The Perfect Marriage: BlackBerry and Android come together in PRIV
One of the primary complaints BlackBerry users have lodged over the years has centred around the lack of apps available on Blackberry devices when compared to other mobile platforms. And after much buzz and speculation, Blackberry has worked to solve that problem by leveraging Google’s Android operating system within their newest smartphone, the PRIV.
It’s a watershed product for the future of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, and it’s also a big deal for Canadian businesses: from its early stage innovations in mobile e-mail to its hardcore security features, BlackBerry devices had long been seen as the business smartphones until BlackBerry lost a bit of its luster in recent years. And that’s why the launch of the PRIV couldn’t come at a more pivotal time for the company.
Will they be able to regain their prominence among Canadian businesses? Here’s an overview of what you can expect from the PRIV by BlackBerry:
Integrating the best of Google
Getting beyond all the specs, the mobile marriage of a BlackBerry handset with an Android operating system makes the PRIV one of the most intriguing releases of the year. While the hardware has a number of noteworthy features (like the curved 5.43-inch screen and touch-sensitive physical keyboard), it’s the software that’s truly turning heads. This is the first BlackBerry to run a third-party operating system, and it’s tackling this new territory with fans in mind.
The PRIV comes loaded up with Android Lollipop, which in itself offers some snappy customization options. From tweaks such as a smorgasbord of icon packs and new fonts all the way up to full skins, the personalization alternatives are endless. In addition, users will have access to some of the great Google services many regular Android users already enjoy, including fully integrated Gmail, web browsing with Chrome, built-in Disk access and more.
But the real key feature here is access to the Google Play store, which serves up thousands of apps and content previously unavailable to BlackBerry users. And this new detail cannot be overstated as the PRIV’s major differentiator when compared to other BlackBerry devices.
Balancing serious security and peak productivity
In addition to the Android experience and app access, the PRIV comes equipped with security features you’d expect from BlackBerry. To enable this, the PRIV allows users to toggle between the sleek Android OS and some fantastic BlackBerry 10 enhancements.
DTEK – which automatically monitors installed apps and lets users know if any pose a security threat – is one new feature worthy of note. PRIV owners can get a sense of their phone’s privacy level at a glance via the easy-to-decipher dashboard, view an in-depth list of apps that have access to sensitive data (i.e. your photos, microphone and private information), or set up custom access notifications.
On top of the extra security measures to help keep sensitive information out of the hands of hackers, the PRIV comes loaded with a couple of unique productivity features right out the box. Users focused on efficiency will love the enhanced version of BlackBerry Hub, which serves as a one-stop communication shop to toggle between texts, emails and social messages with speed and precision. And it’s easy to switch between other beloved apps with the new productivity tab — quickly shoot off a text via HUB, add an event to your Calendar, then look up a number in Contacts with just a few finger swipes.
The bottom line
While there’s plenty of hype around the PRIV’s release, the handset lives up to much of the buzz. The well-made handset serves up the app ecosystem to keep BlackBerry fans current with the latest software available for various day-to-day functions without sacrificing the security and productivity features they’ve come to expect.
What are your thoughts on the PRIV by BlackBerry? Share your comments below.