BlackBerry has rolled out a new BlackBerry Priv emulator to help Android developers build apps for its latest smartphone. The tool could help developers who want to take advantage of Priv’s unique physical keyboard, which isn’t available on other popular Androids.
“You can add a skin to the Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager in the Android Studio SDK so that you can emulate the look and feel of a BlackBerry PRIV,” BlackBerry explains.
“This allows you to simulate the hardware keys on the PRIV, including the power, volume up, volume down and the physical keyboard.”
Priv’s keyboard plays nicely with any Android app out of the box when it comes to typing, but only apps made by BlackBerry actually use keyboard shortcuts. BlackBerry and its supporters would obviously like to see that change — and a Priv emulator could help.
Only time will tell whether or not Android developers are willing to put in the extra effort required to add those keyboard shortcuts, but it will likely depend on whether or not Priv becomes a big seller. From what we can tell so far, it’s doing surprisingly well during its first few weeks.
If you want to check out the Priv emulator, visit BlackBerry’s support page via the source link below, where you’ll find step-by-step installation instructions. Note you’ll need the latest version of the Android Studio and Android SDK.