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CES: RIM details its next mobile operating systems

WiFi hotspots and more
Tue Jan 10 2012, 17:29

BLACKBERRY MAKER Research in Motion (RIM) has released details about its next smartphone and tablet operating systems at CES.

The firm has outlined the new features of its upcoming Blackberry 7.1 and Blackberry Playbook 2.0 operating systems. RIM will show off both operating systems at the show this week.

For Blackberry smartphone owners, the updated software will finally allow the device to be used as a mobile WiFi hotspot, a common feature on rival operating systems like Android.

Other areas that RIM will update include Blackberry Messenger, Traffic and Travel apps. Certain Blackberry smartphone models including the Curve 9360 or 9380 will gain FM radio support.

Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at RIM said, "Blackberry 7 delivered a next-generation platform for our customers around the world and the range of software updates announced today build upon the strengths of that platform to further enhance the mobile experience and make life easier, from managing daily tasks to planning big adventures."

The company said it will roll out Blackberry OS 7.1 globally over the next few weeks.

A new feature is Blackberry Tag, part of BMM, which allows users to share content using their device's near field communications (NFC) hardware.

RIM's new version of its Blackberry Playbook tablet OS promises better emailing, social network integration, productivity and new apps and content such as video streaming.

Lazaridis said, "With Blackberry Playbook OS 2.0 we are building on this strong foundation, as well as leveraging our strengths in communications, social integration and productivity, to allow people to use their Blackberry Playbook in new ways throughout the day."

The Blackberry Bridge that pairs the Playbook with a Blackberry smartphone has been improved, allowing the phone to be used as a keyboard and mouse for the tablet.

RIM said that the Blackberry Playbook OS 2.0 will be a free update for all Playbook owners and is expected to tip up next month. µ


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