What's new in BlackBerry OS 10.2.1

By Kevin Michaluk on 28 Jan 2014 10:30 am EST

BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 is officially upon us — and that means loads of new features. There are minor tweaks and fixes all over as well as big improvements like Wi-Fi Direct, FM Radio, Picture Password, homescreen speed dials and much, much more, including support for the direct installation of Android apps (.apk files) directly onto the device.

As of now there is no on-device walkthrough telling you of everything that's new after you do the update, so if you don't want to miss any new features you'll want to read about them so you don't miss out. Luckily, we have you covered.

Check out the list below for the list of what's new in BlackBerry 10.2.1. We've tracked down all of the updates that we could find and listed them here. Keep in mind there may be a few more here and there, but these are all of the major ones for this update. And be sure to hit up our master BlackBerry 10 change log for a full look of how things have changed since we first reviewed BlackBerry 10.

  • Remote search of emails older than 60 days
  • Bluetooth Sharing through Android Runtime
  • Video Call has the new call screen 
  • FM Radio (Only Q10, Q5, Z30.. Z10 does not support this)
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • Miracast
  • Share Screen
  • Direct Install of APK Files on device through File Manager or Browser
  • Media Volume displays at top of screen
  • New incoming call screen 
  • Update to Device Monitor app
  • Update to Data Monitor app
  • Clock App includes Accuweather information
  • Flashlight app added (can be accessed from Quick Settings)
  • Ability to arrange accounts in the Hub
  • Pinch gesture in the Hub for quick access to specified messages
  • Changes to battery icon
  • Changes to charging icon
  • Battery shows percentage in peek view
  • Updates to native weather app
  • New Quick Settings functionality for dropdown menu
  • Updates to Media Player
  • Added Picture Password 
  • Speed Dial from homescreen (Q10)
  • Added Contact Groups
  • Custom contact profiles for email, SMS, BBM and phone calls
  • Delete options from Hub (device and/or server)
  • Airplane-Mode automatically turned on in Bedside Mode 
  • Lockscreen previews open directly to application
  • New native wallpapers added
  • Next email toggle inside email messages
  • Updated Twitter app
  • BBM adds vibrate on ping and new emoticons
  • White balance adjuster in display settings
  • IBM notes traveler in accounts settings
  • Wolfram Alpha commands
  • Dropdown Menu now includes:
    • Flashlight App Button (new app to 10.2.1.xxxx)
    • Brightness Adjustment
    • Location Toggle Switch
    • Device Monitor App Button (new app to 10.2.1.xxxx)
    • Tethering Toggle Switch
    • Hotspot Toggle Switch
    • NFC Toggle Switch
    • Flight mode Toggle Switch (airplane mode)


Yes, that's quite a lot in 10.2.1. And if you're on a carrier that never even released 10.2.0 and are going straight to 10.2.1, there's even more (see change log link below). If you spot anything else that we haven't listed here, be sure to hit up the comments and let us know. Be sure to spread the word, and tell all of your BlackBerry 10 - using friends to get their updates on now!

View the BlackBerry 10 Master Change Log

Reader comments

What's new in BlackBerry OS 10.2.1



Since your post doesn't say much, I'm going to hijack and say as a Q10 owner, I'm hoping to see dark themed Hub and phone shortcuts to work from any screen. Hate that the mute and speakerphone buttons don't work if I multitask while on the phone.

Am I right Q10 needs now only 3 'magic' gestures (from right top corner of the screen) to reset the hub? Z10 seems to require 4 after official update. Any other crucial changes unnoticeable up to now :)

[...] First ever London smartphone story powered by Z10: www.blackassistant.com

When I first bought a q10, SMS groupchat was all sorts of messed up. Didn't identify senders, etc. I went back to my 9900 (greatest BB ever? sans camera) Is this group chat fixed in the update?
Thank you.

that problem was fixed ages ago. In my opinion this updated bb10 is the complete phone. I don't think anything else needs to be added. The next upgrade should have a feature that enables the phone to dish out money to us faithful users that stuck with them. I'm glad I didn't switch over to iphone. I was a day away from switching. iphone users eat your heart out.


Glad to see more OS7 features going back into BlackBerry 10! Group contacts was a well missed feature for me, makes it easy to blast messages out to teams and departments. Can anyone confirm what the limit is for how many people can be in a contact group?

I have a group that has 19 names in it, so it does at least that many.
. Just make sure the phone number or email you want to use for a contact is listed first in their profile. Right now, you just add contacts to a group list. It doesn't let you pick which number or email to use(if the contact has more than one). It's not perfect, but it's a start.

