BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) and AT&T, the exclusive U.S. carrier for RIM's new BlackBerry Torch 9800 slider smartphone, yesterday let me know that a new software update is available for the Torch, "BlackBerry 6" v 126.96.36.199 (Bundle v188.8.131.525) BlackBerry Torch 9800 Software UpdateThe BlackBerry Torch 9800 software update is available through both RIM and AT&T, and it supposedly significantly improves Torch performance. From RIM: "BlackBerry Torch customers who upgrade will benefit from overall system performance improvements, including: Browser: faster page loading and improved panning User input: handled more efficiently, improved responsiveness after unlocking device Applications: faster launching, exiting and switching Home Screen: faster rendering and smoother transitions when switching between panes Media: faster rendering of thumbnails in picture application Email\/Messaging: faster and smoother scrolling in message list and when reading email Voice-Software: improved audio quality When I wrote my review of the BlackBerry Torch in August, I noted that though I appreciated the Torch hardware, the overall software experience was lacking, since the device seemed to lag and nearly freeze quite frequently. (The AT&T BlackBerry Torch originally shipped with OS v184.108.40.206, bundle v220.127.116.118.) I haven't downloaded this latest Torch 9800 software update yet, so I can't vouch for RIM's performance-improvement claims, but I will say such improvements would go a long way to resolving the issues I had with the device. RIM says AT&T will push out the software update to users' devices so they'll see a home-screen icon when it's available for download in the next week or so, but you can also grab BlackBerry 6 v18.104.22.168 for the Torch right now if you don't want to wait. Grab the update via BlackBerry by opening up your Torch's Options menu, then choosing Device and next selecting Software Updates. Click the Check for Updates option, and if the software is available, you should be able to download it from there. (Note: For whatever reason, I've been unable to download Torch 9800 OS v22.214.171.124 using the wireless update method.) You can also grab the software manually and install it via PC. To download the new Torch OS update via PC, pop on over to either AT&T's website or RIM's software download page. You may also want to take a peek at my BlackBerry Torch Super Guide for Torch-related tips, tricks, accessories, free software downloads and more. AS \n\n\n\n Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for CIO.com. Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Al at ASacco@CIO.com.