1. emev's Avatar
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm interested in the experience of people who are using Android apps and Google services (Cobalt) regularly on their BB10 phones (preferably Z30 with the newest software). I'd be thankful if you could share how satisfied you are, how often you run into issues, what percentage of the apps and their functionality work as expected, whether BB10 updates break Android apps, whether Android apps drain the battery a lot, etc.? And in general how do you feel about Android support on BB10, compared to an Android phone?

    The kind of apps that I'm most interested in are:
    Google apps: Maps, Drive, Translate (incl. camera translation), Chrome
    Chat apps: Viber, Line, Facebook+Messenger
    And some other ones like public transportation, VoIP, news, TripAdvisor, etc.


    The reason why I'm asking is that I'm currently using a Japanese Sharp Android phone, which is stuck on Jelly Bean 4.2 and only got a few security/bugfix updates in the past 2 years. It's a nice phone, but software and hardware issues started appearing (e.g. phone app cannot be opened until I delete all my contacts...), and I'm getting very tired of this old Android system (I was and partly still am using Nokia N9, so my UX expectations are high).

    I'm thinking of what phone to switch to and I see 3 options:
    iPhone (not keen on it, but still more attractive to me than most Androids)
    BlackBerry Priv (the only Android phone that I'd consider buying currently)
    BlackBerry Z30 (I like BB10, reminds me a bit of my Nokia N9's MeeGo/Harmattan system)

    I'd go with the Z30, but I need the above mentioned apps on a daily basis, so it's crucial for me that they work mostly hassle-free. That's why I'd like to get your thoughts and experience on the topic.


    Thank you very much in advance!
    01-24-16 10:35 AM
  2. Thud Hardsmack's Avatar
    If you absolutely must have Drive and Chrome, right out the gate you won't be able to use a BB10 device, unless you aren't against searching through the forums for workarounds that may or may not work as those apps require Google Services. Google Maps works without signing in, but you can try patching and see if it (and the others) works (not guaranteed). Fortunately there's plenty of subject matter and knowledgeable members around here to help. If all else fails, there's always the other two fallback devices you mentioned.

    I have a Z10 that I've used for coming up on 3 years with little issues with the Android apps I've installed, but I've mainly steered clear of Google apps, aside from Google Maps. Unfortunately I can't comment to the specific apps you mention as I've never used those.
    01-24-16 03:51 PM
  3. Smokeaire's Avatar
    I have a Passport with all of Cobalt's apps installed. Every Android app that I need and use work well on my phone. Some of those apps require Google Play Services, many you listed in your post, and with patching (and White listing) also work well.
    With that being written my wife has a Priv, it is a very good phone, and times I'm a little jealous that she can download and run any app from Play Store without having to go through the steps I do to use those apps. The Priv is a bit too big for me, I'm waiting for the Vienna before making a decision to switch.
    I think you should look into the Priv. It just might be the phone your looking for with a PKB.
    01-24-16 04:51 PM
  4. emev's Avatar
    Thanks a lot for the replies!

    Actually, I'm not installing new apps constantly; there are only a few that I use, so I'd be satisfied if they'd work after the lengthy initial setup process. Chrome and Drive are not must haves, just nice to haves (Chrome's one-click translation is useful and Drive is handy, when I'm... driving). However, I understand that nothing's guaranteed to work perfectly, and updates might break things. Also, I'm not sure how safe it is to sideload apps from here and there.
    Smokeaire, as you say, Android/Priv would be the easy choice to make, just it annoys me that I have to choose the worse OS due to a few apps. And besides, back home I have a Z30 that seems to be an unwanted gift, so I could try to use that.

    Anyway, thanks again! If someone else has something more to add, please do.
    01-26-16 11:27 AM
  5. Bbnivende's Avatar
    There are no guarantees that you will install Cobalt correctly. Snap is easier and more fool proof. Basically, you should buy a BlackBerry because you want a PKB. The Android runtime is out of date and we do not know how long BB10 will operate Android apps very well. If you like to fiddle with your phone and take on technical issues as a challenge then BlackBerry is for you. Owning a BlackBerry is like having a hobby. That can be fun or frustrating.

    Posted via CB10
    01-26-16 11:49 AM
  6. emev's Avatar
    I'm a software engineer, so I assume I can make Cobalt work. If it's a one-time effort, then it's okay for me, however, if I have to constantly tinker with it, then it'd get annoying for me in the long run. I used to enjoy messing around with my phones back in the day when I was in school, but nowadays, I can't spend that much time on it anymore.
    That's actually the gist of my question: after you initially make the effort to set up all the Android-related things on BB10, can you just normally use it, or do you regularly face issues that make you spend even more time on it?

    Regarding PKB, I'd be using a Z30, so it's not that important for me.
    01-27-16 05:43 AM
  7. Smokeaire's Avatar
    I'm a software engineer, so I assume I can make Cobalt work. If it's a one-time effort, then it's okay for me, however, if I have to constantly tinker with it, then it'd get annoying for me in the long run. I used to enjoy messing around with my phones back in the day when I was in school, but nowadays, I can't spend that much time on it anymore.
    That's actually the gist of my question: after you initially make the effort to set up all the Android-related things on BB10, can you just normally use it, or do you regularly face issues that make you spend even more time on it?

