RIM has confirmed that forthcoming BlackBerry Bold devices will come with touch screen and NFC functionality as well as a revamped BlackBerry 7 OS.
Key upgrades to the BlackBerry Bold 9900 will include a 1.2GHz processor, faster browser with HTML5 support and HD video recording capabilities.
Together with the touch screen and NFC, the BlackBerry 7 OS will allow developers to boost security and create mobile payment applications using NFC, the firm noted on the BlackBerry Developer page.
IT admins will be able to enhance the security of corporate devices by using the BlackBerry Balance software.
This will allow BlackBerry Enterprise Server admins to set policy rules that distinguish between work and personal data on a BlackBerry handset. Admins will also be able to control access to work data and delete it if necessary.
There will also be support for NFC IT policies, RIM said in the release notes.
Access to the secure element (JSR 177) will allow developers to create NFC-based mobile commerce and loyalty apps, and incorporate tag/card emulation and tag reading/writing within apps.
Developers will be able to take standard interface components, such as labels, buttons and drop-down lists, and display them on top of other elements. Barcode and image scanning will also be supported using the camera, and the Unified Search feature will be improved.
Additionally, enhancements to location-based services will help BlackBerry devices catch up with features offered by the Android and Apple platforms, RIM said.
The Magnetometer (compass) API detects magnetic fields to determine the smartphone's direction and orientation relative to its surroundings. Meanwhile, the Travel Time API now provides the departure time needed to arrive at a location at a specific time based on current traffic conditions.
The BlackBerry Java SDK v7.0 beta is available to download now.
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