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Close-up BlackBerry Venice Photos Show Off Nearly Stock Android With Signature BlackBerry Tweaks

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The BlackBerry Venice, the rumored Android slider smartphone being developed by BlackBerry, has once again showed up in live photos leaked over the Internet, showing off what appears to be a nearly stock Android Lollipop operating system infused with BlackBerry's own trademark features, and then some.

The rumored smartphone has been the subject of many past leaks. Most recently, we reported that the Venice has shown up in a spy photo image taken at the Toronto Film Festival, showing the smartphone running what seems to be Android's default Messenger app.

The latest pictures, which were obtained exclusively by Android Authority, show the device's touchscreen display, which is believed to be 5.4 inches, and the keyboard hardware that slides out from underneath. Most notably, these are the first close-up photos that show what the software on the smartphone could look like, which has a Material Design aesthetic on the surface but also includes BlackBerry's own features designed for the Canadian company's productivity-focused market.

BlackBerry has added a home screen shortcut that opens up Google Now. If the user taps the home button, Google's digital assistant will show up, just like in Android Lollipop. However, BlackBerry has also added two shortcuts flanking Google Now, including a messenger app, which could be BlackBerry Messenger, and a shortcut for local search showing the BlackBerry logo.

The phone is also equipped with the ability to create widgets and shortcuts for a variety of tasks. For instance, under Communications, users can create a widget for Create BBM, Compose Email, Compose Text Message, Email Contact and Text Contact. Users can also add shortcuts for several other tasks, such as adding an event to the calendar, scheduling a BBM meeting, starting a BBM meeting, and more.

Further, BlackBerry appears to dislike Android Lollipop's card-based recent apps interface. Instead of stacking cards on top of the other, the Venice shows a tile-based recent apps view where each app has a custom size depending on how often it used. This way, users can easily get to their most used apps without having to sort through them like they do in Android Lollipop.

The photos also show off the camera on the back of the Venice, which is said to be a sizable 18MP shooter. Although no photo of the start screen is included, Android Authority's sources say it will show an image of Android holding up a shield, which further points to BlackBerry's focus on security.

The BlackBerry Venice will reportedly have model number STV100-6 and will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chipset. It is expected to make its first official appearance in November, and BlackBerry hopes ditching its own BlackBerry OS for the most popular OS in the world could bring it back even a small slice of the cutthroat smartphone industry.

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