BlackBerry Priv is nearing its release, but the Canadian firm has released Priv’s stock Android apps to the Google Play Store before the launch. The company has tweaked all the apps to give Priv users a feeling that they are using a true BlackBerry device that is just running on Android OS.
BlackBerry customizes apps for Priv
On Monday, BlackBerry Camera, BlackBerry Launcher, BlackBerry Keyboard and BlackBerry Services apps were made available for download on Google’s Play Store. MicrosoftexFAT and DTEK apps are also available for download. With BB10, BlackBerry introduced the classic floating word suggestions, and the feature is included in the keyboard app.
The release info of the BlackBerry Keyboard app is interesting as it lays out the options for customizing settings on the physical keyboard on the Priv.
Users will be able to format SDXC cards with the help of MicrosoftexFAT that uses exFAT. Using the DTEK app, the users can keep track of their privacy and security settings as well as the data the installed apps are collecting. It also tells a user which apps have access to user’s camera, microphone, location and personal information.
Most of these apps are not incredibly useful at this very moment as they aren’t compatible with non-BlackBerry Priv devices. By pushing its apps to the Play Store, BlackBerry will be able to update its individual apps quickly without the need to send over-the-air software update for just one app. Other Android handset manufacturers such as HTC and Motorola also make use of a similar approach.
Priv versus other Android devices
Recently, a Blackberry Priv simulator was posted online, but it was later removed. However, it gave CrackBerry forum’s members enough time to figure out ways in which Priv differs from a phone that runs stock Android software.
They found that for unlocking the device, users need to swipe across the screen or pull down the hardware keyboard. Thumbnails icons are displayed in different sizes in the Recent menu. The most frequently used apps have the largest thumbnails reserved for them. To remove apps, users need to either swipe or tap an X button.