Feeds

Finally! How to make Android USABLE: Install BlackBerry OS 10.2

New upgrade smooths rough edges with 300+ features and tweaks

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The biggest update to BlackBerry OS 10 so far – version 10.2 – includes more than 300 changes, from new features to fixes for many niggles.

In contrast to the the spasmodic and lengthy rollout phase of earlier releases, BlackBerry seems to have got its act together here, removing roadblocks between its servers and users: 10.2 is already landing on EE and Vodafone devices in the UK.

New features in 10.2 include a "priority" section for important conversations in the messaging hub; notifications and message previews on the lock screen; the ability to preview and reply to any incoming message whatever you're doing from the toast-like pop-up interface; and support for a bunch of industry standards including Miracast and Wi-Fi direct, USB host mode, and Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy.

However welcome these are, it’s the tweaks that will be appreciated by stalwarts. The platform was very rough at the edges when it launched in January, and many have been smoothed out. Clipboard manipulation is easier, the settings app is now faster in native code, and there’s a native Evernote client.

And while BlackBerry doesn’t crow about it, there’s a significant performance update to the Android run-time, which now supports Jelly Bean apps. Whereas previously you’d only really want to run side-loaded Android apps in a dire emergency, BlackBerry OS 10.2 now runs them passably well for regular use – albeit with the performance penalty you’d expect from a Java runtime. This matters, because BB10 has far fewer native apps than rival operating systems iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

The over-the-air update requires a SIM card, but even a pay-as-you-go SIM should get you the upgrade (at least on Vodafone in the UK). Alternatively it can be installed via the BlackBerry Links PC or Mac software and USB.

BlackBerry wrote off almost $1bn on unsold Z10s in September. A low-cost Z10 is worth considering as a second phone, so we’ll give it a reappraisal with the 10.2 update shortly. Stand by for our imminent review of the BlackBerry Z30. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.