BlackBerry KeyOne Android 8 update is finally arriving

We’ve been writing these stories for years, but they never change: phone owners wanting new software and waiting feverishly to hear when they’ll get it.

Well, as the headline suggests, the BlackBerry KeyOne is the latest phone to be upgraded to the newest version of Google OS - Android 8 Oreo, if you’re confused - thanks to an update from a Canadian network.

What's good about Android 8?

Android 8.0 Oreo is faster and more efficient, with boot times cut and battery-draining background activity restricted.

You’ll get picture-in-picture functionality for things like YouTube and Hangouts, and new notification dots for apps help you know what to look for.

There’s also the new Visual Core for the camera to let phones take better pics, and AR stickers too to overlay your life.

The update has been a long time coming - the KeyOne was launched in April 2017, on Android Nougat 7.1 - and with the imminent release of the BlackBerry Key2 we’d have expected this update to appear sooner rather than later (as the newer phone will launch with Android 8.1 out of the box).

The update was listed on Canadian carrier Rogers’ forums in the list of updates coming along for phones, stating that the KeyOne will be getting Android 8.0 (curiously not 8.1) and Wi-Fi calling… although the latter feature is just for Rogers’ customers.

Launch windows

Will the BlackBerry KeyOne Oreo update be launching around the world soon? It’s quite likely, given the Key2 is quite similar in design and function to the KeyOne so there must be some efficiencies in porting the platform over.

What it does do is highlight that, even after a decade of being on smartphones, Google’s OS upgrade path is still too slow - Android 8 was first seen on a smartphone in October 2017 (admittedly Google-created Pixel 2) and eight months on we’re still waiting for it to appear on many phones.

Still, if you’re a keyboard phone fan and made the jump to the BlackBerry KeyOne, you’ll very likely be enjoying the cheeky boost of Android Oreo soon.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.