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4/18/2013
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BlackBerry 10.1 SDK Points To New Features

BlackBerry's new 10.1 software development kit shows off what's next for the smartphone platform.

BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
BlackBerry recently gave developers a taste of what's next for BlackBerry OS. It distributed BlackBerry OS 10.1C SDK to developers, and the new code includes a wide range of new features that will eventually be added to BlackBerry's fledgling operating system.

The developer code is compatible with the BlackBerry Dev Alpha B, Alpha C and Z10 hardware. It is important to note that most anyone can install the code onto their hardware, but it is not meant for consumers, or even casual tinkerers. It is not a full version of the operating system and does not offer all the features currently present in the official release of BlackBerry OS 10.0.

The code has been available to developers for a bit more than a day, and they've pointed out plenty of new features. The fellows over at CrackBerry.com have begun to compile a list of those features. Here are some of the most interesting.

It appears as though HDR photography is headed to the camera application. HDR imaging is a process that allows cameras to balance out light and dark segments of any given scene to provide a more balanced end result.

[ Check out our list of the 10 Best And Worst Cellphones Of All Time. ]

The keyboard will enjoy several improvements. First, highlighted text (such as when correcting spelling) has been changed from blue to green. Second, the fine-tuning "Text Picker" has been improved so it is easier to move the cursor between individual letters when correcting words.

Changes specific to BlackBerry World, the operating system's application store, include options for coupon redemption and easier-to-find app updates. Apps can also now be opened from within BlackBerry World.

According to CrackBerry, the new version of BlackBerry OS makes it possible to fully unlock the device's screen via the power button. The OS also offers new demonstrations and walkthroughs once the device is booted. Phone numbers can be pasted directly into the dialpad for dialing, and users can turn off alerts for specific applications.

Last, the messaging tools will have several more features. PIN-to-PIN messaging is now available in the BlackBerry Hub, and users can "select all" for broadcast messages.

Developers will surely find additional new features as they continue to dig into the updated operating system from BlackBerry.

Of course, this new SDK and minor operating system bump foreshadow BlackBerry's large developer conference, scheduled to take place May 14-16. BlackBerry will likely make official announcements regarding new versions of its mobile operating system during the event. In addition to new features and capabilities for the operating system, it is also possible that BlackBerry will show off the next round of BlackBerry smartphones.

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