Although it may no longer need an introduction at this point, the BlackBerry Priv is the first BlackBerry smartphone to hit the market with Google’s Android OS out of the box, as opposed to using the Canadian manufacturer’s proprietary operating system. The smartphone was first released with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop on-board, which means that the arrival of Android 6.0 Marshmallow is going to test whether BlackBerry has the ability to keep its first Android flagship up to date in a timely manner. The company opted for releasing Android 6.0 to select beta tester first, and then gradually expand the software’s reaches to more Priv owners and Beta Zone participants. After a couple of beta releases last month, the third Marshmallow beta update for the BlackBerry Priv is now making its way to T-Mobile customers in the U.S., as well as beta testers in Canada and the APAC region.
The first Android 6.0 beta wave for the PRIV was released on April 13 for BlackBerry’s Beta Zone participants who have acquired their smartphone (model number STV100-1) in the U.S. either directly from a BlackBerry shop or from Amazon. The same update - and the one that followed on April 21st - was also released on the STV100-3 variant in Canada and the APAC region, as well as on the STV100-4 in the EMEA region. Now BlackBerry is releasing the third beta wave for Beta Zone participants, and this time around the update takes aim at the BlackBerry PRIV STV100-1 from T-Mobile U.S., and the STV100-3 variant available from Canadian carriers and in the APAC region. T-Mobile was initially expected to launch the Android 6.0 Marshmallow beta update for the BlackBerry PRIV last month – according to Nathan Webster, the manager of BlackBerry’s beta program team – but apparently this didn’t come to pass and the update is only now rolling out to beta testers.
There’s still a lot of work to be done before every BlackBerry PRIV owner will be able to enjoy Android 6.0 Marshmallow on their QWERTY flagships. The smartphone has yet to receive an invitation to beta Marshmallow on AT&T and Verizon’s networks, and of course, we have to keep in mind that beta releases are not meant for everyone. In any case, if you do happen to own the BlackBerry PRIV and you are a Beta Zone participant, remember that the third beta wave released this week is available only for the STV100-1 at T-Mobile U.S., and the STV100-3 in Canada and the Asia-Pacific region.