Much of the recent news surrounding BlackBerry has focused on job cuts and the company's search for a suitor, but today we're getting back to phones thanks to a leaked build of BlackBerry 10.2.1.845 that's making the rounds. The software was posted in the CrackBerry forums, and as any smartphone owner with an addiction to new software would do, several users flashed the leaked build to their phones to see what's inside.
The first notable new feature inside of this leaked BlackBerry 10.2.1 build is "BlackBerry Blend Dashboard." According to CrackBerry, this includes a number of different files that are mostly unusable but could point to some major new functionality that's in the pipeline.
These files include ChatBlend and Fuse, the latter of which allows the user to put a device into Fuse Mode. While still a mystery for now, it's speculated that these files could be the start of support for desktop BBM functionality and possibly some sort of BlackBerry Bridge-like feature that would enable a user to access his or her phone's SMS, MMS and more on an external display. A brief video from BerryFlow that shows the Dashboard is available below.
The other major addition to BlackBerry 10.2.1 is called "Picture Password." This is a new way to lock a device by using a number and image to keep ne'er-do-wells from getting inside of your phone. After selecting any lock screen image, Picture Password overlays it with a grid of different single-digit numbers. The user then chooses one of the numbers and drags it to a specific spot on the lock screen image. In order to unlock the phone, the user must drag that same number to the exact spot that it was placed at before. A video showing Picture Password in action can also be found below.
So far it doesn't appear that anything earth-shattering has been dug up in this new BlackBerry 10.2.1 build, but the BlackBerry Dashboard with its ChatBlend and Fuse functionality could end up being pretty big for BlackBerry users if the features end up working as it's speculated that they might. Meanwhile, Picture Password looks like an interesting new way for BlackBerry users to secure their phones, especially for those that don't want to deal with remembering a password or PIN. What type of lock screen security, if any, do you have on your phone or tablet?