RIM BlackBerry 7.1 OS debuts at CES 2012, updates to BBM, BlackBerry Traffic and BlackBerry Travel apps available

RIM BlackBerry 7.1 OS debuts at CES 2012, updates to BBM, BlackBerry Traffic and BlackBerry Travel apps available
RIM BlackBerry 7.1 OS debuts at CES 2012. Research In Motion is showcasing the new BlackBerry 7.1 OS as well as updates to the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), BlackBerry Traffic and BlackBerry Travel apps. The latest firmware for RIM BlackBerry 7 phones, the new BlackBerry 7.1 OS will begin rolling out from carriers around the world. The new releases of BBM, BlackBerry Traffic and BlackBerry Travel is available on BlackBerry App World.

New BlackBerry 7.1 OS incorporates a new feature called BlackBerry Tag that can change the way BlackBerry users share information and content. By simply tapping their NFC enabled BlackBerry smartphone against another NFC enabled BlackBerry smartphone, users can make sharing easier than ever. They can instantly invite a friend to BBM, exchange contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia content, and they can also pair their BlackBerry smartphone with an NFC enabled Bluetooth device.

New updated BlackBerry Messenger app (version 6.1) also comes with additional features allow users to personalize their experience even more with support for animated avatars (animated GIFs), a dozen new and fun emoticons to spice up conversations, and the ability to customize chat bubbles with different colors.

In addition, the new BBM app allows users to add customized personal messages of up to 160 characters in their online Profile, more than double the length supported in previous versions. Users can also now set the picture for their BBM avatar directly from the camera app – simply snap a picture and select “Set as BBM Display Picture” from the menu.

BlackBerry 7.1 OS also lets users turn their BlackBerry smartphone into a mobile hotspot that can be shared by up to 5 Wi-Fi -enabled devices, including laptops and tablets3. The BB OS 7.1 update also supports carrier implemented Wi-Fi calling services (UMA/GAN where available), allowing users to make Wi-Fi calls from their BlackBerry smartphone that don’t eat into their airtime minutes.

New BlackBerry Traffic (version 3.0) can determine a user’s estimated time of arrival (ETA) based on current traffic conditions, and now includes hands-free turn-by-turn voice guidance.

New updated BlackBerry Travel app adds support for contextual deals, such as offers for hotels and car rentals, or for arranging limo services to and from the airport. BlackBerry Travel can automatically keep track of a user’s bookings and schedule and quickly notify them if their flight is delayed or cancelled, and can then help them find a new flight right away. The automatic trip scanning feature pulls the travel details into the app, allowing the user to see all their travel updates in one place.

RIM also enhanced the Universal Search capability. It now includes an auto-suggest feature that intelligently filters Bing search results to offer users a variety of relevant Web sites based on their search terms.

What else? The BlackBerry Maps has also been enhanced in the BlackBerry 7.1 OS update. When users launch the new BlackBerry Maps application they can discover special offers, coupons, and discounts from nearby vendors. Users can immediately act on the deals presented to them by clicking to call the vendor or clicking to get the best route to the location where the deal is offered.

Customers with a BlackBerry Curve 9380 or 9360 smartphone will find a nice surprise with the BlackBerry 7.1 OS update in the form of an FM radio. The FM radio circuitry is already built in to the Curve 9360 and 9380 models and BlackBerry 7.1 provides users with a new app that allows them to tune in and enjoy local FM radio stations. Listening to the FM radio does not require a data plan or use data services.

For more information about the BlackBerry 7.1 OS update, visit www.blackberry.com/bb7. For more information and to download the new versions of BBM, BlackBerry Traffic and BlackBerry Travel visit BlackBerry App World at blackberry.com/appworld.
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