The First BlackBerry Android Phone Called "Venice" is almost coming out

The First BlackBerry Android Phone Called "Venice" is almost coming out
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Blackberry have had a lot of ups and downs the past few years and are doing its best for a major come back.
BlackBerry 10 is an immense platform, almost without equal. But sources are now claiming BlackBerry could augment it with Google’s Android OS in a bid to make its future devices more attractive to consumers.

“The sources,” reports Reuters, “who asked not to be named as they have not been authorised to discuss the matter publicly, said the move to use Android is part of BlackBerry's strategy to pivot to focus on software and device management. BlackBerry, which once dominated smartphone sales, now has a market share of less than 1 percent.”

The inclusion of Android aboard BlackBerry devices and how it would work is largely unclear at the moment, information is patchy. What could happen is something similar to how Cyanogen operates; BlackBerry could take Google’s source code, completely repackage it, add in all its security features and ship it aboard its devices, complete with Google services like Google Play.

Two sources said that if BlackBerry moves forward on a plan to launch an Android device, it could come with some of the patented features in its BlackBerry 10 operating system. BlackBerry and Google declined to comment on the speculation, however, the sources claims BlackBerry’s upcoming slider handset could be the first Android-powered BlackBerry out the blocks.
BlackBerry will probably use Android on an upcoming slider device that is likely to be released this autumn, two sources said. The slider will combine a touch screen with a physical keyboard that users can use if they prefer.

Outspoken and somewhat revolutionary BlackBerry CEO John Chen has quickly become a bit of an icon for his ballsy approach to bringing the Canadian firm back from the brink. Speaking to CNBC during an interview, Chen was quizzed on the Android subject, his response was rather interesting to say the very least.
"We only build secure phones, and BlackBerry is the most secure phone. So, if I can find a way to ecure the Android phone, I will also build that."

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So while that's not confirmation that BlackBerry is working on an Android device, it does imply Chen is open to the idea of a BlackBerry built Android phone IF the firm can build one that is as secure as a BB OS alternative. In a way that does imply that the company may be playing with Google's software in its labs to see if this can be done. We have our fingers crossed!

The rumours of an Android BlackBerry phone emerged fairly recently, pointing to an alleged BlackBerry "Prague" handset. It's said to look like a BlackBerry Z3 and to be touch-only, but with low-end specs. The idea of BlackBerry using Android software isn't that far fetched, valid security concerns aside. The company's BlackBerry OS supported Android applications in previous builds via side-loading but the most recent iteration actually integrated app store support and direct installation of content.
The move would certainly be an interesting one. For a long while there's been speculative talk of BlackBerry abandoning its devices business and focusing on becoming a software and services company.
However, Chen has remained resolute that BlackBerry will continue to produce devices for now. So far, BlackBerry's push for improved software and some rather innovative devices, such as the BlackBerry Passport, has met with a mixed reception. In our view the devices have been solid, and BlackBerry OS is much, much more appealing than it used to be, but we can't help imagining that the devices would sell a lot better with Android onboard.

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In recent weeks there have been a multitude of stories about layoffs with BlackBerry and potential acquisitions by a number of firms, though Microsoft is the name that keeps appearing time and time again. According to reports, Microsoft has a number of investment firms evaluating BlackBerry and the figure being tossed around is $7 billion.

With the layoffs, though, this is only part of the equation as BlackBerry is also actively recruiting people too; again, showing us exactly why it is worth looking at both sides of the story, rather than just the headline-grabbing doom and gloom aspects.

“When I look at this announcement (the layoffs),” notes CrackBerry, “I see what John Chen has been saying for a while being laid out once again. He's going to keep the hardware business going and attempt to make it profitable but, he's going ensure that other areas, where BlackBerry can see growth and profit, are sufficiently covered. Perhaps, the most interesting portion of the statement isn't really about the layoffs but rather the mention that BlackBerry will in the coming months be ramping up their 'customer-facing activities in sales and marketing', which as we know has been a pain point among many BlackBerry fans.”

Plenty has already been said about the possibility of BlackBerry adopting Google’s Android platform inside its handsets in 2015/16. The move would be HUGE, creating massive waves in the mobile space. As a long time fan of BlackBerry, I am very intrigued about the prospect of a BlackBerry handset, replete with all of BB10’s USPs, rocking Android – it sounds wild, but it could definitely work.

And, thanks to the internet, we have a bunch of renderings of what such a handset would look like. Deviant Art penned the designs in an attempt to capture just what Android would look like running on a BlackBerry handset. It’s not official of course, merely a speculative scribble on what could potentially become a reality later on this year.

The Plot Thickens –– Features Samsung!? 

The first Android-powered BlackBerry handset produced by BlackBerry will apparently be called the Venice, according to a lead from sometime-right-sometime-wrong leaker, Eldar Murtazin. The Venice is said to be the slider handset BlackBerry debuted at MWC 2015 –– it was the one with the curved display and slide out QWERTY keyboard, if your memory fails you.
But that’s not all. Murtazin claims Samsung has helped BlackBerry create the handset, which would explain how BlackBerry got an EDGE display installed on the device. The handset will apparently run Android Lollipop alongside BlackBerry services. The 'Berry slider will supposedly feature a 5.1-inch screen with a 1440 x 2560 resolution, powered by an octa-core processor with a back and front camera combo of 16MP/5MP –– basically, exactly the same as the Galaxy S6 / Galaxy S6 EDGE.
Obviously, this MUST be taken with a pinch of salt. Still, it’s an interesting development all the same. And, if it’s not true, props to Eldar for dreaming up such a crazy fantasy. 
"We don't comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched," BlackBerry said in a statement to PCMag.
More recently, BlackBerry has confirmed that it plans to bring some of its patented security, productivity and communication tools to any handset running iOS, Android and Windows. This could see things like BlackBerry Hub –– a truly awesome feature –– appearing on iPhone and Android handsets. BBM was just the tip of the iceberg. Personally, this is something I would LOVE to see happen.
For me, the big takeaway here is the combination of Google and BlackBerry services under one platform. I know this is all speculation at present, but after using BB10 a lot during the past few years this is something I’ve given a lot of thought to. I don’t want to see BB10 dropped, it has way too many positives. But I would like native support for Google services and Google Play.

Blackphone has proved you can do security on Android, using the tools that Google makes available to developers, and BlackBerry really does know what it’s doing when it comes to software development, so the idea of its taking Google’s Android source code and turning it into something even more robust that what Google passes on to its hardware partners isn’t outside the realms of possibility. I just wish BlackBerry would make some official comment on this, as the suspense is quite literally KILLING me!
If BlackBerry can do both of these things while retaining everything that made BB10 so good this then is basically the best of both worlds and something, as a BlackBerry fan, I am extremely excited about.
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