Android Player: Whaddaya Think?
I know that many of us have been messing around with this leaked Android Player. What does everyone think?
Overall, I think that it is pretty cool.
First thing is that it is very slow to load. After you load it once, it loads faster but it still does not load very quickly. If you reboot, it will load very slowly again the first time. Once it is loaded, it runs quickly enough. Those apps that work run without any lag.
It is easy to load apps through the Astro program. It is easy to find .apk files to install. Unfortunately, many things don't work at all and many things that load don't work at least in part. I am guessing that RIM is still hard at work tieing the Android layer into the Playbook. Not everything is tied in properly yet so not everything will work correctly or at all.
Some things work just fine. It is nice to have a working Kindle App for example.
Also, there is no integration between QNX OS and the Android Apps. In effect, it seems that you have Android running within the Playbook OS. It all looks very Androidy. Ideally, there would be android application controls within the Playbook 's own drop down U.I., that can be accessed by a bezel swipe down. Ideally, Android Apps would appear on the home screen just like any native app. The Playbook's keyboard does not control Android Apps. I can't imagine that Rim will keep this Andoidy interface.
All the apps run within the Android Player, one at a time. You can't have an Android App appear on your desktop. There is no multitasking that I can figure out how to get working. Instead, an Android Keyboard pops up when you try to enter text. If you browse the folders within the Android App itself there are icons for the Android buttons. My guess is that at some point in the future a bezel gesture will call up those controls.
Also, using this seems to eat up battery life pretty rapidly.
I understand that this is a leak. I would guess that it was intentionally leaked. RIM says that this is an older version but it seems to be dated July 19, 2011. From what I see, there is a ton of work left to be done.
I would like to see: (1) load time improvements, (2) better application support, and (3) integration into Playbook OS.
I am not sure that I will keep this installed simply because I have not really found many Android Apps that I want to use that will work.
It is definitely fun to play around with. I am looking forward to the release, which according to RIM will come before the end of September.
- 07-22-11, 08:42 AM #2
Its a pretty big +1. Knowing that this is early beta form it does need a lot of work because it is pretty buggy. I HATE the keyboard, hope we can use the PB system keyboard in the final release. It's great to have what seems like an unlimited supply of apps.
Sky's the limit with this tab. Can't wait for the official release.
- 07-22-11, 08:43 AM #3
It's a little early to make a judgement based on an early beta but its not bad. Remember that apps are supposed to be repackaged to run in the player so some bugs are to be expected. I'm actually surprised that any apps worked, pleasantly surprised too as it bodes well for sideloading apps in the future that either dont get ported or that RIM dont approve.
Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
- CrackBerry Master
07-22-11, 08:47 AM #4
- 1,455 Posts
One thing that surprised me from an integration standpoint is the notifications. If I get an IM while I'm in a different app (Android or PB based), then a notification pops up in the PB notification area, and when I select it, it opens the correct Android application up. That's pretty cool!
Also, GPS information is passed through just fine. Looks like they have GPU, camera, and possibly some sound work to do from the hardware integration side. Really though, it's a damn fine job considering that it's the first time Android has been made a VM for a mobile device.
I agree with your points on battery and load times completely. Understandable now, but something that needs to be shored up before the launch of it. Seems it does go into standby, but I doubt power management was at the top of the development list.
- CrackBerry Abuser
07-22-11, 08:50 AM #5
- 152 Posts
This is a preview of us unleashing our PlayBeast!
Showing the true power of our PlayBook, here at my workplace people are amazed...
If u know what they said to me -before the player was leaked- BlackBerry is dead ... and look 'em staring at the PlayBook now...
- 07-22-11, 09:05 AM #7
Android Player: Whaddaya Think?
Actually, No. Well, sort of. When RIM demoed the App Player (with an obviously newer version that was more integrated) they said that the player would have to launch each time. The difference was that the player was hidden and the android apps had their own icons on the desktop.
So it will be more seamless but the app player will still launch first (with the same splashscreen according to the demo) then the app will launch.
I think the video is on RIMs youtube channel.
