Last week BlackBerry started signing up users to the Android 6.0 Marshmallow Beta Zone program for the BlackBerry PRIV. The idea was to gather a number of BlackBerry PRIV owners willing to give Android 6.0 a try on their daily drivers, gather user feedback, and prepare the Marshmallow update for a wide release sooner rather than later. Today the first Android 6.0 Beta update for the BlackBerry PRIV has been released to the first batch of testers, and assuming that the software package is without major flaws, the OS will continue to expand to more beta participants before a public release.
Today BlackBerry announced that some beta testers who have signed up for Beta Zone will receive the first Android 6.0 Marshmallow beta update by the end of the day. The rollout will first target a small group of users, all the while the company will continue monitoring the software package and user feedback in order to find any potential critical issues within the OS. Assuming that the first batch of beta testers won't run into any major problems with the first version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the beta software will then expand its reaches to "larger and larger groups". If all goes according to plan, BlackBerry expects to have every beta participant on-board with Android 6.0 before the end of the week on April 16.
As far as the public release goes, nothing is set in stone so far and obviously, the software's OTA (over the air) release date will be influenced by how the software will present itself in the beta stages. Fewer issues generally lead to a closer launch date, but either way, the beta period should last at least 4 weeks, which means that the update might become available in late-May or early-June. BlackBerry PRIV owners who might want to participate in BlackBerry Beta Zone can try registering on the official website (source link below), or at least keep an eye on the page assuming that BlackBerry has temporarily stopped taking testers onboard. Otherwise, it's worth noting that the most recent public software release for the BlackBerry PRIV took place last week when the April Security Update was launched.