Finally. After at least 8 months of coy glances at mobile Wi-Fi hotspot functionality in BlackBerry smartphones, we’re starting to see some real results. A leaked OS for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 (version 18.104.22.168) will let you share your cellular data connection to nearby Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Those who have tested out the OS are also reporting UMA support on Rogers so you can call over Wi-Fi if your plan supports it. There’s also an opt-in Emergency Alert Messages section for extreme threat, severe threat, Amber Alert, monthly test alerts, and Presidential alerts – all helpful things to have in intense situations.
RIM just started seeding the Java 7.1 SDK, which further encourages hope for a release soon. It included FM radio APIs, but we won’t see anything from that until some new smartphones with supporting hardware are launched. Other devices are bound to get the upgrade in due course; in fact, I saw one BlackBerry Curve 9380 while down in Waterloo sporting mobile hotspot too.
Go ahead and download the firmware over here, but keep in mind that sideloading this OS is entirely unsupported, and if your Bold gets borked for whatever reason, you’re on your own.