Google hasn’t even announced the October 2016 security patch, but BlackBerry is rolling it out. Right on time, as the calendar flipped over to October today. According to reports, it appears to be rolling out to all variants of theBlackBerry PRIVexcept for the Verizon variant, for some reason. It should be available for the Verizon variant fairly shortly however. There’s not much here to go on, to see what is actually new in this security update, Google should release it next week, though. The update does come in at about 167MB in size, so it’s a somewhat small update. And definitely houses a number of bug fixes as well.
The BlackBerry PRIV was the company’s first Android-powered smartphone, and it was unveiled last fall. Since being unveiled, BlackBerry has continued to support it, software-wise. Being one of the first to push out monthly security updates, and often times beating Google to it. As is the case with the October 2016 security patch. The PRIV has been one of the more secure devices on the market, although unlike some other startups, BlackBerry doesn’t market it as a smartphone that’s impossible to hack. However, BlackBerry has been doing its best to keep it up-to-date and bringing the latest security fixes to the phone.
Unfortunately, this update does not bring the much anticipated Android 7.0 Nougat update, that everyone is looking forward too. That will have to wait a bit longer, hopefully not that much longer though. Currently,Android 7.0 Nougat is only available for a few Nexus devices and the LG V20 – which isn’t even actually on sale just yet, in many countries. So BlackBerry isn’t that far behind, but they could end up being one of the first to roll out the update, behind Google this time.
The BlackBerry PRIV is actually BlackBerry’s last smartphone that they designed and manufactured themselves. As they announced this week that their hardware division is shutting its doors. However they will be licensing out their QWERTY physical keyboards to other manufacturers and will be using phones developed by other companies – like TCL for the DTEK50 and DTEK60 – to create their upcoming devices. But it shows that they are definitely pivoting to a software company.