This year at the Consumer Electronics Show, it looks like RIM is all about software. That proves true in this case, with RIM introducing BlackBerry OS 7.1. It’s considered a minor update overall, but it does bring some nice enhancements to the operating system.
Similar to apps like Bump on iOS and Android, BlackBerry Tag is a convenient way to share contact information with another BlackBerry user nearby. Just tap your BlackBerry against another BlackBerry to exchange the information. The BlackBerry phones have to be equipped with NFC technology for this to work.
Another addition in BlackBerry OS 7.1 has been a dream for BlackBerry users, but a reality for Android and iOS users for at least a year now: mobile hotspot. The WiFi mobile hotspot feature allows for up to five other devices to connect to the BlackBerry’s Internet connection, which is disguised as a WiFi access point to the other devices. Speaking of WiFi, users can make WiFi calls in OS 7.1, too, without burning through their minute plan.
Other features serve to enhance or improve the OS. The BlackBerry travel app can help plan, book, manage, and share travel experiences, the updated BBM app allows for extended profile customization, the Maps app now includes special offers nearby, and supported BlackBerry models can tune in to local FM radio.
Again, these are all comparably minor upgrades, but pleasant nonetheless. The OS 7.1 rollout commences today and will complete within a few weeks.