TORONTO - Netflix, Instagram and many other popular apps are finally available on BlackBerry's newest smartphones.
But you won't find them in the official BlackBerry World app marketplace.
BlackBerry (TSX:BB) announced on Tuesday that it had released a new version of the operating system that powers its newer phones. But it neglected to highlight one feature that makes it easier for users to finally install a host of popular apps.
The new BlackBerry 10.2.1 operating system allows users to get Google Android apps onto their phones via the web browser. Previously, some hardcore BlackBerry users had installed Android apps through a process called side-loading, but it was far more complicated.
Still, it isn't completely straightforward to get access to all the Android apps available.
Probably the easiest way to start downloading Android apps is through Amazon's Appstore. BlackBerry users can download the Appstore app through the phone's web browser (link: http://amzn.to/1b5EqRd) Once that's installed, users can find links to Netflix, Minecraft, Vine and countless other apps.
But the selection won't be complete. Amazon curates the Android apps available for its Kindle Fire tablets, so popular choices like Instagram aren't available through that channel.
The BlackBerry enthusiast site Crackberry.com has a helpful how-to article (http://bit.ly/MgVfiL) outlining a few different methods to access and install most Android apps, including Instagram.
A BlackBerry spokesperson was not available for an interview.