BlackBerry’s new platform and phone are getting the first software update since launching. Customers with a Z10 handset either have, or will soon have, a 150 MB over-the-air software package that betters five different functions of the newest BlackBerry handset. The company says that some carriers are already delivering the new software and that it’s working with others to make the update available soon.
I’d consider these to be core feature updates, some of which should improve the overall experience in areas that I find slightly lacking:
- Third-party application performance. I don’t find that many third-party apps run slow on the BlackBerry Z10, but this is still welcome news. The bigger issue in my opinion is a lack of top-tier software titles. BlackBerry says WhatsApp Messenger will join the platform this month.
- Phone, calendar and contacts. BlackBerry says there are fixes for Gmail accounts. I’m looking forward to this as I need Gmail for both work and personal uses; the experience could be improved on the Z10. The BlackBerry Hub is also better for call logging after this software update and it is easier to import contacts from online sources.
- Camera. The update reportedly improves photos in low-light conditions, something that many noted was an issue with the Z10.
- Video playback in the browser is improved.
- Battery life. BlackBerry says that 60 battery optimizations are implemented in the software update so “heavy users especially should see a longer average usage per charge cycle.”
I haven’t installed the update on the Z10 that BlackBerry provided me at the launch event yet, although I’ll check for it later today.
While I’m happy to see software improvements, I don’t see anything here that would alter my perception of BlackBerry’s challenge. The Z10 and BlackBerry platform look good and yet I can’t find a reason for most people to switch away from either an iPhone or Android handset at this point.