Target the PRIV by BlackBerry with your Android App


The wait is finally over!

We have reached the release of the PRIV Secure Smartphone by BlackBerry, the first BlackBerry smartphone powered by Android. With details of the PRIV being released daily on the Inside BlackBerry blog, we have received a tremendous amount of interest from both BlackBerry 10 and Android developers alike on how they can integrate and ready their apps for PRIV.

We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re the developer of a commercial camera app, a security-minded developer of an enterprise CRM app, or you’re developing the next indie game sensation, you can rest assured that the PRIV has the hardware and software necessary to ensure that your pre-existing Android app is fully supported.

Hardware features

  • Schneider-Kreuznach® certified 18MP dual-flash camera
  • Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (LE) and EDR, NFC, Accelerometer, Activity Monitor, Altimeter, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Proximity, Time of Flight (ToF) sensors
  • GPS: Assisted, Autonomous and Simultaneous GPS, User Plane, Control Plane GPS,GLONASS Support2, OTDOA, Pre-loaded Google Maps
  • 5.4” (16:9) screen
  • 2560 x 1440 resolution (540PPI)
  • Touch-enabled keyboard with gesture support and fine cursor control Software specs

Software features

  • Android 5.1.1 (API 22)
  • BlackBerry Integrity Detection
  • Google Play services

Full device specifications can be found here.

What does this mean for members of the BlackBerry Developer community?

This also marks an exciting time for BlackBerry developers, as the PRIV introduces an additional opportunity to write secure/productive apps for a new platform offering feature-rich APIs included within the fully-supported Google Play services library and a mature Android 5.1.1 (API 22) SDK.

google play services

With the Android development platform fully available to BlackBerry developers now, the PRIV offers opportunities for developers to differentiate their offerings with the hardware and software features exclusive to the PRIV.

Touch-enabled keyboard

priv images

PRIV: Touch-enabled keyboard source

Most notably, and similar to the BlackBerry Passport, the PRIV is equipped with a touch-enabled (capacitive) keyboard with gesture support and fine cursor control. This means that the surface of the physical keyboard can serve as a navigation touchpad to scroll through ListViews or Activities, to capture a signature, or even fight zombies.

When the slider is opened to expose the physical keyboard, the ability to use the touch-enabled keyboard gives back valuable screen real estate to the user-interface, from say a virtual keyboard that can at times take up roughly a third of the Activity on screen. For example, game developers can regain areas of the screen typically reserved for controls/navigation and show more game content, by using the slide-out keyboard for either touch navigation or physical key input.

BlackBerry Integrity Detection

Keeping with the PRIV’s focus on security and privacy, by now you might have also heard about DTEK by BlackBerry. We’ve made the same technology behind DTEK, available to developers to enable them to ensure their apps are running on a secure/uncompromised device. That’s where BlackBerry Integrity Detection comes in! An example of BlackBerry Integrity Detection in action could a banking app querying the on-device BID service on the integrity of various parts of the device (like a root-check), before prompting you to enter your login credentials.

In the coming days and weeks we’ll continue to share more information on these topics for developers, amongst others, and document how to implement them in your Android app. In the meantime, it may be good time to check that you have the latest revision of the Android 5.1.1 (API 22) SDK installed…

android sdkAndroid SDK Manager

…in addition to an up-to-date Android Studio IDE.

android studioAndroid Studio: Settings -> Appearance & Behavior -> System Settings -> Update

In particular, you can find documentation on how to set-up a fully-featured PRIV simulator (AVD) in our updated BlackBerry Developer Knowledge Base section.

In an effort to support the BlackBerry Developer community targeting the PRIV and help in the onboarding process to Android development, we’ve updated our developer microsite today to reflect the ability to Build for Google Play as another distribution channel available to BlackBerry Developers. We’ll also continue to monitor the Android Development Support Forum to assist anyone having issues implementing any of the aforementioned, or upcoming, concepts on PRIV.

I hope you’re as excited as a BlackBerry Developer as I am with the new opportunities that PRIV represents from both a hardware and software perspective. Again, stay tuned here to the devblog, and the Inside BlackBerry blog, as we continue to share details about PRIV Secure Smartphone by BlackBerry and how developers can target and leverage its capabilities.


About BlackBerry

BlackBerry is an enterprise software and services company focused on securing and managing IoT endpoints.