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More apps for BB10 users as software update opens up Amazon’s Android store

BlackBerry 10 users annoyed, frustrated or simply bored with BlackBerry World’s spread of app offerings now have something to cheer about. A software update announced for the platform on Thursday opens up Amazon’s app store to everyone with a BB10 handset, a development that follows through on a promise made by the Canadian handset maker last year.

Owners of BlackBerry’s recently launched Passport and Classic devices will already be rummaging through Amazon’s selection of Android offerings, but the update means users of other BB10 phones such as the Z30 and Q10 will also now have access.

While anyone with a BB10 smartphone will of course still be able to grab apps from BlackBerry World, this week’s update opens the door to 240,000+ apps via Amazon. While there’s bound to be some overlap in terms of what’s available, the addition of another app store will give BB10 users around twice as much choice as before.

Commenting on the 10.3.1 update in a blog post, BlackBerry’s Matt Young said, “Joining BlackBerry World’s comprehensive suite of business and productivity applications, the Amazon Appstore brings with it a huge selection of popular Android apps and games including favorites like Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Pinterest, Kindle, Amazon Shopping and Candy Crush Saga.”

The update also introduces to its range of BB10 devices a feature called Blend, which allows users to easily access and transfer files between phones, tablets and computers. DT recently took a close look at this handy piece of cross-platform software, and overall it stood up well.

The platform update also takes BlackBerry Assistant beyond the Passport and Classic. The Siri-like software, which DT reviewer   Ted Kritsonis described as “the best voice assistant you haven’t used yet,” does what it says on the tin, allowing users to speak to their device to sort stuff out and get things done.

Upgraded camera software is also part of the package, while Power Saving Profile customization options mean your battery should be able to last 15 percent longer than usual.

All in all it looks to be a pretty comprehensive update, and one sure to be welcomed by BB10 users. The company says the rollout is subject to carrier approval, though it should start to become widely available from Friday. Users will receive a notification in the BlackBerry Hub when it’s ready for download. If you’ve enabled automatic software downloads, you’ll be notified via BlackBerry Hub that the update is downloading.