Talking OS 10.2.1 and Android apps on BB10 FAQ, w/ BlackBerry's Alec Saunders

Alec Saunders
By Kevin Michaluk on 15 Nov 2013 10:00 am EST

Earlier this week, BlackBerry posted on their dev blog an official note about the Android Runtime update coming to users as part of OS 10.2.1.

There is more to 10.2.1 than updating the runtime from Gingerbread 2.3 to Jelly Bean 4.2.2  -- this is also the update that allows BlackBerry app developers to build headless apps -- a much sought after feature by native BlackBerry app developers and BlackBerry 10 owners alike.

That said, the deeper integration between BlackBerry 10 and Android in 10.2.1 is garnering a massive amount of attention from users, as with this update BlackBerry 10 owners can now install Android .apk files (actual Android apps) directly onto their phone. 

With a high percentage of Android apps compatible and working flawlessly on BlackBerry 10.2.1, this update basically means the perceived "app gap" in the BlackBerry ecosystem has been closed, with only a little crack remaining. Looking at the top 50 Android apps in the Google Play store, nearly all of them will work perfectly on BB10, as will tens and literally hundreds of thousands more. 

With a big move like this there are a lot of questions to be asked. Luckily, we have answers. And where we didn't have them ourselves, we asked BlackBerry's VP of Developer Relations and BlackBerry Ecosystem Builder, Alec Saunders for some clarification.

Android APK's on BlackBerry 10 FAQ

Q1. What's the main message here?

A1. Alec told us that the BIG MESSAGE here is that BlackBerry is upping their game for Android support. It means they're comfortable with the performance they are getting out of the 4.2.2 runtime on BlackBerry 10 and the experience Android apps are delivering on the platform to users. It's offering "more choice for more customers because that's what customers have asked us to do."

Q2. What's this mean for BlackBerry World and BlackBerry app developers?

A2. Nothing changes here in terms of BlackBerry's initiatives and effort in supporting native BlackBerry app developers and in growing BlackBerry App World. Alec told us that if anything, BlackBerry World can be viewed as more curated, vetted experience. Apps that appear in BlackBerry World need to be signed (and even Android .apks still need to first be converted to .bar files before being submitted by developers to App World).  

Alec strongly delivered to us the message that in "no way are we backing away from native developers" and that "customers want the signature BlackBerry experience". What it boils to down is that while BlackBerry will continue to push hard to build out their BlackBerry 10 app ecosystem and work to foster a thriving BlackBerry 10 app developer community, in the meantime for eager customers who want their apps, they will be able to get them via Android .apks.

Q3. So Google Play / Google Play Services are definitely not coming to BlackBerry 10?

A3. Last weekend the CrackBerry forums went into a frenzy on the rumor that with 10.2.1 we may be seeing official native support for Google Play and other Google Services (Maps, Hangouts, etc.). At our request for statement, BlackBerry did get back to us earlier in the week squashing that rumor.  At this time there is no planned support for Google Play on BlackBerry.

Alec reiterated to us that they're following the same basic process here as they did with bringing the Gingerbread Android runtime to BlackBerry 10. The integration is tighter, the performance is better and there is greater compatibility this time around. Android apps that use Bluetooth APIs are supported (support for Bluetooth Low Energy for Android coming in future OS releases), and even though BlackBerry 10 doesn't have native Google Maps, BlackBerry has plumbed through the MapView v1 API via OpenStreetMaps. So Android .apks you install that call out to Google Maps via this API will still work, even though there's no native Google Maps on BlackBerry 10.

Bottom line, as was the case before we're still not seeing any official blessing from Google on any of this - but it doesn't matter. It works. And with with the new runtime should work pretty darn well.

Q4. So what about security? 

A4. When it comes to trust and security, the words Android and malware go together like bread and butter, and most IT managers I know still cringe at the word Android, so we asked Alec about this. 

"On the topic of trust, first of all I would say you can trust the BlackBerry App World store. Secondly, if you're going to download Android .apk files from other stores, take note that some of those stores are trusted." In this case, the Amazon app store is a good example of a "trusted" store to get Android apps.

As for IT departments that are weary of Android, the good news here is that the management of running apps on BlackBerry 10 doesn't change. You cannot run an .apk file within the work perimeter.

Q5. What are the requirements to get started with installing Android .apk files on my phone?

A5. Pretty straight forward here. You'll need a BlackBerry 10 phone (Z10, Z30, Q10, Q5, etc.) and BlackBerry OS version 10.2.1 or higher.

As of today OS 10.2.1 is being released in beta to developers. We don't have any official release date for carriers to be pushing it down to consumers yet (based on historical rollouts we'd take a guess at early 2014). That said, if you're willing to take a little time to educate yourself, the "leaks" are already rolling out in fast and furious form. Check out our BlackBerry OS page and you'll find you can already grab 10.2.1 for the Q10, Z30 and Z10. Just be sure to read everything carefully and follow all the instructions carefully. If you run into any issues, head to the CrackBerry forums where our kick ass community will help you out.

And look - this is one of those times where I'm (as in CrackBerry Kevin) going to reiterate that I believe installing leaks can be very helpful (not that I've ever said otherwise). The loyal CrackBerry members out there are the best damn beta testers BlackBerry has. And we'll be trying out Android .apks galore. So download like mad, test everything, and post about everything in the forums - whether you're finding great success, issues, etc. Based on history, I'm sure your posts will not go unnoticed. 

Q6. Where do I find Android Apps to install on my BlackBerry 10 phone?

