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BlackBerry Z10 gets first software update, with 5 improvements

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BlackBerry’s(s bbry) 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(s goog) 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(s aapl) or Android handset at this point.

48 Responses to “BlackBerry Z10 gets first software update, with 5 improvements”

  1. Only update i am waiting for is the Wifi-Calling, i bought z10 last week, and then i found out that it doesn’t have wifi calling. Building where i live and work has poor network for Tmobile. I was using wifi calling on my bold 9900. i will continue to use 9900, till the update for wifi calling is out… hopefully soon.. do you have any idea/news when that would happen?

  2. BBZ10-TMobile:

    Please tell me that they bringing back (with this update) the Group text (from the contacts) feature, if NOT I’m headed out, back to GS3, I’m out with 71 of us (that is also waiting – coaches + Youth Workers) following. We want GROUP TEXTING!

  3. Anang Sri Kusuwardono

    Does the latest updated Z10 OS covers these problems below? :

    1. Deleting pictures that coming into BBM group
    2. Deleting BBM personal status updates in one click (clear all menu)
    3. Deleting twitter update status in one click

  4. philopateer

    i dont know how to update the phoneee and there is no whats app application .. and i think if there is no whatsapp so this z10 is rubbish !! anybody tell me how to update pleasee

  5. Hi, I bought a BB Z10 a few days ago. I really appreciate the phone but do not the leak of apps, especially those that I used to use daily.
    It’s been two days that I’m trying to find a way to upgrade my OS but unfortunately I didnt find the accurate one yet.
    It is a STL 100-2 with OS version and Sotware release
    My first reason for upgrading the OS is that Whatsapp needs a newer OS version to work on my Z10, plus i’d like to like it more especially that I had a Galaxy SII then a Galaxy S3 and i don’t want to regret my decision (switching to BB).

    I will really appreciate your help and ideas.
    Alex (from Paris)

  6. John Vicencio

    I’m getting my Z10 tomorrow. I hate the iPhone by the way. We’ll see how it’ll work out. I’m all about Google but usually that just means I need to have Gmail to work on it (which I think it’ll do specially with the new update), Google Voice (I think I can side load that), Google Music (I think I can use the web version (which is fine)… The rest I can work around it like the stupid Instagram or Google Map (so long as I can get from point a to point b. I don’t need it I have a tablet for that. I’m coming from Galaxy Note and it’s dying so I need a new phone and a darn diff. carrier like T-Mobile wohooo. Anyway, I can’t wait for it! I’ll let you know.

  7. jtonmybb

    Hi tofel
    I have a z10 here in Scotland and I constantly get no signal it seems to be a wifi only phone and it seems to be the future the sim card seems to not register but the sim card its self is fine it works in any other phone I have faultless. this phone is not going to save blackberry and after the £170 I paid to get the last blackberry phone I had repaired it seems the warranty at blackberry are not worth the paper their written on. blackberry lack apps imagination and many other things beside I really do feel by April 30th 2013 I will be buying a Samsung galaxy s3 I am disappointed in blackberry in ways I just can’t put in to words what a disaster this phone has been for me for every 24hrs I get connected to the network 10hrs and this is a new z10 phone and my second and I won’t be getting a thrid

  8. Haider Khan

    Hi , Mr.Kevin.Currently I am having a Samsung Galaxy S3. I am thinking to buy a new mobile. Which one would you prefer me to by:Iphone 5 or Blackberry Z10(in terms of battery life and performance)?

  9. I have a Z10. Earlier I was using an older version of bb where I had configured my official mails through creating a forwarded to the service provider blackberry account. Now my service provider (airtel) says that they can not configure mails on Z10. Where i am using gmail etc but setting up official email id is most important. Can you provide a solution to this?

  10. I currently have a Z10 (work) and a Samsung Galaxy S2 (personal). I am keen to ditch the Samsung to move to a single phone as I like the BB, especially the keyboard which I think it outstanding.

    However, whatever the stats thorwn about say, my choice is driven by availability if certain Apps and the current lack of (for example) Tweetdeck and Gmail is stopping me from making the permanent switch.

    Is there anywhere which publicises expected release dates for Z10 apps?


  11. Looks like 50% of Canadian Z10 buyers and 30% of UK buyers being non-blackberry buyers means that obviously other people have figured out why somebody would switch. As a Z10 owner, i love it and my love affair improves everyday… one incredible phone.

