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BlackBerry 10 to support Android 4.1 Jelly Bean apps and runtime... eventually

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BlackBerry Z10 angle (912px)
BlackBerry Z10 angle (912px)

One of the major features in the new BlackBerry 10 platform is the ability to support Android apps, giving the nascent platform access to many more apps than it would have otherwise. But as we noted in our review of the Z10, the Android implementation in BlackBerry 10 isn't exactly great, and in fact, it is based on a version of Android that is pushing two years of age. BlackBerry hopes to change that soon, as it announced at a developer conference today that it would eventually support Android 4.1 Jelly Bean apps and features in its runtime. When exactly that will happen is unclear — Google has already moved beyond Android 4.1 to version 4.2, and given the pace of development on Android, it could be another few versions along before BlackBerry updates to 4.1.

In addition to the updated Android app news, BlackBerry also unveiled a couple of new developer devices, including the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C, a keyboard equipped model that will let developers customize their apps for the upcoming BlackBerry Q10. BlackBerry announced an updated SDK for keyboard-equipped devices, as well.

While BlackBerry was eager to show off its upcoming developer devices and new SDK, it still hasn't announced actual preorder or sales figures for the BlackBerry Z10, which went on sale in the UK last week and went up for preorder in Canada and the US (apart from giving the exceptionally vague "it has exceeded our expectations"). We might just have to wait until the platform's proper launch in more parts of the world (today in Canada and March in the US) before we have a proper idea of how well it is doing in the market.