A6. CrackBerry of course! The reason we launched in 2007 was to help BlackBerry owners get the most out of their device ownership experience. You can count on us to help you discover the best Android app .apks and app stores for your BlackBerry 10 phone. We've already setup a dedicated Android Apps (.APK Files) forum, and we'll be doing a lot of editorial content and tutorials around this as well. Also, expect an update to our award-winning CB10 app soon that will put finding Android .APKs for your BlackBerry 10 phone front and center. In the meantime, hit the related links below to get started.

Spread the Word!

Given the nature of this type of Android Apps on BlackBerry 10 solution, I'm not sure what sort of mainstream marketing and messaging we'll see BlackBerry put behind it. But for us BlackBerry 10 owners and potential owners, it's an extremely awesome solution that's going to help you load up your BlackBerry 10 phone with apps galore. So spread the word!


Related Links:

How to install Android apps / .APK files on BlackBerry 10.2.1
CrackBerry's Android Apps (.APK files) forum
Complete list of Android app Stores
Download Latest OS for your BlackBerry (including 10.2.1)

Reader comments

Talking OS 10.2.1 and Android apps on BB10 FAQ, w/ BlackBerry's Alec Saunders



Great article, I might actually try a leak for the first time.

I have never actually tried blackberries, but I won't be surprised if they taste the best

Definitely a good article!!
Alec nailed it by reiterating that the "native" experience is still the main goal; but by putting this tool in place the app-gap issue is mitigated during the transition.

I especially like the "we listened to what our customers wanted" .. This is of note; as there's a lot of misconception out there that BlackBerry still doesn't listen; not the case :)

Awesome option with the Android feature! Nice article and good answers from Alec!

I continue to develop native for BlackBerry and the new "Built For BlackBerry" incentives keep pushing me to learn more. I think BlackBerry does very well to support its developers and don't see Android changing that at all. It will make me have to step up my game though, knowing that I am competing with a whole slew of apps now coming from another platform, but it is still good overall for the userbase and long-term growth of BlackBerry users which is the main goal. Plus, the BFB designation and BlackBerry World vetting process should still hopefully encourage users to go to that resource first and support those apps.

Given that Android phones can only run Android apps, but now BlackBerry phones can run Android apps + BlackBerry apps, does that mean BlackBerry can state they actually have more apps available to run than Android? :-)

Nicely stated,eby. I think that you nailed the intent. It's very helpful to hear the analysis of the comments from a developer's point of view.

Posted via CB10

Not all android apps would be functional on BlackBerry. I doubt you'll want to load android keyboard apps on your blackberry.

Posted via CB10

Got some apps on amazon not one has been a success, apps constantly crash after 20 seconds, and screen resolution goes wacky sometimes loads upside down and won't correct itself... I've had nothing but problems since I updated the official 10.2, maybe others are having a better BB10 experience.

Posted via my  Z10.2.1.1055

You need to have 10.2.1 which isn't officially released yet to get the full benefit of this article.

Trolls should be forced to use BB10!

Wasting development effort on a competitor's service or product that encourages third-party developers to abandon native BlackBerry applications. While the shift to cloud services is gaining momentum, there are advantages to an application front-end. Again if I want Google Android applications I would have bought a Samsung or Motorola smartphone.

Posted via CB10 from the BlackBerry Z10

There was a whole big recruiting drive (for the blog police). You must've missed it.

Personally, I'm on Quicksilver's side here; I find those who post "first" to be annoying 12-year-olds. But annoying isn't the worst thing you can come across on the internets; "firsters" are certainly a benign annoyance, and don't approach the level of irritation caused by 80% of commenters on the internet-at-large.

If they are ignored, they will simply go away. The attention fuels them.

Addict for 10 years, but it may be time to get off this drug.

While Rule 14 is obviously true for trolls, it doesn't work the same way on the typical firster. Their behavior is reinforced not by those who respond negatively to them, but mainly by others who also post "first." The motivation is not to inspire angry retribution as with trolls, but to "win" in a competition with other firsters. It is clearly a more innocent and non-malicious behavior; annoying as opposed to aggravating.

It is certainly possible that some firsters may use their "first" posts as trolling, thriving off both the positive and negative feedback, which would lend more credence to your argument. I'll acknowledge that possibility.

It's one thing to be annoyed by first posts - it's another to seek them out (giving them the attention they crave) and respond as often as possible. I personally wouldn't recognize the name of a single "first" poster, but I do recognize his as the most frequent responder.  He seems to wear this as a badge of honor, based on his past comments. When you consider HE generates more off-topic comments than the first posters (most, apparrently disagreeing with his tactics) and how often he does it, you have to ask who's really seeking attention/causing a distraction.  And as mentioned by others, ignore them and they go away. That goes for first posters and chronic responders.  

BTW, "first" posts are no less valuable than posts  of cool, yippee, great, downloading now, etc. I've seen them all many times. 

Those that constantly complain about "firsters" are even more annoying than the "firsters ".....

Posted via CB10

So true.
The difference:

People that post "first": happy, excited.
People that complain: mad, sad, negative, jealous ( ? ), and lame.

What difference if someone posts first? Does it hurt anyone? No. It does not. Get over yourself.

Disclaimer: I've never posted "first" on an article before, but I still don't care if someone does.

I think it's time for another edition of "CrackBerry Live." Possibly with an AndroidCentral member??


I want some real world examples of Android apps that run perfectly and why, as well as Android apps that don't run well and why.

