BlackBerry PRIV's Android Software Support Ends After 2 Years

The BlackBerry PRIV has reached the end of its life as far as software updates are concerned, and will no longer receive monthly security patches going forward. The development is in accordance with the original plan, as BlackBerry already said the phone will enjoy two years of updates in late 2015. Nevertheless, although support for the BlackBerry PRIV has now officially ended, the company’s Senior VP and GM of Mobile has reassured PRIV owners that potential critical vulnerabilities discovered in the future should still be addressed if they're uncovered.

BlackBerry’s Alex Thurber also said that this inevitable change won’t affect warranty obligations for PRIV owners. Additionally, the announcement was meant to highlight the fact that BlackBerry aimed to make the PRIV more secure than other Android-powered smartphones. Lastly, the company also announced that it’s planning on introducing a trade-up program which will give BlackBerry customers who are still using the PRIV or devices running BlackBerry OS or BB10 a chance of trading in their handsets for a newer model such as the KEYOne or the more recently launched BlackBerry Motion. It’s presently unclear exactly how the trade-up program will work and when it might go live but BlackBerry says to expect more details on the matter "soon."

The BlackBerry PRIV was the company’s first smartphone to adopt Android and was released in November 2015 running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. The device was updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow in 2016 but it won’t make the transition to Android 7.0 Nougat or newer iterations of Google's mobile operating system, at least not in official terms. In regards to security, the device received special attention from the OEM who adopted secure boot technology as an extra security layer to prevent malware from loading before the OS and prevent the OS itself from being downgraded to a less secure version. Additionally, the near-stock Android OS saw some modifications in the form of “triggers” designed to identify attempts of software hacking and alert users accordingly. Today, the BlackBerry PRIV remains one of the very few Android smartphones equipped with a physical QWERTY keyboard and it might be the last to adopt a slide-out design.

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