Android is a smartphone and tablet operating system created by Google and opened up to customization by major device manufacturers, such as Samsung, LG, Sony, and HTC. Shortly after the PlayBook was launched, BlackBerry released an Android runtime which would allow developers to easily put their Android apps onto the tablet. After users were able to earn root access to the PlayBook, it became possible to sideload Android applications onto the PlayBook using a number of tools. With BlackBerry 10, users can do the same thing and with the release of BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, Android APK files will be able to be downloaded directly to device and installed using the on-board system installer. As of BlackBerry OS 10.3, APK files will no longer need to be sideloaded but can instead be downloaded and directly installed through the Amazon Appstore integration.
For everything Android, head over to our sibling site Android Central. Tell them Lloyd sent you.
Aug 13, 2015
CrackBerry Asks: Where do you go first to look for apps? BlackBerry World or an Android store?
The mobile market is so app orientated that it's probably the most important feature that consumers take into consideration when picking an operating system. As a BlackBerry 10 user I hope I can speak for most of us when I say that the OS and hardware are more important to me. Sure, apps are still have a place, but they are down the list of important features that I need on my smartphone.
As we know from history, it's pretty easy to fake a BlackBerry running Android through the use of any of the launcher apps on the Google Play Store and about 3 minutes in Photoshop but there's something a little bit more interesting about this set of images and video. A few signs that maybe, just maybe, this thing might actually be legit. To be clear, I'm not saying it is. I'm just saying, there are signs that may otherwise not be accomplished. Which signs you're asking? Let me tell me you.
Icons - If you look carefully at the photos, you can see BlackBerry Safeguard is an icon on the device. Even through the use of a launcher, I've never been able to get that to show up. BlackBerry defines Safeguard as all the security measures on their device. Even though it's a bit of inside baseball, when they send out device review documents, Safeguard generally lists BlackBerry Protect, Picture Password etc. Meaning, if they are working on Android they could have coupled this into an app as a central spot for all things related to BlackBerry specific security. There's also a few others that wouldn't carry over if a launcher was used as well such as Help.
The device powers off - The images show the device powering off. Although it's in Portuguese, 'desligar' means switch off while 'encerrando' means closing. Unless there's some Photoshop magic happening here, that device is actually powering off via the power button. Something that wouldn't be controlled via a launcher as it doesn't tap into those controls. Just like the Android settings when accessed through the Android runtime can't turn off WiFi or Bluetooth, they also can't shut off the power.
The Keyboard - As you can tell by watching the video, the touch input comes off as being rather terrible but you'll also notice that moving around the device via the touch-sensitive keyboard also works. Granted, some apps that run through the Android runtime already work this way but, in my testing at least, I've never been able to use any Android launchers in that manner. It usually works within apps but never outside through a launcher.
With all that in mind, I'll once again reiterate. I have no idea if this thing is legit and if it is, no one is talking about it, so it should go without saying that everyone should take it with a HUGE grain of salt. That said, if it's a fake it's a pretty damn good one and I'd really like to know what tools were used to put it together because it appears to be integrating in ways that really should not be possible. Also, if you ordered a Passport Silver Edition, don't expect it to arrive running Android.
Jul 08, 2015
BlackBerry Blend v1.2 update now available
BlackBerry Blend v1.2 has been available for Beta Zone users for some time and in early June it was announced that it would be available to everyone soon enough. Today, an update to Blend has arrived for BlackBerry 10, Android as well as iOS. It brings with it a new Dashboard design and UI, as well as the ability to reply to BBM and SMS messages directly from notification pop-ups.
Jul 03, 2015
Leaked render shows off the BlackBerry Venice and all of its Android glory
The rumors continue about the BlackBerry Venice. This time around we have a render of what is said to be BlackBerry's upcoming slider phone, running a full version of Android. Recently it was rumored that this device would be headed to AT&T, which wouldn't be much of a surprise.
Jun 29, 2015
BBM Money users in Indonesia can now pay for goods and services online and in stores
While we're still waiting to hear some news about BBM Money for the U.S. and Canada, BlackBerry last week held an event to update media and the Android, BlackBerry and iOS communities in Indonesia on the latest additions to BBM Money that for the first time brings Instant Mobile Payments to users of the app on all major platforms and allows them pay for goods and services online and in stores – regardless of who they bank with.
Jun 18, 2015
BlackBerry 'Prague' rumored to be company's first Android-powered device
There has been quite a bit of chatter lately about Android-powered BlackBerry devices, and yet another rumor has surfaced. According to N4BB, BlackBerry's first Android device is called the BlackBerry "Prague", which won't be flagship style hardware, instead more on the lower end.
