The easiest way to install Android apps on BB10

After the latest update to BlackBerry 10, users can install Android apps with very little effort.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

BlackBerry 10, all jokes aside, has an impressive feature of being able to run Android apps. Initially, however, the process of getting Android apps up and running on a BlackBerry 10 device was anything but simple.

The process required users download the Android app (APK), convert it to a BlackBerry 10 compatible file format (BAR) and then install it through the command line, or as Brian Bennett walked us through, using a Chrome extension.

Just this week BlackBerry released an update to BB10, bringing the ability to install Android apps directly on the device, with no conversion or fancy networking skills required.

In order for any of this to work your BB10 device will need to be running BlackBerry 10 version 10.2.1 or above. Some carriers have already released the update, while others have plans to release it at a later date.

Once you have 10.2.1 on your device, the easiest way to install Android apps going forward will be by installing the Amazon Appstore. Hat tip to CrackBerry for originally posting this tip.

Since the only devices Amazon's app store comes preinstalled on are Kindles, the company also makes it possible to sideload the app on other Android devices. And with BlackBerry 10 capable of running Android apps, it only makes sense that someone tried this.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

To install Amazon Appstore on your BB10 device, visit http://www.amazon.com/getappstore on your BB10 device. Tap on the button to download. At this point you may be prompted to enable the installation of apps outside of BlackBerry World; just follow the prompts.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After the app is downloaded, follow the prompts to install it. Once installation is complete, sign into your Amazon account and begin browsing the Appstore as if you were on an Android device.

Keep in mind not all apps you download are going to work perfectly on BlackBerry 10. I was able to get apps like Slacker and Facebook Messenger working (although FB Messenger never alerted me to new messages), but the app 1Password Reader doesn't work because it relies on the Dropbox URL scheme.

Your experience will undoubtedly vary.

 

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