BlackBerry Z10 review

Over the weekend a rumor surfaced claiming that Blackberry’s waning platform could potentially be getting a big win in its next app update: Google Play support.

The rumor was sparked by a series of alleged images showing the Play Store running on a BlackBerry 10-powered handset. This led some folks to believe Google and Blackberry might have struck up some kind of special deal to bring official Play support to BB10.

Immediately, many of us in the Android camp wondered why Google would extend support to a non-Android platform. It’s easy to see how such an arrangement could help Blackberry, but how exactly would this help Google? As it turns out, the rumor might be nothing more than wild speculation.

To learn more about Blackberry’s plans, CrackBerry reached out for an official response in regards to the rumored Play support. Unfortunately for BB10 fans looking for more apps, Blackberry was pretty quick to shoot down the idea.

“There is no planned support for Google Play on BlackBerry. BlackBerry World remains the primary source for trusted and curated BlackBerry applications and we continue to support open standards and open source tools so BlackBerry developers can continue to create great apps on any of the development platforms we support.”

So is that the end of it? No, rumors never die and a denial statement only means so much. After all, LG once denied plans for the Nexus 5, and we all know how that turned out.

Although it’s pretty likely that direct Google Play support will not be making its way to BB10, a leaked version of the upcoming Blackberry update makes it clear to that something big and Android-y is coming.

Rumors never die and a denial statement only means so much. After all, LG once denied plans for the Nexus 5, and we all know how that turned out.

Among the features found on the leaked update is the ability to install APK files directly on a BB10 device without first converting them to the “BAR format”. For those that don’t know, previously installing an Android app on Blackberry 10 required you to go through a few hoops, which included file conversion.

It’s no direct Play Store support, by APK support is still a BIG deal for Blackberry fans. Not only does it make it easier to sideload Android apps, it could also mean that Blackberry World (BB10’s store) could be seeing an APK section, or third party stores like Amazon App Store could even end up easily installed on BB10 hardware.

In other words, this opens a door for deeper Android app support and integration with the Blackberry platform.

It’s obvious that Blackberry is a sinking ship and needs something to keep its loyal fanbase from ditching the OS altogether. Better Android app support could certainly be a much needed lifeboat for Blackberry.

What do you think, could improved Android app support help Blackberry at the very least keep its remaining fans from turning away? Conversely, do you think that Blackberry should just give up and completely migrate over to Android?


Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.
  • John Hamernick-Ramseier

    I hope Blackberry as an OS survives competes, because we can never have to many OS. I could see downloading some people downloading the apk for the Google play store, like you have to with 3rd party Android ROMs.

    If the Blackberry OS does die I hope Blackberry merges the secure and good pieces of Blackberry OS with Android to make Android even better.

    • Mayoo

      To see that happen, Google would have to buy the patents through buying BB. I don’t think it will happen. Nonetheless, I also hope to see the good pieces of BB come to Android.

      • John Hamernick-Ramseier

        I mean Blackberry merge their Blackberry OS with Android source code and contribute it to the Android source code.
        They could also fork it like Amazon did or just do a skin over Android.

  • Alex Ohannes

    From what I hear, the BB10 interface is awesome. Why couldn’t Blackberry
    just skin Android with a BB10-like skin? Then you would get the
    functionality of BB10 and the app support, stability, and services that
    Google and Android offer.

    • Shark Bait

      I couldn’t agree more, I think it would sell. People like (liked) blackberry and people like apps!
      Also i happen to think their a gap for a good android with a physical qwerty. BlackBerry could own that catagory!

  • R Idris Musa

    I’ve tweeted this before: Just give up, BlackBerry. And migrate over to Android completely. Be one of their manufacturer, produce great devices, set Android OS up inside it with your own Blackberry skin, add few exclusive services, and lastly: remove BBM from Play Store and make it available only in your handsets.

    Done. You’ll survive.

  • Shark Bait

    A screen shot proves nothing, so easy to fake. I hate sites creating hype around a screen shot !

  • Accophox

    Actually, I’m curious… how would Blackberry address the developers that were using the Google Play Services API… which would almost definitely not be found on a Blackberry device?

  • BadBoy

    Well BB is another titanic which is about to sink.

  • Jim

    1 Mobile Market and The Amazon store are supported by this BlackBerry OS upgrade. As most people know Google is trying to bring Android services private – which means they want devs to use their non-open api’s to access Google services. That is the problem with Google Play. Google also has a huge performance problem with the Dalvik Java VM – it is way to laggy – even with best in class hw. They are moving to ART which runs faster. But ART is only a temporary solution to get java apps moving faster – Java itself is way too bush league to support next gen apps (and Google could have big issues with Oracle that own Java). To support professional big league apps Google may want to move to a real c/c++ environment. Google has some excellent services. They may want to exchange their Google services to BlackBerry for license free support to ditch Linux and put ART on QNX. Then they would have a solution for the future to support legacy java garbage and be able to support next gen professional app development.