Sprint and RIM have announced the rollout of BlackBerry OS 7.1 for the Bold 9930 and Torch 9850, which adds Mobile Hotspot support to both devices for the usual $29.99 monthly charge on top of the required Everything Data service plan and BlackBerry access charges. The update will be rolled out over the air and can be manually downloaded as well, if patience is thin.
To update your modern BlackBerry, tap go to the Home screen and navigate to Options. Then select the Device field, and finally, Software Updates.
BlackBerry OS 7.1 is an incremental update to the aging BlackBerry OS platform, which has not received a complete overhaul since its introduction. The 7.1 upgrade adds, in addition to Mobile Hotspot, support for FM radios and improved NFC sharing. FM radio is not available in the pair of Sprint BlackBerry devices updated today.
The update is also important in matching features such as NFC and Mobile Hotspot that Nokia aims to provide in Symbian Anna and Belle. Both RIM and Nokia are in similar positions, they are both struggling to provide a modern robust platform, in the wake of consumers fleeing their existing technologies. RIM recently announced major delays to BlackBerry 10, its embattled QNX-based platform that is derrived from the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 software.
At CES, RIM touted announcing both PlayBook OS 2.0 and 7.1, but these platforms were announced at previous events. PlayBook OS 2.0 has been in beta since the announcement at BlackBerry Dev Con North America, and RIM has been providing 7.1 in beta form since Sprint’s Open Solutions Conference, where developers were given access to RIM’s NFC API stack. NFC was first introduced in a Verizon BlackBerry Bold 9930 update to OS 7.