Okay, so we all witnessed the heavily hyped BlackBerry 10 event and were treated to two good looking smartphones in the form of the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10. And as most of us know, the BlackBerry 10 platform was said to have a little over 70,000 apps right from the get go. This is a good thing actually for a new platform, something which Microsoft failed to do with Windows Phone. But as we all know, several of these titles were ported over to the platform during the company’s Port-A-Thon events earlier last month. And it is now being said that out of the 70,000 apps that are said to be available on the BlackBerry 10 platform, over 40% of them are repackaged Android apps or APKs. That’s about 28,000 apps out of the estimated 70,000 apps on the platform. While the overall number shows 70,000, only a few of them were written specifically for BlackBerry 10 as many other apps were ported from earlier versions of BlackBerry. That’s an alarming figure, but I don’t think RIM will worry much as long as these apps function well on the platform.
Given the vast Android library for apps, it makes some sense for developers to port some on to the new platform. People seem to be excited about BlackBerry 10, and it could go a long way in making the platform seem like a plausible choice, especially for new buyers. A lot of issues are solved when the manufacturer sorts out the whole app situation, especially for a new platform and BlackBerry understands that pretty well. Porting or reworking an Android app to work on BlackBerry 10 is a pretty easy process apparently (for those well versed with coding). Most of these codes needed to be compatible with BB10’s gestures as it has zero hardware keys on the device. I guess the story will be a little different when the QWERTY BlackBerry makes its way to the market in April.
A majority of these apps have been ported from older iterations of the BlackBerry OS, so the company can proudly brag of that. It’s currently in negotiations with Instagram and other popular app developers to get their apps onto the BlackBerry eco system. Surprisingly, Instagram isn’t available on Windows Phone 8 either, so it would take some convincing from the BlackBerry dev team to get it running on the new OS. BlackBerry has actually made provisions for developers to easily convert or rework their Android apps to make them work on BlackBerry, and this happened back during the days of the PlayBook tablet. So it would only make sense for the company to maintain the arrangement with its new platform.