updated 08:24 am EDT, Wed March 27, 2013
Emulation engine used to increase BlackBerry 10 app numbers
One in five applications running on BlackBerry 10 are actually Android apps, according to a company executive. Martyn Mallick, vice president for global alliances and business development, revealed that 20-percent of the company's 100,000 app catalog for BlackBerry 10 uses an Android emulation engine in order to function.
"We give them a very nice on-ramp to get onto the platform," said Mallick in an interview with All Things D about app development. Citing a need for users to have apps on BlackBerry 10 devices, Mallick vindicated BlackBerry's offer of emulation to developers, adding "If that is the fastest way we can get some of that content, that's great."
BlackBerry has previously looked towards emulation of Android in order to bolster its roster of apps. The BlackBerry PlayBook had a Java engine capable of supporting legacy BlackBerry Java apps as well as those capable of running on Android 2.3. Android apps required "players" in order to work on the operating system, and also needed to be repackaged in order to be downloadable through BlackBerry App World.
Even though BlackBerry offers developers an Android emulator, some are opting to create their own BlackBerry 10 native apps, following strong sales in a number of markets. Others, such as those working on the eBay and Amazon Kindle apps, continue to use the emulator but add in extra BlackBerry functionality.
While some big-name apps, like Instagram and Netflix, are notably absent, BlackBerry is continuing to offer developers incentives to create apps for the platform. It has previously held "Port-A-Thon" events that offered bounties of cash and prizes for ported apps, and has guaranteed developers of "certified" BlackBerry 10 apps an income of $10,000 in their first year. "We have a high level of confidence we will continue to see more of the application partners come on board," claimed Mallick.