back to article BB10 AND Android? How BlackBerry can have its cake and eat it

New BlackBerry handsets are coming with unrecognized part numbers, which were spotted on an Indian import database. Three weeks ago, Reuters reported that new models from the company would run Android – raising question marks over BlackBerry's own proprietary BlackBerry OS 10 (BB10) platform. In the absence of a rapid …

  1. x 7

    I don't understand all this cross-platform fuss......years ago I had an HTC running Windows Phone which had optional Blackberry software and could act as a Blackberry,,,,,why the big fuss now?

    More to the point it would be better if BB switched to current winphones rather than android....the concept of BB making "secure" phones is laughable when you consider the point of an android phone is to SHARE your data, not secure it.......

    And by the way that looks like a blueberry pie, not a blackberry. If you've picked as much ribena as I did in my youth you know these things

    1. bazza Silver badge

      "More to the point it would be better if BB switched to current winphones rather than android....the concept of BB making "secure" phones is laughable when you consider the point of an android phone is to SHARE your data, not secure it......."

      There hardly seems any point BB taking on WinPhone as an OS, native or VM'ed. WinPhone does not do the enterprise thing anywhere near as well as BB10 and is miserably unpopular on the consumer market too. Seems precious little to be won there.

      Also if BB can run a full Android as a VM, it would be able to share all the data it can without affecting the the BB10 VM's stuff. Technically this is a step backwards (BlackBerry Balance is a far more elegant solution to the BYOD problem), but if it works in the market place then you'd have to say it's the better solution.

      Now, if only they'd do a BB10 slider phone...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Definitely blueberry cobbler

      See stock photo

      As an aside I've recently retired by developer blackberry z10, as there isn't a BB10 version of the DME app (used by my work for their BYOD secure email), and the Android version doesn't work reliably on a z10.

      Ironically all permanent members of staff still get Blackberry 7 devices, but my z10 isn't compatible with their BES 5 servers, and they can't justify the expense of running BES 10 in parallel. IMHO if Blackberry had offered a free upgrade to BES 10 and ensured it played nicely with BB 7 devices, a lot less enterprises would have abandoned Blackberry

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More to the point it would be better if BB switched to current winphones rather than android....the concept of BB making "secure" phones is laughable when you consider the point of an android phone is to SHARE your data, not secure it.......

      OK, but offering anything based on Windows as a more secure alternative is, err, let's stay polite and call it "ill advised" :)

      You do have a point insofar that it's rather weird to invite local criminals for a party in the castle you just built, rendering the nice moat with fresh hungry crocodiles and newly greased portcullis utterly pointless and leaving only one last locked door between the bad guys and your valuables. It's stupid IMHO, and that's putting it mildly.

      You'd think that BB would make a big play on their security, but instead they seem to be hell bent on avoiding the one MAJOR advantage they have over all other brands which smacks of desperation. Shame.

  2. -tim

    I've just switched to blackberry

    After years of playing with different smart phones and always going back to my old S40 Nokia I ended up with a BB Q10 and they do most things right. I used the phone for a week without ever signing up for an account with them and the hardware is happy to talk to my servers and my cloud. The only issues were that it had some trouble importing a few bizarre contacts, its IPv6 doesn't work with my home wifi router, and it can't use just DAV for its calendars and needs CalDAV. It did take some tweaking to the notifications since its default mode is "sleep mode is off mode" which is isn't the best someone on call 24x7. Its permissions for apps is much better too as you don't need to hack the thing to tell it "this app doesn't get that permission". The sand boxing seems to work very well too for both BB and Android apps. I like the real keyboard on a device that was just about as large as I'm willing to carry around.

  3. Nathan 6

    Two OSes, in the phone, why?

    Rim just need to dump bb10 for phones, and focus on Android and leveraging their brand. All that hypervisor stuff maybe cool, but thats not going to sell phones! I guarantee they will sell more than 1m per quarter, and more importantly become a nice acquisition target for Samsung perhaps with Android.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Two OSes, in the phone, why?

      BB10 already runs apks, that's what people want them to do. Why would you want a proper BB phone to run Android in a hypervisor?

      - so all the background stuff can run the battery down, hammer the Internet connection, and invade users' privacy?

