1. murnende's Avatar
    So, it's come time to replace the old Bold 9780, so I've been doing my research and trying to figure out what direction to take. Yesterday, I came across a fascinating article that got me wondering about how BB managed to get Android apps working on the BB10 platform (here: Neither Microsoft, Nokia, nor anyone else should fork Android. It’s unforkable. | Ars Technica ).

    The tl;dr version is roughly this, as I understand it: the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP) on its own is insufficient to run most Android apps with their full functionality intact, because with each iteration, Google has been migrating a lot of the important APIs to their proprietary Google Mobile Services (GMS) which is only available if you're running a Google approved version of Android - and Google has to review each device for compliance. GMS requires that Google services are front and centre. Essentially AOSP will run a phone, but deliver a poor experience, and very little app functionality.

    The only way around surrendering control to Google, according to this article, is to build your own software stack that emulates the APIs found in MWS so that when the apps call those functions, the replacement APIs do the work. According to the article, some of the functionality found only in MWS includes: "Google Maps, Location, and in-app purchasing; Google+ integration; Remote Wipe; Malware scanning; and more."

    So now to my questions: How was Android compatibility achieved in BB10? Is it a fully independent equivalent to GMS that will permit Android apps to function with something approaching full functionality? Or is it more akin to a copy of the open source portion of Android that restricts functionality accordingly? If BB10 does successfully emulate full Android, what are the chances that this functionality will be maintained over the next 3-5 years, as Google continues it's migration from open source to proprietary software? The investment involved in keeping up with Android's ongoing releases cannot be trivial.
    02-10-14 07:04 AM
  2. anon1727506's Avatar
    So now to my questions: How was Android compatibility achieved in BB10? Is it a fully independent equivalent to GMS that will permit Android apps to function with something approaching full functionality? Or is it more akin to a copy of the open source portion of Android that restricts functionality accordingly? If BB10 does successfully emulate full Android, what are the chances that this functionality will be maintained over the next 3-5 years, as Google continues it's migration from open source to proprietary software? The investment involved in keeping up with Android's ongoing releases cannot be trivial.

    No currently we do no have full functionality.

    Apps that require Google Services, Databases and other API's that are not fully mapped - don't work. You can install Google Services and it may or may not allow some apps to work.

    No one knows where this is really going..... Installation of APK's is not an official feature of BB10 right now, it is only a developer tool. In the past BlackBerry has played with locking down the Android Player - they may do this again or they may be forced to do it. Until BlackBerry announces a DEAL with Google, the whole Sideloading and APK installation is something to be enjoyed while it is available. But don't go telling others that it is a feature when it very well might go away.
    murnende likes this.
    02-10-14 10:18 AM
  3. murnende's Avatar
    Great info; thanks for the reply.
    02-11-14 01:41 AM
  4. dehdude's Avatar
    Have a read through:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11..._than_android/

    Gives a little bit of insight on how things were done or how it may be supported.

    This article was floating around on the forums for a while now.

    Posted via CB10
    02-11-14 04:21 AM

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