BlackBerry Rolls Out OS 10.2.1 with Customizable Pinch Gestures and Quick Settings Menu

BlackBerry today announced OS 10.2.1, the company’s latest software update.

The update includes “hundreds” of enhancement and refinements, but only a few can be considered significant.

• Customized pinch gesture to filter Hub: You can customize the Hub to show only Unread Messages, Flagged Messages, Draft Messages, Meeting Invites, Sent Messages or Level 1 Alerts; once the filter criterion is set, you can simply activate it with a pinch gesture on the Hub’s message list.

• Offline reading mode: You can now save the current web page you’re on for later viewing, even if you are offline or without an Internet connection.

• Auto-response to phone calls: New icons allow you to instantly silence the call, or send a Reply Now response through BBM, SMS or email that you can’t answer the phone right away. You can choose from a list of standard automated responses or respond with a personalized note.

• Customizable quick settings menu: You can now customize what appears on the Settings menu, which includes features such as being able to quickly change the Brightness of the smartphone’s display, toggle various network connections, and access the built-in flashlight.

• SMS groups: You can now create SMS and email groups for more efficient broadcast communications.

• Picture passwords: You can unlock your phone using a combination of a picture and a number (0-9) of your choice, which you place at a particular point on the image. When you try to unlock the phone, the picture will appear along with a grid of random numbers. To unlock, drag the grid so the number you selected overlays the particular point on the image.

• Better lock screen notifications: You can now tap to open a message that appears on the lock screen, letting you respond to an important message much quicker or to check messages more discreetly.

• Automatic software updates: OS updates can be set to happen automatically over a wifi connection.

• Battery monitor: A new device monitor provides you with essential details on battery usage, the impact of installed apps on battery life and memory usage and storage, as well as CPU stats.

Subject to carrier approvals, BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1 will be available to customers around the world, rolling out starting today in the US and Canada.