The advantage to Instant Action is that there's no need to first open the Messenger app. This works with other apps as well -- for example, when I typed the letter "t" from the home screen, I was immediately shown a screen with the choice to "add a task" or "post a tweet." When I touched "post a tweet," I was immediately shown the Twitter composition field. I found it to be a real time saver.
BB 10.1 also allows slightly more content to appear on the display by hiding the toolbar for more onscreen space, which can be quickly brought into view with a finger swipe.
Yet another feature has to do with the optimization of the battery for the particular display that the Q10 uses. Because Super AMOLED relies on black as its primary tone (while white is the primary tone in LCD displays), the Q10 uses black backgrounds instead of white in various Q10 applications (such as calendars) to save power. Unfortunately, I found the effect of having black backgrounds annoying, although not seriously.
A feature called Remember lets a document's format -- including colors, exotic fonts, etc. -- be transferred intact to the smartphone. In other words, if you have an email with underlining and a numbered list, it will appear with those features on the Q10 -- something that's unusual for smartphones. I found this feature worked great when reading unusual fonts and notes in emails received on the Q10 review unit from desktop users.
Busy executives will love that BB 10.1 adds support for receiving and reading .msg and .eml attachments in email.
When one name is inserted into an email, you also now get suggestions for adding other contacts -- something that makes sense if an email really needs to go to a team instead of just one person. And you can cut, copy or paste phone numbers into and out of the dialer screen, which is a time- and frustration-saver.
Version 10.1 adds something that BlackBerry believes will be a hit with older users and users in other countries: PIN-to-PIN messaging. It allows you to send instant messages over the data channel (not the separate texting channel) by using a person's specific seven-digit or eight-digit alphanumeric PIN address that was assigned to the phone by BlackBerry. I recall that the BlackBerry PIN network worked for emergency assistance for some BlackBerry users in New York City's financial district during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when other communications links had failed.