BlackBerry Bold OS
Along with other types of goodies, a major device release like the BlackBerry Bold’s often comes with an OS update from RIM. Since most people are still waiting for their carrier to roll out OS 4.5, the Bold’s OS 4.6 might seem like a vision from a highly sexy, Utopian future. Let BlackBerry Cool be your guide through this magical land.
The first thing that stands out in OS 4.6 is the new look. Taking advantage once again of the Bold’s beautiful screen, icons in the default Precision Zen themes are now larger and in a stylized wireframe design. The new look is actually quite disorienting at first, and it will take a couple of days to be comfortable finding what you’re looking for. RIM has made a few changes to help break up the clutter, however. First are the preset folders for Music, Games, Applications (for any application that didn’t warrant inclusion in the main window, I guess), Downloads (all third-party applications are sent here until you move them elsewhere) and Setup (containing setup options for Wi-Fi, email and Bluetooth). The Appearance option in the Advanced Settings menu, also allows you to decide how many icons are displayed per row for better spacing.
Wait a minute, did I just mention a Games folder? Yep, and it comes with pre-loaded games! You’ll find BrickBreaker, Sudoku, Solitaire, Word Mole and Texas Hold ‘Em King Poker ready to offer an entertaining distraction when you pick up your BlackBerry Bold, but unfortunately our pre-release model only came with Word Mole and BrickBreaker. Oh well.
Not all changes are aesthetic, however, and some are quite useful. The most useful being the ability to delete applications without having to enter into the Advanced Options menu — it’s now a matter of two clicks. The Advanced Options menu will still be a key destination though, because of the new additions Wireless Upgrade, GPS Extended Ephemeris, and Cell Broadcast Settings.
Wireless Upgrades does exactly what you think it would, allowing you to eschew the Desktop Manager in favor of upgrading your BlackBerry OS and applications over the air. No updates are available for the Bold yet, but we’ll keep checking.
GPS Extended Ephemeris provides detailed metrics about the the Bold’s internal GPS and the information it’s sending and receiving — probably not of interest to casual users.
Cell Broadcast Settings is an interesting new addition in that it allows you to receive cell broadcast messages that are transmitted from mobile stations at regular intervals, such as weather, travel and emergency updates.
One final item that deserves mentioning relates to the scorn of all BlackBerry users: the dreaded hourglass icon. Don’t worry, you won’t be seeing it anymore on the Bold, and not just because RIM changed the graphics to a small clock. The BlackBerry Bold OS runs so fast and clean that we were unable to cause it to show up for a screenshot. Hopefully, as we add more applications and media files to the device it will stay that way.