BlackBerry is wading into the Android software pool. The once-dominant smartphone company announced its BlackBerry Hub+ service is now available for all Android phones.
This feature was previously an exclusive to the BlackBerry Priv and freshly released DTEK50. It gathers all of your communications and scheduling notifications into a central dashboard for easy access to emails, calendar notifications, social media, and productivity apps like Slack.
To try it out, you need to download BlackBerry Hub from the Play Store (BlackBerry refers to the service as Hub+, though the “+” isn’t found on the app’s listing in the Play Store). The tutorial screens will then prompt you to install BlackBerry Hub+ Services.
You’ll then need to agree to several permissions for the Hub to access your notifications and various accounts. Once this is done you have one place where you can access notifications or launch a new email, text message, or social media post.
The app is free to try for 30 days, and will cost you $0.99 per month afterwards. The promise of a centralized hub is grand and all, but it remains to be seen if people want to pay for it, even if it’s only going to set you back $12 per year.
Why this matters: The company that once ruled the mobile space has been trying to find its way in a post-BlackBerry world. The Priv wasn’t a huge seller, which led to the much more budget-friendly DTEK50. BlackBerry still has a lot of software customers in the enterprise space, so the plan appears to be to parlay that success into consumer applications.