Android Marshmallow for BlackBerry Priv being tested by carriers and will roll out “shortly”

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The BlackBerry Priv, the first Android-powered smartphone by BlackBerry, slides into the Android space (pun intended) by bringing a hardware keyboard, security and privacy features to Android.

Priv brings a more serious approach to privacy control and security on Android.

The device has security baked in during the manufacturing process; cryptographic keys are put in during production, and it has a secure boot sequence as well as a hardened Linux kernel.

In an interview with itwire, Matthew Ball, Managing Director of Blackberry for Australia and New Zealand, clarified the fact that BlackBerry believe they have delivered the most secure Android device to date.


“BlackBerry would not deliver an Android powered device unless it was sure it could deliver the most secure Android device,” said Ball.”

Every Priv smartphone comes pre-loaded with DTEK by BlackBerry, designed to help you manage and protect your privacy with ease. DTEK automatically monitors apps and processes in real time to provide an overall security rating for your device, with an interface that is easy to use and simple to understand.

While the Priv launched with Android 5.1.1, Android 6 (Marshmallow) is currently being tested with carriers.

“We are testing Android Marshmallow now and will roll it out shortly after our Telco’s have verified it,” said Travis Bell, Director of Carrier Management and Sales for Oceania.

Bell spoke about thousands of kernel level changes needed to be made to Android and how the BlackBerry overlay was largely independent of that.

“BlackBerry will regularly roll out over-the-air updates to its software but Android kernel updates will need to be approved by the Telcos.”

However, the high-end smartphone may, or may not, be BlackBerry’s very last device.

Ball clarified the fact that BlackBerry’s focus is now as a software company and making devices is secondary to that.

“BlackBerry is now a software company that happens to make devices,” said Ball.

“Our focus is on enterprise – not the consumer.”