BlackBerry 6.1: Six Cool, New Features in RIM's Upcoming Mobile OS

CIO.com's Al Sacco highlights six noteworthy new features in the next version of RIM's mobile OS, BlackBerry 6.1, which should ship with new smartphones later this year.

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Fri, January 28, 2011

CIO — BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) (RIM) released the first BlackBerry smartphone running its "BlackBerry 6" mobile OS just six months ago, but the company is already hard at work on the next major BlackBerry OS device software update, BlackBerry 6.1.

Leaked Internal RIM Slide on BlackBerry 6.1 Enhancements
Leaked Internal RIM Slide on BlackBerry 6.1 Enhancements

Thanks to a wealth of information posted yesterday on CrackBerry.com, we now have a fairly clear look at a number of cool new feature and enhancements RIM plans to include in BlackBerry OS 6.1 when it ships along with a few as-of-yet unannounced BlackBerry devices, likely later this year. (It's not clear whether or not current or existing BlackBerry device models will get BlackBerry 6.1 upgrades, but since many of the new features require newer, stronger hardware, it seems unlikely.)

Those upcoming devices include the first touch-screen BlackBerry Bolds: the codenamed BlackBerry "Dakota" (GSM version) and the BlackBerry "Montana" (CDMA variant); and the BlackBerry "Monaco Touch," a.k.a. the Storm 3.

Keep moving for a breakdown of six of the coolest features in the upcoming BlackBerry 6.1 mobile OS.

(Note: One of the leaked slides that detail upcoming BlackBerry devices includes a reference to the "BlackBerry 6.1 Lite" OS. It's unclear what exactly the term "Lite" means at this point or if the software differs from the full BlackBerry 6.1 OS. But the Lite OS could lack the full feature set found in the complete version of BlackBerry 6.1. So the device that will reportedly run BlackBerry 6.1 Lite, the BlackBerry Curve "Sedona," may not offer the same range of functionality as its BlackBerry 6.1 counterparts.)

1) Sharper User Experience in BlackBerry 6.1

BlackBerry 6.1 will pack a brand new "Liquid Graphics" feature meant to enhance and makeover the BlackBerry user experience.

The BlackBerry 6.1 Liquid Graphics features is designed "to optimize the Graphics pipeline and BlackBerry Java Applications to offers significant increases in frames per second performance with instant UI action/response, fluid animations, etc..."

And BlackBerry Liquid Graphics in BlackBerry 6.1 mean users will see high-resolution graphics support, up to 24 bit color, across all applications. And the features should also reduce system strain, which results in UI lag and latency.

2) Enhanced Web Browser in BlackBerry OS 6.1

RIM's upcoming BlackBerry smartphones will pack much more powerful processors and other hardware, and that beefed up equipment will enable much improved Web browsing via the BlackBerry WebKit browser, among other things, according to the leaked slides.

More specifically, BlackBerry OS 6.1 packs accelerated JavaScript performance; expanded HTML 5 support with new support for Canvas, App Cache, Geolocation and HTML 5 video; and much improved mobile video viewing capabilities due to HTML video tag support and codecs.


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