BlackBerry Planning Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Emulator for its Devices
Does the idea of blackberry flavored jelly beans appeal to you? We think they’d be pretty good, but sugary treats aside, BlackBerry plans on adding an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean emulator to devices running BlackBerry 10, including the just announced Z10 and Q10 and the PlayBook tablet (remember that one?). The emulator will let users run Android apps designed for Android 4.0 and above to run on the company’s BlackBerry 10 OS. The news was announced at BlackBerry Jam in Europe though there’s been no announcement as to when the upgrade will actually happen.
When the PlayBook made its debut back in 2011 it included an Android 2.3 Gingerbread emulator that was meant to help ease the transition between Android and BlackBerry. The idea was that apps that Android users couldn’t live without could be run with the emulator until a native BlackBerry version was made, whether those must-have apps are in development remains to be seen. Both Google and BlackBerry’s developer conferences are scheduled for the same time in May, so it’ll be interesting to see if the BlackBerry platform will garner more attention now that the BlackBerry 10 OS is actually available.
Another bit of irony: it’s very possible that the BlackBerry z10 and Q10 will be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean before many native Android phones receive the update. A recently released report notes that only 13.6% of Android devices are currently running Android 4.1 or 4.2, the most recent version of the OS.