BlackBerry picks Amazon for new app store, adding thousands of Android apps to its BB10 platform

BlackBerry has announced it is adding Amazon’s app store to its BlackBerry 10 device platform as part of its next major operating system update, BlackBerry 10.3.

The move will see BlackBerry users gaining access to over 200,000 Android apps, including Groupon, Netflix, Pinterest, Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft.

While BlackBerry will continue to operate its BlackBerry World app store alongside the Amazon store, the music and video download sections will close on July 21. The company says previously purchased content will continue to be available for download.

The move is part of chief executive John Chen’s strategy of refocusing the company on secure end-to-end messaging, internet of things and mobile device management systems.

The announcement comes just days after BlackBerry released a version of its BBM mobile messaging suite aimed at the enterprise market, known as BBM Protected.

First announced at the Mobile World Congress in February and aimed at regulated industries, BBM Protected is the first product to be released as part of the company’s eBBM suite.

It uses symmetric encryption keys to protect messages between colleagues within an organisation, with employees still free to send BBM messages to colleagues outside their company.

BBM Protected works both with newer BlackBerry 10 smartphones (including the Z10, Z20, Q5, Q10 and Q20), as well as with older BlackBerry OS devices without an operating system upgrade.

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