So if a contact has a mobile and a work number, it's automatically adding the mobile number?? Thanks for you input, I'm getting excited about BB10 again! I know in OS7 when you added a member to a group-contact you were prompted to select which number to use if the contact had more than one phone number.

Exactly. I thinking that it will be improved on the next update. I'm just happy to have groups back at all.

One OS7 feature that many are still waiting for are customizable LED colors. That would be really nice. I'm pretty impressed with what we did get but was hoping this would be one as well.

I am loving the updates BBRY, keep them coming. As a Bold 9900 owner, I am going to love to be able to upgrade to a Z10 and have all the goodies on day one.

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I wouldnt know because AT&T hasnt sent me 10.2 yet. I have checked my updates and it currently says I have the latest update. 10.1...Come on AT&T!


With regards to the new features, how exactly would a general consumer be aware of them?
If you didn't tell your friends of all the awesome in 10.2.1, would they have known that it existed, even after they installed?
Kev says that there isn't an on-device walkthrough... shouldn't that be the first things new users see?

+1 about the walkthrough. I sort of expected one when I rebooted after the update, then came straight on here to find out what the new features were. I'm a bit geeky anyway so don't mind, but for more bog-standard consumers it might be useful to have a quick overview of the main new features.

I recall either Kevin or Umi writing about this particular issue: BB doesn't do a good enough job of promoting new features in their updates and this is another example where I feel they still need to work on (full disclosure: I don't have a BB10 device so I can't really comment on any first hand experience... so I can be totally wrong).
A press release outlining new features is all well and good, but you shouldn't expect the general consumer to go looking for it.
Again, this is an example where BB fails to do a good enough job of promoting and marketing all the cool stuff they got

Big +1!
That "Quick Setup" tutorial that comes on during unboxing is what they need bundled in for every update!

Do you know many "general consumers" that own a BB10 device?

But I do agree there should have been a "what's new" app that started after the first reboot and that consumers could review... just like the Setup App.

My definition of a 'general consumer of BB10 devices': anyone that uses a BB that doesn't actively go to searching through CB to find what's new.
So yes, I do/have known a lot of general consumers who enjoy their phone but don't use their BB to their fullest potential precisely because they aren't made aware of new/existing features.
Take my GF: she likes her Q10 but could never be bothered to look online to see what's new (I guess that's what I'm here for... :S)

BlackBerry needs to spend some money and advertise, in various media and venues, this update and what these amazing devices can do.

Posted via CB10

New users will also look on the net for videos and eventually come in contact with sites like CrackBerry. After a while, they'll get the hang of it. If not, maybe they shouldn't operate a SMARTphone at all. ;)

Why create the additional barrier? 'Eventually come in contact' isn't a good enough justification.

If not a walk through or tutorial, I wish they at least had a comprehensive user manual pdf that tells you how to use all of the features instead of having to go on Crackberry to see how to use or even be made aware of what the phone can do.
Maybe BBRY should just preload Crackberry on all new devices.

BlackBerry is deleting my utility apps one by one. They're embedding it within the OS. Cool! Please add on the list offline reader for browser and preferred contacts sync. I think these features are important.

My Z10 didn't prompt me to upgrade I had to manually search for it. There is no reason why it shouldn't be there for you. If you are still having problems finding it hit up the forums because there are tons of threads about the Verizon rollout.

If you go into Settings<Software update<check for update it should show up. I didn't get a push notice from Telus, but I was able to update in this fashion.

Same here, i'm on Claro telefonica, Latin america, i didn't get a push notification, but when i search for it manually it was there :D and suddenly 5 mins later i got the notification, lol ! it was already downloading

That was a limited amount of downloads from Verizon for the Z10 only. N4bb covered that article.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

I didn't see the update last week when it leaked on Verizon, but yesterday morning (Monday 1/27/2014) I saw the update through BB Link. At the time if I checked for software updates on the phone it still wasn't showing. Keep checking, but if you can check BB Link.

Correct. for several people the update was AGAIN available on link late Sunday night - with no additional push to the hand set. you should be able to pull it from BlackBerry Link at this point. Btw, this is despite reports that Verizon reps are stating there is no release date yet. THE RELEASE STARTED LAST FRIDAY!

Verizon did release it yesterday. I'm shocked to know we're getting it with everyone else. I thought we were just catching up.

