BlackBerry 10.2.1 leaks point to substantial user-facing upgrades for existing devices

Daniel Bader

November 12, 2013 2:10 pm

Though BlackBerry 10.2 is still warm from the oven, the Waterloo-based company is readying another update, small in number but big on features. BlackBerry 10.2.1 has been leaked in a number of places, and there are three major user-facing improvements that current BB10 users will appreciate. The first is a new incoming call screen, which instead of swiping down to answer and up to reject, now allows users to swipe right to answer and left to reject. This behaviour falls in line with current major operating systems like Android and iOS — in fact, that new screen resembles recent versions of Android — and should be far more intuitive to use for new customers.

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BlackBerry 10.2.1 also promises to improve the quick settings menu, which is available by swiping down from the top of the home screen. Until now, users could toggle WiFi, Bluetooth and other functions, but in the new version will be able to eliminate unused functions and add new ones, such as a quick torch toggle.

It also looks like BB 10.2.1 will allow users to install Android apps straight from the file system via a new Android Player. BB 10.2 improved the way the operating system dealt with Android apps by updating the underlying software to Jelly Bean from Gingerbread; this upcoming version looks to expand it further. While BlackBerry is denying that Play Store support is coming in a future build — leaked screenshots suggested it would be — this move could point to tighter Android integration in the future. But one of the most useful additions to BB10.2.1 promises to be Headless Apps.

Developers will soon be able to push notifications and content to users even when the app hasn’t been opened. Right now, notifications for third-party apps are limited to the eight Active Windows in the multitasking menu. BlackBerry plans to make the Headless App API available to specific developers in BB10.2.1, and should roll it out more widely in a later release, likely early next year.

No word on when BlackBerry 10.2.1 is coming to Canadian handsets, but with the Z10, Q10, Q5 and Z30 fully entrenched in the market, it’s good to see the company supporting its tribe.

  • JB

    Wonderful!!!!

  • Marc Palumbo

    yada yada yada who cares

    • Revolver Leconte-Chevalie

      only you

    • Anthony Roberts

      Why do people like you comment with such negativity. I love my BB10 (Z30) phone and while I think the iPhone is a overrated app centric phone that doesnt even had NFC and DLNA and Micro SD card support I dont go around bashing articles about iphone and ios. People like have no life. I for one don’t want to live in a world ruled by Android and iOS the more platforms the better its pushes for innovation and the people who benefit the most is the consumer. I want Android,BB10,Windows and iOS to stay for a long long time so that the consumer can benefit from choices.

    • fates

      Well said.

    • Marc Palumbo

      I’m just saying…. who cares. nobody really cares about Blackberry other than the fact they are a CANADIAN company. This company was poorly managed from almost top to bottom. This is not a surprise that they are not performing

    • Columbo

      It’s funny to see so many users bashing BlackBerry but every time I read a comment from an actual BB user they seem more than happy with their phone – more so than the avg android or iphone user. Maybe the detractors should actually try the devices before talking.

    • midnightdoom

      I can agree here. I was an iPhone user for many years, never really cared for BlackBerry because I didn’t want qwerty. Spent the summer consulting a few friends playing with their phone, comparing apps and ease of use. In the end I have had my z30 for almost a month. I love this phone so much more in all ways except a few minor aspects. I have only touched my iPhone a few times since and now dread even upgrading it to ios7. I will probably keep the iPhone around for a mp3 player but that’s it. My only negative things about the phone are I wish the camera was slightly better. It’s still great, better than my standalone digital but not as good as iPhone, and the apps I was trying to figure out how to side load from android I no longer need to worry since that’s fixed. I was worried about their corporate situation but if people actually tried the phones with an open mind I’m sure lots would fall in love. Ps iPhone battery can’t touch the z30

    • Marc Palumbo

      I never said anything about iPhone or any other phone. I just said who cares. Because in reality, who cares about a company that has failed on high-level/executive level management. This company just sucks

    • midnightdoom

      Lots of people care, the phones are still out there, so get off your high horse and let this site share BlackBerry news too without constant haters. The phone is great and the new CEO looks promising. It can’t happen over night. This is one small step to possible success. They may never get #1 again but it’s no reason to keep bashing them for being ignorant about the OS

  • Sweet

    “Developers will soon be able to push notifications and content to users even when the app hasn’t been opened.”

    The BC Lions app already does that in BBOS 10.2.

  • Sweet

    The rumour is that the 10.2.1 will allow full access to all Google services (Google Services Framework), including being able to download and install apps from the Play store as Androids phones do.

    That raises several questions:

    1. Is Google asking for anything in return, or are they simply going to be content with the benefits of data mining BB users’ data.

    2. If Google does expect something in return, will it be royalties or will they ask for something like free use of BB’s patents or QNX — Google is working a lot on self-driving cars and QNX is a big player in the automobile industry.

