BlackBerry OS 10.2 rollout begins for Z10, Q10 and Q5 smartphones

BlackBerry 10 handsets get software update, starting this week, to add Priority Hub and other features.

Mobile operators will this week start rolling out the BlackBerry OS 10.2 update to BlackBerry Z10 , Q10 and Q5 handsets.

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BlackBerry said the rollout will start with carriers in Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, with other countries "to follow". The Z30, BlackBerry's latest phablet model, comes with 10.2 installed.

The update will bring Priority Hub to the handsets (previously a feature of the Z30) which allows users to put important conversations at the top of their inbox. The attachment view, also already a feature on the Z30, separates these items from mail, making them easier to find.

Email, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and SMS message previews will appear in any app, and users can respond to messages without leaving the app they are using.

BlackBerry said other additions include easier copy-and-paste and easier sharing to BBM, Facebook and Twitter. Owners of Z10, Q10 and Q5 smartphones will also get access to the lock screen notifications which debuted on the Z30, so that they can preview (sender and subject line) email, text, BMM or other notifications without unlocking their handset.

BlackBerry said the calendar comes with an "I'm running late" function to let participants know if you’ll be late.

The company had high hopes for its BlackBerry 10 handsets but they have failed to make the impact the company wanted: last month revealed a $965m loss for its second financial quarter of which $934m was due to a what the company described as the "Z10 inventory charge", as the touchscreen device has failed to sell in the quantities that BlackBerry hoped.

The company has said it will cut 4,500 staff, and focus on the "enterprise and prosumer market". It also signed a letter of intent with a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings, which has offered to acquire the company for $4.7bn.

BlackBerry also said BBM, which is now available on non-BlackBerry handsets, clocked over 10 million downloads on Android and Apple iOS devices in the first 24 hours of its launch.

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