With update, some models can now access built-in FM radio. There’s also improved security

Gestures are the latest rage for controlling mobile devices, and the latest version of BlackBerry’s operating system takes advantage of them.

BlackBerry Ltd. today released OS version 10.2.1 that includes the ability to customize the messages shown in the Hub — the central location for all messages and notifications — with a gesture. First tell the Hub to show only certain messages — for example unread, flagged, drafts meeting invites, sent messages or level 1 alerts. then these can be activated with a pinch gesture within the Hub.

It’s one of what the company says are hundreds of enhancements and refinements to the operating system for its Z- and Q-series handsets.

Others include:

–an improved device monitor that shows more detail on battery usage, the impact of apps on battery life and storage;

–the ability to listen to FM radio on Z30, Q10 or Q5 devices. The radio was always there but the new update unlocks it;

–a new incoming call screen that lets users swipe to the left to answer, or swipe to the right to ignore, a call;

–new icons allow users to instantly silence a call, or send a Reply Now response through BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), SMS or email with an automated response that you can’t answer right now;

–the ability to create SMS and email groups for sending messages to multiple addresses;

–improved device security by adding the ability to unlock a handset with a combination of a picture and a numeric password. When you try to unlock the phone, the picture will appear along with a grid of random numbers. To unlock, simply the grid so the number you selected overlays a particular point only you know on the image;

–for administrators whose organizations have BES 10.2, the update includes additional security capabilities allowing more granular control over device data;

–the ability to customize the Settings menu for things like changing screen brightness, toggle network connection, and switch between personal and work modes;

–Preferred Contact Sync, which lets users choose the synchronization source for contacts to ensure details like addresses are up to date;

– and the ability to save a Web page for reading offline.

BlackBerry [TSX: BB] says the update is available now, but it will be up to carriers when it will be pushed out to customers. A quick — not exhaustive — check on user forums shows it is available on Telus and Rogers.

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