For some time now one of the main arguments against BlackBerry 10 was its lack of available apps in BlackBerry World. The BlackBerry Developer Relations Team, before the initial release of BlackBerry 10, made great strides in their attempts to get developers on board with the new BB10 Operating System.
Just over two years ago BlackBerry launched what was called ” BlackBerry Jam Conference ” , which was a series of conferences held worldwide in various cities specifically catered to mobile app developers and those interested in learning about and developing for the new BlackBerry 10 OS.
Although these conferences were very successful in the developer’s community, there were still issues with big time companies whose apps were available for Android and IOS but still yet not available for BlackBerry 10.
As time went on and BlackBerry 10 was officially released, starting with the all touch BlackBerry Z10 and later the QWERTY Keyboard Q10. Now the sales of these devices were not as promising as BlackBerry had hoped and this would eventually lead to some major changes in the company starting with the removal of then CEO Thorsten Heinz, who I give credit for at least bringing BlackBerry 10 to market.
Although sales were down, BlackBerry still had a promising well-built OS in BlackBerry 10. There were several new features and gestures that made this OS very different and some say even superior to the Android and IOS Operating Systems. This was a big plus for BlackBerry as the Z10 got some pretty nice reviews as an operating system overall but got butchered due to the lack of available big time apps such as Instagram, Netflix and various banking institution apps.
As time went on more and more of those dedicated BlackBerry users began to jump ship to other platforms with a large part due to not having those big named apps available to them. This so called “Lack of Apps ” movement really began to hurt BlackBerry 10 as some BlackBerry users that were still on those legacy phones, all but passed up on the new BlackBerry 10 devices, choosing rather to go with IOS , Android and even Windows Phone.
I have always felt that this lack of apps issue was totally over blown. For me and some other people I know, it was all about getting things done and making sure I had a device that did that what I needed it to do, which BlackBerry 10 did with limited faults and complaints. Now for the average consumer this would not be enough satisfy their craving and need to have those apps that were not available on BlackBerry 10.
Now if you have been paying attention to BlackBerry 10 and even going back to the Playbook OS, someone smart at BlackBerry knew that it would be very difficult to get some developers on board with BB10. With this is mind, they also knew that in order to remain relevant something had to be done to fix this lack of apps issue. The foundation was clearly laid with the Playbook OS allowing for some Android apps to run on the device by way of the Android Runtime implementation. A lot of diehard BlackBerry fans viewed this as a negative (I was one at first) but others had already seen the overall big picture of what was needed to bridge this app gap.
Fast forward to today and with the recent release of OS 10.2.1, BlackBerry 10 has now closed this application gap by at least 75%. OS 10.2.1 allows for users to directly install and run Android .APK files to your current BlackBerry 10 device. I have been on the leaked version of 10.2.1 for a couple of months now and I have been very impressed with what BlackBerry has done with this latest release.
Based on your carrier, 10.2.1 is now available for you to install. Before you install any updates or make any changes to your BlackBerry 10 device, please make sure you have BlackBerry Link installed on your PC or Mac and do a complete back up.
Now a lot of people are wondering how to install these Android Applications and were to get the .APK files. Below I have added some links from various sources that will help you with that process. At this point there should be really no reason not to get that love back for BlackBerry as the “App Gap ” is slowly coming to a close.
Come on back home, back to the Black…BlackBerry!
Get your .APK fix at links below, you will need to be on the official OS 10.2.1 or a leaked version of 10.2.1 in order to install and run .APK files directly.
Aptoide via BerryReview
N4BB’s APK Download Center via N4BB
Amazon App Store via Amazon.com