser, onscreen keyboard (believed to be licensed from SwiftKey), and text editing have also received some attention. Custom alerts, just one of many long-standing BlackBerry OS features missing from BB10, returns. The Android runtime has also been tweaked; the Z10 runs a number of Android binaries natively.

The leak is discussed in this low signal-to-noise ratio thread here.

All but the most rabid BlackBurgers are advised to steer clear and wait for the official release, which can't be too far away. There's much breakage, and also a high chance of bricking your device if you choose to hunt down the leaked update and install it.

After BlackBerry delayed the launch of BB10, the software was still in a pretty raw state on the first Z10s. But subsequent over-the-air updates have seen small but significant fixes to power consumption and reliability. The rate at which the operating system's developers are incorporating suggestions and bashing out releases is impressive. ®

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