First Major BlackBerry Update Shows Commitment To The Platform

| About: BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)

Today BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) launched an OTA (Over The Air) update to the Z10. This is the official list of fixes in this first update.

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.

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. Here are just a few of the improvements you can expect after updating your software.

3rd Party App Performance

We've improved performance for 3rd 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.

Phone, Calendar, and Contacts

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.


We've optimized 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.

Browser and Media

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.

Battery Life

The software team has included a number of battery life optimizations 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.

How to update your software on BlackBerry 10

Software is available over the air (OTA). Typically, you'll get a notification about new updates, but you can manually check to see if it has been made available by your service provider and install it in a few simple steps.

Settings> Software Updates> Check for Updates> - then follow the on screen steps to install.

The download is approximately 150MB in size, so I recommend updating when connected to Wi-Fi.

There you have it - the first OTA update to your BlackBerry 10 smartphone. We'll be rolling out the update with all of our carrier partners around the globe over the coming weeks. Be sure to check it out when it's available and let us know what you think in the comments below. Your feedback is always welcomed and we will continue to listen as we update and improve BlackBerry 10.

With this update, BlackBerry has addressed most of the quirks in the first launch. After browsing comments over numerous forums, there is a lot of "Thanks!" being thrown BlackBerry's way. There seems to be a wave starting where existing owners see how RIM felt that they didn't need to listen to the demands and could still rest on their laurels. Those voices were taking an amazing Canadian story down a bad path. Within a short period of time they lost double digit market share in some of their strongest markets. Unfortunately for them, they had to fall into third before they started on the road to recovery.

It is my feelings, and has been for a while, that the new leadership of BlackBerry gets it. Thorsten Heins has really turned this company around and provided the leadership and openness that were missing. QNX is the real deal. It isn't an upgrade, it is a rebirth. There is really nothing in common with what was used before on OS 7. You don't really get it until you own the phone. Flow just works and you move seamlessly between apps and information. All the people that were trying to make a living going short are going to lose a lot more the longer they wait.

Anyone can search for information and see that the buzz is definitely on BlackBerry's side. As an owner of the Z10 since launch in Canada, I have been pleased and awed by how easily I adapted to the device, and how easily it adapted to me. Once you use the Hub you will not go back to any other way that separates your notifications and communication.

The media attention that started off with a negative taint, has slowly started to turn as more people get the device in their hands. Businesses are realizing that they don't want to trust Samsung and SAFE with their security when you have a proven entity. There is nothing like BlackBerry Balance in existence and the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. All positives that are becoming a buzz that can only favor increased share prices.

I stated in a comment that I felt that the sales numbers will be higher than critics have been stating. Increased production has been announced and in the next few weeks we will see the Z10 and soon after the keyboard version Q10 hit the US market. There is already demand created and the delays were not ones of BlackBerry's making.

Suggestions of bloated stock levels of iPhone 5's have leaked out, and due to decreasing demand, carriers find themselves stuck with a product that people don't want.

All major carriers in the US have committed to the new product and BlackBerry have had time to get salespeople trained. The Internet has volumes of help and information for new users, but I find it hard to believe that anyone would have a problem learning its usage.

With this update, speed was improved, quirks were fixed, and some wishes answered. I know because I applied the update myself. I have no way to measure, but it feels faster. Gestures as well as the browser seems more responsive. Screen rotation is faster and my alerts stay on after Bluetooth usage. The battery use has been tamed and I have about 20% more than before the update under the same use.

Apps are coming every day and with sales numbers being released March 28th I think that those that are going long will be smiling. The buzz around headquarters in Waterloo is positive and the market seems to be reflecting that.

BlackBerry continues to do things right. Already they have shown their commitment to get things right. There is no reason to believe that they will drop the ball again.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.