RIM Blackberry, formerly known as Research In Motion, has said its two new Blackberry 10 devices, the Z10 and QWERTY-equipped Q10, will launch with 70,000 to 100,000 apps. BlackBerry vice president Martyn Mallick said 40% of those would actually be ported Android apps. Developers will be able to use the BlackBerry 10 SDK to “wrap” Android code into something the new BB10 OS can use. The SDK also transforms menu and back buttons into Blackberry-specific gestures.
Ported apps can also use a menu overlay as in the example below. By all reports these apps are working smoothly and the interface tweaks are doing the job, although often with clunky results. Blackberry is surely hoping the Android apps act as a crutch until its app store, Blackberry World, can get up to speed with plenty of solid native apps. Blackberry has a bounty program to help spur app development. The program, for which these ported apps are not eligible, promises $10,000 in revenue for native apps for the first year.