Seems not that long ago I was asking if the BlackBerry app suite needed a design refresh given the apps have primarily looked the same since their initial release. Apparently, someone at BlackBerry felt the same way and has now pushed new builds for Hub, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Notes in beta which overhauls the design in a big way that makes them look and feel fresher.

The team just recently published version 1.6.2 of the apps suite for the public, containing lots of fixes and adjustments that came directly from your feedback -- thanks! Without skipping a beat, we're now making available version 2.x to everyone in the beta program. This is a major overhaul of the entire app suite, and we're very anxious to hear your initial feedback!

You'll notice immediately that the interface for many things has changed, either with a visual refresh or with new functionality/workflows (or both!). Go easy on us -- while the apps are generally stable (we've been using them here for over a month), it's still early and we're working on them non-stop.

If you have open bugs reported on 1.6.2, please retest them with this update and let us know if it's resolved or still an issue. For new bugs, we'd like to focus only on the 2.x versions going forward. This update of the Hub suite of apps (Hub, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, & Notes) is now available in Google Play for all beta participants! It may take up to a day to show up on your phone.

The biggest changes come by of the BlackBerry Hub itself as the core app. Visually, a lot has changed including how emails can be filtered, how they are displayed within the Hub and there's improved support for attachments and more. But while it all feels fresh and new, it still feels like the Hub as well, so it's familiar and shouldn't disrupt your workflow too much.

That leaves Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Notes and the changes here fall in line with the Hub in that they're largely visual and layout changes. Improved top and bottom navigation throughout helps make everything quickly accessible and new side menus to access different accounts just feel overall cleaner and more organized while settings has been moved out of the menus and placed in the top right of each app.

Of course, if you're a fan of dark themes, you'll find those all still intact as well. Finally, there are new icons for each app. Not what I would have chosen, but it's beta, so they may change before going official. The updates are live right now for everyone in the beta program, so go ahead and get them downloaded and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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