BlackBerry is rolling out an October security update for the Android-powered BlackBerry Priv, ahead of Google's official release of the patch.
All carrier variants or unlocked versions of the Priv will be eligible for the update except for those under Verizon. No word yet as to why Verizon is not part of the list, but expect the security patch to come to Verizon Priv devices shortly.
The security update is part of BlackBerry's newest beta release for the Priv, which unfortunately did not come with a comprehensive changelog that lists all the improvements and changes to the phone. There aren't much dramatic changes to see in this update, but there's a high chance it contains general fixes and performance improvements applied by BlackBerry. We can expect to see more details about the October security patch when Google officially releases it soon.
The update comes in at about 157 MB. If you own a Priv and if you're enrolled in the beta program, expect to receive the update shortly.
The AT&T variant of the Priv will receive the firmware version AAG873 while remaining variants, including unlocked Priv units, will receive the firmware version AAG853. This update brings Google's latest security patch but to be clear, this does not bring Android 7.0 Nougat to the Priv. BlackBerry hasn't made any public announcement if it intends to bring Android 7.0 to its Android-powered smartphones. But it most likely will work on this, given that they have much more time for software now.
A recent announcement by BlackBerry confirmed that, following a $372 million loss, it has decided to reorient and direct its focus solely on software, halting any involvement in designing and manufacturing its own hardware.
"The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners," John Chen, BlackBerry's chief executive said. True to their word, BlackBerry has indeed chosen to outsource the manufacturing aspect of their most recent smartphones and instead focus solely on developing the OS. The BlackBerry DTEK50, successor to the Priv, is actually a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4, while the rumored DTEK60, BlackBerry's flagship device and successor the the DTEK50, will be a rebranded TCL 950.
BlackBerry, previously named Research in Motion, once dominated the smartphone industry with their business-oriented smartphones. But with the rapid advancements in smartphone technology, the company has visibly struggled to keep up with the velocity. Still, it might be pushing for a comeback now that it's less pressured to develop and manufacture hardware.
The BlackBerry Priv was the first smartphone released by BlackBerry to support Android, with the DTEK50 and DTEK60 being the second and third smartphones to support it respectively. Despite the Priv running Android, it featured a QWERTY keyboard, something that the company is renowned for. The DTEK50, however, did not feature a physical keyboard, and the DTEK60 will likely take on a similar path.
Photo: Maurizio Pesce | Flickr