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Buyers beware, many BlackBerry 10 Apps aren't compatible with Q10 smartphone

Al Sacco | May 2, 2013
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.

I also sent a list of popular Z10 games that are not available for the Q10, but BlackBerry did not send any expected release dates for that software, which suggests it may be some time before they make it to the Q10, if they do at all. It appears that the Z10 will be much more game-friendly than the Q10, which makes sense given its larger display. (The games I asked about include Magmic's Blackjack King; Gameloft's The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises for BlackBerry 10; and Monopoly for BlackBerry 10 from Electronic Arts; all of which are top-grossing BlackBerry 10 games in BlackBerry World.)

Kasai Labs' Jerome Carty, a noted BlackBerry 10 developer and a creator of the popular Blaq for BlackBerry 10 Twitter app, provided some insight on BlackBerry 10 development. (Blaq is currently one of the top 10 highest grossing BlackBerry 10 applications in the BlackBerry World store, and it is compatible with both the Z10 and the Q10.)

Carty says he didn't have to do much heavy lifting to make Blaq compatible with both the Z10 and Q10, but that other developers may fare differently if it's a game and whether or not it's native or ported over from Android.

"Currently, the main differences [between the Z10 and Q10] are screen sizes (768x1280 vs. 720x720) and the physical keyboard of the Q10, which provides keyboard shortcuts," Carty says. "[U]nless it's a game, it should really take little to no time to have an app ready for both. Different tools aren't required. Once you get over the hurdle of smaller real estate, it's not so bad. That has been my only issue thus far."

BlackBerry said in the past that it will release three tiers of BlackBerry 10 devices. Each tier will have one all-touch device and one "physical" QWERTY keyboard. The Z10 and Q10 represent the high-end tier, but BlackBerry has not yet announced any of the mid- or low-end devices. (Images of the rumored mid-range device recently leaked.)

As far as Carty knows, the three all-touch devices will have the same 1280x720 resolution and the full QWERTY handsets will all have 720x720 resolutions, so development tweaks will not be necessary whenever a new device is released.

If the process of making BlackBerry Z10 apps work on the Q10 is so simple, why are so many apps still incompatible with the new device?

"I'm as curious as you are," Carty says. "This is pure speculation, but in some instances, those apps are Android apps and it's possible they weren't made to fit square screens as well, so adjustments may need to be made.


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