Are you always living on the bleeding edge of technology and software? Maybe you're at that edge but aren't ready to make the leap, need that extra push. Or maybe, you like too play it safe (and that's awesome as well), and would just like more details. Well this post is for all of you and I hope it will clear up some common questions and general misconceptions that folks have about leaked operating systems.

Everyone always asks, what is a leaked operating system? Well in a nutshell, it is an OS from BlackBerry that has made its way out from the testing grounds of Waterloo and into the hands of the public. Most of the time, leaked OS's are old builds they're just new to us. Realistically, by the time we get them in our hands BlackBerry is usually way ahead on builds and have moved on.

As you may have noticed in the CrackBerry Forums, with each new leak, there is a lot of conversation about what has changed and what may still be broken and with that, comes a lot of bug reports from folks. We all like to do our own testing. We all find our own bugs. And we all find a resolution to those bugs (if we can). The big thing here though is that BlackBerry is already aware of these, there is no need to email them, tweet them, or communicate any of these bugs to them.

Often times with leaks you'll hear folks say, "but I thought higher meant newer". While that is usually true, it isn't in all cases. The way OS development works, is there are multiple branches at anyone time. For example the 10.2.1 branch started as of What this means, is that new features were starting to be implemented into 10.2.1, while the 10.2.0 branch would continue on with bug fixes and performance updates. The beauty of branches of software, is they can be integrated up or down. So while we may see dark theme in .1725, it was actually implemented in 10.2.1 and merged into the 10.2.0 branch.

A lot of the time when you load a leaked OS, you'll also notice a "No information available" notice in the settings, and sometimes people panic. Well there is no need my friends. That little tidbit of information is purely for carrier info. The big thing is the OS version, which will always show. Your radio version will always show as well. Normally you want your radio version 1 up or down. Example: OS has radio 1726. Though, there are weird circumstances where the normal is broken, such Hybrid for Q10 users. This is one spot a lot of folks get confused, Software versions vs. OS versions vs. Radio versions.

Another common asked question, is how is a BlackBerry leaked OS any different from a custom Android ROM? Well this stands out in many different ways. First, a BlackBerry 10 OS, can only be created by and signed off by BlackBerry themselves. A custom Android ROM can be put together by anyone who knows their way around Linux and repos. BlackBerry 10 devices have a locked boot loader that can only load signed OS's from BlackBerry themselves. Where as an Android Device, can have a boot loader unlocked, and install any custom OS, that matches the hardware, signed or not. So basically this point is, that anyone in general cannot and does not have the power to make their own BlackBerry 10 OS or Hybrid. If you're not sure of a build you find, the safest thing to do is ask.

So, that's a quick run through of some common questions and concerns with leaked operating systems. Hopefully, that will give you a better understanding of what they are and how they work and of course, if you have any further questions or concerns then drop them in the comments section below and I'll see if I can address them in a future article. Before I close this one out, let me just say you should always use caution if you go the way of leaked operating systems. Things can and often do not work the way people would like in leaks, so if you're not willing to deal with that it is best to avoid them altogether.