BlackBerry 10's Skype app is actually the Android Gingerbread app

When BlackBerry officially announced their launch plans for their first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones last week, they bragged about how many apps would be available for owners of their new devices. The number that was thrown out was that 70,000 apps would be ready for BlackBerry 10 phones.

One of the apps mentioned by the company as part of the BlackBerry 10 launch was Skype, which is of course now owned by Microsoft. Now it turns out that the Skype app for BlackBerry 10 won't actually be made specifically for the BB 10 platform but rather a port of the already available Skype app for Android devices.

The Skype support website says of the BlackBerry 10 client:

If you have a new BlackBerry smartphone powered by the BlackBerry 10 platform, you will soon be able to download and run Skype on these devices. We are working closely with BlackBerry to ensure the Skype for Android app runs great in the BlackBerry 10 environment.

The Verge points out that the Android apps that are available and made to run on BlackBerry 10 are in fact based on Android 2.3; in other words, the two-year-old Gingerbread version of the Android OS. That likely means that when the Skype "BlackBerry 10" app is finally released, users can almost certainly expect issues in terms of performance.

Source: Skype | Image via Microsoft

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For people with a Blackberry 10 - FaceFlow is already there. We were the first to provide a text and video chat platform on the BB10, and still the only one (Skype & others not caring enough?)
We're seeing over 700 installs per day; people are being really grateful for the service we provide, and to actually be caring.
Short video demo: http://crackberry.com/faceflow...-app-still-track-q1-release.

Thank you!
Dany Pelletier
Founder, FaceFlow

Blackberry should have been following Windows OS. Why? they are both aiming for running corporate environment. MS has XBOX integration, Office and Skype which could have helped them a lot. also the bit-locker technology Microsoft has is a Kick Ass. It could also help Microsoft make unique phones as well. Anyway now I see Clear winner on MS vs Blackberry and that is Microsoft. may be Blackberry is better looking device but it doesn't have software guts.

I am actually impressed that Blackberry has enough compatibility with Android to port the apps so easily with pretty much just a recompile. If they are aiming to get Android apps, why they didn't just do Android itself with SEAndroid is beyond me.

Simon- said,
I am actually impressed that Blackberry has enough compatibility with Android to port the apps so easily with pretty much just a recompile. If they are aiming to get Android apps, why they didn't just do Android itself with SEAndroid is beyond me.

Android on its own is a virtual machine. Can run anywhere.

This would explain how they had their 70,000 apps ready. I would like to know how many are actual native apps as opposed to Android apps running on the emulator.

And how many apps did android have when they first started?

I detect just a little bit of jealousy. How many here commenting have actually tried the BB Z10?

What's to be jealous about? Is BlackBerry my past lover? I never understood why people make comments like that. I'd have more respect for BlackBerry trying to get back into the phone market if they truly got developers to create native apps for their ecosystem. I simply can not take them serious anymore. Since most people care about numbers like you just pointed out, they are simply cheating and creating a perception that everyone is on board and excited to develop for them which clearly is not the case.

Edited by DBrandUSA, Feb 9 2013, 1:05am :

The Verge points out that the Android apps that are available and made to run on BlackBerry 10 are in fact based on Android 2.3; the two-year-old Gingerbread version of the Android OS. That likely means that when the Skype "BlackBerry 10" app is finally released, users can almost certainly expect issues in terms of performance.

I don't see the correlation between the "Gingerbread version" and performance issues. Aren't most Android apps using the exact same code whether they run on Gingerbread, ICS or Jelly bean?

And even if we're talking about OS optimizations, today's phones are more powerful than those that shipped when Gingerbread was the latest Android version.

And Skype for Android works on practically every Android phone, including low-end devices having far weaker processors than the new Blackberry devices, so I'm not sure what kind of performance issues are anticipated?

Kai Y said,

I don't see the correlation between the "Gingerbread version" and performance issues. Aren't most Android apps using the exact same code whether they run on Gingerbread, ICS or Jelly bean?

And even if we're talking about OS optimizations, today's phones are more powerful than those that shipped when Gingerbread was the latest Android version.