Jun 17, 2015
The majority of CrackBerry readers wouldn't buy an Android-based BlackBerry
Shocking, right? Who would have thought? BlackBerry users love BlackBerry 10 and don't want an Android-based BlackBerry. Truthfully, I was playing devil's advocate a bit in asking the question because I entirely expected the majority to flat out tell me I was crazy for asking and proceed to reach for their pitchforks. But, that never happened aside from the odd 'what a dumb question' comment.
May 22, 2015
Into PC or console gaming? Get Twitch on your BlackBerry
If you're not a PC or console gamer feel free to ignore this post as it probably won't be of interest. However, millions of people do spend a ton of time on their computers, PlayStation or Xbox and you may well be pleased to hear that you can join your Android or iPhone buddies by having Twitch on your BlackBerry 10 device.
Apr 13, 2015
Deezer brings enhanced audio quality with their latest update
I honestly cannot remember the last time Deezer's streaming music app was last updated for BlackBerry 10 but, I know without a doubt that right now, there's a new update available. Although it remains an Android port at this point, Deezer has added a rather significant change to this release, one I'm sure anyone who is using the app will certainly appreciate. So what is it? Well, it's better sounding music, essentially.
Mar 27, 2015
Reebee shopping list and flyer app returns to BlackBerry World with a new look
Back when BlackBerry 10 launched, one of my favorite apps was Reebee. The app collected all the local flyers in my area and presented them in a way that was easy to read, so I could keep up with any sales that were happening through stores nearby. Eventually, Reebee stopped being updated, and I switched to Flipp, which offers a similar service though I found it to be slightly less reliable when it came to finding all available flyers.
Mar 26, 2015
HMV Music app updated to v220.127.116.11 to clear up some bugs
Since the removal of music and movies from BlackBerry World, BlackBerry users have had to look elsewhere to get music on their devices and one option available is the HMV Music app. Truth be told, the app has been neglected for a bit as one might be able to tell from reading the reviews, but that's neither here nor there now as v18.104.22.168 has arrived and is readily available for download from BlackBerry World.
Feb 25, 2015
BlackBerry works with Google to enhance mobile security and user experience
BlackBerry announced today that the company is working with Google to enable BES12, the cross-platform EMM solution by BlackBerry to manage devices equipped with Android for Work, Google's solution to securely separate business and personal data and applications that debuted at Google I/O last year.
Feb 21, 2015
Snap v3 Beta 3 now available for download
With two beta releases already out there, it's now time for Snap v3 beta 3. As expected, this release brings along with it several bug fixes and changes including some changes to address download issues, scrolling and there's now additional layout fixes for the BlackBerry Passport as well. That's just a small list of additions, you can view the rest below.
Feb 19, 2015
BBM for Android now available on the Amazon Appstore
Although this announcement might not mean a lot for BlackBerry users, it could come in handy when recommending others to download BBM. BlackBerry has now made BBM available through the Amazon Appstore.
Feb 16, 2015
Superb free gaming today with Bamba - courtesy of the Amazon Appstore
Amazon's free app of the day today is a real gem. I hadn't heard of Bamba before this morning but as soon as I saw it was available I downloaded it to my Passport and it was instantly clear that this one was worth sharing.
The first beta of Snap v3 brought an overwhelming response from the BlackBerry community! There were over 11,500 downloads of the new beta and over 200 feedback emails. I'm so grateful to have such a supportive community of testers. With such a response from the community, I must answer back with a new beta build!
As noted, Snap v3 Beta 2 will be released Tuesday (2/10) night, with a few important bug fixes so we'll let you all know when that is available for download. Needless to say, those numbers are pretty impressive. Have you downloaded the latest build? If not, get to it.
Jan 03, 2015
Jamie's 20 Minute Meals - free today from the Amazon Appstore
Whether you're into cooking or just looking for some inspiration, today could be the perfect way to get creative in the kitchen thanks to Amazon and Jamie Oliver. Normally just short of five bucks, Jamie's 20 Minute Meals is Amazon's free app of the day and after downloading it onto my BlackBerry Passport it looks to be a real sizzler!
Dec 26, 2014
Snap v3 still in the works but not quite ready just yet
It seems forever ago now that we saw the first teaser of Snap v3 with its all new design based on Android Lollipop. So long in fact, many folks began to wonder whether or not it was still going to be released.
As it turns out, it will be and Red Light of Love took to Twitter to offer everyone an update and a brand new preview of the native app that allows you to install Android apps directly from the Google Play Store. Hit play on the video above to check out the preview.
Dec 19, 2014
BlackBerry Expands Support for Mobility Management Solutions to Android Lollipop
BlackBerry has now made another move to further improve their BES12 offerings by announcing support for Android 5.0 Lollipop.