I'd also like to see comparisons of Android apps running on

Z/Q10 vs Galaxy S3 :
S4 Plus (w/ dual core 1.5ghz)
GPU: Adreno 225
Z30 vs Moto X:
S4 Pro (w/ dual core 1.7ghz)
GPU: Quad core Adreno 320

Both sets of phones, respectively, have almost identical hardware.

Posted via CB10

Android apps running perfectly on my Q10 (with the leaked 1055 OS):

Netflix - loads quick, interface is smooth, plays videos, seek/scan is fast, buffering is fast, subtitles work, resume works

WD My Cloud - loads slower than on my sg3, but works, connects to my WD Live, all functions work (upload, download, navigate file structure, create folder, move files, etc)

Google Maps - loads fast, searchs fast, finds GPS fast, navigation works (voice nav), cannot log in (although there is a work around on CB i have yet to try)

Instagram - works *almost* perfectly; can post new messages, pictures, browser others content, not sure if you can post video, and the one thing not working quite right; when you go to take a picture with the app, the camera is inverted..

Songa - works just like on my sg3

Shazam (droid version) works just like on my sg3

utorrent remote works just like on my sg3

Ttorrent works just like on my sg3 ( on a side note, LTE gives me 3mb/s down!!! as in 3000+kb/s)

B1 Free archiver works just like on my sg3 (side note, I can download a tv torrent, extract it, and watch it all on my Q10 - sweet. Kalemsoft is a good media player, on bb app world, plays any format, like VLC)

Cut the Rope - works perfectly just like sg3

Vine - interface is sluggish, watching videos is fine and smooth, have yet to try taking video

CandyCrush works perfect (why do people like this garbage?)

So far, quite happy.

It is a great idea to have workable Android apps available to OS10 phone users.

It is a plus for the BB users and an incentive to assure dev's make apps workable for OS10.
Up to this time some devs have avoided BB because there are not enough users to make an effort.

There are many Andy apps that I side loaded that don't work on my Z10.
Usually this is because the defaults on Android (like file folders) don't line up with BB file directories.
The app dev's will have an incentive to assure that their apps are compatible with BB OS.

With this roll out many phone buyers will reconsider purchasing BB products. Up to this time they really only had iPhone and Android phone apps with large numbers available.
When was the last time you saw promos for apps from 'available from the iphone and android stores' and NO mention if from the BB store.

I agree. Far too often we see apps publicized as available only for the iPhone and Android. Many people say they pass over the BB10 phones because of the app gap, so I hope that with a BlackBerry official "sanctioning" the use of Android apps (though not Google Play itself) it helps to draw more users.

Posted via my  Z10

We have to wait, for quite a while before the goodies of 10.2.1 arrive. But it seems worth the waiting.

Also this android strategy is good, given the current market share.

Have a nice day

In their statement this week, BlackBerry confirmed no to support for Google Play / Services at this time. Alec echoed that. 

Plenty of proof it will come (Maps API v2, whitelisting, etc.). The only reason to not confirm it is if the contract has not been finalized yet or if the NDA has not expired yet.

Yeah, I'd say there's at least an outside chance that BB would not want this known publicly until 10.2.1 were widely available. There would be a lot of frustrated users if it were announced now.

This might be a silly question Kevin, but do you think Blackberry would create their own portal to trust app stores (e.g. Amazon) for marketing purposes? In other words, the apk direct load sounds awesome, but can Blackberry take advantage and "officially" market this feature?

The only problem with going this route is that they'd still have to get Android devs to submit apps. Aside from going through a BAR converter, I'm not sure how this process would be any different than the current process and thus, you have the same problem: A place for apps but no devs at the party.

But to say, "can BlackBerry just gather a bunch of APKs from around the web and other sources and make them available for distribution" - the answer would be no. Smaller third-parties can get away with this sort of thing, but a company such as BlackBerry can't start redistributing stuff it doesn't have permission to access.

BlackBerry have shown such a blatant disregard for developers rights, and other OSes, in allowing outright piracy and trying to sell it as a bargaining position. BlackBerry are actually making it easier to pirate Android apps and looking the other way in this desperate attempt to save the platform.

Every conversation I've had with their dev team about Android piracy has resulted them in blaming Android for the problem rather than accepting at least part of the blame for giving their users the "keys" to run the pirated apps. It's hypocritical of BlackBerry, but that's not new. I believe this new sideload ability will cause a lot of damage to Blackberry's current developer relations. When you install an .apk directly now, there's a very "user centric" message that your presented with about not being an official BlackBerry app and they're not responsible...
Seems like a desperation move as a last ditch effort from the Heins era.

While everyone talks about how BlackBerry is the underdog and other people are using underhand tactics, nothing is more underhand than cheating and stealing and doing it blatantly.
Being bad at what you do and making an inadequate product is no excuse to encourage stealing what other people work hard to make.
If I didn't need my physical keyboard I'd find it very hard to not strongly discourage anyone from getting a BlackBerry under the current regime.

Hopefully Chen weighs the legal repercussions very carefully.

All BlackBerry is doing is integrating Android run-time even better than before. Android is open source and BlackBerry and everyone else is free to implement it.

1. On a PC, you can install any software you like (pirated or not) - do you blame Microsoft for that? Of course, not. It's for user to decide whether the user wants to steal or not.

2. I don't see how loading Amazon App store or 1 Mobile Market app store is piracy. You are still going to have to buy 'paid' apps from those stores, you won't be able to pirate them. How is buying an app from Amazon App store different from buying an app from Google Play app store? They both are app stores, you can buy from whichever store you like. It's like saying if you buy a book from instead of, you are pirating! If you choose to shop from WalMart instead of Whole Foods, you are pirating.