    3. If Google does end up using QNX for their cars, does that mean there’s a chance they’ll port Android from Linux to QNX ? NOTE: Simply put, Android is a software layer built on top of Linux. It appears that it could be ported to work on top of QNX, though it would probably be a fair amount of work.

    If BB does get full access to GSF, then I expect that it would be a real boost for BB sales. So I’m setting some BB-stock-purchase money aside, just in case. :-)

    Interesting times.

    • jroc

      So…how long have you been reading way too far into things for?

    • Sweet

      I haven’t been reading too far into anything. I’ve simply been reading other reports and discussions of the topic. One of such discussions featured a dev who said that access to GSF is already on BB10 phones, but it’s been disabled because of lack of licensing permission. Someone else confirmed it.

    • jroc

      I was more referring to whole QNX on Google cars, and Android built on QNX tangents that you went off on.

    • Sweet

      Oh, ok. I certainly agree that it’s far reaching and unlikely, but it is possible.

    • YoureRetarded

      Your crackberry sinopsis is completely unfounded and false. It was just a rumor that has Noe been officially squashed by blackberry themselves. Too bad so sad.

    • thisiscjay

      Incorrect, .apk files CAN and ARE installable on OS 10.2.1

    • It’s official

      Hey girlie, he’s referring to the crack berry retardation nation that made up rumours about google play coming to blackberry. Weirdo.

    • thisiscjay

      Hey Vaglips… IT IS running on 10.2.1.1055 goof… go to crackberry and look or alternatively I can shove the url link up your nose lol

  • SCLL

    As long as this Fixes the Text Messaging Glitch where the screen freezes.

    • Sweet

      Which device ? I’m not getting that problem on my Z10.

    • J-Ro

      Do you mean when the text stream has gone on too long and its blank until it loads? That annoys me too.

    • SCLL

      On Q-10, is annoying as hell. I cannot send a text until the screen un-glitches from the previous text screen and no matter what text convo you open up, the same glitched screen comes up.

    • J-Ro

      I have the same issue on my Q10 and I have had it in other BB’s. To help with the wait time, delete the stream and send a text. It is the only work around I know.

    • YoureRetarded

      God blackberry must suck if they can’t get something as basic as texting correct. Lol.

    • Anthony Roberts

      same can be said about iphone when it came out didnt even have copy and paste lol

    • SCLL

      Talk to me about that battery life though……

  • Dani Sarfati

    They still can’t get notifications right on these new devices!

  • Mayoo

    Looks like a weird mix of Gingerbread and ICS. But good news for BB users!

  • J-Ro

    I will be happy with a quick toggle for airplane mode. That is my only need for now.

    • Sweet

      That’s exactly what I was hoping for too.

    • J-Ro

      I just checked the N4BB source and you can add flight mode as a toggle. I am one happy customer.

    • Sweet

      Great !

    • Michael Travaglini

      Sweet !

    • rd0t

      Loaded this on one of my devices.. you can add flashlight, airplane mode, and mobile hotspot just to name a few :)

    • J-Ro

      I plan on loading this leak as soon as I get home.

    • It’s official

      Is that before or after your date with Paumala?

    • J-Ro

      Very clever

  • Jace Hernandez

    That “Location” toggle is waaaay too similar to the Location toggle in 4.4 KitKat. I’m confused.

    • J-Ro

      If you can’t tell the different between a BB and an Android, find a cliff.

    • Mayoo

      He can’t find one, he is confused around the “Location” icon.

    • Jace Hernandez

      Or maybe if you take your head out of your a*s, you can see what I’m saying. I’m not saying that I can’t tell the difference between Android and Blackberry, I was merely mentioning the fact that the LOCATION toggle is similar. Thanks for the trolling though, I appreciate it.

    • J-Ro

      I know exactly what you meant when you said your comment. My comment was more to “why did that need to be said?”.

      I can’t be a troll if whom I am trolling isn’t valid.

    • Jace Hernandez

      As I said, it was merely an observation, and if you truly felt that my comment wasn’t worth saying, then feel free to move along. Thanks :)

    • YoureRetarded

      Don’t mind the bbry fanbois. They’re quite the sensitive bunch of fellows. Smh.

    • thisiscjay

      If you don’t like the article or BlackBerry why show up here? Also don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

  • Tech Guru

    Still looks like junk

    • YoureRetarded

      Yes, yes it does. It runs like junk too. Oh and it has no apps, or developers to make them, or staff to fix the million plus issues with the base OS. Heh. But hey, look at how the 5 or so bb fans troll and shill along! Now that’s exciting!

    • Michael Travaglini

      I have no beef with Blackberry. In fact, it`s part of a healthy diet!

    • Michael Travaglini

      Your default twitter pic looks like junk

  • YoureRetarded

    Fugly

  • rd0t

    Seeing how quickly BlackBerry is refining BB10 is awesome to see! For those of you who bought a BB10 device when they first came out and returned or sold it, I would definitely recommend trying a newer device like the Z30 with 10.2.. the difference is huge from 9 months ago. Cant wait till 10.2.1 launches!

