We have been hearing a bit about BlackBerry OS 7.1 that will come before RIM releases QNX phones. This update is supposed to iron out many of the bugs in BlackBerry OS 7 and throw in a few extras including Wi-Fi hotspot functionality from what I hear. The BlackBerryOS team attended RIM’s latest BlackBerry Innovation Forum in Washington DC and learned a tad bit more about RIM’s plans. Mainly they learned that BlackBerry OS 7.1 was aimed for a December launch. They were also showing off a Bluetooth keyboard/case combo for the PlayBook that is aimed for a February launch along with the PlayBook OS 2.0.
Here are some of the other highlights they learned:
Will have native email client with a a unique feature rich UI. Client will have more options than current bridge based mail client
Calendar completely revamped, and includes new "people view" feature
No plans for BBM client
Native file app
Contacts app more feature rich, more like current BlackBerry’s Contact list.
Target date around February 2012
RIM is working on Bluetooth keyboard and case that fit together for the PlayBook. Release around February 2012. Cost is a little over $100
RIM working on Enterprise App World for enterprise applications
OS 7.1 is looking like a December release
UMA update for 9900 may come later this year
RIM working on 10" PlayBook and larger BlackBerry devices for next year