BlackBerry Summer App updates

If you're not really into beta testing apps, you may not have noticed some of the larger changes BlackBerry has been making to their apps but there has been plenty recently. A new post on the BlackBerry blog has now highlighted all of the improvements and new features available in the latest releases of Calendar, Contacts, DTEK, Privacy Shade, and Power Center! If you diligently update your apps, chances are you have these already but if not, here's what's new:

Calendar

  • New Month View

    • The long-awaited improvement to the calendar Month View is here! If you prefer the month view you can now see the list of events in a grid view. Picking different dates in the calendar also gets a refresh in the quick picker view, which gets standardized across all the different calendar views as well. This quick picker view, now has the legacy busyness indicator (circle represents 24 hr clock) to help with planning of your busy schedule.

Contacts

  • Easier Contact Entry

    • Creating a new contact is now even easier. If you search for name, email address or a phone number and these are not found in your contact list, creating a new contact will prepopulate these in the appropriate field of the new contact card.

DTEK

  • Complete Home Screen Redesign

    • A fresh new look to DTEK to help prioritize the most important information. The new DTEK meter shows you at a quick glance the overall security health of your phone. The screen has also been updated to allow easier entry points for the other functions within DTEK.
  • Notification Improvements

    • Now you can log permissions accesses on an event by event basis without cluttering up the Android notification tray. Instead you can quickly access all the "Events" directly from the DTEK home screen.
    • The Events details will log the last ~300 events for any notifications that are enabled – unused, sensitive, background, foreground. Giving you more control you can now set notifications for "priority only" in system settings.
    • Lastly, you can even disable notifications coming to the Android system tray but leave them going to the Events. To ensure you are kept secure the sensitive and weekly scan notifications still display in the Android notifications tray.
  • Application Permission Changes

    • You can now set permissions as sensitive (or leave as normal) and by default the Camera, Mic, Phone are set to sensitive by default, providing you with a notification each time they are used.
    • Additionally, if a sensitive permission is accessed by an app in the background and that app has sensitive notifications turned on (a per app setting) then you will receive a priority notification from DTEK.
  • Introduction of Unused Permissions

    • If specific permissions have not been granted in 60 days, DTEK will highlight that and recommend the permission be turned off to reduce privacy exposure.
  • Introduction of DTEK Scan

    • To ensure BlackBerry is keeping you secure, a weekly scan checks the security and privacy health of your BlackBerry.

Privacy Shade

  • We've received plenty of feedback that you love the privacy shade feature, keeping your on-screen information private from over the shoulder readers. To help extend this privacy further, when you share screenshots to people digitally BlackBerry has introduced a new feature in Privacy Shade called Redactor.

    • Redactor allows you to easily remove sensitive content from a screen capture and seamlessly share it.
    • To make it easy to turn on, you can access it from its own home screen icon or a persistent Android system notification menu can also be customized to allow quick and easy launching of the Redactor or Privacy Shade functions.

Power Center

  • Enhanced Power Management

    • You can not be notified when a background process is using too much power and choose whether you wish to stop the process or configure it to not be able to run in the background at all. Additionally, the Power Center has been enhanced to detect when a foreground application is using excessive power.
  • Proactive Notifications

    • Over time, Power Center will develop knowledge of the user's typical charging patterns, what times of day they usually charge, and will advise if the current usage means you will run out of power ahead of "schedule" and allows you to adjust usage or find a way to charge sooner.

Now some of these changes, as mentioned, have been available in beta for a while so they might not be all that new to some folks but if you're looking over the list and find yourself saying 'I don't have that', then it's time to fire up the Google Play Store and check to make sure you have the latest updates installed. They all should be moved out of beta and now and available for general release.