    • thisiscjay

      Agreed, it is incredibly different than OS 10.0.

  • Shill Detector

    I almost have sympathy for the few remaining bb users. Its too bad they’re too blind to see what a good platform/device is.

    • EllSee

      And who are you to define what a good platform / device is for other people? Just because people don’t believe what you believe, it makes them wrong or blind?
      Also, what does it mean you “almost have sympathy”? You “almost” understand BB users? Or is the word you are looking for “pity”?

    • thisiscjay

      Ignorant fools make these type of statements, amusingly enough I’ve used iOS and Android and found myself using BlackBerry 10 AFTER the fact…

    • It’s official

      Well it’s a good thing you just proved that bb users reside at the back of the short bus. Lol

    • deltatux

      Only people who have not actually used the device for more than a day can make such an ignorant statement.

    • It’s official

      Here’s another prime example of a short bus rider.

    • thisiscjay

      Ignorant fools make these type of statements, amusingly enough I’ve used iOS and Android and found myself using BlackBerry 10 AFTER the fact…

  • Shill Detector

    Ya, but since you,jb,j-ro, and sweet are all the same person, we don’t care.

    • rd0t

      Lol all this butthurt. We’re just fans of BlackBerry and we love the devices we use. You really dont have anything better to do huh?

    • J-Ro

      All the hate for Blackberry yet no one uses it. How do you hate something you don’t and likely never used?

    • It’s official

      Like previously mentioned – a good example right here of the delusions of a bbry user.

    • J-Ro

      Are you a BB 10 user?

  • Jehovah Witness

    WOWOWOW THIS IS INNOVATION FOLKS – COPYING APPLE WITH THE FLASHLIGHT AND COPYING ANDROID ON SWIPE TO ANSWER/REJECT.

    • YoureRetarded

      Yep, exactly. W.O.W.

    • J-Ro

      They all borrow from each other. To say no one copies would be as stupid as it is false.

    • J-Ro

      They all borrow from each other. To say no one copies would be as stupid as it is false.

    • thisiscjay

      I don’t understand why people don’t get this.. most innovations typically become standard, but it takes a certain type of blatant ignorance to question this…

    • fruvous

      Why shouldn’t BB? They other guys stole push email, gestures like swipe down and swipe up. Keyboard swipe up for auto complete is another and wouldn’t be suprised to see timeshift show up as Apple’s “LATEST INNOVATION!” soon.

    • deltatux

      You do realize that custom ROMs had flashlight built into the notification menu way before Apple did with the Android 2.x ROMs. So, they’re not copying Apple on that one. Even if they did, so what? Most innovations are built on top of pre-existing implementations.

    • John

      We can read just fine if you spare us the caps-lock key.

  • Jo

    I love the current call answering system… they will probably completely remove the old one instead of leaving it as an option. I would hate it if they did.

  • It’s official

    All bb fans are complete and utter morons. Listen to you. So clueless and nothing but simpleton minded flame bait. Do you all live in your mommys basement at 40? God, get a life kiddies. You sound soo sad it hurts. Especially that thisiscjay character. What a doozie.

  • kastor

    As a proud z30 user I just have to comment on these negativity, and sink to their childish level. Women get grumpy when their not having regular sex. Flick their finger, shazamm, instand sex with any guy shes wishes. With all these bitter male r*****s who spew idiotic negative comments about a simple device, their just not getting any. Cus if they were, they’d be way too busy or preoccupied to waste time on here to post stupid useless comments about a device they no nothing about. Now if you”ll excuse me I’m going back to having sex witb my wife. Ahahbabababaha

  • kastor

    One other thing to Blackberry. Please dont change the way we answer calls. Luving the swipe down to answer. Ok, back to the wife.

  • John

    When will people just learn to let people own the device they bloody want?! This site is just FILLED with people who spend so much time bashing/convincing people over the internet that they’re stupid for picking a device that appeals to them and not the one that the other has in their hands.

    Get off it, people. You’re a laugh. These little Fandroid/iSheep/BB battles of who is right/wrong or smart/stupid is ridiculous! How about this radical idea: let people spend their own money on whatever device they like and not judge them like playschool children? And if they want to buy it outright or sign a contract for it that’s their decision.

    • John

      Haha, a down vote for letting people choose whatever device they want and not being a Judge Judy about it. Way to go, douche.

  • Justin Zubko

    i love bb I would never have switched or even looked at bb if I didn’t try it. If BlackBerry gave there consumers a risk free 7 day challenge there sales would sky rocket. I work at TELUS and everyone that comes in rolls there eyes when I ask “were you looking at Blackberry, iphone or android?” I always get a “no not bb” If I never tried bb for a week I wouldn’t have sold my gs3 for a q10. Love my q10 and I think for what I do (emails texting social networking) it is the best phone. if you are a app person than no sorry blackberry isn’t for you yet. However if you are a big texted, send lots of emails and do a lot of social networking, I encourage you to just give it a try