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BlackBerry seeds BB 10.3.1 to smartphone owners

BlackBerry has launched its first major update of 2015, BB 10.3.1, featuring hundreds of optimisations, updates and additions to the mobile operating system.

The Classic, Passport, Z30, Z10 and Q10 all get the update to 10.3.1, the latter three missing the 10.3.0 update a week beforehand and the two former coming pre-loaded on 10.3.0.

Oddly, the feature gaining the most traction is the volume change, making audio seem incredibly quiet. Some users have complained that the update made them miss their alarm due to the audio changes.

Some BlackBerry users had to use a sound editor to update the volume preferences for louder audio. BlackBerry has not announced any further update to change the audio settings, but given the amount of complaints it should come soon.

There is a lot more to the update than a mishmash of audio preferences, most importantly the Amazon app store is now available for BB 10.3.1 users.

Since Amazon's store is a more confined Google Play store, it means BlackBerry users might be able to pick up some of their favorite Android apps through Amazon.

The update also features a power-saving mode to keep the smartphone running for longer, a new voice assistant with more functionality, sound profiles and customised LED notifications.

A new companion service called BlackBerry Blend was also introduced on BB 10.3.1, allowing users to move from mobile to PC to tablet without losing track of emails and work. BlackBerry also incorporates all of its security into the service on PC.

The update will be seeded to all devices made in 2014 and 2015 in the next few weeks.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.