Last edited by AngusMcTavish; 07-22-11 at 09:13 AM.
- 07-22-11, 09:10 AM #8
Seems to have made many PB users happy and expanded the use of the PB which is a good thing. The PB needed some positive news but I think it may have unintended consequences though.
I think QNX apps will be far & few even after the NDK is released. All a developer would have to do is read this and other boards and see how satisifed people are with Android apps. Why waste resources learning to develop another OS app when you got one that people will be happy with. If RIM get's the player better integrated into the OS where apps appear in the tray I think you're going to see more Android releases than QNX
Will BES admins be able to block the Android Player? If some companies don't allow Android on their network. I'm guessing they would want to block the player also.
- 07-22-11, 09:11 AM #9
Agree with the OP. I've been playing with it...and it's really cool. The fact that GPS Navigation works to a certain degree is impressive...it actually seems to get the GPS up and running faster to aquire a signal. Overall...I'm pretty impressed. It does seem to be a memory hog at this point as well...but again...early build.
- CrackBerry Abuser
07-22-11, 09:17 AM #10
- 299 Posts
While this Android player is cool (even though it is buggy), it confirms why I'm not crazy about Android devices even if the thing was running perfectly on the PlayBook. I hope the final product is completely integrated into the QNX OS and hides the Android OS completely when running Android apps.
- 07-22-11, 09:46 AM #16
i think is awesome for the playbook. i wonder how many people regret now selling theirs PB's? or wonder if PB's price will eventually start to rise on craiglist/ebay. what RIM promised is finally coming to fruit OR we getting a glimpse of it. in the end we are seeing how powerful this tablet really is...i told my friend who is a die hard apple fan that im running some android apps on this thing...he didnt believe me. we meeting up for lunch pretty soon here in miami beach and i shall show it to him...
- CrackBerry Addict
07-22-11, 10:18 AM #17
- 593 Posts
If RIM allowed unvetted/unapproved Android apps to get installed, they would undermine their entire positioning as a secure enterprise quality device. I bet that more than a few folks at RIM are freaking out right now that folks are side-loading Android apps!
- 07-22-11, 10:20 AM #18
I don't mean officially. All official apps will have to be ported & submitted to RIM for approval to app world. I'm talking about having the option to get non-ported apps on the device regardless of their appworld status. I'm not a fan of the walled garden approach & as I paid for the device I'll install what I want without permission. I'm just glad that it seems some apps don't have to be re-packaged to work, so future sideloading looks promising.
Last edited by AngusMcTavish; 07-22-11 at 10:23 AM.
- 07-22-11, 10:28 AM #19
- CrackBerry Abuser
07-22-11, 10:37 AM #22
- 124 Posts
Based on the video posted, works like Android. Might as well buy and Android device, as I would be very annoyed with the tablet behavior changes moving back and forth between Android apps in the player, and normal Playbook and its applications behaviors. Its little things like this that make or break a users satisfaction with his experience with software. That is why the Mac is a success with everyday folks compared to MS and other OS systems. All the software controls always works the same from software package to package. That said I am not a Mac fan, never liked many of the things it does. When building informatics solutions in my industry, I spend a lot of time trying to get the developers to make things intuitive and consistant to the end user. Abrupt changes in behavior when a user is using a software package or OS causes annoyance, momentary confusion, annd general disatisfaction with the experience.
As a first pass, with a player like this, users like myself that prefer the Playbook interface will probably not purchase many Android apps unless there is no other choice to fulfill a particular need. Native application will win my money everytime. If I have to run Android apps, I will move from my original Nook to a Nook Color! Would be cheaper, and less frustrating experience when the device always behaves the same way. Just my two cents.
07-22-11, 10:39 AM #23
- 131 Posts
You don't realize how ridiculous what you're saying is. You're talking about a tablet that you perceive is far superior to any Android tablet, but you have to download a player that allows you to run apps FROM that other platform. The Playbookis so deficient in app support that you cannot even play a game so ubiquitous as "Angry Birds" without pilfering it from the Android market.
- 07-22-11, 10:42 AM #25