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BlackBerry Priv Android 6.0 Marshmallow Beta Program Goes Live

BlackBerry Priv, the first Android-powered smartphone of the Canada-based phone maker, was formally unveiled in November last year. Bringing a full QWERTY sliding keyboard, a quite powerful hardware platform, and enterprise-centered features, BlackBerry Priv was received with good reviews. Also, the company was quick to assure the early Priv buyers that their phones will get updated to Marshmallow of Q1 2016.

So far, BlackBerry has released Priv monthly security updates almost Nexus-like, but, unfortunately, they missed the Marshmallow deadline. The good news is they are working on the update and we could see it go live in the near future.

The Canadian company has just announced a BlackBerry Prive Marshmallow open beta program. This means that the owners who want to test the firmware and get a taste of the goodies it brings ahead of the official release can now test it on their Priv smartphones. Anyone who owns a BlackBerry Priv can sign up via the BlackBerry Beta Zone.

However, there’s a limited number of users who will get accepted into the program. BlackBerry will first send out invites to those who bought their phones from the BlackBerry Store, Amazon, and Carphone Warehouse. If you bought your Priv from elsewhere you can still apply, but you will be put on a waiting list. The BlackBerry Prive Marshmallow beta registration will be live for the next fortnight, the company estimating that the testing period would last for between four and eight weeks. If everything goes as planned, then the new firmware would be made available publicly.

Even though the Marshmallow update is not as major as the jump from Lollipop to KitKat, the latest public-available Android iteration does bring quite a few changes. It comes with a new app permissions system which enables apps to ask for permissions only when they need to access certain features of your phone, Google Now On Tap which is capable of scanning what’s currently on your screen and pull out relevant information, Doze Mode which improves battery life while the phone is idle by putting apps in a deep sleep state, Deep Linking so you won’t have to see the app selector that often, Chrome custom tabs which improves in-app webpage loading times, native support for fingerprint readers (though Priv doesn’t have one), the ability to use SD cards as default storage, automatic app data backup, Direct Share for quicker sharing, improved Notifications Panel and Quick Settings area, the ability to turn off heads-up notifications, and many more.

Any BlackBerry Priv owners reading this? What are your expectations for the Marshmallow update? Please let us know in comments.

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