Will new easy Android application installation help BlackBerry 10?

Will new easy Android application installation help BlackBerry 10?

Summary: BlackBerry is rolling out the 10.2.1 update for its devices and along with the update comes support for OTA installation of Android APKs.

Will new easy Android application installation help BlackBerry 10?
(Image: BlackBerry)

As a fan of MeeGo and the N9 as well as webOS, I actually enjoy using BlackBerry 10 devices. The lack of applications is primarily why I don't use it much, but with the latest BlackBerry 10.2.1 update that issue may be resolved.

As detailed over at CrackBerry.com this new update supports over-the-air (OTA) installs of Android applications (APKs). Previously you had to jump through several hoops, while also having access to a limited number of applications, to sideload Android apps.

I understand that you can now install most any Android app that you can find an APK for. If you are currently an Android smartphone user, you can actually backup all of your apps to a PC and then easily find the APKs for your current device. If you don't have an Android device, you can find APKs online or even install the Amazon App Store to get Android apps. I will soon be dusting off the Z10 and Q10 to install the update and see how well my favorite Android apps run on BlackBerry 10.

While it is easier than before to get Android apps, it still requires people to find APKs and that may make this support helpful primarily to smartphone enthusiasts and those who like to tinker a bit with their phones.

I doubt we will see BlackBerry 10 sales increase with this new OTA install capability and support for some of the latest Android apps, but it may help some current users stick with the platform. Any readers try this out yet? If so, how are the Android apps performing?

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Topics: Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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  • Yes, it will help

    I currently use a Z10, I like the gesture UI. Today's phones are just glass slabs so a gesture based OS makes sense to me. I'm not an app hoarder but, I do miss my amazon apps and audible. I also had the misfortune to try and use the native maps app, and well, it was painful. Being able to load google maps would make this a much nicer phone. I plan to update my phone tomorrow as BB seems unable to push updates directly to their phones. Even the unlocked ones like mine, that needs to change also.
  • Getting the update.

    This worked for m so should work for anybody. Connect to your pc and the update should install through the Blackberry Link. Give yourself at least 30 minutes.
  • You can install android directly from Amazon play store

    It isn't officially supported but Amazon has said they have no intention of preventing it.

    So it really is easy to install android applications. Also Blackberry World is being updated and there is the possibility that some android apps will be hosted there as well.

    I really like my Z10 and would love to update to a Z30. The development tools are very nice.

    I like the gesture based UI compared to my wife's Samsung S4 and my son's HTC One. It works particularly well for me as I have it mounted to my windshield and it makes GPS navigation really easy. The HTC One though has the best sound.
    • GPs

      with the GPS on the BB Z30 you don't need a second device for navigation, all those garmins, or what have yous, will be $25 soon
    • IMO

      Blackberry 10 is the best OS for organization, email and gestures. Very slick and this only makes it better.
  • This is the update!

    This update is how BB10 should've been from the start. It's fantastic. My Z10 is super fast and smooth now. The Android apps run great. Everything is just more refined now.

    With all the new NSA security stories breaking daily about both Apple and Android, people should take another look at BB now. It really is a fantastic phone now and I'm sure most carriers are almost giving away Z10's.
    • bb z30

      Yes the new z10 z30 are very good phones, I have had the phone for 2 months. I picked up my wifes iphone. It seems antiquated

      Will check out the apps available from android, I was successful with the square up android app, the Neat app prior to this new update.

      Cool, I will check out android apps tonight
  • hmmmm....

    nah, I'll leave my z10 in my desk drawer.
    new gawker
    • Your loss

      I doubt you have a Z10, and if you do you're probably just too dumb to figure out the three gestures it takes to master it. Either way, your loss leaving it in a drawer.
  • Blackberry deserves respect.

    After downloading this update today, it was clear that BlackBerry worked overtime on this. Hundreds of beautiful improvements. I've already downloaded amazon app store and I'm now running the three apps I wanted that have not entered BlackBerry World as of yet. As for ease of downloading android apps - put it this way. I'm a moron and I had it done in minutes. Great day for BlackBerry and Mr. Chen. Still trying to figure out how they managed a global update roll out when the old crew couldn't. Things are definitely changing for the better at BlackBerry.
  • Instagram on BB

    I used 1mobile.com to get Instagram, so easy a monkey could do it. I'm not a huge app guy but this seems to work perfect. Love my Z10, but miss my buttons.
  • App gap

    I think with this update, the few big name apps that are missing from BB10 can now be loaded with this update from Verizon.

    I have the Amazon store loaded on my Z10 now. All good.
  • Access Google Play via Snap...

    Install this bar http://redlightoflove.com/ota/Snap-latest.bar