If your concern is people will download and share .apk files - well, that can be done even with existing Android phones.

Good points. Thanks for shutting down this wacky logic. It seems to me this person is just annoyed at the fact that it is getting harder and harder to flog BlackBerry for the App gap.

Posted via CB10

I don't really know if that's fair, google made android open source so they could steal and sell information. because it's free it got big fast and developers ran to make money off it. why would they be mad that another few million people with android on their phones are using those apps?

If BlackBerry only had android on their phones it wouldn't be an issue, why should they get blamed for offering the same support as everyone else? Open source support

I don't know maybe I'm wrong maybe I didn't understand your post enough just my 10.2.1 cents

Posted via CB10

Nevermind the fact that sideloading is an Android function and the whole sideloading of APK's started with Android.

Are you serious? OMG... I think I have just heard it all when you blame BBRY for piracy of Apps when it is RAMPANT on Android.. Don't believe me, check out the multitude of sites offering APK downloads (of which you can install on your Android phone just as easily as you can install on a BlackBerry).

Posted via CB10

Misery Misery Misery!! Always negative. Makes me wonder what your Performance Evaluation Report would be like.

Ahem, it IS Android's "fault". If the apps are so portable, and so easy to crack, then they need to address that. Blaming BB is kind of akin to blaming Microsoft for movie piracy because torrent apps can run on Windows.

Yes, you can make an argument that BB is taking advantage of this somehow, but if anything, allowing 3rd party stores (like, as frequently mentioned, Amazon) gives consumers the opportunity to actually PAY for their apps.

NO G/Play support - Only Fair!

Google makes $$$MONEY$$$ on app sales.
Why should BB give the sale of apps away to Google?

Blackberries taste damn good and are healthy too!

Glad to hear an official response - no Google play but sideloading even easier.

Does that mean BlackBerry are backtracking on saying sideloading is just a dev facility?

Posted via CB10

Great timing with this news Kevin. I think everyone wants to hear what is happening and your point of view (and of course BB's).

I'm also keen on this update as it seems a lot has been worked on. On a side anyone seen jolly sailfish os, seems like they have copied most of bb10 ideas, swipes etc... they even have a "hub" with a peek feature Lol. Hoping future updates to bb10 start incorporating more swipes(bring back up swipe to close minimised apps please)

Posted via CB10

Read the article, and I agree with it for the most part, except for the part about BB10. With the 10.2 update BB10 address a couple of issues that made the Sailfish better, but with what I'm seeing so far with 10.2.1 it's just as good now, if not better.

Also I like how the author mentioned the gestures are clunky and the like.

But still, when the Jolla comes out, I like to see it be compared with the Z10

Posted via CB10

I liked this quote from the site: comparing Jolla to Android:
"Forgive me to say this, but nowadays it’s a bad habit for manufacturers and also the people using smartphones to be obsessed with the number of cores, the power of their processors and things like this when their software (Android in particular) has lack of lightness, as people with sense of humor call it “Lagdroid” on these days!".

Sounds familiar..

Posted via CB10

I want to get the leak os but is it still having this issue with making and receiving calls on Q10?

Posted via CB10

And it sounds like they're going to try and have their own "store" for Android *.apk files, judging by what was said in the blog.

Posted via CB10

I'm loving this 10.2.1 leak! Now I have a reason to ask all my friends to switch to BlackBerry and tell them to download apps like Instagram themselves as some of them said BlackBerry doesn't have this app or that app lol

Posted via CB10

Love this - installed last night. I think I love this statement even more:

"And look - this is one of those times where I'm going to personally go out on a limb here and say installing leaks is good. Very good. The loyal CrackBerry members out there are the best damn beta testers BlackBerry has."

Happy to help, Alec! :)

Alec didn't say that. Kevin did. Do really think BlackBerry is going to publicly condone installing leaks?

Posted via CB10

That is some great news!
The ONLY thing I'm still really missing: is the "old" Auto on/off feature and the bedside mode "while charging" with Auto on/off networks

There's a native 3rd party Starbucks app. Check App World. Seems pretty darn good by the reviews too.
Called MAKE.

Bring back ping notification sounds, not like what we have now. Sounds same as BBM message. Please tell BlackBerry to bring it back as BlackBerry 7 or later. If can make it easy to change it.

Posted via CB10

They also need more notifications sounds for emails, sms, and bbm. The ones they have now aren't cutting it.

Posted via CB10

Kevin, your words and Alecs are a little mixed up in this post. A5 makes it look like BB is recommending leaks, which I find hard to believe. Needs editing/clarifying!

Always glad to be able to help BlackBerry in any way I can!!

So, yes, I've installed the newest leak and will test the software gladly!!

The Z10 is just incredible!! :)

I have to admit I am impressed with what 10.2.1.xxxx is bringing. I left BB over a year ago for Android but I still keep tabs on Crackberry and what's going on. Might have to find a "gently used" unlocked Z10 to play with.

Such a great article! Useful and informative. And it's great to hear communication in any form direct from BlackBerry!

Nice 'interview'

Thorsten, Chen, now Alec. So bogus.
Wheres the audio file? And how come 90% of the answers are your own words? Wheres the proof you mentioned about thor calling you?
This is getting ridiculous.

The same one that used to be in the forums where apparently its only okay to be overly negative towards BB but not overly positive and so the account was banned. The account still works for blog posts. Forums are better on n4bb anyways.

