The Blackberry Playbook and Blackberry 10 smartphones all have the Android Runtime built into the OS that gives developers an easy avenue to port their apps over for inclusion into Blackberry World. The most recent 10.2 update for all current generation phones can now load in APK files directly, which simplifies the entire process. Today, Blackberry has confirmed the Android runtime will soon be updated to Jellybean 4.3, which will allow more apps to be able to run effectively.
The new Blackberry SDK is out today for developers to incorporate it into their apps. The runtime has been upgraded from Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and with it users can log in to Android apps that require authentication right from the BB10 accounts settings page. Users can also manage which apps have access to which accounts. The SDK also has support for NFC and Bluetooth LE.
To get started, developers will have to grab the BlackBerry 10.3 Beta SDK OS for BlackBerry 10 devices. The company’s Android Tooling page has updated command-line tools and plugins for Android Studio or Eclipse to develop Android apps for BB 10.
All Blackberry phones should receive the 10.3 update in the coming months. The big rumor from CES 2014 was that Blackberry was creating a dedicated Android section in Blackberry World, to have control over app distribution. Right now the vast majority of phone users are using alternative markets such as Amazon or Good e-Reader.