30

BlackBerry’s Android problem may soon be a solution: runtime to be upgraded to Jelly Bean

DSC01046
Android support in BlackBerry 10 has been something of a cursed blessing; it works (most of the time) but it’s become a bit of a crutch, both for developers and BlackBerry itself. Estimates point to between 20% and 40% of the over 70,000 apps in BlackBerry World being Android ports, a stopgap measure that, on one hand, ensures the essential apps are available to users, and on the other misconstrues the true nature of the BlackBerry 10 app experience.

The native app experience on BB10 is fantastic; the unified swipe-based Cascades design fits in perfectly with the feel of the Z10. Android apps feel out of place and don’t push notifications reliably, and the diagonal swipe emulation of the back button is extremely unreliable. In other words, the existence of Android on BlackBerry 10 should never be considered in place of a true app experience; it’s like pushing HTML5 instead of native.

But the Android runtime on BlackBerry 10 is to receive an update in the coming months to Android 4.1 — it’s based on Android 2.3.3 now — which will fix many of the performance and compatibility issues currently plaguing the current implementation. This will ensure apps designed for ICS devices and above will run without issue, but it also speaks to the measures BlackBerry is willing to go to bring developers on board. The company would rather have Android ports than nothing at all.

It must be said, though, that the developers I’ve spoken to have admitted that building apps on BlackBerry 10 is not only relatively painless but the tools are some of the best in the business. Compare that to the old version of BlackBerry OS, where developers had barely anything to work with, and we’re looking at a bright future for the platform. With an upgraded Android runtime, things will only get better for users.

Source: CrackBerry

  • Barack Obama

    Love my new BB10.

  • uzair

    When companies will start giving these to its employees, there will be more units being sold. That is, hundreds to thousands of employees receiving z10/q10 all of a sudden.

    Moreover, updates on time (being single device unlike android fragmentation) as well as allowing developers to port over apps with ease (once 4.1 is deployed) it’d be like bbm+android mixed.

    • uzair

      The corporate folks are still waiting. For example, aircanada has yet to approve these devices. Takes a month. Once that happens, employees can start ordering devices. Plus corporate users can extend their contract long before the “30 month” policy. Which I will be doing =]

  • Happyboy

    I don’t see the point BlackBerry should focus on what’s important and get the apps that are Important to the costumer

  • yeswecan

    Enough BB and Android news! Start reporting something new you goofs!

  • yeswecan

    This site is “mobile news” NOT Crackberry/Androidcentral!

    • Telanis

      The #1 and #3 mobile operating systems are Android and classic BBOS. A story about BB and Android is most definitely “mobile news”.

    • Blas

      Translation
      “WAAAAAH TELL ME ABOUT APPLE”

    • JR

      I guess they could report on the new 128GB ipad…. oh wait… that’s not really news, more like recycling. So, when Apple does something newsworthy, I’m sure we’ll hear about it. *cue crickets*

    • yeswecan

      #3 mobile OS is Blackberry OS? LOL not at current market share worldwide.

      Is this site ONLY for Canadian news and for the Canadian market? I don’t see that explicitly mentioned anywhere.

      Step out of your bubble you sheep. Windows Phone is the #3 mobile OS worldwide by marketshare!

    • KL

      “Mobile Syrup: Mobile news, reviews for Canadians”

      If you’re going to troll, at least be half smart at it.

  • tech thug

    yeee dawg, gimme somm of dat jellybizzle on maaa BB yeeEEeeeeaAAA!!!!!!!!!!

  • Apple Sales Guy

    Android and blackberry on one device. LOL dumb and dumber
    BAHAHA

    Cheers
    ;)

    • Jack

      Oh look – an Apple fanboy stopped beating off over his Steve Jobs doll long enough to make what he thought was a witty post

  • Corks

    Pretty pathetic that they can’t even build their own ecosystem despite having been in the smartphone market for an eternity compared to android

  • Tom

    This is great news!

    I would estimate that 50% of Android apps could be ported without too much trouble (have to convert from GCM to BB10 push notifications etc.)

    Once enough BB10 are sold, and 4.1 is ready, then I would expect to see a huge wave of new apps for BB10.

    Imagine 350K new apps.

    I complain about stuff like the awful new maps in BB10, but the Android compat strategy is very smart and should provide the app ‘tonnage’ (their term) needed on a consumer device.

  • sp

    well when Apple comes out with something more than.. HEY GUYS WE RELEASED A 128GIG IPAD

    then im sure Mobilesyrup will be all up in that.

    At this time the only news is BB10 and any of the Android stuff… so yeah

    • Sgt.Romanov

      Thats why Apple is flaying in the wind at the moment , they got nothing .

  • Dan

    does anyone know if instagram is coming to blackberry 10 anytime soon?

    • gouge

      From what I have read blackberry said in the next month or two because they want it to be a native app not a port.

  • Mark

    If they’re so dependant on Android for survival then why didn’t they just abandon their own OS and move to Android already? Its certaintly better than populating their own ghost town app store with ported apps that may or may not work.

    • paul

      BB didn’t choose to use the Android OS because, among other reasons, you lose control of security. It’s much better to run an Android app in a “sandbox” that can’t negatively affect the rest of the OS.

    • phreezerburn

      Well said paul and entirely correct.

    • Tom

      Actually, that’s entirely wrong.

      Android runs in a sandbox on regular Android too (a VM).

      Amazon choose to build on top of Android and look at how fast and quick they got to market.

      BB choose to build their own based on a massively incorrect timeline.

    • paul

      I’m not an Android expert, but I believe the Dalvik VM isn’t as secure in its design as the QNX microkernal architecture in BB10, which every app runs in. The point is, Blackberry serves many customers who are extremely security conscious, and BB10 allows them to differentiate a Blackberry from all of the me-too Android devices out there, even if it means there aren’t as many apps in the App store for now. Don’t blame them for trying to innovate and better serve their customers.

  • wes

    If it just came with android i would buy one, but otherwise no, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    • JR

      Great comment… sarcasm… That’s exactly how I feel about the iPhone 5. If only it came with Android, I’d be all over that… more sarcasm….

  • Canuckdian

    Hey question for any new BB10 owner. How is the picture quality with the camera? In comparison to a GS3 or comparable Android phone. Thanks!

    • KL

      Not as good unfortunately, but still usable and quite decent.

      So, class competitive, but definitely not class leading.

  • migo

    I just wish there were some indication that an app is Android in App World. Native apps are far better, and given the choice, I would always choose native, but it’s nice to have Android support as a fall back (say for Google Maps).

Trending News

Other Articles