Applications, Z10

One-fifth of all BlackBerry Z10 apps are Android ports

Wondering why so many apps in BlackBerry World seem like shoddy ports? It’s because one out of five BlackBerry apps is really an Android app, says Martyn Mallick, BlackBerry’s vice president for global alliances and business development.

Shortcuts like this are one of the reason for people’s lack of trust in the new BB Z10. According to AllThingsD, 20% of the 100 000 apps on BlackBerry World are straight Android ports. According to Mallick, it’s all down to what the users want. “We give them a very nice on-ramp to get onto the platform, our users deserve to have great content. If that is the fastest way we can get some of that content, that’s great.” Brave words, but it smacks of corporate laziness.

Some of the biggest names in apps, such as Instagram, Skype, FlipBook and Rdio have still to make their way onto BlackBerry World. While it’s easy as sin to place a sideloaded app on a Z10, it’d be easier if the app was native in the first place.

Most developers chose to “test” their products as Android ports before pushing forward with a native Z10 app. Other developers have chosen to stick with their current Android ports, but have added in key features that use the Z10’s unique gestures and messaging hub.

And if it’s your plan to wait for top apps such as Hootsuite, Netflix, Spotify and more, keep waiting. Or as Mallick so sweetly puts it: “There are some partners where their priorities are elsewhere, not even necessarily in mobile.”

Two things may entice developers to create unique apps for the Z10. First, BlackBerry plans to release six more phones over the next 12 months and has promised that there will only be two screen sizes. This helps developers keep apps consistent and speeds up the porting process. Secondly, BlackBerry offers US$10 000 as a guarantee to app makers to show them that yes, they can make money on the Z10. So, money and compatibility, both are reasons to stick with the Z10 for app development.

Sales of the Z10 are “tepid” according to this article. Other sites say that the sales are “disappointing”. We loved the Z10, but buyers disagree. Let’s hope that when the great apps come, so will the customers.


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