BlackBerry Hub, Keyboard, Calendar and more for Android updated!

For about the past week now the BlackBerry Beta Zone has been busy rolling out a ton of updates and now, the time has come to move some of those beta releases into official status. A ton of new updates have now started to filter through the Google Play Store, and while not all the changelogs have been updated, BlackBerry did take the time to outline some highlights for us all.

BlackBerry Hub

  • Support for Hub+ subscriptions.
  • Hub Widget: The Hub Widget now lets you select 1 of 3 views: all of the accounts in your Hub, a particular account, or custom view. If you prefer quicker access to your inbox and to sending messages, Hub combined with the BlackBerry Launcher also fully supports Pop-up Widgets.
  • User Experience Updates: When opening an email or previously snoozed notification from the tray, pressing the back key will now take you into the Hub message list. When in an account view, custom view or folder-specific view, pressing the back key will take you back to the Hub view instead of closing the app.
  • Conversation View Enhancements: Once an image has been downloaded you can now see a quick thumbnail preview of that attachment. These are presented below the message body, and can be opened by tapping.
  • Email signatures: GEEK ALERT! Email signatures now support rendering HTML. With a little bit of HTML skill, you can get creative and add advanced formatting, images and hyperlinks to your email signatures. Just enter the HTML content into the signature field in the accounts settings screen including weblinks, images (HTTPS only), text formatting attributes such as bold, underlined, and italicized.
  • Printing: This feature may not be for everyone, but it can still be pretty gosh darn useful. The "3 dots" menu on an email now includes the option to print. This hooks into the Android printing framework, so if you already have set a printer up, then it's super easy to fire the email off to your printer.
  • SCEP / Cert-based Authentication: Don't worry, Admins – we have you covered, too! Administrators can now set up email accounts in the Hub that utilize certificates for authentication instead of passwords. You can make your business deployments even faster, easier and less painful for both users and yourself.

Keyboard

  • Japanese Input: You can now configure the BlackBerry Keyboard to type in Japanese.
  • Keyboard Stats: Want to compare your typing skills with your friends and co-workers? Now you can! Under BlackBerry Keyboard settings, you can see how many words you've typed, how it's helped you, and even how often you Emoji.
  • Customized Symbols: I'm going to keep this simple because next week we'll do an in-depth blog on this one, but you can now change the symbols screen to meet your needs! Keep an eye out for more details, or go experiment for yourself.

Calendar

  • Support for Hub+ subscriptions
  • Quick Reminder: Based on your feedback, we wanted to provide a simple UI to quickly create a reminder with some text, a location, a reminder and a due date. When tapping the Compose icon in the Calendar app, you now have the option of creating a calendar event/meeting OR a quick reminder.
  • Out of Office Availability: You can now set your status to "Out of Office" and have this sync to Exchange. "Working Elsewhere" is going to be coming in the next release as well.

Contacts

  • Now available on non-BlackBerry Android Smartphones with support for Hub+ subscriptions.
  • Copy Contacts Across Accounts: Quickly migrate all of your contact data from one account to another with the click of a button. To prevent duplicate contacts, you also have the option to delete all contacts from the originating account after the transfer. This feature can be found in Contact Settings > General Settings > Copy Contacts.

Notes/Tasks

  • Now available on non-BlackBerry Android Smartphones with support for Hub+ subscriptions.

One other one folks might be interested in is Password Keeper, which now has support for fingerprint scanners. A curious inclusion when you consider BlackBerry offers no devices currently with a fingerprint scanner, but some of that curiosity can be explained away by considering the fact that Password Keeper now supports multiple Android devices.

In fact, I tested the fingerprint scanner addition on an LG V10 and it works perfectly fine. Still, it's noteworthy if rumors of BlackBerry including a fingerprint scanner in an upcoming device are high on your care factor list.

As noted, these are just the highlights of the updates. You should see more app updates than what are included here when you head into the Google Play Store but also keep in mind; it could take up to 24 hours for them all to appear.