Android Central

The Android Runtime for BlackBerry has been around for a while now, but while the idea has always been good -- Android developers can easily repackage their apps to distribute in BlackBerry World -- there has always been something holding it back. The Runtime has always been based on Gingerbread, a now 2 generations old version of Android. While as of today that is still the case, it won't always be. 

Announced this morning during the keynote presentation at BlackBerry Jam Europe in Amsterdam, the Runtime will be updated. Eventually. And, the great news for developers and users alike is that when the update happens, it's skipping Ice Cream Sandwich and going straight to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Ultimately, BlackBerry 10 users will benefit from a much better experience too. 

Eventually is the key word, as while confirmation of the plans has been given, no time frame is available at this time. However, it opens the door to many more Android developers to make the jump and port their applications over to BlackBerry 10. Increasing numbers of apps are being developed for Android 4.x only, but at some point those developers will have the same opportunities to distribute their Android apps through BlackBerry World. 

via CrackBerry


Reader comments

BlackBerry Android Runtime to be updated to Android 4.1, eventually


So a BlackBerry phone will have a newer Android OS than the majority of Android phone out there. Nice...

They should have just made an Android phone. 17% of the BB 10 apps out there are Android apps.

BB will NEVER run Android OS. What BB10 does is run a subset of Gingerbread apps that have been recompiled for BB10. Huge difference. In future according to todays announcement BB10 devices will handle recompiled 4.1 apps. BB10 OS is nice. Android app developers just get another outlet for their work.

Yeah, just like Nokia would never run a Windows OS right?

It's do or die for BB. Their hardware has always been awesome, and the keyboard better than any. If BB 10 doesn't work out for them, they are done. And they already said they would entertain offers for a buyout if the situation was right. Google could take a big step in the enterprise if they acquired BB.

I do agree BB 10 is nice, and I'll pick up a Z10 in March just to have something new and refreshing to use.

NO recompiling is needed. Recompiling requires the original source code --- which is not needed.

What is done is called "repackaging" --- basically unzipping the android app installation file (in Google's own "zip" file format) into the 100 different individual files and then recompressed the 100 different individual files into a single BB10 installation file (in Blackberry's own "rar" file format).

"BlackBerry 10 users will benefit from a much better experience too. "

How so?

This continued BB10 tripe written here astounds me,

firstly, nobody cares about BB10
secondly, what you have written here is utterly false. The Android environment on blackberry is EMULATED, which is why it's unresponsive and supports only VERY basic Android apps.

what you've written is "utterly false". You obviously haven't used an Android ported app on the BB10 phones, they are very responsive. In fact thanks to the QNX kernel not suffering from the recently found linux kernel input event bugs they actually run more fluidly than they would on an Android device with similar hardware.

I think you should study up on what BlackBerry has done with their custom Dalvik JVM and you will be less prone to making incorrect statements like you just did.

That's contrary to my experience on the PlayBook tough I know it's been improved on BB10, I have yet to see an app run "more fluidly" on the PB than it does on anything Android I have.

In fact if you go over to CrackBerry - there is a thread in response to this announcement asking BB to label Android ports because the general feeling is they are diminished

PLEASE Apple. Redesign IOS so I can leave Android and not even have to be bothered with BB. And PLEASE Google wow me again like you did with ICS..... Start with a smallerNexus and uunified messaging.


Topolsky writes -

But perhaps the strangest and most egregious part of BlackBerry's app play is its inclusion of Android apps. Yes, Android developers can submit and sell their apps in BlackBerry World alongside other, native BB10 applications, and there is essentially no way to tell the difference between the two. But man, is there a difference.

The Android apps I tested while using the Z10 performed abysmally on the phone. Sluggish, ugly, and disconnected from the core OS. In fact, because these apps are being run in a software emulation of Android — Gingerbread no less (that's version 2.3) — they bear little to no relationship to the rest of the operating system. Even the tool you use to select text and the contextual menus are from another operating system! It's a terrible choice on BlackBerry's part, and one I hope the company quickly abandons. It's not a shortcut to having a lot of apps — it's a shortcut to having a lot of bad apps that turn customers off.

Supply and demand will solve the problem.

If you submitted an android repackaged app to the Playbook and BB10 phones --- and your competitor submitted a native Playbook/BB10 apps and outsells you 10 to 1 because it is much faster and more responsive then eventually you will have to build a native app.

This could cause a problem in a gesture based OS when you swipe up now and every time Google Now comes up. Just having some fun.