One of the big “problems” of the Windows Phone ecosystem was the so-called lack of apps. Understandable, considering how young the OS was (and is) and also considering how entrenched iOS and Android were in the space. Microsoft has done a good job luring developers with promotions and money, but many still see it as not being enough.
Blackberry chose to go another route. Instead, they made it incredibly easy to port over existing Android apps to their BB10 platform. So far, their bet is paying off:
BlackBerry’s App World now touts 100,000 BB10 applications. An impressive number for a platform just months old. But out of those 100,000 applications, roughly 20% are Android apps, simply ported over rather than being coded specifically for BlackBerry 10.
This is a win for BlackBerry. It’s a big win. Android or native, it shows that BlackBerry is successfully pulling developers into its fold. Even without the Android apps, App World still has roughly 80,000 native BB10 apps. As it sits right now, the Android ports are simply holding seats for big apps.
BB10 has a good selection of apps now, but it’s still missing key apps with Instagram and Netflix being two of the biggest holes. But don’t worry, there are Android ports available. And while they might not be native to BB10, these apps still work. That’s what matters at this point.
While the Android ports run just fine, most do not utilize BB10′s core services making them feel and respond different from native BB10 apps.
The last sentence of that quote has MAJOR testing implications. Think about it: An app that was developed and designed for one platform being used on another platform, with different gestures, functions and features. The strategy will work great, until the apps don’t work as expected for users. It’s going to happen. Guaranteed.
Lucky for them, there’s a mobile app testing solution that can help BB10 developers make sure their new apps are delighting users.