BlackBerry phones 'to run Android apps'
BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion looks increasingly likely to offer Android compatibility on its forthcoming phones.
The move would address criticism that BlackBerry does not have enough applications by allowing the devices to run those built for Google’s rival Android operating system. It would also lessen RIM’s struggle to persuade developers to write apps specifically for BlackBerry.
Reports from Bloomberg suggest that suggestions in February may still prove true. Originally, it was reported that RIM was working internally on a project to make its Playbook tablet compatible with Google’s 250,000 apps; this was later confirmed by RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis.
At the Mobile World Congress show earlier this year, software maker Myriad was also demonstrating its Alien Dalvik software, which can make Android apps run on other platforms. Now the new capability is also set to launch with BlackBerry’s forthcoming mobile phones, based on new operating system QNX, due in early 2012.
App ShopSavvy said on its blog in February that according to its “logs someone in Waterloo, Ontario (where RIM is based) has been running ShopSavvy for Android on various BlackBerry devices”.
According to the firm, the 8300, 8600 and 8520 were recorded running ShopSavvy this year. They added that “This makes sense since BlackBerry OS can support Java Virtual Machines and it would be pretty easy to compile Android in one of the them. This is a pretty interesting development – we would love to optimize ShopSavvy for the new BlackBerry+Android”.
While RIM has said that its QNX-based PlayBook tablet will run Android apps, it hasn’t confirmed that QNX phones will have the same capability.
Bloomberg’s sources said that the long-awaited upgrade to add native email to the Playbook will come next month, but the upgrade for the Android element was likely to take longer.