And Skype for Android works on practically every Android phone, including low-end devices having far weaker processors than the new Blackberry devices, so I'm not sure what kind of performance issues are anticipated?


It has everything to do with the Android API Level, most Android Apps are targeted at the ICS/API15 with most with being backwards compatible with Gingercrap. Apps made using API15+ have all the latest UI enchanements (as per Android Design Guidelines) as well as performance improvements. eg. New Apps will benefit from Android's native hardware acceleration while old Gingerbread-based Apps will still be buggy as hell, unstable and appear horribly dated. BB10 just has some kind of modified Dalvik VM which will only run Gingerbread-compatible Apps without the improvements of the newer API levels. Games will mostly exhibit lag while other Apps will simply be too unresponsive, they just carried the issues of Gingerbread onto BB10.

nvllsvm said,
It's unknown whether the new BB OS will even survive in the market.

Why? They are still in third place last time I checked. And it is well received so far in the UK. RIM (Now BlackBerry) basically gave Microsoft an open invitation to take third place for a year and a half. Sadly Microsoft was using Hotmail and didn't get the memo. Probably because of all the spam.

Well, the telegraph newspaper in the uk reported that that was not the case.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tec...phones-are-selling-out.html

The RIM ceo is just embellishing this fact and they're artificially limiting their stock to create this fake hype and many stores said that they have not sold out. Seriously, it might be a decent phone, but don't believe the overblown media hype for its sales. I'm sure when RIM releases its sales reports, we'll see the number isn't that high.

"Staff at Phones 4U, the exclusive UK supplier of the white Z10, said that they have not sold out of the handsets.

One store in Leeds and one in Manchester said they had handsets available for immediate purchase and collection, with one saying they had “loads left”.

Stores in London contacted by the Daily Telegraph said they had “plenty left”.

My Heins made the comments in an interview with the Associated Press in the US, where the phones are due to be released in mid-March.

The comments will lead to accusations that Mr Heins is trying to talk up sales of the handsets."

"limited initial supply was cited as the reason for early post-launch stock- outs at some carrier stores versus overwhelming demand. In fact, our surveys indicated most stores received less than 15 units and sold a majority of these units over a two- to three-day period, leading to initial stock-outs at a few stores and low inventory levels at others."

Don't know about the UK, but it certainly broke it's own records here in Canada. The carriers are ALL expressing "higher sales than all previous Blackberry launches". That clearly says something.

DarkNet said,
Sadly Microsoft was using Hotmail and didn't get the memo. Probably because of all the spam.

Or maybe the BlackBerry team were using Gmail and experiencing some difficulties with IMAP server latency resulting in the email being held for a year or so. Either way you WP has overtaken blackberry so your argument is invalid.

ingramator said,

Or maybe the BlackBerry team were using Gmail and experiencing some difficulties with IMAP server latency resulting in the email being held for a year or so. Either way you WP has overtaken blackberry so your argument is invalid.

OR maybe one of the WP fanboy's is a little annoyed they'll soon drop to 4th place and become even more unpopular.

ingramator said,

Or maybe the BlackBerry team were using Gmail and experiencing some difficulties with IMAP server latency resulting in the email being held for a year or so. Either way you WP has overtaken blackberry so your argument is invalid.


That's funny, http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2237315 and http://www.comscore.com/Insigh...one_Subscriber_Market_Share paint a different picture. Perhaps I should have gotten my source from Nokia. You know they had that great "objective" review of the Lumia and all.

Interesting. However it's already been announced that BB's Android framework is going to be upgraded to 4.1. Personally, I don't see the issue.

nub said,
Porting software is bad now?

It's always bad. If you're going to take the time to do something, do it right. Don't half ass it.

I don't think "port" is the right word. Emulate might work better.

A port suggests that someone put effort into making the app run better on an OS than it would otherwise. While I'm sure some amount of dev time is going into this, it's not enough to make it feel like a BlackBerry app.

I don't blame Microsoft at all for this, either - if BlackBerry had capitalized on the market share they had a few years ago and made a useable OS then, it might be worth their time to port Skype, but right now there's no evidence that BlackBerry will ever be successful again.

oufc_gav said,

This is not porting, this is a wrappered app running in an emulator.

Yeah, I was just going off the article which lied