How to turn your Android into a BlackBerry Priv: wallpaper, launcher, keyboard, BB Services

BlackBerry is back with a bang, outing a decked Android handset called the Priv (from privacy), assuming a popular mobile OS, but with the typical BlackBerry twist on security and productivity - a strategy that, according to its loyal fans, it should have pursued from the get-go.

With a curved Quad HD display, high-res 18 MP camera with OIS, a big battery, and the signature physical keyboard, the BlackBerry Priv can take on any of today's Androids, and then some, so we are sure that BB fans, who have been longing for such a flagship for years now, might be already lining up. Still, you might want to test-drive the Priv's interface look and custom apps first - after all, it's an Android handset with BB services on it, so if you want to try the BlackBerry Priv experience on your current phone, here's what you need to do:

1. First things first - BlackBerry is famed for its keyboards, physical or virtual, and, since you can't replicate the tactile physical one on the Priv, the next best thing is to download and install the on-screen Blackberry Priv keyboard APK file. It doesn't require root or the BB Launcher, so fire at will, sideload and see if you like it;

2. Next up - download and install the BlackBerry Services APK file. These are required if you want anything else, like the launcher or calendar, to work afterwards;

3. Download and install the BB Launcher - it's the same one we examined in the review, and found to be a simple and clean Android take, with some unique BlackBerry twists and turns, like Pop-up widgets; 

4. What will be a stock launcher without the stock wallpaper we've embedded above. Just grab it and install as your default wall - it spans a couple of homescreens to boot, and is best for, surprise, surprise - phones with QHD resolution;

5. Download and install the BlackBerry Calendar - another one of the must-have BB productivity apps, the calendar lets you take a glimpse at upcoming appointments by swiping down on any of the BB Hub lists.

Granted, you can't achieve the absolute synergy of hardware and software encryption that only the Priv offers (for this, you have to get the actual handset), but if you want to preview what will be in store for you with BlackBerry's latest and greatest, you can take the stock apps above for a test drive first.

source: Xaiux (XDA-Devs)

Related phones

  • Display 5.4 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 18 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3410 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow



20. nguyentrang341

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 11, 2015

I have set BB Hub, but it's not run on my phone with Android 5.1.1 :))

17. chamilatgamage

Posts: 9; Member since: Jun 30, 2015

very powerfull launcher.

13. shinywindow unregistered

john v. bites krapple pillows. and krapple phone sux.

10. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2126; Member since: May 29, 2014

Isn't BlackBerry patching these as we speak? These will definitely stop working on non PRIV devices soon.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 23083; Member since: May 28, 2014

Yes. BlackBerry is working diligently to track and patch all APK's that XDA has gotten their hands on.

8. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Looks like a great way to experience the BlackBerry features on Android without the steep price tag of the Priv.

9. xq10xa

Posts: 816; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

What BlackBerry features are worth checking out on a Priv besides security?

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 23083; Member since: May 28, 2014

The BlackBerry VKB. Has the "flick up" gesture that works very well. BlackBerry Hub. BlackBerry Password Keeper. BlackBerry Calendar. (Although this is debatable, since other calenders work well). DTEK. (Admittedly, it will be a much better tool once the Priv gets Marshmallow and has control over app permissions)

14. xq10xa

Posts: 816; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

So then just a keyboard. Hub, PW keeper, Calendar are just apps. I think the security feature is enough to win people over.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 23083; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed, I also believe the security features are enticing enough to bring over new users.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 23083; Member since: May 28, 2014

A great way for other Android handset owners to experience some of what the Priv offers, but I'd personally rather get the Priv, so I can have the full experience.

18. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I wanna give it a try. Im thinking about upgrading my phone by 2016 and Priv is one of the phones in mind, looking georgeus.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 23083; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed. The Priv really does look good. I'm trying to hold out until T-Mobile picks it up so I can get goodies like WiFi calling/texting, but I'm tempted to just order it from or

5. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

I tried on moto g 2015 and everything worked great and typing from blackberry and it awesome and I like it's launcher too nice apps thanks

3. jellmoo

Posts: 2699; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

The keyboard works great. Blackberry Services constantly crashes on my Nexus 5 running Lollipop. The Launcher works, but there is no Hub (may be related to the above crash). The Calendar won't launch (again, may be related to the above crash).

7. bambamboogy02

Posts: 842; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

App launcher works, but can not open app drawer, it crashes. Only the given app shortcuts works, can not add anything new or do anything with it. Using a Galaxy S4, running VZW 5.0.1

1. nitva91

Posts: 5; Member since: May 02, 2014

What about BlackBerry Hub? Will all these BlackBerry apps be available in the play store for other Android users?

2. StanYuu

Posts: 12; Member since: Apr 23, 2014

That's what I want to know too. Bb hub is the app I am most interested about

4. Zeeya

Posts: 331; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

Hub won't work on other android phones...

16. Bernoulli

Posts: 4364; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

It's too diluted compared to the real thing from bbos.

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