PRIV has some not so obvious features

by Volker Weber


If you are buying a PRIV there are a few things to discover that are not so obvious, depending on whether you are coming from a BlackBerry or an Android angle. The most important thing to understand is the keyboard. You can use the hardware keyboard or an onscreen keyboard. You can configure them to support multiple languages. Mine is set to German and American English. It will suggest words in both languages, depending on what you are writing in the current sentence. That prediction is actually pretty good. But there is more: the keyboard is also a trackpad. Double tap it when editing text and a caret will appear that you can drag around by swiping on the keyboard. Or just swipe left to delete the last word. Swipe up on the left, middle or right side to select one of the three suggested words at the bottom of the screen.

This same trackpad also works for scrolling long web pages you are reading, for controlling all the manual parameters within the camera app, and so forth. Just play with it. There is so much to discover. I like opening the keyboard, which puts the camera in the center of the screen, then grab the phone with both hands and use the keyboard to control exposure and the space bar as a shutter release.

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BlackBerry also has an unlock called picture password. You select a number and a position on top of a picture. To unlock you move a grid of numbers to make your secret number match that location. That grid contains your number multiple times. If you don't touch the number it's pretty much impossible to figure out what you are doing. And it is super quick.

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And then there is smart unlock, which means your phone can unlock at home or when your smartwatch is present, it will detect your face and your voice, or whether you are wearing it on your body. In the end, you don't have to unlock it very often. You can use some advanced interactions to put the device to sleep or to silence it.

For those who want to try some of the additional software BlackBerry provides there is BlackBerry Hub+ Services which runs on Android 5.0 and newer. Hub integrates all messaging services that BlackBerry has developed for. That includes Facebook, Twitter, BBM, WhatsApp, or LinkedIn. Since the Hub is an app, it cannot be augmented by 3rd party developers.

If you are coming from BlackBerry 10, the hub is an app here, not an operating system service. That means if you have a dual persona setup with Android for Work, then you have two hubs, not one as on BlackBerry 10.


Klingt alles super und ich wäre sofort an Bord, wenn die Tastatur nur nicht so popelig wäre - popelig im Vergleich zum Q10, Classic, Passport. Tasten zu klein und zu billig-plastik.

Jochen Kattoll, 2016-11-25 16:45

Your admin can configure a unified Hub, both on BB10 devices and AfW device via BES12:

Abdelkader Boui, 2016-11-25 17:37

Wieder was gelernt, Abdelkader.

Jochen, im Vergleich zum Galaxy S6 edge sind sie aber super.

Volker Weber, 2016-11-25 17:42

Auch im Vergleich zum Z30 :)

Jochen Kattoll, 2016-11-25 17:44

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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