Blackberry on Wednesday revealed that its BlackBerry 10.3 OS will support Amazon's Appstore when the operating system lands on devices this fall. That means BlackBerry device owners will have access to more than 240,000 Android apps worldwide including Netflix, Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga and loads more.
The announcement states that BlackBerry is partnering with Amazon to help BlackBerry developers migrate their apps to the Amazon Appstore prior to 10.3's launch. According to the company, these developers will benefit from Amazon's promotional tools such as Appstore Developer Select, Amazon Coins, the Developer Promotions Console, and the Free App of the Day program.
"Making the Amazon Appstore available on BlackBerry 10 devices will help BlackBerry continue to meet two essential needs: greater app availability for our smartphone users and enhanced productivity solutions for enterprises," said BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen. "We've listened to our customers and have taken this important step to deliver on their needs, while executing on our strategy."
Despite its Android roots, Amazon's Appstore is not affiliated with Google, thus the Appstore doesn't provide classic Android apps such as Google Maps, Gmail, Google Voice and more. It also typically doesn't come pre-installed on smartphones and tablets; users must "side-load" the client after enabling non-Market applications. However, based on the announcement, it sounds like Appstore may be integrated into BlackBerry 10.3 later this year.
BlackBerry Limited plans to keep its own app store open for business so that device owners have access to native BlackBerry apps. However, the company is shutting down the video and music sections of the store on July 21, and hopes that third-party Android apps like Hulu Plus and iHeartRadio will take their place. BlackBerry device owners will still have access to all apps they've purchased through MyWorld.
Android apps on BlackBerry devices aren't anything new. The company updated the BlackBerry platform early this year with the ability to side-load Android apps (APK). The company has also allowed Android app developers to port their software to BlackBerry 10.x, but sources say that the process is a lot of work. The Appstore will make installing Android apps on BlackBerry 10.3 easier and safer.