Netflix earnings Sundance Film Festival 2022 Google will set up blockchain unit Amazon opening a brick-and-mortar clothing store Free COVID-19 test kits Wordle explained

BlackBerry 7 beefs up software beefs up graphics, HTML 5, NFC and 720p

BlackBerry 7 is the latest version of the software for Research in Motion's business-focused smart phones.

Forget Disney World, this week the only world that matters in Florida is BlackBerry World. We imagine there's a parade every hour on the hour, topped off with a man in a giant Mike Lazaridis costume storming off. Sadly, that may remain a dream, but one thing that's very real is BlackBerry 7, the latest version of the software for Research in Motion's business-focused smart phones.

The BlackBerry 7 operating system software will make its debut this summer on the BlackBerry 9900 and its identical twin the 9930. It features the new Liquid Graphics interface, which promises improved browsing and visuals. The new browser offers a a just-in-time JavaScript compiler and HTML 5 video support, so you won't have to worry about pesky Flash animation.

Lucky number 7 beefs up support for apps and next-generation technology. BlackBerry 7 devices will have the software to back up near-field communication (NFC), allowing you to pay for things with a wave of your phone, augmented-reality apps, and voice search. It also supports high-definition 720p video recording.

Sadly, those new hardware requirements mean you won't be able to upgrade your current BlackBerry to the new software. That's probably a good thing: older iPhones, for example, are rendered all but unusable when upgraded to new software they can't cope with. But RIM has unveiled some other software you'll get to play with on your current phone.

BlackBerry Balance is here to bring balance to your work/life, er, balance. It keeps your business bits buttoned up and your personal pieces private, locking off work data from finding its way into your personal email, Facebook or Twitter -- accidentally or otherwise. IT admins can set limits on the device and even remotely wipe business data without affecting your personal stuff.

BlackBerry Balance will work on BlackBerry 6 devices from this week, so you don't need to wait for BlackBerry 7 to start balancing.

On a less useful note, RIM has also announced a video chat feature for the BlackBerry PlayBook called, er, PlayBook Video Chat. With it, you can video call anyone else with a PlayBook, probably to commiserate about how rubbish it is.