BlackBerry 10 for Android

BlackBerry 10 can run thousands of Android apps. Is it really a viable alternative to your Nexus or Galaxy?

You can get many popular Android apps
on a BlackBerry – with mixed results
One of the major features to be found in the new BlackBerry 10 OS is that it supports a wide range of Android apps. Despite increased pressure by BlackBerry to get more developers onboard, the current crop of BlackBerry apps is still pretty poor and far behind both Android and iOS offerings. However, the new crop of BB10 devices are able to run any Android app that is converted from the .apk format to BlackBerry’s .bar, in what is a relatively simple process.

However, the emulator in BlackBerry 10 is based on Gingerbread, and its performance is a curious mixed bag of part-BlackBerry, part- Android that is barely satisfactory on either count. BlackBerry is keen to implement Android 4.1 in the future, but we can’t see this as anything more than a stopgap to hide some of the gaping holes in the BlackBerry ecosystem.

– There are a wide range of apps supported and it certainly fi lls the gaps left in the BlackBerry World store
– Many apps are better priced than their Google Play counterparts
– Cloud storage apps can be linked with the BlackBerry Playbook

– Applications constantly stutter and often crash
– Some of the apps don’t appear in their native resolution, often leaving it a pixelated mess
– The current crop of BB10 smartphones can’t cope with some of the more powerhungry apps

Why Android and BlackBerry don’t mix
It is great to see Android apps on a different platform, but this first crossover simply doesn’t work very well. Apps tend to be on the slow side and even trying to play the most basic of games is a laborious task. With BlackBerry keen on porting over Android 4.1 apps, hopefully the next crop will be more of a success. For the time being, it’s hard to recommend any of the current BlackBerry phones over an Android. Oliver Hill - Android Magazine UK Issue 23 2013