If there’s one thing that Americans love more than baseball and apple pie, it’s our mobile phones. A report by eMarketer notes that the average American spends more time computing on their smart phone than they do on a desktop due to the convenience and processing power of a mobile. If you’ve recently purchased a brand-new BlackBerry and want to run all the newest Android apps available on the marketplace, how do you go from an empty hard drive to one filled with messaging, entertainment, gaming, chat, and web-browsing apps?
Start An Account
The Google Marketplace lets you download apps onto a smart phone or tablet without needing to do anything more than purchase the app (or if it’s free, just click on download) but there’s plenty of benefits to signing up for an app account. As Google itself notes, there’s a difference between your Google account (which you use for Gmail, maps, and so on) and an App account, including integration of apps into your entire network. As such, if you own mobiles other than your BlackBerry 10, you can access them from both the smart phone and another phone or tablet. This system-wide service lets companies incorporate multiple BlackBerry phones into their network, or lets a user switch between mobiles at their leisure.
APK And App Use
Just like you cannot use a Microsoft product in an Apple computer without a translation service, so too do Android apps run on different operating systems than their BlackBerry equivalent. This does not mean that BlackBerry users are out of luck, but that they require that very translation software in order to run a particular APK (Android) app. BlackBerry user forums have a running tally of the converted software for those who want a direct link to a ready-to-download app, with new updates coming in as developers (independent and 3rd party alike) continue to translate the apps. These include many of the most popular apps for mobiles, including web features like FireFox and Tumblr.
With a few keystrokes, it’s possible to override the command on a BlackBerry that automatically re-directs an app download from the BlackBerry marketplace. To do so, you have to enable Development Mode, which allows for the introduction of non-native applications on the phone. Simply go to Settings, then Security, and enter Development Mode. The icon pops up, you hit “ok”, and you can log onto a WiFi network and begin downloading Android apps.
In the near future, it may be possible to simply download an app off of the Google marketplace without ever needing translation software. That’s the hopes behind the Runtime system tools available for BlackBerry OS 10 and later, which can download and utilize Android Jellybean apps with a re-packaging tool, according to Blackberry’s Developer site. While not all Android apps have support on this free-to-use repackaging platform, it’s still possible to get many of your favorite platforms sent directly to your BlackBerry and ready for use as soon as the download finishes. Since Android apps are written on the same languages as most BlackBerry operating systems (namely, C++) the native code allows for an easier transfer between one mobile platform and the other.