BlackBerry and Android: New BlackBerry Priv Announced to Feature Android OS


Joanne Rhee
Staff Writer

Motorola Razr. Samsung Sidekick. LG Env 3. BlackBerry Curve. If you had a phone in middle or high school, chances are you had at least one of these models.

If you never had a chance to own a BlackBerry in your glory days, you will soon have an opportunity to fulfill your inner thirteen-year-old’s fantasy. Blackberry just revealed its newest smartphone: the Priv.

In older models, BlackBerry’s defining feature and appeal was its full keyboard, but with the transition to touch screen smart phones, BlackBerry was unable to keep up with its competitors and quietly got swept under the rug.

BlackBerry’s new smartphone will be powered by Android, a big advantage that makes it a competitor in the smartphone battle royale. Previously, BlackBerry used its own BlackBerry 10 operating system; one of the many contributing factors that led to its loss in popularity in recent years.

The biggest drawback of this operating system was its lack of apps compared to Apple and Android, making many users unable to download some of the world’s most popular apps.

To make itself relevant once more, BlackBerry decided to join forces with Android. Users will now be able to reap the same benefits of current Android users and gain access to the same popular applications, as well as other features found on Android.

However, BlackBerry Priv users will get more than just an Android experience. The smartphone will have some of its own specs unique only to BlackBerry.

The new operating system will be available on Blackberry’s newest smartphone, the BlackBerry Priv. According to the CEO of BlackBerry, John Chen, Priv stands for “privacy and privilege,” characteristics BlackBerry has prided itself with.

“Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android Platform,” he said.

Even though the smartphone will sport a touch screen display, the BlackBerry Priv will still have a full QWERTY keyboard, a defining feature of classic BlackBerry products. New images of the phone show that it, unlike the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, will have a sliding keyboard. Another BlackBerry exclusive is the microSD card slot on the top of the phone.

In addition, the Priv will be available in a variety of colors, including black, silver, white, sky blue, purple, and red.

Even though images have been released, no specific details on the specs have been officially announced. Most of the details floating around are speculation and rumors.

BlackBerry has not yet announced a specific release date, but users won’t have to wait too long to get their hands on the Priv. Chen announced, “BlackBerry expects the device to be available late in the calendar year in major markets in-store and online, and will release further details in the coming weeks.”