When I reviewed the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone, the Z10, in January, I had mostly good things to say but also expressed concern that big-name app publishers were not throwing their support behind the new platform by building BlackBerry 10 apps. Since then, a number of notable companies and organizations released BlackBerry 10 apps or ported over Android versions of their software, including Amazon (Kindle), Cisco and eBay, to name a few.
Unfortunately, many of these companies' BlackBerry 10 apps are not yet compatible with the new BlackBerry Q10, which raises a new software-related issue for BlackBerry: Not all BlackBerry 10 apps are compatible with all BlackBerry 10 smartphones. (The BlackBerry Q10 is currently available in the United Kingdom and Canada, and it is expected to be released in the United States starting in late May.)
I recently wrote about the differences between native BlackBerry 10 apps and "ported" Android software for BlackBerry 10, stressing that not all BlackBerry 10 apps are created equal. The lack of Q10 support in many current BlackBerry 10 apps, native or ported, could raise this app issue to another level.
And BlackBerry is making the problem worse by promoting apps on Twitter and other social-media sites without clarifying that "available for BlackBerry 10" does not necessarily mean "available for both the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10."
For example, the following tweet was posted by @BlackBerry on Twitter earlier this week:
Digital bookworms, rejoice. The @AmazonKindle app is available for #BlackBerry10: http://blck.by/Z6qVei
As I soon as I received my Q10 review unit, I went to download the Amazon Kindle app and all of the BlackBerry 10 apps I use on my Z10, only to find that more than half of them, including Kindle, are not compatible with the new device - not yet at least.
I reached out to BlackBerry with a list of the Z10 apps that aren't compatible with the Q10, and I was pleased to see that the majority of them are expected to be Q10 compatible soon, so the issue may prove to be less notable in time. But here's the list I sent, along with responses from BlackBerry. (ETAs from BlackBerry are in italics.)
Amazon Kindle (First week of May)
BlackBerry Travel (First week of May)
BeWeather (End of May/Early June)
eBay (End of May)
OpenTable (End of May)
GoMusic, Google Music client ( No date set)
Charge Anywhere Mobile Payments (early May )
Amazon Shopping (Early to mid-May)
Pacemaker (No date set)
Google Talk ( No date set )
StubHub (end of may)
Cisco WebEx (End of May)
Truphone (this week)
Gadget Box (No date set)
Marty Mallick, BlackBerry's senior director of strategic business development told me, through BlackBerry PR, that "many partners are timing their launches to the regional launches around the globe similar to the Z10 launch, so we will see more brands launch their apps closer to US availability."
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