This was my third AnDevCon conference, and first one in Boston. We ask the same question at every conference we attend – “Is anyone wondering why BlackBerry is here?” I’m very pleased to report that the number of hands in the air is steadily decreasing. Perhaps only a dozen or so out of the 300 in attendance at the Lightning Pitches in Boston didn’t know why BlackBerry would be at an Android developer conference. This is great – the word is getting out there – BlackBerry 10 is a great platform for Android developers!
Over the three day event, we helped developers port and repackage their Android applications right there on the spot in just a few minutes. Most worked immediately without a hitch and developers were delighted to see their app running on a BlackBerry Z10. This opens up a whole new market for them. For the few apps that didn’t port immediately, our tools flagged the issues and we shared them with the developers. In most cases, the APKs that didn’t work included native libraries (something that we don’t fully support). For a full list of Android support, please refer to our Android developer site.
In addition to porting apps and demonstrating BlackBerry 10 in our booth, James Dreher held a technical session for Android developers that packed the room. We had over 60 developers in the session and lots of great questions. One question that came up often was “When will BlackBerry’s Android Runtime support Jelly Bean?”
If you’re following our Dev Blog, you’ll know that the we’ve launched the BlackBerry 10.2 beta with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean support!
One of the highlights of the show for me was discovering dot42. These guys have a platform for converting C# apps to Android. So, naturally, I immediately had the thought – “I wonder if I could take a C# app, run it through dot42’s conversion and then take the resulting AOK and port it to BlackBerry?” Why not, right? So we did it –the whole process took less than five minutes! The app we tried was a fairly simple OpenGL ES Spinning Cube app, but it worked like a charm and performance was great. That was pretty cool, I have to admit.
The AnDevCon event continues to be a great developer event for BlackBerry. Android developers are increasingly receptive to our run-time options and, more importantly, love BlackBerry 10. It’s not only a great phone platform, it’s a whole new market opportunity for Android developers!