Android Developers Will Love BB10

Writing apps that targets multiple platforms is one of the hardest software engineering problems. BlackBerry have solved this problem, but they won’t want you to use it.

Last Wednesday, BlackBerry made the transition from being a company that was developing a new smartphone platform to a company that actually has a smartphone platform out in the market. The game has now changed.

We know that BlackBerry 10 launched with a BlackBerry World catalogue that was 70,000 apps strong. That catalogue has some problems — most notably that apps are of a certain relatively low quality and utility, and that virtually all of the hero apps that contribute significantly to the dominant platforms (iOS and Android) are missing.

There’s also a perception that the catalogue is very “Android heavy”. BlackBerry 10, like PlayBook before it, has an “Android Player”. This is a runtime that allows Android apps to run on BlackBerry 10 as if they’re a normal application. In fact, as of the time of writing only 17 percent of the catalogue are repackaged Android apps. At the current run rate where they’re adding about a thousand apps per day, that suggests about 13,000-odd of the apps in the catalogue are actually Android apps.

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