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BlackBerry today released the first software update for its BlackBerry Priv, the company’s first Android device. The update is a maintenance release (it’s about 475MB in size), meaning this is part of the company’s monthly security update strategy.
If you purchased your Priv directly from BlackBerry through ShopBlackBerry, you can update today, but if you purchased your Priv from a carrier, you’ll have to wait until December 7. When it does show up, you’ll have to connect to a Wi-Fi network, hit the update alert in your phone’s notifications tray (you can also check for software updates by going to Settings => About => System Updates => Check for Updates), and choose to apply the update. It will download in the background, but you can continue using the Priv until you have to restart your phone to complete the installation.
The update brings four improvements:
- An improved camera: A number of tweaks improve the speed of the camera app, which also now has better low-light image quality.
- Better performance: The Priv’s software has been tweaked to improve overall system performance.
- Improved stability: The update further includes a number of adjustments designed to improve device reliability and reduce instances of crashing and freezing.
- Enhanced security: The release includes security patches, and BlackBerry said you should “rest easy knowing your device is protected against the latest Android security threats.”
While it’s great to see BlackBerry deliver an update so quickly (in less than a month), we’re disappointed the Canadian company still hasn’t committed to a date for upgrading Priv owners to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Indeed, today’s announcement doesn’t even mention Marshmallow, let alone a date.
We’ve asked BlackBerry multiple times when the company expects to have Marshmallow ready, especially given the fact other Android devices already ship with the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. The response is always the same: “work has started” to get Android 6.0 onto the device (it began even before the Priv launched), but a timeline still isn’t available. In other words, not this year.
BlackBerry did, however, commit to its Android apps getting updates on December 14 via Google Play. Four apps will be updated: Blackberry Keyboard (increased language support and emojis added to predictive typing), Blackberry Hub (WhatsApp support), Blackberry Camera (new filters), and DTEK (more notification options to alert you when apps use your info).
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