Just recently, RIM released the BlackBerry Torch 9800, a sexy little beast of. a phone with a QWERTY keyboard, a touch screen and all the right curves. At the same time they released BlackBerry OS 6.0. Alas, you can only get 6.0 if you’re a rich bugger/mug or an early adopter (or both) as it comes exclusive to the Torch.
Fear not! For those BlackBerry lovers among us, there’s still the rather fetching 5.0. Which has probably been around for a while but I only discovered yesterday.
For those of you who aren’t quite sure what I’m jabbering on about O/S stands for “operating system”. Phones have essentially become mini-computers and now require a functioning operating system that needs patching. I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m leaning towards good as means if your phone starts to play up, all it might need is an upgrade rather than chucking in the bin or selling to Envirophone.com. The problem is, the BlackBerry doesn’t seem to want to update itself. So unless you specifically tell it to, or pay enough attention to the universe, then you might carry on with an older OS without even realising, which would be an awful shame.
Last night I upgraded from 4.4 to 5.0 which actually meant I’d missed two other releases as well. D’oh!
The upgrade went quite smoothly. Simply hook up to the PC, connect to BlackBerry’s website, download and run the updater and wait. It did take a while, but didn’t need to much interaction, which was nice. So just left it on the side to get on with it while I made dinner.
5.0 is faster and sleeker. There aren’t any major changes that I could see, just little tweaks that should enhance my user experience. The best feature was probably the fact that I didn’t need to worry about any of my applications or stuff on my memory card. Everything I had on the phone before was there once the new OS was up and running. It still recognise my email accounts, my settings, my blog (via WordPress for BlackBerry) and Twitter (via Twitter for BlackBerry) and more. Which was nice.
Buttons seem to have smoother edges and a nice shading effect to them. The phone itself feels more responsive and it does things like going into standby instantly when you lock it, rather than fading out. Little touches. Very nice.
Upgrade now @ BlackBerry Device Software 5.0
For update news check out @BlackBerryHelp and for other BlackBerry news follow @crackberry
New features include:
- Flag For Follow Up – apply different colors, assign due dates, set reminders and more, so you can easily stay on top of all your important email messages.
- Mail Folder Management2 – Add, remove or rename folders to help simplify your email management.
- Forward Appointments2 – Forward a calendar entry from the email message list or directly from the calendar and make sure the right people are there.
- Viewing Attachments2 – Open attachments from calendar entries in formats like JPEG, Adobe® PDF, Microsoft® Word, Microsoft® Excel® and Microsoft® PowerPoint®.
- Remote File Access1 – Find, open, view, edit, save, or email your JPEG, Adobe® PDF, Microsoft® Word, Microsoft® Excel® and Microsoft® PowerPoint® files directly from your BlackBerry smartphone.
- Wireless Contact Synchronisation – Wirelessly sync your contact list with your multiple contact folders and personal distribution lists on your desktop, so you can be sure that your contacts are in sync.
- Gmail™ Integration3 – Get many of the same great Gmail™ features you’ve come to love, like search, labels and stars, archive, conversation view, and report as spam on your BlackBerry® smartphone.
SMS Text Messaging
- Threaded SMS Text Messages – Enjoy a chat-like look and feel, emoticons, display pictures and the ability to send an SMS text message with the press of the Enter key.
Time Zone Detection
- Time Zone Change Detection4 – Receive automatic prompts as you travel across the country, with the option to choose a different time zone, making it easy to stay on schedule wherever life takes you.
- Improved Browsing Capabilities – Enjoy a more interactive experience with colorful web pages and rich animations.
- BlackBerry® Map Display – Access maps, zoom in for a closer look, and plan your route faster than you could before. You can also place your cursor over an unlabeled street to make the name pop up.
- Automatic Address Detection – Simply click on an address is displayed in an email or on a web page to view the location with BlackBerry Maps.
- Points of Interest – View points of interest like hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers, get directions from one to the other, and see ratings and reviews all on BlackBerry Maps.
- Navigation – Find your current location, search for an address from your contact list, or get directions to the company party from your pre-stored “work” or “home” location, all in one place.
- Photo Geotagging – View pictures you’ve taken while on the go – your geotagged photos appear as a layer on your map so you can view them as thumbnail images in BlackBerry Maps.