One of the problems with Windows Phone and BlackBerry is that the selection of apps for both platforms have been more limited than what is available on rivals iOS and Android. However, thanks to a rumored change to the BlackBerry 10 platform, BlackBerry could soon open up to native Android apps and this would allow BlackBerry to leapfrog the selection of apps available for Windows Phone.
Though BlackBerry 10 has supported Android apps that are ported and operated in an emulator on the platform, this latest change would allow native Android apps to easily work on BlackBerry 10. Developers who create Android apps for Google’s Play Store, for example, could change a few lines of codes to have the very same app work natively on BlackBerry 10.
“These developers need do nothing more than make BlackBerry World profiles and submit icons, screenshots and app descriptions for their existing Android apps to appear in the BlackBerry 10 app ecosystem,” TechRadar reported.
Good e-reader and a few Android app developers reported that they were approached by the Canadian smartphone manufacturer about porting their existing Android apps, published in APK format, to submit those apps directly to BlackBerry World, BlackBerry’s app store.
Though these apps may not benefit from all the gestures and UI interactions that are supported by native BlackBerry 10 apps, the ability to run native Android apps would solve a huge problem for BlackBerry in growing the ecosystem and make devices like the BlackBerry Q10, BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry Z30, and BlackBerry Q5 more attractive to consumers who had shied away due to more limited content available on the ecosystem.
This isn’t too surprising given that we had reported previously that BlackBerry may be working with Google to bring the Google Play Store to BlackBerry to run Android apps. However, if Good’s report is accurate, then BlackBerry won’t be hosting Google’s Play Store on its hardware, but the smartphone manufacturer will just be asking Android app developers to submit their APKs to BlackBerry World. This strategy, while still similar to what was rumored before, is more beneficial to BlackBerry as BlackBerry could do a direct revenue share with app developers, rather than get cut out if Google Play was the storefront on BlackBerry phones.
It’s speculated that the ability to run native Android APK apps could arrive as soon as the BlackBerry 10.2.1 release, though Good claims that this won’t happen before BlackBerry 10.3. Whatever the case may be, this could help BlackBerry gain more attention as it could potentially have the same robust collection of apps available to Android users if those developers submitted their apps to BlackBerry World.