The latest update to BlackBerry 10 looks to solve one of the biggest criticisms of the family of smartphones: that they don’t have enough apps.
BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3.1, which began rolling out last Thursday, includes access to the Amazon Appstore, after the two companies struck a deal last June.
Launched on March 22, 2011, the Amazon Appstore boasts more than a quarter millions apps. The addition will give BlackBerry users access to Android versions of popular apps that they haven’t had before, such as Pinterest, Candy Crush Saga, and Minecraft.
The deal effectively doubles the amount of apps BlackBerry users can access. BlackBerry World, which was previously known as BlackBerry App World, has just under quarter-million apps.
BlackBerry’s deal with Amazon is another example of John Chen’s pragmatic approach to solving BlackBerry’s problems through partnerships. Early in his tenure, he outsourced the production of the company’s devices to Taiwan’s Foxconn Group.
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“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,” said Chen last year. “We’ve listened to our customers and have taken this important step to deliver on their needs, while executing on our strategy.”
The 10.3.1 update is BlackBerry’s most ambitious to date. Other than the Amazon apps, it includes improvements to the BlackBerry® Hub, calendar, and camera.
With 1.3-million apps, Google Play remains the largest app store, followed by Apple, which has 1.2-million apps.
Below: An early look at Amazon App Store Apps on BlackBerry…