1. zethaaron's Avatar
    Hey everyone, there's a lot of negativity surrounding Android apps on the PlayBook, and while some of it is rightly so, I just thought I would take this opportunity to point out how awesome the Android support can be.

    I do not have an Android phone, an Android tablet, or any other Android device, and yet I'm developing and testing Android applications. Currently I am developing 4 separate .apk files for one app, the purpose of this is optimization of screen sizes and resolutions, and android market supports multiple .apks for use with different sizes and resolutions. Essentially, I'm developing two phone .apks, and two tablet .apks. The two phone .apks have an extremely similar layout/code, and so do the two tablet .apks (however the tablet and phone layouts are quite different), with the only changes between each .apk in either of the sets of two is simply minor optimizations for higher or lower resolutions/bigger or smaller screen sizes. With the PlayBook I can export my .apks from eclipse, convert them to .bar files, and test them out. Obviously the phone versions look bad, but I'm testing functionality on the PlayBook, as I already know how they will look on phones.

    I just thought I would toss out there how useful this has been. Also, when I release the app, it will be coming to PlayBook. Yes, it will be an Android conversion (with a possible native version later on), however, unlike some apps it is actually intelligently designed, so you don't have to bother with the grey bar and back button in the android player, as you can get to any page from any page.

    This has been a serious positive for me, and even though sometimes it is bad news to see an Android port running on the PlayBook, for well designed apps, it works great. And when the full version of OS 2.1 comes out, with Android multitasking, I hope people will start seeing a reason to give Android ports the benefit of a doubt, they can actually be quite good on this little machine we call the BlackBerry PlayBook!
    07-05-12 03:05 AM
  2. pacoman03's Avatar
    Interesting that you're developing android apps on a PB, rather than on an android device. This is especially true considering that, in my experience, downloading and converting an apk. file is probably a 50/50 proposition as to whether it will work on the PB or not- though I suppose it's also true that not all android apps work on all android devices either. As to the negativity re android apps on the PB, I would suspect that many if not most of us running the beta 2.1 OS have found that most android apps run very stable in the beta android player. As such, I for one, don't really care if an app is native or android- I care about the quality of the app only. As far as the full version of OS 2.1 being released, while I am running the beta version, in day to day use, I don't think of it as being a beta release. I'm just running 2.1, period. Bugs seem rare, and it does eveything that the last 2.0 release did and more.
    07-05-12 04:21 AM
  3. rkennedy01's Avatar
    I, too, have found the Android support in OS 2.1 to be an enabling factor in daily use. In fact, I now prefer using Android apps over native offerings in several categories, including Twitter, gReader, TapaTalk, Swarm, ES File Explorer and occasionally Dolphin (though it's too slow for day-to-day browsing).

    I also find that Android apps integrate better than native apps - for example, tapping the Twitter sharing option in gReader automatically instantiates the Twitter (official) client to create the Tweet. It's simply more mature than what you get with native QNX apps, which is ironic since I don't think I could stand running Android apps on an actual Android device. I tried a Galaxy Tab 10.1 before I bought the Playbook and hated the experience, so...

    With OS 2.1, the Playbook now offers a "better Android than Android" experience, at least for me. Hmmm, where did I hear something like that before? And that "OS/2" name sounds familiar.

    07-05-12 05:47 AM
  4. AceRoom's Avatar
    I'm not sure if you heard about the android-x86 port. You know how crappy the default emulator is, right? Well, that's because it tries to run ARM code on x86 systems. The android-x86 port is android compiled for intel x86 cores and they have all versions from 1.6 to 4.0.3. You can run them on virtual box and let me tell you, it is amazingly smooth! In fact, some of the tests they've done show ICS running faster on a VM on a PC (A good one though) than on the Galaxy Nexus. You can connect to it through adb so it works with eclipse. You can try it for your development purposes (Running on a full native environment) and for the rest of you guys, you can try it for kicks

    Here's the link: Android-x86 - Porting Android to x86

    There are some good tutorials (Search on google) if you need them.
    07-05-12 09:13 AM
  5. zethaaron's Avatar
    I definitely agree that a lot of opinions may change with 2.1. Really Android apps run great now, multitasking them is not only much better than one at a time, it completely solves the issue with opening an app only to find the last android app you opened, frozen.

    For now Android apps are alright with me, however hopefully when the PlayBook and BB10 get a little more recognition we'll see some native apps that are more mature, so we won't have people preferring Android. There's nothing really wrong with it, it's just good to have the best of both worlds. :P

    I'll check out the pc version, thanks!

    Glad to see I'm not the only one coming to terms with Android apps on the PlayBook, 2.1 really fixed the Android experience.
    07-05-12 06:32 PM
  6. papped's Avatar
    As of the 2.1 beta the android ports are way, way, way less of an issue anyways...
    07-05-12 06:38 PM
  7. zethaaron's Avatar
    As of the 2.1 beta the android ports are way, way, way less of an issue anyways...
    Exactly. They definitely are less of a problem.
    07-05-12 07:11 PM