Optus and Vodafone BlackBerry customers can now update their phones to OS version 7.1, an update that offers a number of new features, including near-field communication (NFC) tags.
The update applies to several BlackBerry products, including the Bold 9900, the Curve 9360 and the Torch 9860. If this update applies to your phone, you can download it by connecting your phone to a PC, visiting the BlackBerry update page and following the prompts.
Besides various speed and stability enhancements, the new 7.1 update delivers several key upgrades to the user experience on compatible handsets. The new NFC tag-reader app lets users pair their handsets to allow NFC-enabled devices, like speakers, by touching the two devices together. It can also be used to share data, like photos, between two NFC-enabled BlackBerrys.
Mobile Hotspot becomes available with the 7.1 update as well, allowing users to share 3G data with other devices, like tablets and laptops, over a private Wi-Fi network. Owners of the Curve 9360 will also find that they can now listen to FM radio with their phones. Apparently, the circuitry was always available in the phone, but it will now be active post-update.