Blackberry is currently pushing the BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 update to carriers all over the world. This update which is available to compatible devices brings a lot of features and improvements to the BlackBerry 10 experience. What’s probably one of the major features is that it now allows consumers to install Android APK files directly from a web browser or a file manager.
Blackberry has previously supported Android apps starting with the BlackBerry PlayBook but getting the apps to the device was a long process. App developers would have to convert their Android apps to a BAR format then would have to upload it to the App World to reach consumers.
With the BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 update consumers can simply install Android apps the same way as any Android device that does not have access to the Google Play Store.
If you have already updated your BlackBerry device you can go ahead and try out some Android apps on it. Take note though that some apps work perfectly fine while others are not so great.
Do you already own an Android device? You could install an app such as “App Backup and Restore” then export your APK files to your cloud storage such as Dropbox. You can then use your BlackBerry device to open your Dropbox account and simply click on the saved APK file to install.
Other ways to get Android apps into your device include
- Amazon App Store
- 1mobile Market
- APK Train (website)
- Snap APK Downloader
Here are the key features and enhancements included in BlackBerry OS 10.2.1
- Customize Pinch Gesture to Filter BlackBerry
- Simplified Phone Experience
- SMS and Email Groups – You can now create SMS and email.
- Actionable Lock Screen Notifications – You can now “Tap to open” a message that appears on the lock screen.
- Picture Password for Quick Unlocking – You can quickly unlock your phone using a combination of a picture and a number (0-9) of your choice, which you place at a particular point on the image.
- Customizable Quick Settings Menu
- Offline Browser Reading Mode – Ability to save webpage for viewing a a later time even without an Internet connection.
- Preferred Contact Sync – You can now choose the sync source for your Contacts.
- Device and Battery Monitor – Provides detailed usage of battery usage and how apps are affecting battery life.
- Automatic Software Updates – OS updates can be set to happen automatically over a Wi-Fi connection.
- Enterprise Features – When combined with BES10 version 10.2, enterprise customers will gain additional security features and IT policies.
- FM Radio –Applies to the BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Q10 or BlackBerry Q5 smartphone, the new software update unlocks the built-in FM radio in those handsets.