New keyboard app for BlackBerry Priv can be found in the beta zone

New keyboard app for BlackBerry Priv can be found in the beta zone
Currently nestled inside the BlackBerry Beta Zone is a brand new keyboard app for the Android powered BlackBerry Priv. We are talking about the virtual QWERTY, not the physical QWERTY that slides to open. The updated keyboard app adds support for two variations of the Chinese language, Pinyin and Cangjie. This might not seem like a big deal if you live in the West, but if your job has you communicating with businesses in China, this could be an important update.

BlackBerry has also added a faster process for switching languages on the phone that incorporates both the virtual and physical QWERTY keyboards. To switch languages all you need to do is swipe on the virtual space key, go to the physical keyboard and press on Alt+Enter. A long press on Space will call up the language picker.

Remember, you need to go into the BlackBerry Beta Zone to install the updated keyboard app. That means that you have had to previously agree to help BlackBerry test out beta versions of upcoming apps. Eventually, the new BlackBerry Keyboard app with the new features will be found in the Google Play Store.

source: BlackBerryBetaZone via Crackberry

Related phones

Priv
  • Display 5.4" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 18 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3410 mAh

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116 Comments

1. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I think blackberry should release their vkb onto the app stores. If it's as good as they claim it is, then put it out there and expand their offerings like they did with BBM, which still needs to have the ability to be used as an sms client.

54. RH234

Posts: 52; Member since: Aug 21, 2013

BB10 vkb is based from SwiftKey so there's probably licensing restrictions to sell the App independently

2. Subie

Posts: 2356; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Nice to see Blackberry showing continued support for their first Android Phone.

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

Great news. I really like the fact that BlackBerry is updating their virtual and hardware keyboards on the PRIV. Would love to see these updates adapted for and added to their BB10 devices when they receive their forthcoming updates.

6. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Proof that almost nobody wants tiny physical keyboards anymore. If was otherwise, then flagship phones (notably iPhones and Galaxy S's) would feature them by now.

8. Subie

Posts: 2356; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Maybe, but at least with the Priv those who want both can have a choice all in one device.

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

In case you didn't notice, there were enhancements made to the physical keyboard as well. I'd much rather buy from an OEM that's trying to differentiate, than from one that has a phone that offers "me too" slabs. Enterprise still wants those "tiny physical keyboards", and that's BlackBerry's core audience. It may be niche, but as long as people still want it, BlackBerry should still make it. Besides, if everyone just wanted all-touch phones, then shouldn't every smartphone OEM be making a nice profit, and not just Apple and Samsung? As Subie said, it's about CHOICE.

7. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

The worst thing BlackBerry did is that they didn't made a BBOS10 priv !! What would a BBOS10 lover "like me" do with a stupid OS like Android!!?

9. Subie

Posts: 2356; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

How about a dual boot option? BB10 for business, and Android for play...

20. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

No for sure, but I'm really dreaming about a BBOS10 with support of all Google services, then it will be just like iOS but with  BlackBerry flavor

13. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Well BB10 is pretty much dead. I think price and lack of compelling value compared to the competition is what kulled the Priv.

21. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

The priv had a big problem in the price and the specifications too. Just tell me who will buy an SD808 / 32GB / 3GB for 750$ ?? While there's an SD810 / 32GB / 3GB for less than 550$ (S6 / 6 Edge) ??

23. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

The PRIV is much less now. Check online.

24. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

Nothing wrong with the specs. It was just priced out of many consumers range. But the price has gone down considerably. Check around online.

17. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry started making Android phones because, unfortunately, there is more of a chance for them to sell smartphones with Android than there is BB10. Lack of marketing is what stifled BB10 from getting into the hands of most consumers. I understand how you feel about BB10 in regards to other OS's. Once you've used it for a good amount of time, you realize just how good it actually is, and what it's capable of. Those that have never used it just don't know about what BB10 truly brings to the table, and will therefore speak out of ignorance about it.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

You should give the PRIV a shot. I was against BlackBerry making an Android handset as well initially, but once I purchased a PRIV and actually used it, I quickly saw what compelling offerings it brought to the table vs the competition. It became the best Android handset I've ever used. Pricing aside, the PRIV is a truly compelling handset.

22. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

Yes Yes i know, but the priv is not "what I was waiting for " from the first  BlackBerry Android device!! They had to made it with SD820 / 4GB / 32GB / Classic Keyboard !! And the price was a big problem for sure, I bought two Z30 now, one of them stops suddenly (giving me a screen with "device pin blocked ") because I guess the seller wasn't the original owner, and the owner report it as stolen so its just don't work at all. And BlackBerry said that they won't open the device. But even all that I love the BBOS10 and I'm working with my other Z30 now.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

SD820 wasn't available when the PRIV was released. Had BlackBerry waited until the SD820 was available, there would be even more people saying that they waited too long to release it. They are releasing a device with the specs you're asking for, but it's an all touch device. The price of the PRIV has gone down considerably. Check around online. Amazon has it for a good price. BB10 is an incredible OS. Believe me, I know. I love my BlackBerry Passport. I have a Z30 as a back up BB10 device, and I'm looking to buy a Classic before they're all gone.

26. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

They had to wait until February to lunch the priv, it's just 4 months and then there was the SD810 or SD650 !! The both are better than the SD808. And for the pricing, the international priv still expensive!! there's just the AT&T ones for price between 300 and 400 USD. But the original one is for 550$

30. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

And in the four months wait time, how many people (including you, judging by your comment #28) would have said that's too long to wait? https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dmobile&field-keywords=BlackBerry+PRIV+ If you check that list, you'll see that there are GSM unlocked international PRIV's for around $450. So no, it's not just the AT&T ones.

28. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

and now, its July 1st There's no new phone from  BlackBerry!! The time is going out if they really want to catch some place in the market... OnePlus 3 is an SD820 / 6GB for just 400$ !! The next device "Argon" have the same specifications of the S7, so it will be another failure device unfortunately!! They have to make it with SD823 (like the Note 7) and 64GB Storage and 6GB of RAM, then they must build a better Schneider Kreuznach camera with 21 MP or even using Carl Zeiss camera with 25MP !! They have to make something awesome to catch the buyers.

29. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

They'll be announcing something by next month. But they have to hit the low to midrange smartphone buyers price bracket. You also have to remember that BlackBerry is also selling primarily to enterprise. They'll push to consumers as well, but enterprise is their main focus. You have to stop saying they have to make a device like (add OEM here) when they're not even making handsets to compete with other OEM's. They are making them to serve enterprise and government, which don't necessarily need the huge specs. OnePlus 3 is sold at a great price for those specs, but the profit margin is razor thin. BlackBerry needs to make money also, that's why they'll put out a midrange handset at midrange a midrange price. By the way, these specs for these devices are speculation until announced by BlackBerry themselves. Keep that in mind. Who knows? By the time it's released, it may have an SD823. And not every device needs 6 gigs of ram to function properly. BlackBerry is great at optimizing software. And the 18 meg camera on the PRIV is great! Check this article out for clarification on that: http://blogs.blackberry.com/2015/12/privs-camera-scores-strongly-in-respected-dxomark-benchmark-equalling-iphone-6s6-plus-topping-others/

31. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

And by the way, the Note 7 is slated to have an SD820 as well, according to this article: http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-Galaxy-Note-7-with-Snapdragon-820-chipset-inside-also-makes-Geekbench-appearance_id83024 So that would put the Argon with the same SoC as the Note 7 variant for the U.S. and China.

34. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

I looked at the site you gave me and the 450$ phones are just without warranty or US only warranty, I'm not living in the US to buy something like that, so the best choice for me is to buy it from BlackBerry shop, I tried to buy the Z30 from them before that but they don't chip to my country!! I sent many emails to them but there's no answer, so I bought my Z30 From a non licensed seller, and my second Z30 from another non-licensed seller, so now one of my Z30s stops because of the stupid strategies of the BlackBerry company!! They have chip to the whole world if they really want to success

35. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

#they have "to" chip

38. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

Are you sure they won't ship to your country? What country do you live in, by the way, if I may ask? Why didn't you buy your Z30 from shop.blacknerry?

36. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

And the other thing is that the company need to sell millions of phones even with a profit of 20$. Cause that will be a good advertising for them. And the priv cost less than 220$ for the company, so they had to sell it for 500$ as the announcement price. So after searching for the prices I found that : The SD820 cost just 70$ and the screen cost 15$ the storage of 32GB cost 5$ etc.... So they must make another SD820 priv With 500$ price

39. meanestgenius

Posts: 21798; Member since: May 28, 2014

Did you listen to or read the transcript from BlackBerry's latest earnings report? In there, Chen explained how many phones they need to sell for the hardware division to be profitable, and it's only a couple of million per year. You have to stop thinking that BlackBerry has to sell Samsung or Apple numbers to have a profitable hardware division. No company is going to sell in those numbers, except Samsung and Apple, and even they have experienced drop-offs in the number of units sold. They are making a phone with the SD820 SoC, but it won't have a keyboard. Not sure of pricing yet.

33. Amroze

Posts: 597; Member since: Jul 04, 2016

Wait for Priv2 with S823 and 4 or 6gb Ram.

37. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

Agree and make a BBOS10 one with support of all Google services

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