      - so users can hack it and put Play Services on it? I can't see Alan Sugar doing that, or most average users either.

      BB are going to have to just knuckle down and make their own copy of Play Services like Amazon have done.

      And as for running BB apps on Android, that's like building a castle in a swamp and expecting it not to sink.

  4. JeffyPoooh

    Their ambition is rubbish...

    If I was in charge, then the phones would offer dual-boot (or quad-boot). And perhaps run Android within QNX, except vice versa on Tuesdays. How about running both OS at the same time on different screens? Each with their own block of memory, plus a shared spot.

    Geesh, it's just software. It can do anything you want, if you're wiling to dig deep. The hardware architecture could be arranged to make the coders' work a bit easier. Might be best to have an abstraction layer so that OSes don't even need to know what's going on.

    At this point someone will tell me that concepts like WINE are impossible. Thanks.

    1. Bronek Kozicki

      Re: Their ambition is rubbish...

      Android is Dalvik JVM with native bits (supported on BB10) and Google Play services (not in BB10, yet). Without those, B10 phones can and do run large selection of Android apps at native speed (which is not very fast, because of JVM overhead)

      The thing is that BB10 security model is much better than that of Android and also that many BB applications (calendar messages etc) are better than in Android. They do not support kitchen-and-sink integration but they integrate well enough with external world, and they are also very well integrated with all other apps and settings of the phone.

      Basically the whole article is about plans to improve support for Android apps within BB10 which is nothing special and is consistent with BB strategy until now. There is no suggestion that BB would cease to support BB10 or pull its apps, and that would be nonsensical thing to do anyway because it would remove at least two huge selling points of BB phones: better security and better PIM apps

  5. James 51

    I bought a BB10 handset because it had a keyboard and wasn't a privacy invasion tool like Android/Google play and iphones make for good teething rings but I don't need one. I've never needed an app and have not been able to fine something on the BB10 app marketplace and with the Android apps you can't use granular permissions.

  6. dodo27

    BlackBerry 10 devices already run android on the side. O.S 10.3.1 runtime is android 4.3. Next step is adding the option of google play services support.

    Superior user interface, universal search, shortcuts and easy access to all the apps. Can't wait for their next step.

    There's no reason for BlackBerry to adopt the android operating system. All android offers that's special is apps. BlackBerry 10's qnx micro kernel can already run android apps on the side.

  7. AMBxx Silver badge

    That cake

    Looks like Blackcurrant, Blackberry. Come on reg, these things are important!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Work forces me to use a Blackberry

    It is partitioned into secure work and not-so-secure non-work bits (I don't care enough to remember what this function is called - is it Belch?). Maybe they will keep on using their own OS for secure and use Android for the other bit

  9. Anonymous Coward

    BB having a Nokia too

    "BlackBerry could continue to use BB10 for higher-end, higher-performance devices even if the platform is in maintenance or minimal-investment mode, being updated for new chipsets and drivers."

    Like Nokia did with WP and S40?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    BB10 is good as anyone who has used it can attest to.

    BlackBerry has a marketing problem. It's not a problem with the core product. Young kids think BB is for old rich technologically perhistoric white business people. It's not a cool image to have. And the old rich white people think BB is dead so they buy iPhones anyways. All that's left is people who know what they want and don't care what people think because they know it's better. That's an incredibly small niche to serve.

    They didn't do enough to inform people that BB10 was completely different than BB7. The public perception is that they are one and the same. Quite frankly keeping the legacy name hurt them. The new OS needed to be called something different and it needed a bigger marketing push. If they had stuck with the name "QNX," that would have served them better. BB Z30 running QNX. They need to call the OS something new, something alluring, and something that sounds cool. That way people cannot mistake that "BlackBerry is dead" or say "they still have those?" Instead of being on the defensive, users can point and say "QNX is the new hot shit, are you seriously still using an Andriod or iPhone?" The OS really is better in many, many, many ways. Unfortunately the name BlackBerry has too much legacy baggage.

    I found refuge with BB10 after my N9 crapped out so I'm not a fully fledged fanboi and I've never even used BB7. Nokia left a big gap in the market and BB did not target those users at all. That should have been their new base for QNX.

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