BlackBerry Priv Receives March Android Security Patch

March 7, 2016 - Written By Mihai Matei

While BlackBerry Priv owners are waiting for more official details in regards to the availability of Android 6.0 Marshmallow on the said device, the company continues to push out various software updates designed to improve the user experience on their first Android-powered smartphone. After a couple of security patches launched on the Priv in January and February 2016, the March security patch has now been reportedly released, and the download – which weighs roughly 17 MB – can be triggered manually.

The BlackBerry Priv is the Canadian company’s first Android-powered smartphone and is one of the few devices on the market to offer a full touch screen and a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard. The handset was released last year running near-stock Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box and promised higher levels of privacy and security through various improvements and additions to the stock operating system. These include improvements to the Address Space Layout Randomization security technique, cryptographic improvements, temper-proofed critical security parameters, improved SELinux access control policy, and also the addition of Pathrust utility which prevents untrusted code from being dynamically introduced into the system through malware. In other words, although the BlackBerry Priv runs Android as opposed to the proprietary BlackBerry OS, one of the device’s hot selling points was the fact that the Canadian smartphone maker will treat Google’s OS with a higher level of security similar to its own platform. Continuing on this path, the March security patch for the BlackBerry Priv has now been reportedly launched, and can be downloaded from the phone’s “Settings” menu under the “About device” section. Currently, there are no details as to what vulnerabilities are supposed to be fixed by the new security patch, but Google is expected to shed more light on the matter fairly soon.

The March security patch for the BlackBerry Priv arrives roughly one week after the BlackBerry Camera, Launcher, and Keyboard applications have been updated to support additional features, including 120 fps slow-motion video capture and a more thorough typing prediction engine which can now tap into the user’s email and social media writing habits. All in all, the BlackBerry Priv remains a rather unique and appealing Android smartphone, as well as a great choice for users looking for a more secure terminal, whether for personal or corporate use.