While it’s a popular fact that the BlackBerry 10-
powered devices have the ability to run Android
applications, it’s a less popular fact that the user
experience with those applications is quite
dissatisfactory. What this means is that they are
often slow, laggy and unresponsive. Terrible stuff,
we tell you.
Part of this problem is due to the Android runtime
that’s used to execute the applications. Right
now, it’s based on the ancient Android 2.3
Gingerbread, which we all know is one terrible OS
as far as user experience and responsiveness
goes. But fear not! BlackBerry has announced
that it’s going to update the runtime to the much
more modern Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Exactly
when this is going to happen is unknown, but
when it does, it’s expected that the performance
of Android apps on a BB10 device will get
noticeably better.
BlackBerry is using this kind of emulation
technique in order to get an early boost in the
amount of available applications for its brand new
BlackBerry 10 operating system. The company
boasts that it offers over 70,000 apps at launch,
which is a really good number, but that number
would have been significantly lower, if it weren’t
for the Android ports. Offering these Android apps
shouldn’t be considered as some kind of unfair
move by BB, because it is the developers
themselves who have submitted their apps to
BB’s applications store, knowing that BlackBerry’s
new devices will support those apps. Sadly, it
seems no one has bothered to optimize the
experience for the users of those device. Let’s
hope that the Android runtime will be updated
soon, and that this will bring a substantial
performance boost.

TechWrapZA

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