BlackBerry devices typically use the company's own operating system, which they have been transforming throughout the years. Hardware also has seen some nice upgrades in recent times too, they used better designs, components and construction materials. Still, there were many apps missing from the OS and developers were not likely to make them exclusively for those devices. As a result, BlackBerry finally switched to the Android operating system with the BlackBerry PRIV. This smartphone would combine many technologies that have distinguished the company's hardware with some security provided by their own software and all of the apps available through the Android ecosystem.
Ultimately, the phone has been met with mixed reviews, but does offer some nice features and software enhancements. The phone has been available for awhile, and today during a conference at CES 2016, the company announced that it will be available in more regions around the world. Additionally, they also announced that it will be available through more carriers in the U.S. including T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. The company has been updating the software with improvements regarding the camera and the overall performance of the device, plus, the company has kept their promise of periodically updating it with new security patches to make it less vulnerable.
The phone is currently running on Android 5.1 Lollipop, but an update to the more recent Android 6.0 Marshmallow has been talked about. At the CES 2016 presentation, BlackBerry's Ron Louks commented that the company will share more news about when they plan to update the PRIV in the first quarter of this year. He also mentioned that there will be an announcement regarding third-party accessories for this phone in the next few weeks. Not many more details were given, so we'll have to wait a little longer to know if the company will make further changes to improve the overall experience of the UI. MWC will take place from February 22 to February 25 this year, and since it is one of the most important events for companies to announce their latest developments in mobile technology, it seems possible that BlackBerry could share additional details about the update around then.