Once an iconic player in the smartphone space, BlackBerry has seen its market share significantly dip over the last few years. The Canadian smartphone manufacturer has been struggling to compete in the market dominated by Android and iOS smartphones. But as it was slowly phasing out of the market, the company may have found a new plan to stay in the game: Run Android apps on BlackBerry handsets.
The company rolled out a major software update v10.3.1 to BlackBerry 10 OS on all the eligible smartphones — Z10, Q10, Z30 — to add the ability to access Android apps on its smartphones. As part of the update, users will be able to download Android apps from Amazon Appstore. Launched in 2011, the store has more than 240,000 Android apps. The companies had made the announcement last year.
Additionally, the update also adds the Blend feature to the mobile operating system. Blend lets users easily communicate via email, texts, while providing them access to files through any connected device. It works with Android, Windows, as well as Mac OS X.
In addition, the update also adds BlackBerry Assistant, a digital assistant by the company that lets users manage emails, check contacts and similar things. The update has started to rollout.