Mobile

BlackBerry 10′s first update fixes battery life, third-party app speed, and more on the Z10

Perhaps BlackBerry is finally paying attention: The company’s first major update for BlackBerry 10 on its Z10 smartphone fixes some of the most common complaints from reviewers and its users.

Announced this morning, the BlackBerry 10.0.10.85 update (BlackBerry really needs a simpler way of naming updates) offers 60 percent better battery life; fixes around the phone, calendar, and contacts (specifically around Google Calendar support); low-light performance improvements for the camera; better browser and media performance; and faster speeds for third-party apps.

The latter update could make BlackBerry 10 more enticing to developers. The company announced last week that the popular messaging client WhatsApp is coming to its platform — today it revealed that performance improvements was one of the reasons WhatsApp came aboard.

The update fixes some of the issues I pointed out in my BlackBerry Z10 review, but it’s still not enough to change my overall opinion. The BlackBerry Z10 still has an identity problem, and the company still hasn’t figured out who its new devices are meant for. Until BlackBerry offers some compelling features that are significantly better than the competition, it’s going to have a tough time competing against the iPhone and Android.

BlackBerry says the 150 megabyte update is already available on some carriers, and it’s working with other carriers to roll it out soon. You’ll get a notification when it’s available, and you can apply the update directly on your phone.

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