The major issue plaguing newer mobile operating systems like BlackBerry and Windows Phone 8 is the number of apps on their respective app stores. While both the Play Store and App Store have over 6,00,000 apps, BlackBerry is trying to make it easier for developers to port Android apps to the BB10 platform.
It has just released the BlackBerry 10.2 SDK for developers, which among other things has an updated BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps and Plug-in with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean in beta.
It also includes additions to the BB10 native SDK and Adobe Air run times. It brings Adobe AIR 3.5 that features Stage3D for accelerated OpenGL graphics.
The update is currently available for developers using BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha B and C devices and also the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 phones.
While BlackBerry had added the ability to run Android apps on its PlayBook tablet at the time of its launch, and added the same functionality to BlackBerry 10, the issue was that it could run Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread apps. The update allows developers to now port apps which are on the latest version of Android which have improved in terms of UI and functionality. It also includes support for fragments, embedded fragments, animation framework, and hardware acceleration.
This is just a beta release and a final release is not expected till the third quarter.
Developers can download the beta here.