BlackBerry’s App World now touts 100,000 BB10 applications. An impressive number for a platform just months old. But out of those 100,000 applications, roughly 20% are Android apps, simply ported over rather than being coded specifically for BlackBerry 10.
This is a win for BlackBerry. It’s a big win. Android or native, it shows that BlackBerry is successfully pulling developers into its fold. Even without the Android apps, App World still has roughly 80,000 native BB10 apps. As it sits right now, the Android ports are simply holding seats for big apps.
BB10 has a good selection of apps now, but it’s still missing key apps with Instagram and Netflix being two of the biggest holes. But don’t worry, there are Android ports available. And while they might not be native to BB10, these apps still work. That’s what matters at this point.
While the Android ports run just fine, most do not utilize BB10′s core services making them feel and respond different from native BB10 apps.
BlackBerry foresaw it might have a hard time launching its application platform so, with incredible foresight, the company made sure it could at least lean on Android’s vast application library. Most importantly, porting an Android app provides a low-cost of entry, allowing Android developers to test BB10 without risking a lot.
“We give them a very nice on-ramp to get onto the platform,” Martyn Mallick, BlackBerry’s vice president for global alliances and business development, said in an interview with AllThingsD Tuesday. “Our users deserve to have great content. If that is the fastest way we can get some of that content, that’s great.”
Of course BB10 users and BlackBerry itself would still prefer native BB10 apps, but at this point in the platforms age, content is content. But the platform is growing at an incredible pace. BlackBerry claims 30,000 applications were added in the last couple of weeks. Each day BB10 early adopters are waking up to new apps with just 20% Android apps.
Now if BlackBerry can just get its CEO to focus on current products…