The BlackBerry Priv emulator is out to help Android developers in building apps for the Priv smartphone. The tool will help developers who are interested in taking advantage of the Priv’s unique physical keyboard, which is not available on other popular Android handsets.
Emulator to expand the scope of the Priv
“You can add a skin to the Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager in the Android Studio SDK so that you can emulate the look and feel of a BlackBerry PRIV,” BlackBerry said. The tool will allow developers to simulate the hardware keys on the Priv, including power, volume up, volume down and the physical keyboard.
The Priv’s keyboard works well with many Android apps when it comes to typing, but the keyboard shortcuts can be used only with BlackBerry-made apps. The company has given step-by-step installation instructions on its support page for the Priv emulator. It requires the latest version of Android Studio and Android SDK.
It is obvious that BlackBerry and its fans will be interested in seeing the change, and the Priv emulator could help in that. However, a lot more effort will be needed to add those keyboard shortcuts, and whether Android developers will be interested in that or not will be known only with time. It will most likely depend on whether the Priv becomes a big seller or not.
BlackBerry Priv receives positive reviews
The BlackBerry Priv is doing surprisingly well in its first week. The Priv is a unique device as it not only supports full-screen touch but also offers a slide-out physical keyboard. This feature makes it stand apart from all other smartphones that are full touch-screen. The Priv, which costs $699 in the U.S., is aimed at a niche audience of enterprise users who are fans of BlackBerry’s security but prefer Android devices.
Early reviews of the device have been positive. The device secured 5-star ratings from 13 of 16 reviewers on Amazon. Another piece of evidence that suggests the device may be doing well is the fact that the Canadian firm is still not able to ship out preorders to buyers who ordered the phone early, expecting delivery by the original Nov. 6 launch date.
In a recent email to customers who preordered the phone, BlackBerry said, “This is a follow-up to the email we sent you on Friday to keep you updated on ShopBlackBerry PRIV preorder deliveries. Due to demand, there has been a delay in shipping PRIV smartphones to some customers who pre-ordered.”