BlackBerry software update brings new lock screens, offline reading, FM radio to BB10 devices

BlackBerry(s bbry) might be down, but it isn’t quite out. And if you’re a BB10 phone owner, your device is about to get a second lease on life with some useful new features in the latest BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 update.

What you’re most likely to notice is a new, simpler incoming call screen that lets you swipe left or right to answer or ignore a call. You’re also given the option to silence the call, or send a reply via BBM or text. The lock screen is getting an upgrade as well. You can now tap to open a message from your lock screen, and there’s a new option to install a picture-based password for unlocking.

BB10 new answer screen

Another nice change is that you can now customize the contents of your Settings menu, so you can more quickly access the features you use the most. Offline browser reading mode lets you save the Web pages for reading later, even without an internet connection, and a new battery monitor details the impact of installed apps on battery life, memory usage and storage.

The update also unlocks the built-in FM radio on the BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Q10 and the BlackBerry Q5, so you can listen to radio stations without a network connection. And you can now create SMS and email groups, which makes it much easier to send out mass messages.

There are other features as well; these are just some highlights. They aren’t groundbreaking by any means, but it’s a worthwhile update for BB10 device owners.

The update is rolling out starting today but is first subject to carrier approval. When it’s available, you’ll find an alert in the notifications section of BlackBerry Hub. You can also check manually by going to the System Settings menu on your device and selecting Software Updates.