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Developer ports Android app to BlackBerry PlayBook, sees 25 times more downloads

Getting exposure in Apple’s (AAPL) iOS App Store and Google’s (GOOG) Google Play market can be daunting at best. Developers must compete for exposure with hundreds of thousands of other apps, and viral success or a big marketing budget is almost a requirement at this point if an app is to see any real success. Research In Motion (RIMM) on Tuesday presented another option, however: Develop for BlackBerry.

In a post on RIM’s official blog, Milena Hewitt details the success found by mobile developer Pinelake Communications, which recently decided to see how hard it would be to port its Android game “Cubifice” over to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and RIM’s BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. According to Pinelake Creative Director Bill Larocque and developer Dave Wagler, the process took just one hour.

That’s good news for RIM of course, because encouraging developers to bring apps over from other platforms is crucial to the company’s success with its next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform. Ensuring that this process is quick and relatively simple certainly won’t hurt RIM’s odds.

Beyond the process of porting apps, however, Pinelake notes that it has seen much more interest from users with its PlayBook app than it ever saw on Android.

“The BlackBerry user community is very engaged, and there is far greater visibility of your application on the BlackBerry App World storefront than on other platforms,” Larocque told RIM in an interview. “BlackBerry App World has a clear layout and does not suffer from the over-saturation that you find somewhere like Google Play, where your app quickly feels lost in a huge sea of similar applications.”

He continued, “With this application, not only do we have 25 times more downloads on BlackBerry App World than on Google Play, but we’ve also been able to maintain that high number and visibility. This visibility translates into a far better return on investment once the app becomes monetized because we will have to spend far less on marketing the application to users.”

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.