The BlackBerry PRIV Won’t Be Updated To Android 7.0 Nougat
The BlackBerry PRIV was the first BlackBerry device based on the Android platform, currently running BlackBerry software based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Unfortunately, the PRIV is not set to receive Android 7.0 Nougat. This was confirmed in an interview with the CrackBerry website by BlackBerry Mobility Solutions’ General Manager, Alex Thurber. This is disappointing: when BlackBerry released the PRIV, they also promised software support including Google’s security patches, and have delivered.
It isn’t that the BlackBerry PRIV cannot handle later versions of Android, either. The PRIV has a respectable hardware specification, being based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 with 3 GB of RAM. This is the same chipset we find in the LG G4 and LG Nexus 5X. BlackBerry provided a good quality high resolution OLED panel, a hardware slide out keyboard, and a high capacity battery. Although the PRIV had a number of software and network issues, these were for the most part ironed out in later software versions. Thurber’s comments about the PRIV is that it had already been updated from Android Lollipop to Android Marshmallow and on the subject of an update to Android Nougat, “…the amount of work required to get all the partners together behind such an update was next to impossible.” An interesting snippet from the discussion is that Thurber explained the DTEK50 and DTEK60 were considered TCL reference designs to “test the reality of whether the licensing model made sense.” Given the BlackBerry KEYone, the licensing model does make sense!
Unfortunately for BlackBerry fans, Thurber was unable to confirm if some of BlackBerry’s other early Android-based devices (the DTEK50 and DTEK60) are going to be updated beyond their current software version. However, these devices are still being supported by BlackBerry so they are set to continue to receive regular Google security patches. Furthermore, the BlackBerry KEYone will be receiving Android Oreo together with another unreleased BlackBerry device.