Some leaked road-mappage suggests we might see BlackBerry OS 7 before the end of the year, but in the meantime RIM looks set to introduce Wi-Fi hotspot support with BlackBerry 6.1.
Android users have been dining on Wi-Fi hotspot pie since Froyo (Android 2.2), and Apple users finally got in on the action this week with the release of iOS 4.3. Now it’s BlackBerry’s turn to grab a fork.
Similar to Android and iOS, the feature allows you to connect up to five devices to your BlackBerry via Wi-Fi, and in turn access the internet via the BlackBerry’s data connection.
In the interest of battery life, the feature will shut down after 10 minutes of inactivity by default. If you fancy, you can customise the shutdown time, or disable the feature entirely.
While acting as a hotspot, the BlackBerry will have limited Bluetooth capability and won’t be able to connect to Wi-Fi.
A further update is planned in BlackBerry OS 6.1.1, meaning you won’t have to use Desktop Manager. The tethering interface will be hosted on the BlackBerry instead.
BlackBerry OS 6.1 is expected soonish. Q2, we reckon.