October’s BlackBerry Android Software Update: More Treats for Smartphone Users

Android

Children in Halloween costumes reaching into bowl of candyWe’ve been hard at work on the next updates for BlackBerry’s Android apps, including Hub+, Camera, and Keyboard. Just in time for Halloween, we’re releasing improvements that will be a real treat for Android users. To take you back to your trick-or-treating days, these aren’t little Hershey’s Kisses-style updates, but rather a full-size Hershey’s bar treat in your candy bag.

Hub+ is a software subscription service for most Android Marshmallow (6.x) or Lollipop (5.x) devices from any manufacturer. (That’s around 54% of the one billion or so Android users, if you’re counting.) It includes BlackBerry Hub, Calendar, Password Keeper, Contacts, Device Search, Notes, Tasks, and Launcher and has received thousands of rave reviews (average 4.2 out of 5).

Our focus on putting the “smart in the smartphone” means that users of BlackBerry’s secure Android smartphones such as PRIV and DTEK50 as well as non-BlackBerry Android users BOTH benefit from our innovations. And innovation doesn’t mean “develop, release, and quit.” Hub+ was released in August, received its first update in September, and now, in October, we’ve added more new features, based on your feedback, to make the Hub+ experience even better for you.

Halloween candy with dog face in background.

Our October Android software release also includes updates for the Camera and Keyboard software on BlackBerry’s PRIV and DTEK50. We’ve also spent some time tuning our engines to get more performance from our Android apps as well as swatting some pesky bugs.

Here are the other treatsfeatures you’ll get in October’s Android software updates.

BlackBerry Hub+

  • Facebook Messenger support: Messenger is now a listed account within Hub+, enabling you to see and open all your Facebook Messenger communications directly within Hub+.
  • Save inline images: It’s easier to save an image in the body of an email with a simple press and hold on the email.
  • Admin-defined signatures: Hub+ now supports an IT-pushed signature when activated against Android for Work, increasing IT’s administrative control over signatures.

BlackBerry Android Keyboard

  • Multiple ways to switch languages: You can set a dedicated language key or use the spacebar to choose a keyboard language, making it quicker and easier to change between languages.
  • Global gesture support: “Swipe to delete” is now available as a settings option if you’re using Type by Swiping.
  • More enterprise security: You can separate vocabulary learned in your personal space from words learned in your work space.

BlackBerry Launcher

  • Dynamic calendar icon: For any Android 5.x or higher user running the BlackBerry Calendar and Launcher apps, the BlackBerry Calendar icon will always show the current date. In fact, any calendar app or icon pack that supports the dynamic icon will work with the BlackBerry Launcher.
  • BlackBerry Launcher icon: Anyone using the BlackBerry Launcher on a non-BlackBerry phone will see this icon, which helps you switch between launchers or help with updates.
  • Other updates: Launcher is getting other fixes in notifications, performance, and general aesthetics.

BlackBerry Password Keeper

  • Secure lists: Gift list, to-do list, bucket list — whatever you’re tracking, now you can keep it private and secure in Password Keeper!
  • Settings update: The settings panel has been organized for easier navigation and use.
  • Fingerprint sensor support: If your phone has a fingerprint sensor, you can now use it to unlock Password Keeper.

Other Updates

  • Camera: Performance optimizations for the BlackBerry camera app enable faster picture taking along with focus and general usability improvements.
  • Fixes: Hub, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, and Tasks are getting performance and bug fixes, including notification-specific fixes.

As with previous updates, you should receive a notification when the application updates are available in Google Play and then download them automatically over Wi-Fi. If you need to manually update, you can do the following:

  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.

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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