Android apps on Blackberry devices
Blackberry 10 (BB10) is based on the the QNX OS. QNX is a real time OS that’s very good, for the none geeks, real time means that’s really good 🙂 In short, the system react faster to interrupts, and that’s really good thing 🙂 However, as we all know, BB10 has not been able to caught up with the masses, which has left them in a very awkward position, as the platform enters in a difficult cycle: there are not many apps for the platform because there are not many users, and there are not many users because there are not many apps.
Since BB10 is very good, it easily allows to run other platforms software on itself. This is something that Windows 10 also will do, it still remains to be seen if this is the right strategy, however given the situation neither Blackberry nor Windows 10 have a lot of range to maneuver. So … Blackberry established a system in which an Android app (apk) could be submitted as is to the Blackberry Store. In our case, we wanted to have a native version of Terra Icons for BB10, however budget constrains didn’t allows us to proceed. This option of repackaging Terra Icons for Android and distributing it on the Blackberry store, wasn’t the best one, but it was better than nothing for BB10 users. We proceeded to repackage only to discover in the process that due to the use of Google SDKs within Terra Icons, the app couldn’t finish the procedure to be submitted to the BB store. We left the process as it was and never tried again.
Recently we became aware of Snap (thanks to David), a BB10 app that allows Android apps to be installed (side loaded) on BB10 devices without the need to be in the BB store. Just for the sake of curiosity we tried doing this, and lo and behold Terra Icons (the same one that was previously rejected by procedures) installed flawlessly on a BB10 device (Z 30). Needless to say, it also worked perfectly on this device, so if you’re reading these lines and have a BB10 device go ahead and try it, of course at your own risk.
Even after all this time, there are people who still love the BB OS, and -still- BB OS has very good security features, specially for the corporate world, Android and iOS have catch up, still. Options are always a good thing as long as there are not too many, and for Blackberry users this is their only option, is better than nothing. Enjoy!