Major game and app development companies are being approached by Blackberry to submit their apps to a new section on Blackberry World. In the past, Blackberry only accepted apps done using their own proprietary format. In the near future Blackberry will be releasing a new firmware update that will allow users to install Android apps (apk) files directly on their phone. To gear up for this transition, Blackberry will be offering Android apps for direct download in their online app store.
At least four different game development companies at Pepcom and CES confirmed to Good e-Reader that they have been approached by Blackberry to include their productivity and gaming apps into Blackberry World. This basically requires no work on the developers part who have an existing Android app that is compatible on 4-6 inch smartphones. All the studios/developers have to do is make a new profile and submit icons/screenshots and app descriptions. Blackberry owners will be able to download and install them the same way they have been downloading apps since Blackberry 10 was released.
Blackberry is betting big on the 10.3 firmware update that will allow native android apps to work on the Q5, Q10, Z10 and Z30. This will allow your average user to install whatever they want and not be limited. The Good e-Reader labs tested an early build of this update on the Z10 and installed our own Good e-Reader App Store. I was able to install and run every app we had. This is going to be a serious boon for people who have been let down by the dirge of apps until this point on Blackberry World.
There is no estimated date when the new firmware update will be pushed out. Some companies have confirmed that its basically all done, but Blackberry is waiting to have at least 10,000 Android apps in their library before they start a marketing campaign.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.