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Old 06-12-2018, 03:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2018
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Default Re: Blackberry Classic OS

Originally Posted by Rolyb View Post
Please confirm that the BB Classic operating system is Android.
The answer very much depends on your definition of Android

BlackBerry Classic OS is BlackBerry OS 10.3.x (i.e. not the older BBOS).

Yes it is Android, but there are very important differences about this BlackBerry distribution of Android:
  • BlackBerry OS 10.3.x is a heavily customised version of Android Jellybean:
    • Low-level customisations: BlackBerry OS 10.x versions come with bespoke drivers and bespoke kernel to better support the bespoke BlackBerry hardware.
    • High-level customisations: BlackBerry OS 10.x versions come with BlackBerry services for mapping etc. whereas most versions of Android come with Google services for mapping etc.

The idea was simple: Just like MacOS 10.x is a BSD optimised for Apple hardware, BlackBerry OS 10.x is Android optimised for BlackBerry hardware. There was one snag in this plan..

The economic problem is that there were never enough BB 10.x users so third-party app developers did not bother to keep the BB 10.x versions of their software up to date. For example, LinkedIn for BlackBerry OS 10.x has not been updated to work with the latest version of LinkedIn servers! That software can no longer login and should be uninstalled.

There is a fix. The middle parts of the BB 10.x stack is Android so you can (jump through hoops and) install the more common Google services. Once Google services are installed, you can install Google PlayStore. Once PlayStore is installed, you can install the up to date vanilla version of LinkedIn for Android and it will work (with caveats).

There remains a problem because vanilla-Android has very specific design standards such as widescreen display; and the BlackBerry Classic has a square screen. For example, my LinkedIn assumes it is running on 4:3 screen, so the app displays a bit squashed the experience is imperfect. Some apps from PlayStore do not make this assumption and look great.

There is another problem because the Google services need to be hacked to make them install on BB 10.x; which means some third-party apps need to be hacked to discover the hacked version of Google services. Depending on which apps you hope to use, you might need to be quite committed to hacking!

So yes it is Android, but not as you know it. I have shared a photo of my Classic running Google Maps from PlayStore. It works, but it is a bit squashed and a bit slow.

Photo of BlackBerry Classic running all of the above

This is exactly the same kind of pain you will encounter if you try installing MacOS on a standard PC; and the product is called a Hackintosh for good reason.

If you cannot beat them, join them! Newer BlackBerry phones come with a minimally differenced version of Android, and they come with Google services pre-installed. Those phones will be a lot more relaxing to update.
7210, 8707, 8830, 8310, Q20

Last edited by Lactobacillus : 06-12-2018 at 05:51 PM.
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