BlackBerries have always been unique in their own way. When most other smartphones on the market featured a full touchscreen, BlackBerry’s alternatives usually came with physical keyboards. When the majority of handsets ran Android OS or iOS, the Canadian smartphone maker came up with its own fresh mobile operating system called BlackBerry 10. However, after many years of experimenting with various formulas, last year BlackBerry decided to step into the world of Android with the launch of the BlackBerry Priv – a full-touch high-end device with near-stock Android Lollipop and a slide-out keyboard. More to the point at hand, the Priv just became more interesting thanks to several new software improvements within the Camera, Launcher, and Keyboard applications.
Following the update, the BlackBerry Camera application for the BlackBerry Priv introduces slow-motion video capture, allowing users to record videos at 120 frames per second, which can then be played back at 30 fps. The update also includes performance and general stability improvements, as well as better compatibility with selfie sticks.
Next in line is the BlackBerry Launcher which, after the new update, separates the default view for applications into three categories, namely “Recent”, “Personal”, and “Work”. Home screen shortcuts can now be removed through flick gestures, pop-up widgets are turned on by default, and overlays have been improved to provide additional information regarding launcher settings, app locations, the productivity tap, and pop-up widgets. Additionally, with the new update, applications located on the microSD card will be grayed out once the card is removed, allowing users to keep better track of the applications installed on the external storage even when it’s inaccessible.
Last but not least, the new version of BlackBerry Keyboard improves the Priv’s prediction engine by processing the user’s social media messages and emails, adapting to the user’s typing style more accurately. Furthermore, predictive typing can now learn words containing numbers, the keyboard can suggest names from the contact list on email creation, and an enhanced cursor locator, as well as on-screen arrows, have been added to Fine Cursor Control mode for the physical QWERTY keyboard. Deleting text should be more convenient too, since holding down “delete” for more than 2 seconds will delete text on a word-by-word basis.
The BlackBerry Camera, BlackBerry Launcher, and BlackBerry Keyboard applications can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and can be updated on the Priv by accessing “My apps & games” section of the Play Store and updating them individually.