I see. Well, hello hurds. I'm not sure why you're disputing the veracity of these interviews. You've probably come across the threads Alec Saunders replied to, in one of which he stated he has a Google Alert set up (for his name, I think it was.) I'm sure Kevin/CB staff must also know this, so if he were to mis-attribute quotes, or worse, fake an entire interview, Alec would come to find out and could easily address the situation.

Why shouldn't we dispute the veracity. Read the blog post again. Anyone could of made it and throw in a couple 'quotes' surrounding by a ton filler.

Alec/BB have more important things to worry about.

Brb, I got Thor and Chen wanting to do a group BBM conference call.

Say what? Do I understand that you would only believe that there was an interview if there is audio along with it? GAH! I've wasted so much time reading the newspaper (I know, I know, that dates me a bit) and magazines since that was clearly all made up.

Good one!
So many gullible people.

I have direct contact with a lot of market players. A lot of inside info. Sorry, can't divulge who. But what I'm hearing is CB has zero credibility. They are over-embellishing any type of contacts they have. A lot of fluff pieces based on stuff everyone already knows. I also have the use of a powerful supercomputer that a large portion of CB members don't seem to use. Its self programmed and able to discern fact from fiction. There currently seems to be an embargo on information with CB since there has been so much unprofessional activity. Billion dollar global tech companies have business to do and can't be bothered with self-serving tech sites.

I will admit that CB isn't the place it used to be with regard to breaking news. The CB forums are still great, but as far as articles go, often sites like N4BB scoop them big time.

I assume it's due to the fact that the CB staff don't focus 100% on BlackBerry since they provide articles and other services for all of mobile nations, not just CB.

Posted via CB10

Won't this really kill native development on turn killing blackberry? I mean what's the incentive for devs to keep development on this platform? Just thinking out loud here....

Posted via CB10

It's great news for consumers "stuck" on BlackBerry, but horrible news for the Enterprise. In my opinion, they're definitely alienating developers who are on the fence about building for BB. Why would they? They will continue to focus on Android and Apple and to a lesser extent (but as we're seeing more and more - ie: Instagram) Windows Phone. So, all those great and not-so-great apps can still not be delivered to my employees via BES10. What if I've deployed a work-only environment to them? The app gap is still there and as large as ever, and with this news, getting bigger. Dev's simply won't work on a BB version if the Android one is fully compatible and gets "good enough" performance. Hopefully, we can convince them to publish to BBW, but there no guarantee.
It just furthers the excuse of "why would anyone (consumer) buy a BB when you're just side-loading all Android apps anyway?"
And besides, this is a "phone geek's" idea of a great solution. Everyone on here is probably ecstatic. But the basic users STILL won't know how to, or care to install things outside of BBW.

Haven't you just invalidated your own objection? If only geeky BB users load Android apps while the majority are oblivious to the capability and the process -- and I agree with that analysis -- then the majority of BB users still present a market for devs writing native apps.

In fact, I would guess that the number of BB users who start sideloading only as a result of 10.2.1.x would be very small. The main difference will, I think, be that sideloading will merely be easier for those of us who are already doing so. So I'm gonna disagree with your thesis point that the release of 10.2.1.x will create a disincentive to developers to "go native."

Have done a bit of testing last 24 hours. 10.2.1 is amazing in many ways. I will say however, that with the latest 10.2.1..1055/1056 Bluetooth APIs do not appear to be fully supported. Runtastic and endomondo both could not connect to a paired Blue tooth heart rate monitor.

"There is more to 10.2.1 than updating the runtime from Gingerbread 2.3 to Jelly Bean 4.2.2"
Huh? I thought 10.2.0 already did that?

I don't like where this is going for native developers

Posted via Z10 STL100-3 using CB10. Fido, Toronto.

I had the same thoughts. The way I see it now is that the Native developers will still have the upper hand. Why? Because native apps run much better than the APKS. The advantage now is that Devs who make only Android apps will be gaining revenue from BlackBerry users without lifting a finger. Well at least the percentage of BlackBerry users who choose to pay for their apps. But that may be better than the percentage of users who do on Android. Stealing apps is an issue with Android. So far on 10.2 I have only downloaded apps that the developer have not released for BlackBerry. The apps that have been released in BlackBerry World are the better option by far. Games especially look and run smoother off BlackBerry World then they do as an APK. Also if you care about security and having a choice of what permissions your app has then Native is the only way.

EXACTLY. << Alec strongly delivered to us the message that in "no way are we backing away from native developers" >>

Sorry Alec, you are lying or delusional. Native BB development using Cascades is DEAD. Just look at the developer site, there is no roadmap past N8 ("10.2 gold"), no updates since August. Just call it what it is, BB is either moving towards Android completely or will somehow try to make this "sitting-on-the-fence" strategy work.

There is no way we are wasting any more time with Cascades. Develop for Android and you get both platforms (plus Amazon) anyway.

Why... because they haven't shared their internal roadmap with you personally yet?

Gawd, people are so melodramatic around here

Posted via CB10

That argument relies on the assumption that all BB users will know about, understand, and implement the sideloading process. And that's a patently false assumption; the vast majority of BB owners will have neither the knowledge, the inclination, nor the aptitude to sideload.

...So spread the world that leaks are available, but official 10.2 for ATT is not released...So we're spreading the word for hopes to most likely be broken in 2014? I don't get it.

"expect an update to our award-winning CB10 app soon that will put finding Android .APKs for your BlackBerry 10 phone front and center" Interesting!

