BlackBerry 10.2 to support Android Jelly Bean apps

Along with BlackBerry Playbook OS v2 arrived support for the library of Android applications with one fairly major limitation; they had to be specifically packaged for ‘Gingerbread’.

An upcoming BlackBerry OS update, 10.2, will finally provide support for ‘Jelly Bean’.

The runtime, which was released today, now contains support for Fragments, hardware acceleration, plenty more animation capabilities, new controls and layout types, App Stack Navigation, and a whole lot more supported since Gingerbread!

It was thought BlackBerry would phase out Android applications for those natively written in C++, HTML 5, or Adobe AIR. At this stage, where BlackBerry still lacks support behind Android and iOS, it’s important for the company to support Android and bolster its catalogue.

It’s important to note Android applications cannot be directly run on BlackBerry 10, and first require ‘porting’ for which new tools have been released. These include a new version of the eclipse plug-in, alongside the SDK, and the beta 10.2 firmware for Dev Alpha B, Dev Alpha C, Z10, and Q10 devices.

Currently the Beta is still in the first version; it’s not known how many exactly there’ll be before the ‘Gold’ release but BlackBerry indicates “later in the summer.”

It may not be an entirely wild theory BlackBerry is keeping its Android options open; if their (struggling) strategy fails in BB10, Android may be a good fallback for the company trying desperately to re-invent themselves.

Will you be moving your Android applications over to BlackBerry’s devices? Or do you think BlackBerry should just move their devices to Android?

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