BlackBerry Z30

Why Android might not be enough to save BlackBerry

There is some good news for anyone who owns a BlackBerry 10 phone. From version 10.2.1, you will be able to run Android apps natively.

BlackBerry 10 has always been capable of running Android apps. Even predecessor BlackBerry Tablet OS – which powered the ill-fated BlackBerry PlayBook – had Android support.

The difficulty was that Android apps previously needed to be converted before they would run on a BlackBerry device.

The conversion process had the advantage of ensuring that users would not be left with an array on unreliable apps that were only partially compatible with their BlackBerry device. However, someone still had to go to the effort of actually carrying out the conversion, and with only a limited user base, developers were not being convinced of the benefits of releasing Android versions of their apps.

BlackBerry’s solution has been to improve native Android compatibility. Android 4.2.2. Jelly Bean runtime will be supported in BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, with many apps now fully supported and able to run at near-native speeds.

So anyone with a BlackBerry 10 device can now get hold of an Android .apk app file and sideload it on to their device.

But in order to convinced the average HTC One owner that BlackBerry still has something to offer, Android compatibility alone is not enough. A vibrant, well-stocked app store is a must, and for that to be achieved, BlackBerry will need to convince developers that supporting their platform is worthwhile.

[via The Register]