"Customers recognize the risks that mobility brings into their organization, and BES12 is the insurance policy that will protect their critical data while giving them the freedom to choose whichever platforms they prefer," said Billy Ho, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Product and Value Added Solutions, BlackBerry. "We are pleased to manage Android Lollipop through BES12, allowing enterprises to enable better productivity for their employees."
BES12 support for Android Lollipop was made available to customers in early November. The capability underscores BlackBerry's commitment to unparalleled security in managing devices from multiple platforms in the enterprise, and further demonstrates the breadth of BES12 functionality.
Nov 08, 2014
Test your brain cells with IQ Mission - free today from Amazon
If you fancy exercising the old grey matter then you may want to jump into the Amazon Appstore and download IQ Mission which is currently free today. If you're a whizz at board and puzzle games (very much unlike me) this one should keep you well occupied.
Oct 27, 2014
A thing of beauty - Atomus HD, free today from Amazon
Just a quick heads up for you folk that like to take advantage of Amazon's 'free app of the day'. Atomus HD is todays offering and it may not be super exciting or productive, but it oozes awesomeness - trust me.
Posted by James Richardson on 18 Jun 2014 8:20 am EDT
Good news for BlackBerry 10 users today as the Canadian company announce a new deal they have struck with Amazon which will see the Amazon Appstore become available on BlackBerry 10.3 later in the year.
Although getting Android apps onto our BlackBerry 10 handsets is pretty straight forward once you know how, this new partnership will provide a seamless way for the consumer to get hold of...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 12 Jun 2014 8:49 am EDT
Several months ago I embarked on an experiment. As a guy who'd used BlackBerry since 2000 I had deep experience with the platform along with good experience on iOS. But I had practically no experience on Android. So I put my Z10 on my bedside table and left it there while I moved my SIM into a Samsung Galaxy S4. At the time it was among the best Android handsets available.
I realize I'm in...
Posted by James Richardson on 4 Jun 2014 10:09 am EDT
It may be an Android app and not available in BlackBerry World, but that doesn't stop us BlackBerry 10 folk from using it. Instagram has been updated to include a bunch of new photo editing tools and enhancements which you can download from the Android app store of your choice.
I'm a big fan of using Snap for my Android apps and this new version is there waiting for you to download. You'll...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 15 May 2014 3:48 pm EDT
A quick heads up for those of you rocking the official CrackBerry App on Android— we've pushed out an update today with a number of important fixes. You're going to want to make sure you download this one, particularly if you've seen increased data usage or are using the widget on your home screen. The fixes apply to all the editorial (ie not the Tapatalk-esque one) apps for all our Mobile...
Posted by James Richardson on 28 Apr 2014 5:54 am EDT
Another Android app which may well be of interest to UK consumers is from the supermarket chain ALDI. Whilst we don't all have a local store, their market presence is certainly growing and they sure have some attractive prices.
The beauty with the app is that every week ALDI have what they call 'Special Buy's and the app will detail all the products that have been discounted. Select the item...
For BlackBerry developers, having the latest and greatest tools to make apps is important and to help keep things moving along, BlackBerry has now released their BlackBerry Tools for Android Development 2.0.2 Beta. The last update to the tools came back in October, so a new update is great to see. The list of feature additions is pretty long for this one but we’ve got them all for you past the...
Posted by James Richardson on 5 Apr 2014 10:08 am EDT
I'm sure you've seen that since BlackBerry 10.2.1 hit the scene we've decided to feature a few more Android apps and games that were not previously available to us. I've also noticed in both the post comments and in the CrackBerry forums that some of you aren't too happy about this — and we get that.
Whilst everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I'm slightly baffled as to why you wouldn't...
Earlier, Microsoft announced that their Microsoft Office Mobile was going free on Android and iOS while ditching the need for a subscription in order to use it for 'view-only' purposes. Since then, we've had people emailing us and letting us know that since Android apps can run on BlackBerry 10, we should post about it or asking if it works on the BlackBerry 10 Android runtime.
To save folks...
Posted by James Richardson on 27 Mar 2014 3:26 pm EDT
Time for some funky racing action - this time with another Android game that you'll need to get from one of the third party app stores. This process may be a little more hassle than grabbing the game from BlackBerry World, but this one's well worth it.
You're going to be wanting to use a BlackBerry Z30 or Z10 for this one. I tried it on my Q10 and although the game loads just fine it is...
Posted by James Richardson on 26 Mar 2014 5:15 am EDT
We've featured our fair share of tennis games over the last year or so for BlackBerry 10, but not table tennis that I can recall. Real Table Tennis is another great game that unfortunately you won't find in BlackBerry World (at the time of publication), but you can grab it from the third party Android store Snap.
As well as the game being awesome - hence us telling you about it - I was...
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