Despite making the big move to Android with the PRIV last year, BlackBerry didn’t leave its legacy users completely in the dust. Its version of Android carried over the company’s tight DTEK security software and Hub suite of apps. It made sense that those features would be locked in with BlackBerry’s own hardware, but today we caught wind of another surprising move.
BlackBerry is carrying over the entire Hub suite that the PRIV and upcoming DTEK50 benefit from to all Android smartphones that run Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). The new package is dubbed Hub+ and it will contain BlackBerry’s Hub inbox tool and a plethora of its long-standing apps, such as Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Password Keeper, Notes, and more. This also includes its Android launcher.
We can speculate that the company doesn’t quite have the luxury to keep its features closed off anymore. It’s also a chance for the BlackBerry name to stay relevant. Legacy users that have moved on will be able to reclaim those productivity tools they know and love, while new users will get a chance to see what’s excellent about them.
To kick off wide availability of Hub+, BlackBerry is offering a free 30-day trial. After that point, you will get the choice of occasional ads or subscribing for $0.99/month. Features in the suite must be installed via a managing app, called BlackBerry Hub+ Services, from the Play Store. From there, you can pick and choose which Hub+ apps you wish to take for a spin.
Android Marshmallow users will only get Hub access for now, but don’t fret if you have an older device. BlackBerry ended the announcement stating that it plans to expand availability to Android 5.0 Lollipop users as well.