Almost immediately after we confirmed our newest phone, PRIV by BlackBerry, would be powered by a unique, security-amplified version of Android 5.1 Lollipop, people started asking when we’d update PRIV to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Because Marshmallow and PRIV were announced within a week of one another, and because we’ve been more aggressive in rolling out updates than most Android device makers, the appeals for Marshmallow from Android and BlackBerry fans have only gotten stronger.
If you’re one of the people who wants to see Marshmallow on your PRIV, we have great news. We’re kicking off the first beta program of the Android OS in BlackBerry Beta Zone. Starting today, we’re inviting PRIV owners to sign up now to participate in our Beta Zone program and contribute to testing Android 6.0 on PRIV.
It’s no wonder that so many are calling for Android 6.0 Marshmallow, as it adds some great, new features to Android. Notably,
- Now On Tap, which identifies keywords in your communications, apps and searches and automatically adds cards with relevant information, such as directions to a restaurant mentioned in your friend’s dinner invitation.
- Better battery life with Doze, which puts your PRIV into a sleep state when you haven’t used or moved it in a while, and App Standby, which limits the impact of rarely used apps on your battery.
- Streamlined settings allow you to manage all of an app’s settings in one place.
- Auto backup for apps, which lets you seamlessly back up your apps and app data, and system settings backup, which allows you to back up things like sync, do not disturb and accessibility settings, so you can get right back where you were if you need to restore.
In addition to these and other new Marshmallow features, the beta software may include security updates on the bleeding edge – even before they are released in our monthly security patches.
PRIV Beta Zone participants will test Android 6.0 Marshmallow by doing a wireless software update to a new Android 6.0 beta build and submit Bug Reports using an included bug reporting app when bugs or inconveniences are discovered.
BlackBerry has a team of analysts ready to investigate the bugs and diagnostic data received, and the development teams are eager for direct customer feedback. Here’s what you need to know to participate.
- To be in the first wave of beta testers, you must have a PRIV purchased from ShopBlackBerry, Amazon or Carphone Warehouse. Other device owners may apply too, but won’t be accepted into the program immediately.
- You’ll need to enable background diagnostic reporting so engineering teams at BlackBerry can analyze collected data in aggregate and make improvements where necessary.
- There is limited space in the beta program. New registrations join the waitlist, from which new participants will be selected as we grow the program. The first group of participants will receive invitations this week.
- Registration will be open for about two weeks, and we’ll begin beta testing during the second week of April.
- The beta will last about 4-8 weeks.
We value your help to explore the stability, performance, and experience of running the latest Android releases from BlackBerry on Android-based BlackBerry smartphones. Please sign up now for the Android OS by BlackBerry beta program.
If you want to know more about PRIV, check out what our fans are saying, look at the official PRIV product page and watch our how-to demos. If you are wondering where you can get your hands on a PRIV, check out our availability blog. Many carriers such as AT&T in the U.S. and Rogers and Bell in Canada are also offering PRIV at new, lower prices (as low as $299.99 on two-year contract in Canada or $21.34/month with zero down at AT&T).