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

Website security in corporate America

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. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.