5 important Blackberry Priv updates in March, 2016

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Finally, Blackberry Priv updates have started rolling in and enthusiast of the Blackberry 10, especially owners of the Android Slider device, will have reasons to smile again after a long wait.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen promised of committed support of BB10 and made it known in September last year that the BlackBerry 10.3.3 update will be released in March 2016. Today, Rubiztech.com brings you five (5) important Blackberry Priv updates that has been released so far.

BlackBerry Launcher

BlackBerry Priv preloaded apps have been updated and, this time around, it’s the BlackBerry Launcher. With this update, Priv owners will now have the ability for apps to be separated into Recent, Personal, and Work plus, you can set a default home screen of your choosing.

If that’s not enough, pop-up widgets now enabled by default and apps installed on the SD card and more. Have a look at the full list.

Blackberry Priv updates: What’s New in the launcher

Blackberry 10 launcher

Blackberry Launcher. / © Rubiztech

  • Default view for apps now separated into Recent, Personal, and Work.
  • While in overview mode, the “home” panel can be set to any available panel, and panels can be deleted by pressing down on them for several seconds.
  • Can now flick to remove application shortcuts from the home screen.
  • Pop-up widgets now enabled by default.
  • Improved overlays to provide users with more information on app locations, launcher settings, pop-up widgets, and the productivity tab.
  • Apps installed on the SD card will be grayed out if the card is removed to let the user know it’s still around but inaccessible.

The update is live right now on the Google Play Store, so be sure to get it downloaded and check it out.

BlackBerry keyboard

Blackberry 10 Keyboard

Blackberry 10 Keyboard. / © Rubiztech

The BlackBerry keyboard app has been updated to provide improved predictions, corrections and enhanced control from the physical keyboard making the changes pretty substantial.

What’s New

  • Priv’s prediction engine now processes a user’s email and social messages to better understand the user’s typing style and provide a better out-of-box experience.
  • Predictive typing can now learn words with numbers. (e.g. 1800flowers)
  • Option to have the keyboard suggest names from a user’s contacts during email creation.
  • Fine Cursor Control mode on the physical keyboard now features an enhanced cursor locator along with on-screen arrows for easier positioning and control.
  • Holding down ‘delete’ for two seconds now deletes on a word-by-word basis, making it easier to stop on single words.
  • Tapping a key on the physical keyboard more accurately places the focus cursor on screen.
  • Improved corrections in Russian.
  • Other minor enhancements and bug fixes.

Blackberry Camera

Blackberry Camera

Blackberry Camera with slow motion feature. / © Rubiztech

BlackBerry Priv updates also includes Blackberry camera app. This release covers the typical minor enhancements and stability fixes, improved selfie stick compatibility but the biggest highlight for this release is the addition of slow motion video.

What’s New

  • Users can capture smooth slow motion video with PRIV’s camera that’s up to four times slower. The Slow Motion function can be accessed through the camera’s “Mode” button, and captures video at 120 fps which plays back smoothly at 30 fps. Audio is not enabled for slow-motion video at this time.
  • Improved selfie stick compatibility
  • Minor enhancements and stability fixes

BlackBerry Virtual Expert

Blackberry Virtual Expert

The Blackberry Virtual Expert. / © Rubiztech

This app which, lets you run various diagnostics on your device to test everything from the display to speakers to the keyboard, has now been updated on the Google Play Store for Priv owners. The list of changes is short this time around but important as the update adds new testing options and improvements for those already in place.

This update includes the following:

  • Fixes for known issues
  • Tests for GPS, Bluetooth, the media card, and the gyrometer

Although there’s no requirement to download the app, it’s always good to have loaded up if you’re wishing to diagnose any possible device issues should they arise.

Verizon to start selling Priv by March 11

For those of you on Verizon waiting for the BlackBerry Priv to arrive, you might not have all that much longer to wait. According to several Verizon employees, the company seems to have started taking preorders on March 3 with the goal being to have it in retail stores come March 11.

As for pricing, Verizon is offering the Priv at $30 per month for 24 months or, for those looking to buy outright, at a full retail price of $720. The Priv’s listing on Verizon’s online store came with zero fanfare, so it’s unclear when we may see the smartphone land in retail stores, but we hope to hear more on that soon.

As always, if you spot anything else that has changed that wasn’t noted, let us know in the comments.

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