Everything here is an improvement, accept auto-airplane mode in bedside mode? what about emergency incoming calls?

That's the point of bedside mode! Puts your phone in a state where it preserves battery, hence turns radios off, allowing you to sleep. No phone calls. No messages :)
If you want phone calls, there's a notifications setting for that.

Not really. "Allow phone calls only" is a setting in bedside mode that many legacy BB users loved - especially travelers who wanted to be sure they would get any emergency calls from a loved one without the constant email dinging. But also having the nice clock screen on all night since the phone is plugged into the charger the whole time anyway (so there's no need to "save power").

BTW, the " allow calls" option has been in bedside mode on BB10 since 10.1. It's not the least bit new.

Posted via CB10

Actually bedside mode had the option of suppressing all notifications EXCEPT for phone calls. This was perfect for me as I did not want any notifications/email alerts but did want phone calls (very important for those that do on-call). If this option is no longer present and you cannot choose options then why have both airplane mode and bedside mode???

You can still set it to phone calls only. The options are 'wireless connections in bedside mode' on/off and 'phone calls in bedside mode' on/off .

If you select wireless connections off in bedside mode it says phone calls in bedside mode will not work.

Simple enough.

More options>less options

Posted via CB10

Yeah, you can still set Bedside Mode so that it accepts phone calls, and it does NOT default to Airplane Mode either; you have to go into settings to set this.

One of my favorite additions coming from 10.1 are the toast notifications! However, they don't work in many of the native apps and its really frustrating. It just rings as it used too and I never get the drop down from the top to reply. I want it to work over ANY app and not just certain ones. Other than that I LOVE the update!

Perhaps there is a problem with your phone, as my toasts pop up in every single application on my phone.

Posted via CB10

Nope. No FM radio either.

The article should have clarified that some of those features are limited to certain devices.

Posted via CB10

Why and how the hell does Z10 supposedly not support those features but the Q10 and freaking Q5 do? WTH?!

BlackBerry better make sure every device that can do each features gets each feature. If the Q10 and Q5 can do those feature then how the hell would the Z10 not?!

I thought that too but help instructions indicate it is supported on the Z10. would love some clarification. on this.

Actually there is no face detection here (Z10STL100-1/ You have to sideload it separately from or another one.

Posted via CB10

Was just about to say the same thing. But I think it's because I have the leaked .1925 can anyone confirm that it's there if they went thru official channels for this OS update?

Posted via CB10

I have not found face detection in the camera app either. Had the.1925 leak and received the small patch.

Posted via CB10

Even side loaded, the toggle is there but the software to detect faces does not work. Not sure why that is.

Miracast doesn't. Don't think Wi-Fi Direct either. Wi-Fi Direct is still in its infancy though anyway.

Posted via CB10 from my new Z30!

Thank-you. I will test once I get home as my new TV has: WiFi Direct; Allshare; & Miracast. perhaps I can load the Samsung APK and use ALLSHARE instead..

Guys home screen dialing IS available on the Q5! Seriously! Would be nice if you could edit the post to reflect that!

Posted via CB10

Haven't seen anyone mention this yet, and not sure whether this is new to 10.2.1, but there is speed dial for the Z devices too. In the phone app call up the dial pad and you can speed dial by long-pressing the keypad numbers.

Didn't know this

So besides voice mail I can program speed dial, plus have favourites

This phone and OS is Awesome.

Posted from my awesome HUB enabled  Z10

Nm previous post of mine. Hah ran this for almost 10 days to NOW realise that. Hahah I need to look I to each feature more carefully.

Posted via CB10

well , thank u , but i didn't find any new wallpapers and bbm still the same and the clock have no difference on 10.2.1 from 10.2

Wow! Looking through the list and wondering how I ever got by before 10.2.1.

I've been on the leak since it came out and have been taking all these features for granted.

Posted via CB10

Notification settings default back to normal from silent or vibrate when switching between apps or menus...

Posted via CB10

After installing this update I find many glitches removed. Another way to go with BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Almost there,98% ,now I have to learn all over again ,but I think I'll be happy with a lot of the Improvements, What about the people who don't come here?God bless them,thanks Kev and the guys.

If even Kevin missed the help videos, isn't it reasonable to expect that a general consumer would surely miss them?

I'm not too sure how you mean...
And for what it's worth, I'm an engineer. From uWaterloo ;)

I never got any new wallpapers with the leak either though...unless they are hidden in folders somewhere in the File Management, but otherwise nothing for me

Nope. Wallpaper options haven't changed in a long time. I don't know why some think they have.

