While we will have to wait until February’s Mobile World Congress to catch a glimpse of BlackBerry 10, Research In Motion will showcase both BlackBerry 7.1 OS and PlayBook OS 2.0 at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show. Also shown off will be updated versions of RIM’s BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), BlackBerry Traffic and BlackBerry Travel apps.
BlackBerry 7.1 includes a number of new features including:
- BlackBerry Tag: NFC-enabled sharing
- Mobile hotspot functionality for up to 5 Wi-Fi-enabled devices
- Wi-Fi calling services (where supported)
- Enhanced Universal Search
- FM radio on the BlackBerry Curve 9360 and 9380
The latest version of BBM (version 6.1) adds more support for animated avatars, new emoticons, the ability to customize chat bubbles with different colors, and more. The camera app also comes with a new “Set as BBM Display Picture” menu option to set their BBM avatar picture.
RIM will also showcase the upcoming PlayBook 2.0 OS. The much anticipated and oft-delayed update promises to offer new functionality such as:
- Built-in unified inbox supporting multitasking, rich-text email composing and editing
- Built-in Calendar app
- Improved BlackBerry Bridge with new features including ability to have BlackBerry smartphone act as a keyboard and mouse for PlayBook
- Updated Documents To Go functionality
- New video store
BlackBerry 7.1 OS is now in the hands of carriers and should be available in the coming weeks. The updated BBM, BlackBerry Traffic and BlackBerry Travel apps will be available on BlackBerry App World starting today. The BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 software update is expected to follow in February for all BlackBerry PlayBook users.
You can find the BlackBerry booth at CES in the South Hall 3 at Booth #30326).