BlackBerry 10 sounds like Android is better than Android

What are the applications in BlackBerry App World 10? Sometime ago BlackBerry being known as former Research in Motion has announced that the store B...

What are the applications in BlackBerry App World 10?

Sometime ago BlackBerry being known as former Research in Motion has announced that the store BlackBerry App World 10 for 100 thousand applications.

Although I can only applaud such an impressive number of applications the developers managed to ship to the store for such a short period of time before the U.S. release of Z10 but BlackBerry was slow to discuss what kind of applications they are.

And only on Tuesday they confirmed a figure of approximately 20% of all applications stored in BlackBerry App World 10 are essentially remade Android applications.

If you go back in the nearest past i.e. in the first quarter of 2011 RIM finally confirmed that the rumors about what went more than a month and a tablet PlayBook, running on the same fundamental OS QNX as the BlackBerry 10 will support Android-applications as well as Adobe Air or HTML5 and native applications for QNX C / C + +. In fact, sounds like «one Android is better than Android» if I may say so. But the more I think about it – the more I get a feeling of of deja vu.


How the story was going on

In fact, this happened 20 years ago when the vendor who  tried to do such thing was IBM with it’s operating system called OS / 2 2.0.

Well, in 1992 IBM and its OS / 2 has successfully managed to create a «DOS better than DOS, and Windows better than Windows».

It was a full 32-bit operating system which could work with large amounts of memory whereas DOS and Windows 3.0 could not. There was a preventive multitasking while in DOS and Windows 3.0 was not there. OS / 2 was able to protect the native applications in separate memory areas, and DOS and Windows 3.0 – could not know how. It could also play DOS and Windows 3.0 in its own separate protected areas of memory that DOS and Windows, too, could not.  Also, it was the first operating system for PCs that shipped with virtualization Windows. It is incredibly ahead of its time.

On OS / 2 worked so well DOS and Windows 3.0 that it used to be very difficult for IBM to convince third-party developers to write native applications for the interface OS / 2 Presentation Manager. However, the OS / 2 itself had a smooth compatibility with Windows. There were problems with the application to Enhanced Mode with some specific types of drivers called VxD.

Eventually, the new versions of IBM OS / 2 has decided most of the issues of compatibility. But it was very difficult to keep up with the changes that are made to Microsoft. In 1993, when Microsoft released Windows NT 3.1, most of the benefits of OS / 2 is no longer perceived as the computer industry exclusive.


Today, Windows NT can be recognized in Windows 8 or Windows 7 and even Windows XP. BlackBerry in its new mobile operating system is in a very similar position since, the implementation of QNX on BlackBerry hardware is extremely impressive, it is flexible and advanced. And this is to be expected from such a mature integrated real-time system which is the QNX. This is in sharp contrast to iOS, Android, and even Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, which are not real-time systems.

Moreover, I believe that a number of architectural aspects as QNX operating system stands higher than both iOS and Android. I tested a few weeks Z10 from AT & T and found it amusing device, with interesting features that distinguish it from the two mentioned platforms, as well as Windows Phone 8, which I also tested it and found it very interesting.

At first I was hoping to be compatible with Android BlackBerry go the way of virtualization instead of native emulation layer with porting native Dalvik VM, as it eventually did.

What’s BlackBerry 10 is facing today?

Personally I expect the solution for BlackBerry 10 being full stack in Android 4.x mobile hypervisor such as for OKL4 or VLX from Red Bend.

In this case, RIM does not have to be anything “port.” Inside QNX could be run full copy of Android along with a complete Linux as a “guest” of the system. But this has not happened. I do not want to say that such an approach would be completely free of risk. The hypervisor should be very optimized for performance and BlackBerry users would expect a 10 Android-work applications, which would approaching native. In the opposite sense, the compatibility mode is not particularly useful.

To the running application of Android NDK, a hypervisor-based virtualization should be the only way to achieve true binary compatibility. But as in the BlackBerry 10 is used just part of the Dalvik Android, it can not play the application NDK. These applications need to port with the native SDK QNX for C / C + +.

I have to also mention that there are a number of other software limitations in addition to the NDK disturbing the implementation of Android 2.3.3 API in the BlackBerry.

Regardless of how the implementation of Android in the new mobile OS BlackBerry, is another question: will it work with Android a “chilling effect” on native development in C + + and Adobe Air, which was in the OS / 2 as a result of compatibility with Windows 3.0?

There is another potential problem which loks quite serious.

There is always the possibility that in the future Google will implement in it’s Dalvik VM great architectural and code changes within the framework of Android Open Source Project which somewhatl destroy the Dalvik implementation to BlackBerry and cause serious problems of compatibility with applications written for future versions of the Android API.

In this case, BlackBerry will need to constantly re-ported Google’s Dalvik to QNX, to keep up with all the changes. Such approach may require substantial resources likewise IBM had to constantly monitor the compatibility of OS / 2 to Windows but that’s worth doing.

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