BlackBerry 10 update adds picture passwords, message filter

An update to the BlackBerry 10 operating system adds message filtering, picture password and offline browser reading mode.

An update to the BlackBerry 10 operating system is now available to owners of BlackBerry Z30 , Z10, Q5 and Q10 smartphones.

The 10.2.1 update, which is also available for the Porsche Design P'9982 smartphone, includes a number of enhancements and will be available via mobile carriers from today, subject to the smartphone maker's approval.

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Additions include an update to the BlackBerry Hub's filtering, meaning it will only show certain message types such as unread messages, flagged messages, or meeting invites.

The feature can be activated with a pinch gesture on the Hub's message list.

A new incoming call screen allows users to swipe to the left to answer or swipe right to ignore a call, while intuitive icons allow users to silence a call, or send a response through BBM, text or email.

When message notifications on the lock screen are tapped they'll now open the message, while the phone can be unlocked by a combination of a picture password and (single digit) number.

When a user tries to unlock the phone, the picture will appear along with a grid of random numbers. To unlock, users will have to drag the grid so the number selected overlays the correct point on the image.

BlackBerry 10.2.1 also features an offline browser reading mode so that web pages can be saved for later. Operating system updates can also now be set to happen automatically over a wi-fi connection.

For owners of the Z30, Q10 or Q5 handsets the new software update also unlocks the built-in FM radio in those handsets. BlackBerry said the update would be available from today from mobile operators in the US, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Once a smartphone giant, BlackBerry has lost ground to iPhones and Android devices and its BlackBerry 10 handsets have not generated the excitement the company had hoped for; while it still has loyal enterprise customers, the company it has seen its marketshare tumble.

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