No more “App for Pinterest” or “Info for Netflix”. Until today, BlackBerry’s app offerings were decent, but didn’t rival Apple’s or Google’s. That resulted in some truly weird sounding attempts to fill in the blanks on apps the Waterloo-based company’s devices didn’t have.
But that is set to change. This morning, BlackBerry announced a licensing deal that will see it offer nearly a quarter million Android apps from Amazon’s app store.
CEO John Chen commented on the deal.
“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,” he said. “We’ve listened to our customers and have taken this important step to deliver on their needs, while executing on our strategy.”
For BlackBerry loyalists who stuck with the company’s devices despite some gaps (the company did deliver Skype after it was first rumoured that the messaging service would not be available) the immediate takeaway will be “We finally get Netflix.” Others will be using their BlackBerrys to post crafty ideas from Pinterest or, for the first time, play “Candy Crush”. Today if you type in Candy Crush in BlackBerry world you get “App for Candy Crush”, which makes the shaky claim: “This app contents (sic) all the news, help, tips for you to get over all the hard level (sic), beat your friend and be the top player.”
Even though BlackBerry 10 devices shipped with many of the most popular apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube, what the devices lacked was a question that constantly plagued Chen’s predecessor, Thorsten Heins. Some saw it as a reason for BlackBerry’s 10’s inability to connect with consumers, despite offering what others (The New York Times reviewer David Pogue called BlackBerry 10 a “big, big deal”) considered to be a superior experience.
Other popular Android apps that will be coming to BlackBerry include Yelp, Groupon and Minecraft.