Posted via CB10

Thanks Kevin. That's a large list. Very impressive. I still don't know how Mr. Chen pulled off a global roll out? Is he just that good?

Posted via CB10

I've actually noticed my Z10 has sped up a little. Or at least become a little snappier. Some stuff is still settling though. Can't wait to see how it shakes out in a couple of days.

Posted via CB10

I bet it's disabled by some carriers. I have Rogers in Canada, and no data manager. But I can use the Rogers MyAccount app to monitor data, voice, etc

I'm on a corporate plan, so access to my Telus account is blocked. The wife has an S3 and i LOVE that feature on hers. Lets me know whats taking up all her data.

it's my phone but I'm on a corporate plan as well. I don't look at the account data as much since they negotiated a 6gb plan last year.

I've had 6GB since 2010. They keep trying to take it away from me. Never letting that go! Still, would like to know exactly how much data Slacker actually sucks each month

FOUND IT! In device manager, you need to choose the app you want to know more about, when you scroll down, you can see your moble and wifi data. Very nice. Thanks for the help guys

All looking good, what's the pinch gesture in hub to access specific messages?

Posted via CB10

Thanks, sorry daft question, I've set pinch to priority messages, what gesture is to pinch?

Posted via CB10

What media improvements exactly? Can you emphasize that a little or I guess I can be surprised once lazy a** Version gets the update out!

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

You should note that the Z10 doesn't support Miracast (hardware does not support this), only DLNA.

Posted via CB10

OK thanks for letting me know. I'm new to BB and love my Z10, but I don't know how to side load yet. Could you please point me to good step by step instructions?

Posted via CB10

I d/l'd the bar file from the igrann link below, and used Sachesi to put it on my Z10. Now I have my native clock and a Porshe clock icon. The Porsche clock looks great, but has no features to set Alarms (No on/off button, No doggle).... Did I do something wrong, or is that the way it is? Last night I set the alarm in the native clock but used the Porshe in Bedside Mode, much nicer! :D

I have upgraded my Q10 but do not see the features for the radio or battery. Do you know where I would look?

I am on 10.2.1 now.

But I am still confused how to get android apps working on BB. And two, I do not seem to have the FM Radio from the update.

Any advice folks?

Posted via CB10

Download APK file, press and hold on the APK in file manager and it will show a option to install

I don't have the face detection in camera.
After updating to official.

Keepin' it Chill Z10 (

If you go onto the world clock and choose a city (may need to add one first :-) )
Once you pick a city you will see the weather.

Posted via CB10

If you add locations to the World Clock section, you will see weather details listed for them. It will show weather icons for the overview, and when you click on the location you will see detailed info.

Posted via BBCBZ10

What about " Running Shift " on the Q10 to give track pad lovers an option ...Kevin we need a demo of " Running Shirt "

As in holding down shift to highlight text.. Yes! Happy days! Finally we can achieve almost the same level of productivity as the old Blackberry Bold with the trackpad. About flippin time!

This update is cracking. Finally, my Q10 is dangerously close to being the perfect phone.

Just need it to run some more Android apps bug-free and play a much wider range of video codecs, neither of which I have tested....

Sad. I traded in my z10 for a Nexus 5 on Sunday. Wish I would have had the update for just a day.... :(

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

No face track in camera, no accuweather info in clock app.
BD player not showing up in media sharing anymore.

This is after 5 minutes of use and I am finding issues.

BlackBerry Since 2006. BB Z10,10.2.1 Official. Rogers Halifax, NS

It only appears in the World Clock part. Click on the name of the city that you have added to the list, it will display Location Info page with the weather info. The bad part is only major city is listed so not local.

And no I don't see face detection, had to load up 1055 camera to get it back.

Go to BB WORLD lots of streaming apps.

ie... Tunein

BlackBerry Since 2006. BB Z10,10.2.1 Official. Rogers Halifax, NS

Going to have to sideload the old Camera .bar to get that back. I really liked the face detection my kids would never sit still.

I've been running the latest leak, until today, but I have no idea what some features do. What exactly is wifi direct, miracast, and share screen?

Posted via CB10

I loaded the leak so there!

