A leaked copy of the upcoming BlackBerry OS 7.1 upgrade from Research In Motion has become available, allowing those using a BlackBerry Torch 9810 access to the platform's new features.
Demand for BlackBerry OS 7.1 is high, largely for one main feature of the upgrade: the ability to turn a compatible handset into a portable wireless hotspot, sharing the phone's 3G data connection to other devices in the vicinity.
A staple feature of other handsets, Research In Motion has been slow to add support for the functionality to its BlackBerry line. With BlackBerry OS 7.1, users will finally be able to get their Wi-Fi only eReaders, tablets or laptops connected wherever they are.
While the official update is not due for a while yet, users on the OpenSourceBB site have leaked a pre-release version of the software for those looking to get access early.
Version 188.8.131.52, compatible with the BlackBerry Torch 9810 handset, offers a sneak preview of RIM's plans for its platform, including EAS support and the aforementioned Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.
Although the release is not endorsed by RIM, initial indications are that it's a fully working build. Those brave enough to try it out should head over to OSBB for full installation instructions.