(sorry for the capital letters)

Today I do use blackberry 8520 (work) and a Samsung galaxy s3 for personal uses and the next phone will be a Z10 or a Z30...after the 'mobility' of ecosystems it will be easier for everyone!!! At this moment I can't afford switching my phones but in the future i will with no doubt!!

Blackberry, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm extremely surprised that Alec has acknowledge the existence of "leaks", us going frenzy over one and us being "beta testers". If in any indication there's an extremely small chance of them actually doing it on purpose (or not). Either way, the feedback they get from our usage should be very important and comprehensive compared to hiring a bunch of testers in-house.

As the old Linus' Law (yes that Linus Torvalds!) says : "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow"

Thank you for mentioning this! If Alec acknowledged the leaks in this way, why not make them official in the beta zone? Why not offer warranty support?

I do install leaks, but I know plenty who refuse for fear it will brick their phone.

Posted via CB10

I think it would better if you put the exact response to the question with "Alec:" and "Kevin:" or (commentary/our take). As far as I remember John Chen and other interviews are using that format. This particular one is confusing with regards to what Alec is acknowledging or actually said.

Posted via CB10

I agree. I figured out what Kevin was doing with the responses, but the format of the Q&A could be confusing. The straight quote followed by kevin's synopsis may have been less confusing.

Alec tweeted about it. Said those weren't his words they were Kevin's but hard to know which exact words he was referencing in the tweet.

Alec also tweeted any BB employee caught leaking files would be fired immediately.

So now do you believe the interview happened? Lol

And FWIW, I didn't get the impression that the parts about leaks were Saunders' quotes. I mean...there's like TWO CrackBerry related links in that one paragraph, so it's pretty obvious that's editorializing on Kevin's part, NOT something Alec said.

Between me and you raino, no. Not for a second do a believe this is a real interview. Quotes were made up. Go read the tweet, it basically backs up what I said.

BB has far bigger things to deal with than a self-serving website with a history of hubris and ignorance shown towards the company they should be thanking for their existance, plus the most digusting behavior that hasn't stopped for years in their forums, and has been supported by the phandroid mods. The forums except for a minority of actual BB fans and users is a breading ground for stupidity, ignornace and hate.

Best thing is, BB is always nice a polite about it. Now apks can be loaded onto BB10 devices and sooooooooooooo many people are looking like complete idiots for all they've said about BB and honestly they have no one to blame but themselves. They've talked poorly about BB ignorantly, without any intelligence, and now that they look stupid they have no one to blame but themselves.

BlackBerry needs to decouple these updates from the radio software and get around the carriers. Apple just released iOS 7.0.4 - their 4Th update in 2 months - that still breaks stuff - and they bypass carriers.

Posted via CB10

Great article Kevin! You're idea to bring the apks front and center on the CB10 app is an awesome idea! Spread the news, make it as easy as possible for everyone to cram apks into their BB10 phones, and the CB10 app will gain more users too!

Posted with a Q10 via CB10

I was going to wait, but you have me interested in installing the leak!

Great article, Thank you.

When you are looking at the CrackBerry update, can you consider something that won't automatically jump to the next page when you hit the bottom? I always miss the last point or two.

Posted via CB10

Agreed. Annoys the hell out of me. I emailed the dev team about it but nothing yet.

Posted via CB10

I love leaks. I install them all the time. I can't wait to install 10.2.1.... but it's taking SO long to download!!
Can't wait to start loading some Android apps!!

CB10 on my Z10

"There is more to 10.2.1 than updating the runtime from Gingerbread 2.3 to Jelly Bean 4.2.2"

I was also under the impression that 10.2 already brought android 4.2.2?

Posted via CB10

From Crackberry's exhaustive list of 10.2.0 upgrades:

"Android Jelly Bean Runtime

BlackBerry 10.2 includes a new runtime for Android 4.2.2 apps. Though there aren’t any major feature additions here, it does enable hardware acceleration, which significantly improves the performance of Android ports. I’ve had a few hiccups when sideloading, though. For one, it’s tough getting rid of the back navigation bar now, since swiping from the top summons the Android menu, not the BlackBerry 10 one. Also, some sideloads which worked fine on the unlocked runtime I’ve got running on my Z10 won’t play nice on the stock runtime with Android 10.2 - namely Temple Run 2 and Candy Crush Saga. Adam and James say they’ve been sideloading fine though, so your mileage may vary."

I think what 10.2.1 adds might be additional Android API's. The sideloading feature. Not sure why the article can't be clearer about this though. Kind of embarrassing.

I appreciate your intent, but trying to point out the grammatic, vocabulary, syntactic, punctuation, etc issues in CB posts is (a) a lost cause and (b) unappreciated by the masses to the extent of drawing venom and ridicule.

Additionally, you may indeed "squash" a rumor as suppress, stifle, and reject, are among the synonyms shared with quash.

Two issues: APK files over the 50 MB limit (I've only encountered one from the humble bundle site) will 'stall' at installation time. Install is successful but the transfers won't go away until after a restart. The first time I launch the application the resolution is set wrong, closing and reoping the app with set resolution right.

Second issue is OBB file support. If you install an apk that requires an OBB file the installer should attempt to download the file. Even transferring the file manually won't work.

The 'crack' between apps is still very large IMHO.

Posted via CB10

It's a gr8 deal but what's in it for BES10 customers. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems they have been left out.

To be honest, BES10 users have no use for Android apps.

Android integration is for the general public only and serves very little purpose other than allowing children to play candy crush and watch movies on Netflix.

