Caught on film: Android runs smoothly on the BlackBerry Passport

A pure Android interface with BlackBerry's own apps and hardware may be just what the company needs to boost device sales.
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor on

Aside from bringing its own apps to Google's platform, it appears BlackBerry is really starting to take Android seriously.

Screen renders of the company's expected BlackBerry Venice slider handset recently appeared and now there's a lengthy video showing Android running on the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition. And it looks good so far.

Portuguese-language website Dudu Rocha Tec based in Brazil is running Google's software on BlackBerry's hardware on YouTube and shows off the fluid experience along with some BlackBerry add-on apps, which you'd expect to see.

It looks like BlackBerry is taking a sensible approach by not "skinning" the base Android interface.

Instead, the company is keeping things simple and consistent which can also help with performance: The more software add-ons integrated into Android, the more risk a hardware maker faces by slowing the phone down.

Google apps are present in the video, indicating that BlackBerry has licensed them like any other Android partner.

Of course, this isn't -- and shouldn't be -- a pure stock Android experience.

You can see various BlackBerry apps in the video and I'd expect the company to use its BlackBerry Hub as a default application, providing quick access to consolidated communications. This feature is one of the best parts of the BlackBerry 10.

Not to be outdone by Microsoft Cortana, Apple's Siri and Google Now, BlackBerry has been working on its own personal service app as well, dubbed BlackBerry Assistant.

While Google Now would surely be available on an Android handset made by BlackBerry, it would be smart for the company to make it the default digital assistant app.

I don't think that by offering Android phones, BlackBerry is giving up on its own operating system.

Supplementing it may be the best description. And by doing so, it gives potential customers a choice of platform while bringing sorely needed hardware sales to the company.

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