So today was a big day for BlackBerry. The announcement of them teaming up with Amazon to deliver Android apps on BlackBerry 10 is something many folks have been hoping for (and against) for a while, but now that it has actually happened it's interesting to sit back and read some of the reactions from the BlackBerry community. Overall, it seems there's plenty of love for it happening but there also seem to be folks who are not too keen on the idea. Personally speaking, I think it's a great idea and something that had to happen eventually due to lack of other plausible solutions.
I think most people would agree it was some rather interesting timing as well. BlackBerry is serving up their earnings report tomorrow along with hosting their annual meeting, so that may have possibly had an effect on the timing. On top of that, shortly after the BlackBerry / Amazon info went out, Jeff Bezos hit the stage to introduce Amazon's own phone which we now know as Fire Phone. Hit the link if you care, if not skip it.
With all of that in mind, I'm curious what you all think about the situation. I have several views on it and more importantly some questions about how BlackBerry is going to be transitioning all this stuff. It's going to be a while before we all see the transition and will be able to see how it all works out but I can't help but feel there are a lot of unanswered questions and some misinterpreted information floating about. We'll be looking to get better clarification on it all once the earnings stuff is all over and done with.
We've heard your appeals for access to more applications for your BlackBerry 10 device and we are delivering.
What happens to Native BlackBerry development? BlackBerry addressed it on the BlackBerry developer's blog and clarified some information but even some developers seem confused over what path they should be taking. Essentially there are now going to be two app stores on BlackBerry 10 devices. As stated by Tim Neil, Amazon will support only Android applications. BlackBerry World will continue as normal supporting all existing types of applications and BlackBerry and Amazon will provide support to migrate an existing Android application from BlackBerry World to Amazon if the developer desires to do so.
So what does that even mean? Are they expecting native BlackBerry developers to drop native support and transition everything over to an Android app so they can take advantage of all of that Amazon offers through their developer program? It is a good program. There's obviously a choice there, but what happens to those who do only decide to create native apps? Less exposure? Less support from developer relations? The blog post honestly didn't really clarify that and I'm not the only one left wondering.
In addition to the greater selection of apps, you will be able to access video and music services through a number of popular third party services available through the Amazon Appstore and BlackBerry World.
On top of that, we also learned that BlackBerry will be removing music, movies, and TV shows from BlackBerry World. Rovi powered the TV shows and movies while 7Digital powered the music side of things. To make up for it BlackBerry noted 'you will be able to access video and music services through a number of popular third party services available through the Amazon Appstore and BlackBerry World'.
For me, the removal isn't a big deal at all. Honestly, the only thing I ever bought from there was the Tame Impala song used on BlackBerry commercials anyway. But some folks instantly assumed that means all of Amazon's content is going to be available on BlackBerry devices and, well, that hasn't been made crystal clear. It's definitely a safe assumption that you'll be able to download such things as Amazon Prime Music, the app mostly works as is now anyway, but it's not clear if Amazon and BlackBerry are working together to be able to offer any sort of other access. They stated 'popular third party services' so that could mean just about anything such as downloading Netflix for videos or Spotify for music, as examples. Of course, Amazon is in the business of selling you things and logic would say Amazon and BlackBerry will work something out but again, it was never explicitly stated.
In any case, this is a BIG deal for BlackBerry and they're going forward with it. There's no going back now. Current and potential BlackBerry users will ultimately decide whether or not it's the right move in the long run. As BlackBerry themselves put it, 'we've heard your appeals for access to more applications for your BlackBerry 10 device and we are delivering.' So let me know: Is this what everyone wants? I think it's a great move and am looking toward BlackBerry moving forward with it.