“Dancing in September” with BlackBerry Android Software Updates for the Best Productivity


Young woman dancing on riversideIt might be back to school and work for most people, but our summer was busy, as we worked hard to enhance the BlackBerry software experience for users of PRIV, DTEK50, and other Android smartphones. We’ve added many new features to our apps, and improved the app selection for subscribers to our new Hub+ service for non-BlackBerry Android phones.

Of course, for those of you rockin’ BlackBerry smartphones, experiencing our software-in-the-cloud is free and without advertisements – but there’s no reason everyone else shouldn’t learn about what’s new, too!

BlackBerry Hub

  • Support for Hub+ subscriptions.
  • Hub Widget: The Hub Widget now lets you select 1 of 3 views: all of the accounts in your Hub, a particular account, or custom view. If you prefer quicker access to your inbox and to sending messages, Hub combined with the BlackBerry Launcher also fully supports Pop-up Widgets.sept-android-update-screenshot1
  • User Experience Updates: When opening an email or previously snoozed notification from the tray, pressing the back key will now take you into the Hub message list. When in an account view, custom view or folder-specific view, pressing the back key will take you back to the Hub view instead of closing the app.
  • Conversation View Enhancements: Once an image has been downloaded you can now see a quick thumbnail preview of that attachment. These are presented below the message body, and can be opened by tapping.
  • Email signatures: GEEK ALERT! Email signatures now support rendering HTML. With a little bit of HTML skill, you can get creative and add advanced formatting, images and hyperlinks to your email signatures. Just enter the HTML content into the signature field in the accounts settings screen. Here are a few examples of what you can do:
    • Weblinks <a href=”Insert URL here”>Text you want to linkify!</a>
    • Images <img src=”Insert URL here”> images must be an HTTP(s) link to the image of your choice
    • Text formatting attributes like <b>bold text</b>, <u>underlined text</u>, and <i>italicized text</i>
  • Printing: This feature may not be for everyone, but it can still be pretty gosh darn useful. The “3 dots” menu on an email now includes the option to print. This hooks into the Android printing framework, so if you already have set a printer up, then it’s super easy to fire the email off to your printer.
  • SCEP / Cert-based Authentication: Don’t worry, Admins – we have you covered, too! Administrators can now set up email accounts in the Hub that utilize certificates for authentication instead of passwords. You can make your business deployments even faster, easier and less painful for both users and yourself.


  • Japanese Input: You can now configure the BlackBerry Keyboard to type in Japanese.
  • Keyboard Stats: Want to compare your typing skills with your friends and co-workers? Now you can! Under BlackBerry Keyboard settings, you can see how many words you’ve typed, how it’s helped you, and even how often you Emoji.
  • Customized Symbols: I’m going to keep this simple because next week we’ll do an in-depth blog on this one, but you can now change the symbols screen to meet your needs! Keep an eye out for more details, or go experiment for yourself.


  • Support for Hub+ subscriptions
  • Quick Reminder: Based on your feedback, we wanted to provide a simple UI to quickly create a reminder with some text, a location, a reminder and a due date. When tapping the Compose icon in the Calendar app, you now have the option of creating a calendar event/meeting OR a quick reminder.
  • Out of Office Availability: You can now set your status to “Out of Office” and have this sync to Exchange. “Working Elsewhere” is going to be coming in the next release as well.


  • Now available on non-BlackBerry Android Smartphones with support for Hub+ subscriptions.
  • Copy Contacts Across Accounts: Quickly migrate all of your contact data from one account to another with the click of a button. To prevent duplicate contacts, you also have the option to delete all contacts from the originating account after the transfer. This feature can be found in Contact Settings > General Settings > Copy Contacts.


  • Now available on non-BlackBerry Android Smartphones with support for Hub+ subscriptions.

As with previous releases, you should be notified when the application updates are available in Google Play, and your device should then download them automatically over Wi-Fi. If it does not:

  1. Connect to a Wi-Fi network, then open the Google Play Store
  2. Tap the icon on the left side of the search bar, then select “My apps & games” from the menu that pops up.
  3. Either tap “Update All” or select which apps to update on an individual basis.
  4. Tap “download” and the update will begin, even if you don’t see a progress bar or another indicator.

Note: apps may not show up in Google Play for up to 24 hours.

About Michael C.

Michael joined Research In Motion® (RIM®) in 2001, and has worn a variety of hats from customer and developer support to product management. In his current role as Director of Software Product Management, his time is focused on building BlackBerry® 10. Always ready to get stuff done, Michael is truly a BlackBerry® power user, but always has time to listen to customers and co-workers on how to improve BlackBerry’s products.

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