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

Zach Epstein
August 7th, 2012 at 1:45 PM

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 worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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