Just incase you didn’t remember from the first time we spoke about the fact that BlackBerry 10 supports rather easily repackaged Android apps back in November of 2011, the point is being made abundantly clear here at the launch of the mobile OS. Here inside the launch week for BlackBerry 10 the 70,000 apps at launch have been called 40% Android in origin by none other than BlackBerry UX designer Don Lindsay as he spoke with PC Mag about the collection. The high conversion rate comes from none other than the basic BlackBerry Android toolset that’s ready to rock for Android developers across the nation right this minute.
You’re able to create BlackBerry 10 apps using your basic Android app APK with a set of simple tools right out of the box. The resulting app will not be considered for the many awesome promotions BlackBerry is hosting for “best of” and massive prizes galore, but the process is simple – plug it in, start it up, and map your buttons to the gestures BlackBerry 10 presents. The resulting BAR file will work on a BlackBerry 10 device easy as pie.
The resulting files will be odd at first, with some controls being difficult to get used to if you’ve been working with Android for the past several years or have never worked with the BlackBerry 10 user interface before at all. Gestures are the hero here, with swipes from the center of the bottom of the display up and right or up and left doing to forward and backward movements instead of your standard Android “back” button. Have a peek at our upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS review for additional insight on that bit of a process as well.
Meanwhile you can head to the tool page inside BlackBerry’s developer portal to get everything from a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha Simulator (soon to be replaced by a full-fledged BlackBerry 10 simulator with essentially the same details) to a set of command-line tools to make your process smooth as butter. You can work with the Online Packager or the BlackBerry Tablet simulator as well, with the Eclipse plug-in being the first and perhaps most important tool for you if that’s the place you’re used to creating your code – have at it!