It supports carrier implemented Wi-Fi calling services
Research In Motion (RIM) is introducing new BlackBerry 7.1 OS as well as updates to the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), BlackBerry Traffic and BlackBerry Travel apps.
The 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 and they can instantly invite a friend to BBM, exchange contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia content.
The new BBM app allows users to add customised 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.
With BlackBerry 7.1, users can be productive from virtually anywhere.
They can now turn their BlackBerry smartphone into a mobile hotspot that can be shared by up to 5 Wi-Fi -enabled devices, including laptops and tablets.
The 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.
The new BlackBerry Traffic (version 3.0), a free app from RIM, determines a user’s estimated time of arrival (ETA) based on current traffic conditions, and now includes hands-free turn-by-turn voice guidance.
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.
BlackBerry Maps comes pre-installed with 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.
BlackBerry 7.1 provides BlackBerry Curve 9360 or 9380 smartphone 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.
Research In Motion president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said BlackBerry 7 delivered a next-generation platform for the customers around the world and the range of software updates announced today build upon the strengths of that platform to further enhance the mobile experience and make life easier, from managing daily tasks to planning big adventures.