BES10 users by definition will stay clear of Android apps.

Think security... think BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

Yea, no one needs toy apps like gotomeeting, square reader, tripit, quickbooks, or any dumb toys like that.
You're not helping the cause by sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling lalalalala.

Posted via CB10

You missed the point young Skywalker... Android apps are great for individuals but not for business.

I for one am happy about this progress and have written about the need for this implementation of Android in the past.

This is great for personal cell phones but would never see the light of day on my secured BES10 servers... period.

Posted via CB10

Right because Bes10 is precisely the reason why blackberries are flying off the shelves...

Posted via CB10

If 10:2:1 brings all that features that it truly needed why couldn't BlackBerry just waited and release 10:2 as 10:2:1 if that makes any sense, that would make more sense.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Huh... what an odd thing to hear Kevin say that he encourages people to install a leak. When I joined Crackberry back in 2008, just posting about a leak would have gotten you banned.

Kevin, did you by any chance venture into asking Alec why BlackBerry chose to support BBM on iPad, but not on PlayBook? There is just no logical excuse for that shameful move - if older BB devices can support it, why not the PlayBook with better specs? It would've made a lot of sense if they only support phones due to BBID sync issues - no one is going to raise an eyebrow. Looks the think thanks at BlackBerry like to first shoot before they aim. Some things are just not excusable and this is one of those things! I've been so mad about the news.

I liked the article information, but not the layout. I came in expecting an interview with Alec, and instead got Kevin interviewing himself in the form of a "FAQ".... lame.

This new runtime seems amazing, I just installed Pebble software to monitor a pebble watch, it works fine with bluetooth, to be honest, i was not expecting it will work. But I've had a greater surprise, i quit the pebble app, and I'm still receiving notification meaning that the android runtime is able to have silently running application.

How far will their go, to be honest, the only thing missing now is Goggle play. 1mobile is working fine and even give notifications when upgrades are available, but is lacking of app...

" The loyal CrackBerry members out there are the best damn beta testers BlackBerry has. "

Hell yeah we are !!

Posted via CB10

Was that "based on historical rollouts we'd take a guess at early 2014" an editorial comment inserted by CrackBerry, or the actual statement from Alec?

Kevin, you missed what I'm thinking is a fairly frequently-asked question: What about a new Android runtime for the PlayBook, Alec?

Pointless question. BB has already made it clear that PBOS will not be updated. Asking it again and hearing the same answer would just be depressing.

Depressing? Certainly. Pointless? Not quite. Take into consideration that (1) according to Alec Saunders back in July, the PB is not completely end-of-lifed; it merely will never again receive a "significant" OS update, (2) only 2 short months ago, an official PB OS update ( was released, and (3) BB also recently released a standalone Android runtime update ( for BB10. It is not completely unrealistic (maybe only mostly unrealistic) to put those three things together and to wish for the same Android runtime update for the PB.

And even if one does discount the possibility out of hand, my point is still that, whether valid or not, it is a frequently-asked question -- at least among those of us who still use our PBs daily, and who weep over their beautiful, increasingly irrelevant screens almost as often.

Any updates to the PB OS - especially something as significant as Android runtime - will make me think much more constructively about BlackBerry and therefore much more likely to buy any long distant successor to my PB.

Posted via CB10

Neat. But theoretical for us in the US still stuck on 10.1. I might not make it to 10.2.1 for another six months.

Posted via CB10

I notice that you continually make comments about OS availability that completely ignore the fact that many of the posts on this site -- the current one more so than perhaps any other -- discuss the option of installing a leaked OS onto your device. Perhaps you choose to categorically reject the idea of installing leaked OSes, or perhaps you're on a BES and it's not a possibility, but you never state that either of these apply to you, or that you even acknowledge that it's an option. I'm not saying you're a bad person for this reason; it's just odd due to the seemingly pointed omission. I guess my curiosity is piqued.

I'm loving it as well. Haven't even tried loading an apk yet, but the little things like finally having (customizable) options in the front screen Quick Settings drop-down that make sense, like Airplane Mode (and Flashlight; nice!) and Alarms -- which makes two things I can delete from my main window, leaving more room for my wallpaper.

You guys should create an APK repository with tested apps for BlackBerry 10 so that people know that those work good :)

Posted via CB10

Now that BlackBerry listen, let's not rock the boat with mountain of negative criticisms. Go Crackberry Nation test like never before. I like the comments from developers. It shows they are ready too.

Posted via CB10

I've asked this question many times but I've never found an answer... Please can someone answer this if they know?

If there is an Android app that is available from a website (such as Betfair, for example) but that isn't in the Amazon store, can that also be downloaded on to a BB10 device?

Posted via CB10

If you can get the APK on your phone somehow, BB10 will attempt to install it. No guarantees that it will work, but it will attempt the install.

I wouldn't be surprised if the leaks are intentional or at least viewed as "naughty but beneficial for the free beta testing in the real world".

Posted via CB10

I have the leak on both my Q and Z10, it's great but I can't help but not like how it seems that BlackBerry is slowly moving over to Android. That's just my feeling behind it but loving

Posted via CB10

Great post, and good to hear from Alec!

I installed the leak last night on my Z30, and tried out some APKs this morning. I can't tell you how liberating it feels to be able to go to either or Amazon's app store, download Netflix, and have it up and running without needing to worry about .bar conversions or debug tokens. Mind. Blown.

There's a part of me that's screaming "if people want Android apps so bad, they should buy Android phones!!", but frankly BB needs to cut down as many potential consumer objections as they possibly can. This goes a long way.

