A video of the recently released BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 running on a BlackBerry Z30 showcases the fluid integration of Android into the latest version of the OS. While things aren’t exactly perfect, this might be a way out for owners who feel they’ve been missing out on some of the better things in the mobile life.
BlackBerry itself reported on improvements to their Android Runtime that would be coming with the latest BlackBerry OS 10.2.1. Among other things, like deeper integration with Android frameworks and features, the update allowed for easier installation and running of Android apps on a BlackBerry device. Indeed, as the video shows, Nova Launcher, installed directly via an APK, runs quite smoothly on the BlackBerry Z30 test device.
There are, of course, some limitations, as this is no native Android device. For one, it took some time for the YouTube app to launch, but once it did, it ran as normal. That is definitely better than nothing, which is exactly what BlackBerry users have when it comes to an official YouTube app. Also, there is still the lack of Google Play Store and Services, though that will definitely not stop resourceful people from getting their hands on the apps that they need.
This arrangement of running Android apps inside the BlackBerry OS might give users room to breathe, but it is definitely not an ideal situation for the BlackBerry platform itself. A mobile platform will definitely need its own set of popular native apps in order to survive, and we’ll just have to wait and see if BlackBerry OS will be able to remain standing on Android crutches for long.