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.
The Blackberry Z10, equipped with the new Blackberry 10 OS, is black, sleek and in a form factor that’s not too dissimilar from the Nexus 4. Operating system aside, many of us have been wondering how the Z10 measures up some of our favorite Android devices.
For starters, its 4.2-inch screen, which would have been among the largest smartphone displays a couple years ago, feels small when compared to the Nexus 4’s 4.7-inch screen and downright tiny next to the Galaxy Note II‘s 5.5-inch screen. It might be unfair to compare its 1.5 GHz dual-core processor to the quad-core engines under the hoods of the two previously mentioned Android devices. The demands of the Blackberry 10 OS are not necessarily the same as those of Jelly Bean. The iPhone 5 has received few performance complaints and its A6 dual-core processor is barely pushing over 1GHz. When it comes to RAM, the Z10 is on pretty even footing with 2GB of RAM. Battery life also seems to be on par with the Nexus 4 and this is despite only having an 1800 mAh (removable) battery vs the 2100 mAh battery on the Nexus.
I don’t know too many people who are planning to jump from Android to Blackberry (and by too many people, I mean none) but spec-wise the Z10 looks more like a standard smartphone rather than a superphone and possible savior. For those stuck on Blackberry enterprise accounts, the Z10 looks like a better choice than what you had, but will anyone else give it a try?