BlackBerry will soon release a new firmware update to allow users to install Android apps (apk) files on their phone.
Major game and app developers have been approached by the struggling Canadian manufacturer to submit their Android apps to a dedicated section of the BlackBerry World store.
According to Good e-Reader, at least four major game developers present at Pepcom CES 2014 have already been directly sought out by BlackBerry. The companies develop productivity and gaming apps for the Google Play store, but now have been asked to publish them for BlackBerry handsets.
Previously, BlackBerry only accepted apps that are created using its own proprietary format, but now the new firmware update will allow them to upload them to the BlackBerry World store as apk files, meaning little or no work for the developers.
As long as their apps are compatible with 4- to 6-inch display smartphones, all the developers need to do is make a new BlackBerry World profile and submits their icons, screenshots and app descriptions to the store.
Of course, only BlackBerry 10 OS users will have access to the forthcoming Android apps, but they will be able to download and install them as they would a BlackBerry app.
The limited app selection on the BlackBerry World store has always been a bug bear for the Canadian company in its attempt to attract new customers and compete with the likes of Google and Apple’s app libraries.
There’s no estimated date for when the BlackBerry 10.3 firmware update will arrive, but some companies have confirmed that it is nearly finished already.
However, BlackBerry is waiting until it has at least 10,000 Android apps in the BlackBerry World library before it starts the big marketing campaign.
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