    Regarding PKB, I'd be using a Z30, so it's not that important for me.
    Once you have Cobalt's apps setup you don't have to tinker with it, except for patching Android apps with Play Service Patcher and Whitelisting those apps that require G+ log-in (at least I think that is the reason for Whitelisting), it is invisible.
    01-27-16 05:48 AM
  8. Bbnivende's Avatar
    Once you have Cobalt's apps setup you don't have to tinker with it, except for patching Android apps with Play Service Patcher and Whitelisting those apps that require G+ log-in (at least I think that is the reason for Whitelisting), it is invisible.
    I could never seem to make the patcher work. The frustration convinced me it was time to move on.

    Posted via CB10
    01-27-16 08:41 AM
  9. conite's Avatar
    I'm a software engineer, so I assume I can make Cobalt work. If it's a one-time effort, then it's okay for me, however, if I have to constantly tinker with it, then it'd get annoying for me in the long run. I used to enjoy messing around with my phones back in the day when I was in school, but nowadays, I can't spend that much time on it anymore.
    That's actually the gist of my question: after you initially make the effort to set up all the Android-related things on BB10, can you just normally use it, or do you regularly face issues that make you spend even more time on it?

    Regarding PKB, I'd be using a Z30, so it's not that important for me.
    Setting up Cobalt's environment is pretty easy. It takes about 5 minutes.

    The issue I see here for you is that you are going from a Jellybean 4.2 device to one with a (not fully compatible) Runtime of Jellybean 4.3 (with no plans to update).

    You're not gaining much from the perspective of Android functionality, and dealing with apps that require Google Play Services involves some work on your PC to patch them to function.
    01-27-16 08:54 AM
  10. brookie229's Avatar
    The issue I see here for you is that you are going from a Jellybean 4.2 device to one with a Runtime of Jellybean 4.3 (with no plans to update).
    Exactly!
    01-27-16 08:57 AM
  11. amr96's Avatar
    There are some apps which don't work... and the android player stop working sometimes
    I have z30 amd if I have the ability to change to BlackBerry priv I will do it

    Posted via CB10
    01-27-16 11:27 AM
  12. conite's Avatar
    I could never seem to make the patcher work. The frustration convinced me it was time to move on.

    Posted via CB10
    It might be worth starting fresh again.

    The Cobalt apps have improved since the early days, and most of the bugs have been resolved. It seems to just WORK now.
    01-27-16 11:32 AM
  13. gugomat's Avatar
    I use almost all the apps you, refer here and more than that, I don't even have Cobalt's Google Accounts installed on my phone. Use them pretty regular and until now I didn't have any problem at all.

    Posted via CB10
    01-27-16 11:40 AM
  14. John Vieira's Avatar
    A surprisingly amount of Android apps run pretty well on bb10.

    While some of them run, the rule of thumb for blackberry for me is that if it's a google app, or needs google play services, usually not a good idea.

    I miss my N9. I have never found an OS with such a good ux, bb10 is OK, and fixes one annoyance I had with it. But it's just not as good.

    Posted via -sigh- Priv. Guess we have to get used to Android guys....
    01-27-16 11:44 AM
  15. Bbnivende's Avatar
    It might be worth starting fresh again.

    The Cobalt apps have improved since the early days, and most of the bugs have been resolved. It seems to just WORK now.
    Thanks. My Z10 has been shuffled off as an alarm clock / morning news reader.

    While I appreciate and like BB10, I preferred the standard no fuss no muss consumer experience that Android or Apple offered.
    01-27-16 06:13 PM
  16. emev's Avatar
    Thanks everyone for the replies!
    The opinions are contradictory. Some of you say that after the initial setup, most Android apps work perfectly, and the others say that they have issues with setting up and also using the apps. But the positive opinions seem to be more. Maybe I'm gonna give the Z30 a try when I get my hands on it in spring.

    ...
    The issue I see here for you is that you are going from a Jellybean 4.2 device to one with a (not fully compatible) Runtime of Jellybean 4.3 (with no plans to update).

    You're not gaining much from the perspective of Android functionality, and dealing with apps that require Google Play Services involves some work on your PC to patch them to function.
    The JB 4.3 runtime, if it works well, is not an issue for me for now. On my JB 4.2 phone, the apps that I need work well, my problems are with the system itself (UI, phone, address book, gallery, etc.).

    While some of them run, the rule of thumb for blackberry for me is that if it's a google app, or needs google play services, usually not a good idea.
    With Cobalt that should be mostly solved, no?

    I miss my N9. I have never found an OS with such a good ux, bb10 is OK, and fixes one annoyance I had with it. But it's just not as good.
    You speak from my heart.
    01-29-16 04:41 AM

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