BlackBerry 10.2.1 SDK seeds to developers

News Richard Goodwin 13:23, 18 Nov 2013

BlackBerry’s upcoming BB10.2.1 update is now in the hands of developers ahead of its official rollout

We don’t know when it’ll be released to handsets but BlackBerry’s BB10.2.1 beta SDK update is now in the capable hands of developers.

BB10.2.1 adds in support for Android Native, Bluetooth API, embedded MapView v1 API, Share Framework, Spellcheck and Wi-Fi Scanning among other things.

One of the more prominent features of BB10.2.1 is its new Android Runtime Engine, which will allow users to install APK files straight onto the handset. The recent BB10.2 update added in support for Android Jelly Bean apps, giving users access to hundreds of thousands of applications outside of BlackBerry World.

With the new Android Runtime Engine it is now even easier to download and use Android applications and games on BlackBerry 10-powered handsets. 

Speaking to CrackBerry about BB10.2.1 and the new Android Runtime Engine, BlackBerry’s Alec Saunders said, “It's offering more choice for more customers because that's what customers have asked us to do."

“The integration is tighter, the performance is better and there is greater compatibility this time around. Android apps that use Bluetooth APIs are supported (support for Bluetooth Low Energy for Android coming in future OS releases), and even though BlackBerry 10 doesn't have native Google Maps, BlackBerry has plumbed through the MapView v1 API via OpenStreetMap.”

Google Play on BlackBerry?

With all this piggy-backing off Android you’d think BlackBerry might just give up the ghost, strike a deal with Google, and get its Play store officially up and running on BlackBerry 10 handsets. Contrary to some opinions this is not going to happen –– Google will not play ball, apparently.

“We're still not seeing any official blessing from Google on any of this - but it doesn't matter. It works. And with the new runtime it should work pretty darn well,” added Saunders.

Fancy a butchers at BB10.2.1 ahead of its official launch? Well, you can now download the beta SDK from here. Please note: this is a developer edition and is not recommended for full use aboard your handset.

We’ll update you as soon as we know more about BlackBerry’s update schedule. 

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