Feeds

BlackBerry inks deal with Amazon to get Android apps on its mobes

Bezos' apps mart to give BB users impression there are things they can do with the kit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

BlackBerry is shaking up its code store options in a bid to win new apps and content for its widely shunned BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Most notably, the Canadian firm announced on Wednesday that it has reached a licensing agreement with Amazon to allow BlackBerry users access to the Amazon Appstore.

Amazon's store won't replace the BlackBerry World store and it won't offer native BlackBerry apps. Rather, it will make available the more than 200,000 Android apps Amazon offers to BlackBerry 10 users as direct downloads.

BlackBerry fans have been abuzz about the platform's its Android compatibility layer since late last year and the company began rolling it out as part of an official OS update in January. But BlackBerry itself hasn't exactly been crowing about it; in fact, the blog post announcing the OS release that included it didn't even mention it.

That may be because so far there hasn't been an easy way for BlackBerry users to browse a rich selection of Android apps. BlackBerry accepts Android apps in its store, provided developers bother to submit them. But BlackBerry 10 devices don't come with preloaded access to the Google Play store, which is the place most Android users do their shopping.

Some BlackBerry users have resorted to side-loading APK files downloaded from non-Google sources, but that's hardly a consumer-friendly option.

According to AppBrain Stats, there are now nearly 1,300,000 apps in Google Play. The Amazon Appstore isn't a patch on that, but according to BlackBerry it now hosts many of the more popular Android apps.

"You will be able to access popular apps such as Groupon, Netflix, Pinterest, Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft – all available for direct download!" the company said in its announcement.

That's not the only change coming for how BlackBerry owners shop for content, though. While BlackBerry World will continue to be the place to get native BlackBerry apps, the Canadian firm said it will be shutting down the music and video sections of the store, effective July 21.

"In addition to the greater selection of apps, you will be able to access video and music services through a number of popular third party services available through the Amazon Appstore and BlackBerry World," the company said, adding that content downloaded from BlackBerry World before July 21 would continue to be available after that date.

No explanation was given for the change, but it's no secret that BlackBerry is looking for ways to streamline its business. Its most recent quarterly results were its worst since 2007, and it's in the process of shedding 40 per cent of its workforce. It will report its earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015 on Thursday.

BlackBerry says the Amazon Appstore will appear on its platform when it launches BlackBerry 10.3 in the fall. No hard release date has been given, but a beta release has already been made available for developers. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.