We already know that the BlackBerry Priv will run a slightly tweaked version of Android, complete with some unique apps made by BlackBerry. Now many of those apps have hit Google Play.
BlackBerry has released the BlackBerry Launcher, BlackBerry Keyboard, MicrosoftexFAT for BlackBerry, BlackBerry Services, BlackBerry Password Keeper, BlackBerry Camera, and DTEK by BlackBerry apps into Google Play. All of these apps will help make the Priv a BlackBerry device, utilizing features like the floating word suggestions on the virtual keyboard that originated on BlackBerry 10.
It’s worth noting that most of these apps aren’t compatible with non-BlackBerry Android phones, so unless you’ve managed to get your hands on a Priv early (if so, gimme), you’re not going to be able to do anything with them. The app listings do include some screenshots, though, so you can at least get a brief peek at how Android will look on the Priv.
I’ve praised Android OEMs like Motorola and HTC in the past for publishing their custom Android apps in Google Play, which lets them issue app updates to their users whenever they’d like rather than waiting to push a large software update. It’s great to see BlackBerry doing the same thing, and it shows that the company is actually putting some thought into its first Android phone rather than just churning it out to try and get attention.
The BlackBerry Priv is now available for pre-order for $699, and it's expected to begin shipping on November 6.