BlackBerry Courts Android Devs In A Bid To Boost App Catalog


Struggling to make any significant progress with its BlackBerry 10 app catalog, BlackBerry has turned to Android developers to plug the gaping holes. The Canadian company has reportedly been courting Android app makers as it looks to provide its users with direct access to Android apps through BlackBerry World.

BlackBerry 10 users have been able to install Android apps on their devices since the platform made its much-anticipated debut just under a year ago, and that process has slowly gotten easier over time. Initially, users had to convert Android APK files into BlackBerry BAR files, then side-load them manually.

With BlackBerry 10.2.1 — which will be rolling out soon — the conversion process is no longer needed; users can simply send the APK file to their device and install it, just like they would on a regular Android-powered device. But it appears BlackBerry is looking to streamline this process even more for future versions of BlackBerry World.

“BlackBerry will be offering Android apps for direct download in their online app store,” Good e-Reader reports. “At least four different game development companies at Pepcom and CES confirmed to Good e-Reader that they have been approached by Blackberry to include their productivity and gaming apps into Blackberry World.”

This is kind of a win-win situation for both BlackBerry and Android developers. Not only will it boost BlackBerry World’s app catalog and allow BlackBerry to boast about a greater number of apps, but it’ll also give Android developers the opportunity to offer their apps to a larger audience with very little effort.

Developers won’t have to make any changes to their code because Android apps already run on BlackBerry 10 — the most they’ll have to do is submit screenshots and icons for their BlackBerry World listings.

And most would say this is good for BlackBerry 10 users, too. Early adopters have been waiting a year for BlackBerry World’s app catalog to grow, and although the numbers have increased, the app selection is still lacking. A massive number of popular apps are still missing, and many developers seem to have little interest in the BlackBerry 10 platform.

So being able to install Android apps seamlessly via BlackBerry World would give BlackBerry 10 users a much greater selection of apps, and while not every app will run seamlessly on BlackBerry 10, I think most users would prefer a not-so-perfect version than no version at all.