Now that BlackBerry 10.2.1 is out to a wider audience and folks are installing Android apps onto their BlackBerry 10 devices, there has been a ton of Android related questions popping up on the CrackBerry Twitter account and in the CrackBerry Forums. One of the more frequent questions asked comes after folks have installed an Android app that requires Google Play services such as Google Hangouts, Google+, Google Play Music and even some possibly unexpected apps such as Yahoo Weather.
Reason being is that those apps and many others available on Android produce an error message when ran on BlackBerry 10. Something along the lines of "This app won't run without Google Play services, which are missing from your phone" or similar. So what are these Google Play services? We'll keep things simple for this post but if you want the full details Android Central has a great write up.
Google Play services provide easy access to Google services and are tightly integrated with the Android OS. In order to provide Google Play services device manufacturers such as BlackBerry have to have their devices tested by Google and approved, BlackBerry has not gone through that process for their Android runtime and as such cannot offer them. This is also why the Google Play Store is not available on BlackBerry 10.
It's important to remember that BlackBerry makes note of this although they don't fully explain it. Plus as Kevin highlighted, they're not advertising the capability anyway. They simply sum it up in the disclaimer that I'm sure you all read, stating that when you install Android apps not all of them may not be supported to their full extent. In some cases, such as with apps that make use of Google Maps, they can use replacement services such as Open Street Maps but no matter how look at it, not every Android app is supported and some of those apps are the ones people really want to use.
So, with all that in mind you're likely wondering if there is anything you can do as a workaround for it. Well, yes and no. For some apps simply having the Google Play Store and Google Play Services APK's installed on your device is enough to 'trick' it into thinking it has full Google Play services. You still won't be able to use the Google Play Store but it will stop the error message from popping up and let you continue on using whatever app it is you're trying to use. Some other apps though can't be fooled so easily and nothing you do will make them work, sadly. Finally, some apps will produce the error but work just fine after dismissing it. Your mileage will vary.
It's not an ideal situation because again some of the apps that produce this error are ones that folks really want but it's something that we'll have to deal with and hopefully after reading this you'll have a better understanding of why it's happening in the first place. It's a bit of a bummer but in the grand scheme of it all, I'd have to say the majority of apps don't require Google Services anyway. It's just a bit frustrating when you do come across them.