Android apps could already run on BlackBerry 10, but the runtime environment was built for Gingerbread apps, so BB10 users couldn’t get many of those great 4.0+ apps for their phone.

All that is about to change as the Beta release of the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps and Plug-in for Android Development Tools for BlackBerry 10.2 brings support for Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The company made the announcement on its official developer blog.

Android apps that had been available previously will remain, but Android apps on 4.2.2 have considerably improved since those dark days of Gingerbread. In addition, some specific Jelly Bean features such as Fragments, embedded fragments, animation framework and hardware acceleration will also be supported in BB 10.2.

Jelly Bean apps will now run on BlackBerry 10.2

Jelly Bean apps will now run on BlackBerry 10.2

Developers can start testing apps on Jelly Bean and how they work on the BlackBerry platform by using the BlackBerry 10.2 Beta SDK OS from here. The ability to run Android apps on BlackBerry 10 comes as a bonus for BB loyalists, who also have the option of using the BlackBerry World for some native apps and content. However, the Google Play Store, thanks to its large user base, has a lot more apps. BlackBerry is also bringing support for Jelly Bean apps and features in the BlackBerry 10.2 device simulator later this summer.

Additionally, the company’s Android Runtime tools have been updated to support Eclipse 4.2, Android Development Tools v22 and can now target Android SDK level 10 to 17. More details on the Runtime for Android Apps microsite.

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