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BlackBerry Priv Receives First Monthly Security Update

BlackBerry is keeping its promise to release monthly security updates for its recently launched Priv smartphone by releasing an update containing security patches as well as other improvements to the camera app, system performance, and stability.

The camera app received a few tweaks to make it open faster than before and also shoot better pictures in low-light situations. The company said it improved the system’s performance, as well, but it didn’t mention how exactly. Instances of freezes and crashes should also be reduced with the new update. The recent update also includes December’s security patches that fix all known vulnerabilities for Android 5.1.1.

This update, which is a 475 MB file, will be received over-the-air for all unlocked Priv devices purchased through BlackBerry’s store. The devices that were purchased through carriers will get it on December 7, which is still not ideal, but far smaller of a delay compared to most other Android devices.

BlackBerry has planned some improvements for some of the Priv apps, including the camera app (again), the keyboard, and Hub & Contacts, as well as DTEK, the new privacy app.

The camera will receive a few new filters, while the keyboard will get increased language support, and emojis will be added to predictive typing. Hub & Contacts will include support for Whatsapp, while DTEK will add new alerts for when other apps use your information. All of these apps will be updated on December 14.

Because the Priv is BlackBerry’s last chance to prove itself in mobile, it’s no surprise that the company is treating it more seriously and why it’s so eager to prove it cares about the device’s security.

The new Nexus devices may still be more secure thanks in part to their Android 6.0 verified boot process, which can’t be added to pre-Android 6.0 devices in an update. It also doesn’t look like there has been an extensive modification of the kernel to protect it against exploits, as we were initially led to believe. BlackBerry has a rather confusing policy on encryption backdoors, as well.

However, BlackBerry still seems to be doing more than what most other Android OEMs are doing, which is providing monthly security updates as well as some privacy-focused apps such as DTEK, which better educate users how their sensitive information is being used by other third-party applications.

If you own a BlackBerry Priv, you can check Settings > About System Updates > Check for Updates to see if you got yours yet.

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Lucian Armasu joined Tom’s Hardware in early 2014. He writes news stories on mobile, chipsets, security, privacy, and anything else that might be of interest to him from the technology world. Outside of Tom’s Hardware, he dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.

You can follow him at @lucian_armasu. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

  • chicofehr
    People who buy the priv want the keyboard. Security conscious people already own a blackberry so this device is meant more for attaching the average consumer which doesn't care about security which makes up 99% of the market.
    Reply
  • mrmez
    You can run the latest IOS on a 2011 iPhone 4s, but you can't run Android 6 on a new phone?
    Talk about fragmentation.

    Nice to see they keeping on top of updates, but as alluded to, it's more about SEEMING to be invested in the phone than anything else.

    The only people I know who use BB's are my family in South Africa who are all liek... "BBM ME YO!!!" Like they're still living in 2005, and they all use it for the keyboard.
    Reply
  • panders4
    You can run the latest IOS on a 2011 iPhone 4s, but you can't run Android 6 on a new phone?
    Talk about fragmentation.

    Nice to see they keeping on top of updates, but as alluded to, it's more about SEEMING to be invested in the phone than anything else.

    The Priv will get Android 6 soon enough.

    Security updates should be standard operating procedure for everyone, but they're not. Security is a process.

    DTEK has been very handy, too, in finding which apps abuse things like location data.
    Reply
  • maya__
    It is really great to know about blackberry.They are still surviving between ios and android technology.
    Reply