I had it before all you unlucky saps, lol

Enjoy and it will make your BB10 device amazing

Once again we wait in the U.S. Hopefully we don't get trolled and carriers push out 10.2 instead of 10.2.1

Posted via CB10

I read this on GSM Forum for US Customers

According to a leaked USA roadmap, Verizon's Z10 will get the update on January 28, Q10 - on February 4, the Z30 - on February 10. The same roadmap claims AT&T's Z10 and Q10 will receive the new firmware on February 10, while T-Mobile's Z10 and Q10 will get the notification in mid-February. Sprint's Q10 will be the last one to join the fun - at the end of February.

wow Verizon hasn't got to all the of the blackberry phones yet so for anyone who doesn't have the update yet we should have it by this weekend

Posted via CB10

Makes sense it was the first device released. I however did not know this. I usually just use third party apps.

Posted via CB10

They translated the phone ringtone name... ;)
Also - probably big issue - my Z10 wasn't connected to BlackBerry Protect any more after the upgrade. When opening BlackBerry Protect in the settings, it has shown an error stating "Unable to connect to BlackBerry Protect servers" and BlackBerry Protect was disabled.
After enabling it again, it worked again. Everyone should check this

Kevin maybe you should repost Simon's video review article of 10.2.1 for those who just downloaded it today.

I upgraded from z10 to Z30. If I were you I'd use an app for the radio now and wait to update to the Z50 or Q30. It is supposed to be in Q3. Although I love my Z30 for the size and the battery life I like the display of the Z10 better.

Help! When I've updated to the official OS, my android apps are not working anymore, anybody experienced this? Any advise....


No camera face detection here or accuweather info on the clock app. Am I missing something here? and never going back.

OHHH, that's where the FM Radio is located.. in my "Music" ... sheesh! SMH... Why hasn't anyone called me yet?? Looking to test out this new call answer home screen.. has anyone tried it and does it feel.. awkward?

WOW is all I can say. Only wish the FM Radio were available on the Z10 but hey I'll take everything else with pleasure!

From your write up, being a Z10 owner, I am very disappointed that the FM radio app does not work on this device, rendering it somewhat obsolete, if you asked me. So, I have to buy a Z30 just to be able listen to FM radio on my Z10? How boring.

How to switch on FM radio on z30? I cant see it for some reason. After upgrading to 10.2.1

Typed with Thumbs on my Z30.

Yay! Just tested it. We now have level 1 notifications for priority messages - rule based at that!

That's bound to happen. I take it they had many complaints about the old one. For whatever reason, they've decided to have only one option for this?it would probably makes sense if we knew why. Doesn't bother me. I find it easier to answer the phone on the fly now.

Posted via CB10

I love the new call screen and HATED the old one - I guess to each his own
..maybe make it configurable

Posted via CB10

I was quite reluctant when I heard "New Call Screen" - but since I saw it the first time, I loooove it :)

Even though I'd like FM on my Z10, it does not take anything away the amazement of this update. Plus, this is old new anyway. So many things to be pleased with. Take your time and explore. The answers to most questions are solved with patience. Enjoy everyone!

Posted via CB10

Another new feature: when you open the Pictures app, the default view is now Date instead of Recent.

Posted via the Z30 on CB10

Hey that's right, I like when you scroll down it goes by month when you are under "Date". Oddly enough, I'm noticing that photo's I saved from websites and others I uploaded my computer to the SD Card that I also downloaded, have accurate dates as to "when" those pictures were truly dated and created, I am seeing dates as far back as 2007 from photo's of Sonic The Hedgehog wallpapers, Gundam Wing, and some "other" stuff :D LMAO

With Bell, no new BBM characters after the update AND my Porsche Design clock is gone. Anyone know of a new back door way of getting it?

Posted via CB10

The Porsche clock design was cool when I admired my white Z10 before upgrading to the Z30, I don't look at my wrist anymore where I use to wear a watch back in the 90's. I'm hoping there will be new face designs, how about a BMW design since they use that model to do demonstrations? I'm curious as to how a BMW face designed clock would look like. The Z30 certainly does look and feel like an expensive car, I dropped it the other day in my Rexall pharmacy at work, no case to protect it and landed face first before flipping, not a single scratch or damage. So what kind of car do I have in my hands? SUV O_O

How the hell im gonna install the apk, its doesnt work, its going on circle on processing, never completed how do people installed? Do we need a tools to do it, Again?

Posted via CB10

I have now 2 whatsapp folders in the Hub, one empty and one with all my messages...
Has anyone seen this?
On a Z30

Hmm, haven't seen that on my Z30, I got my: Hub, Priority Hub, Notifications, BBM, Text Messages, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Calls, PIN Messages... maybe restart the phone.