Blackberry OS 4.5

Last week I upgraded my Blackberry Curve from OS 4.3 to 4.5. The upgrade process ran only in Windows took about an hour. I ran it in Fusion, but was generally painless and worked without issue. I’m sure there a ton of new features and bug fixes but here’s my hit list of what I like.

  • HTML email! Tables work, replies don’t break formatting. Colors, bold, underline, and all that goodness renders on the phone.
  • You can see Exchange availability in the calendar. When you type in somebody’s name, it shows you the free/busy for that person.
  • Multiple and colored calendars. If you have more than one service that supports a calendar, the Blackberry will overlay them with colored views now. It works a lot like Windows Live Calendar does.
  • The address book now uses two lines per contact. The first line is the name and the second is the company. Not a huge fan since now I can see half the contacts at one shot. I wish they had an option to disable that.
  • The new default font, BBAlpha Sans, is really pretty. It’s easy on the eyes, has really nice font hinting. The problem is that it slows the phone down. I have a feeling rendering that font on the Curve is a bit much and adding a touch of sluggishness to the device. Switching the font to any of the old ones picks the speed back to the 4.3 OS.
  • In call audio enhancement is supported, so you can add bass or treble boost in the middle of a call if somebody is hard to hear. It’s moderately useful.
  • The media player app is pretty much the same, except there are now voice notes. It’s a bit hokey and I’m not a huge fan of it. More on that in a later post.

Overall, it’s a really good upgrade. Makes the phone feel like it’s a new device and the HTML support is awesome.