  12. I can confirm with the SW update, Google calendar is better integrated. Until yesterday, my Z10 showed only my main Gcalendar, not it shows all of them and also other people’s calendar where I have read access.
    Not bad… Too early to say anything about battery life from my side, got the update since some hrs…

  13. mimray

    heyyy the phone is great but still waiting for whatsapp to appear bored of bbm :(

    now i see that the new apps starting to appear in the store but how can i update my phone to the new version ?

  14. Haider Khan

    Hi, Mr.Kevin.Currently I am having a Samsung Galaxy S3. I am thinking to buy a new mobile. Which one would you prefer me to by:Iphone 5 or Blackberry Z10(in terms of battery life and performance)?

  15. JustAnotherBlackberryHater

    No reason to switch? What about boredom? I have iOS and I am kinda tired of it. They haven’t done anything different or radical in years. Android 4 seems nice, but I can see someone who had Android for a while willing to part with it (minus google maps). Blackberry’s problem is not lack of apps, it’s lack of key apps. Most people who’d take a blackberry probably don’t even use that many apps. I have ~90 apps on my iphone and I MAYBE use 10 of them. UrbanSpoon? Yeah, I used it like twice. Twitter/WhatsApp/Facebook/Flipboard/Maps/Pandora/Youtube, I bet that covers 75% of all apps used on a regular basis. Blackberry, continue to improve icons/ui (no, I did not use it, just what I saw in the videos, they might be better in person), Get better maps (no, what they have sucks) and you have a shot at people who just want something different. If BlackBerry really wants a splash (it is too little too late at this point) but release BBM on other platforms. Charge a buck. I bet they wouldn’t even have to care about whatsapp at that point, but then… who knows. Too many players in that game now. Look, I read this thing about car washes once: if everyone around you has touchless, open the one with bristles. Same thing, if everyone around you is going for app counts, and you’re so far behind, go for integrated experience. They’re already doing that with email/twitter/alerts/msgs. Don’t stop. Advertise “you can get apps, but you don’t have to, we got you 90% covered out of the box”. It could be appealing. Get a phone that already has good looking news, already does twitter. All from blackberry I can trust. That could be a decent sales pitch.

  16. “I can’t find a reason for most people to switch”

    Have you done your research? 50% of non BlackBerry users are switching to Z10.

    • I have seen those reports from BlackBerry, but I’d like to give it a little more time — and get data points from a party that doesn’t have a vested interest — before we say there’s a trend there.

    • Are you serious? Where did you get that information? I personally like the Galaxy Note better than any phone BUT if I had to choose between any BB and any other lame phone, I’d choose the lame phone.

  17. Glenn Smith

    Here are some reasons to switch

    Best touch keyboard
    Best integrated inbox
    Most HTML5 compliant browser and very fast as well
    Excellent UI experience which is very efficient and a welcome evolution from the current and tired IOS
    Best security and least chance of malware and info being stolen or corrupted especially compared to Android
    Open technology use – DLNA, HDMI, USB
    BBM video and screen share

    Apps are only 70000 but growing at 1000 a day it seems. It is not the number of apps that matters but the ability to create apps easily which Blackberry has done by allowing several
    different methods. It is important that they get the top 100 for sure but I would say they have 70 of those to start with. Good for a new OS.

    I am surprised you don’t see these advantages but it seems they are convincing many to switch from IOS and Android according to reports from resellers where it has been introduced. If you don’t want your trial device please send it to me as I know many people who would love it.

  18. Talk about the update but try not to speculate on things you have no clue about. How does an article on the latest update turn into a random opinion about the companies challenges or what that will do for the company. I still like the Z10 better then my previous iPhone.

    • Er, in that case you can read the BlackBerry blog post, which will certainly be nothing but praise for the update, platform and phone. ;)

      Regardless, I’m glad the Z10 is working for you. I never said it was a bad phone; I said I don’t see a reason for most people to switch.

      • just4sola

        “I don’t see a reason for most people to switch”
        Speak for yourself Kevin. In fact i see no reason to read your write ups again..

  19. Latoya Blackmon

    What about for those of us who wouldn’t be switching from an iphone or aneroid. I have a blackberry currently( the one with touchscreen that slides to reveal a querty board….trying to decide if its worth the switch…

      • Well, I got the Z10 a few weeks ago. Let me make one thing clear. There are many reasons for switching from my other high end smart phone. The main reason is it does everything way better. No comparison in the sheer beauty of this operating system. Easy and fast!

    • Nooooo don’t switch! I had the torch and upgraded to this z10. I regret it and now u can’t go back without getting a whole new sim card as the new10 has a whole different sim card!