During Research in Motion’s annual shareholder’s meeting yesterday, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said that 7 new BlackBerry devices running its next generation operating system would be out in the coming months. (For clarity, ‘next generation operating system’ actually means BlackBerry 7 which is still based on RIMs old BlackBerry OS. The real next generation QNX OS currently found running on the BlackBerry PlayBook won’t be out on the BlackBerry until early 2012.)
Sprint has officially updated their branded version of the BlackBerry Bold 9650 to OS 188.8.131.520. If you haven’t been installing unofficial versions of BlackBerry 6 on your device, you may want to check out OS 184.108.40.2060, as, it is a fairly significant bump beyond OS 220.127.116.115, Sprint’s last official update. OS 18.104.22.1680, of course is a free download, and you can pick it up from the link below.
Research in Motion has released OS breakdown information for BlackBerry users downloading applications from BlackBerry App World, and, nearly a year after the release of BlackBerry 6, almost 1 in 5 BlackBerry users, 18% to be exact, are using the latest and greatest RIM has to offer. The data also shows that 32% of BlackBerry users are still pre-BlackBerry OS 5. Usually when we think of mobile OS fragmentation, Android is the platform that jumps to mind, but, things are just as bad for the BlackBerry OS, and, they are soon going to get worse….
Uptake of BlackBerry 6 has jumped 8% in the three months since we last talked about it, but, 82% of BlackBerry users on an operating system at least one version back. This will jump to two versions back as soon as RIM releases BlackBerry 7, expected to ship sometime in the next 2 to 3 months. The real problem for RIM is that everyone who cares knows that RIM intends to replace BlackBerry 7 with QNX in ‘early 2012’.
If it took a year for RIM to get 18% adoption on BlackBerry 6, does it really make sense for developers to focus development efforts on BlackBerry 7 when they know that QNX is coming, and, coming hard?
Google recently announced via the Google Mobile Blog that they’ve updated the Google search experience for BlackBerry 6.0 WebKit enabled devices. To make a short story shorter, Google has added a number of enhanced search features that make searching Google via the WebKit browser in BlackBerry 6 much faster.
New features include:
- Enter searches faster: Save time by using autocomplete and search history queries that appear beneath the search box as you type.
- Web search: Find what you’re searching for fast. Comprehensive results pages let you see relevant websites, images, videos, news, real-time results and more. Simply click on the arrow button ‘>>’ to the left of the top search box for more refinement options.
- Image search: Swipe through image results quickly and easily on touch enabled devices. Start by selecting ‘Images’ at the top of www.google.com, then enter a search. From there, click on any image to view a larger size.
- Local search: Find restaurants, shops and other popular business categories with a single tap. Start by selecting ‘Places’ at the top of www.google.com, then click on an icon from the Places homepage.
To use the new enhanced Google search features, just visit http://www.google.com via the WebKit browser via your BlackBerry 6 enabled device.
Research in Motion has announced via BlackBerry Beta Zone that they will now offer consumers from the US, Canada and the UK the ability to download beta version of BlackBerry 6 for select devices and carriers…
Beginning early this year, we will be providing consumers from the US, Canada and the UK using particular wireless networks the opportunity to participate in beta programs dedicated to BlackBerry 6.0 Device Software.
We are excited to open our doors to you for beta testing the latest BlackBerry Device Software and we look forward to your continued involvement in our programs as BlackBerry Beta Zone grows.
To prepare for these upcoming programs, we ask that you please take the following actions to ensure your eligibility*:
In your BlackBerry Beta Zone profile, please update the following information:
- In the “Contact” tab, update to the current BlackBerry smartphone model and PIN you are using, as well as your Country
- In the “BlackBerry Smartphone” tab, ensure you have provided the most up-to-date carrier information
These programs will have limited capacity for participants and registration will end once the spots have been filled.
Your feedback has been instrumental in helping us to improve the site and our programs. We encourage you to continue voicing your opinions and sharing your ideas with us.
The BlackBerry Beta Zone Team
Currently U.S. T-Mobile subscribers with the BlackBerry Bold 9700, Curve 3G 9300, or the Bold 9780 can download beta versions of BlackBerry 6. There are, however, a limited number of spots in the beta program, so, you need to act fast if you want to get in.
If you are a Verizon BlackBerry Bold 9650 or Curve 3G 9330 user that hasn’t already installed a leaked version of BlackBerry 6 for your device, your wait for the latest and greatest BlackBerry OS is now over. Verizon has officially released BlackBerry 6.
You can download and install BlackBerry 6 on your Verizon Bold 9650 or Curve 3G by heading over to www.BlackBerry.com/updates and connection your device to your computer via USB. You can also download the update OTA (over the air) by going to Options>Advanced Options>Wireless Update directly from your device.
You can get more information about BlackBerry 6 updates for both devices from the following Verizon Wireless links:
We just heard that OS 22.214.171.1248 for the BlackBerry Bold 9780 has been leaked and can be found online here. As with any leaked BlackBerry OS, OS 126.96.36.1998 is not supported. Download and install at your own risk, and for heaven’s sake, make sure you have a good back of your BlackBerry before you do.
There is a new leaked version of BlackBerry 6, OS 188.8.131.524, for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 online. We aren’t sure what improvements you will find over the last leak, so, if you notice anything, leave us a comment and let us know what you find.
According to the offically @TELUSsupport Twitter account, BlackBerry 6 will come to the BlackBerry Curve 3G sometime in early January. There is still no word on the Bold 9700, but, BlackBerry 6 will be out for the Curve 3G within the next couple of weeks.
Skype and Verizon have had an exclusive relationship since the end of March 2010 so makes sense that Skype has announced official support for Verizon BlackBerry devices running BlackBerry 6. If only, however, Verizon officially sold devices that run BlackBerry 6… We know that RIM’s latest and and greatest BlackBerry operating system is coming to both the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330, but, Verizon is sure taking their time when it comes to officially releasing it.