Well well well, instead of waiting in a state of continued speculation, it looks like PCMag did the hard work and went straight to RIM and got out of them the details on the soon to be released BlackBerry Operating System version 4.5 update.

As we have seen and published over the past few months, there are a lot of great updates coming your way, including the two exclusives we broke here at CrackBerry.com: Video Recording on your Curve and A2DP Bluetooth Stereo Support on your Pearl 8100 and 8800. Some of the upgrades coming in the newly rebranded 4.5 update are Server side, while others are on the Handheld. For BES customers, you will see the updates when your IT department upgrades. For BIS customers, you'll need to wait until your carrier upgrades their servers before getting the update. If you're reading this and aren't sure what the difference between BIS & BES is, click here.

Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and Alltel have all confirmed that you will be able to upgrade existing BlackBerrys to the new BBOS. While PCMag was still waiting on confirmation from T-Mobile, I don't think there's anything to worry about there - I'm sure T-Mobile, Rogers, Telus, Vodafone and pretty much every carrier in the world will see the updates soon enough once made available.

But from what I have read (please correct me if I'm wrong in the comments), it seems like we will have to keep waiting until the Carriers update their servers before we see any improvements on our handheld. I was hoping (still am) there would be an update available before the BIS upgrades come into effect that would enable just the handheld device updates (i.e. video recording on your Curve), similar to the OS v4.3.1 Beta I had my hands on. The way it looks now, we're STILL going to have to WAIT another few months before we get any updates.

Model by Model Update Details:

In the following, H denotes Handheld update, S denotes Server update:

BlackBerry Curve (all models), BlackBerry 8820 or 8830:

  • BlackBerry Maps with Points of Interest (H)
  • Improved media player with playlist support and automatic playlist generation (H)
  • Voice note recording (H)
  • Video recording on Curve models (H)
  • Streaming support for YouTube and Sling Player (H)
  • Microsoft Office document editing with DocumentsToGo (H)
  • Native format attachment downloading (S)
  • HTML e-mails (S)
  • Over-the-air device upgrades (S)
  • Free/busy calendar lookup (S)
  • Searching the server for old e-mail messages (S)

BlackBerry Pearl 8100 or BlackBerry 8800:

  • Spell check (H)
  • BlackBerry Maps with Points of Interest (H)
  • Improved media player with playlist support and automatic playlist generation (H)
  • Voice note recording (H)
  • Streaming support for YouTube and Sling Player (H)
  • Bluetooth stereo music (H)
  • Microsoft Office document editing with DocumentsToGo (H)
  • Native format attachment downloading (S)
  • HTML e-mails (S)
  • Over-the-air device upgrades (S)
  • Free/busy calendar lookup (S)
  • Searching the server for old e-mail messages (S)

BlackBerry Pearl 8130:

  • Automatic playlist generation in the media player (H)
  • Microsoft Office document editing with DocumentsToGo (H)
  • Native format attachment downloading (S)
  • HTML e-mails (S)
  • Over-the-air device upgrades (S)
  • Free/busy calendar lookup (S)
  • Searching the server for old e-mail messages (S)

BlackBerry 8700 or 8703e:

  • Spell check (H)
  • BlackBerry Maps with Points of Interest (H)
  • New pictures and ringtones applications (H)
  • Voice note recording (H)
  • Microsoft Office document editing with DocumentsToGo (H)
  • Native format attachment downloading (S)
  • HTML e-mails (S)
  • Over-the-air device upgrades (S)
  • Free/busy calendar lookup (S)
  • Searching the server for old e-mail messages (S)

And if you're using an older BlackBerry, you are out of luck...time to upgrade! Important to also note is that this will be the last major update the BlackBerry 8700 Series sees.

The above details gives good reasoning as to why RIM recently decided to rebrand OS v4.3 to OS v4.5. Well, I guess in reality they may have made that decision a long time ago, but it just recently hit the blogosphere as news. With OS v4.3 addressing the majority of the handheld updates above (this is the OS version now shipping on the Pearl 8130), version 4.5 brings even more updates to the handheld and MANY on the server side. The first time I read about the 4.5 rebranding I questioned it, but I think it now makes perfect sense. Sorry I ever doubted you RIM!

The only question now is WHEN CAN WE DOWNLOAD IT?!

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