Hell yes on the liberating part! Almost sinfully easy! The only catch is that I need to remember to periodically go into my phone's Downloads folder and clear out the old installers.

I'm 166th! Whoo hoo! I have amazon app store now, but I'm having problems with slacker radio, it keeps crashing, as does "fast for Facebook "... so far BlackBerry apps are far superior

Posted via CB10

Why Kevin, would you NOT ask the one question that, as investor, should piss you off more than any, which is what were they thinking try to pull off that S4BB crap?

Now thats a tough, no nonsense, question to ask!

Why wasn't this strategy used at launch of OS 10? Did BlackBerry really think they would launch a new...untested not proven Os and expect consumers, business and developers to jump on the wagon?

With the release of 10.2.1 is this the farewell gift from the former CEO or is blackberry final listening to its audience?

This is the platform everyone was expecting...just 11months delayed.

Posted via CB10

The logical assumption is that when the upgrade is officially released, it will be announced. You do recall that the OS version necessary to achieve all this is a leak, yes?

So I have found issues on With FB hub integration. It done work and MMS pictures being sent are errors every time.

Flicked with my Zed 10 running

Are the android apps sand boxed in BB10? How well does BB10 protect us against android malware?

Anyway, this is great news nevertheless. :D We shall have a lot more apps. :D

I have no problem sending pics via mms... love the battery percentage shown with the peak gesture. my BBM channels don't work, but I'm really enjoying where this is going. I laugh at people who ask why this wasn't all released in 10.0, that's a joke! It's still under development, hence the leak! BlackBerry is going full steam ahead in the right direction. One thing I miss from android swift key 3 keyboard is the ability to hold down a letter to choose a punctuation mark or number that is shown in the background instead of having to push the number/punctuation choosing key first... that's about the only thing I miss now

Posted via CB10

what a bad idea, they ate jst stealing from adroids app, grow-up blackberry build those android apk from bb world not jst sideloading.. is this the best move that you have???

Posted via CB10

Actually I think it is a excellent idea and strategy.
BB10 runs BB10 and Android (Apps)
Enhancing the usability of bb10 and reducing that of Android, as I imagine no Android phones run BB10.
Much better to have a phone that runs apps from 2 of the 3 key phone os's rather than just 1.
Likewise the app gap is reduced considerably and relatively quickly.

Mike Duncan on my Z30

1. The new brand will be known as BlandroidBerry, aka BAB10.
2. When will the new chairman and CEO start the much needed house cleaning in the VP ranks?

Posted via CB10

Why get crazy over 'First ', such a waste of typing space.

Surely it is better to have the last word on a subject than have the first....more profound.

As they on the London Underground (the tube the oldest in the world) - MIND THE GAP!!! Keep pushing Alec, good start but not enough..Marketing!!!!!

BlackBerry.....Keep Moving - OLD and stale and shows no intent.

BlackBerry.....Get It Done - NEW and fresh and to the point.

Posted via CB10

This is great and shows that BlackBerry is listening.

But.... once the 10.2.1 release is official, will the marketing team actually get this message out to the public at large and really sell the awesome features of BlackBerry 10? Or will they continue the non existent marketing campaign they have followed recently?

Mike Duncan on my Z30

So how close are BB10 and Android? Is this why I can delete messages on my BlackBerry 10 and they are also deleted on my Note 2? How compatible are Android and BB10?

Now the only missing piece of the apk puzzle is updates; BB10 won't allow updating an existing app from an apk file, so you must delete and re-install in order to update. This might be particularly annoying to those who wish to keep their progress saved in a game without having to start the game over every time.

Don't get me wrong; I'm ecstatic to have this new ability to directly install apks, and I'm doing so left and right. I'm merely pointing out the next piece that needs to be added to BB10's Android support in order to make it a full-featured experience.

Am a blackberry fan, but am switching to HTC next week,
Why? Because blackberry messenger is now on android and I hate that perception so bad.

Posted via CB10

Anyone tired installing Golauncher, FS File explorer then downloading xbmc .apk. Transfer xbmc .apk to SD card then open Golauncher and install via FS file explorer????


Posted via CB10

What about the end user experience? Part of the point to an app store is qualifying the app for the platform. I just don't see how you can close the app gap by isolating your developers and sacrificing the end user experience.

They are not doing any direction to the place they want to ... they started selling directly BB10 phones but still doesn't have the needed support for manually configuring APN like it should and we are already in 10.2.1 !!!
how can i move around with my phone in the world and put in my unlocked phone other SIM while BB10 doesn't support manually configuration APN !?!?! i need to use a 3 generation old Android (2.3) that does the work better than this "new" os .. :-(

If BlackBerry phones can connect Google store to purchase and download apps. It really can save BlackBerry. At the same time BlackBerry phones become the best phones. The best security and huge volume of apps. If so, what else do we need?

Posted via CB10 by Z30

So if BB gets enough people on board, Google will start being interested in providing their services to them. When that happens, everything will be pretty much ready to have an awesome experience combining the power of Google and the security/enterprise advantages of BB10 as well as the astonishing new UX built by TAT aka #BlackBerrySweden.

Plz help me.. I hav downloaded some android apps through Google Web.. but now I want to delete.. I delete it but when I restart my phone it gets in it automatically.. so how can I delete it permanently.. plz help me!!

Posted via CB10

I love it but the only problem am having with th new OS is that am having issue with my browser once I start navigating it use to hook and I can't use it until I close everything please help...

Posted via CB10