As you know, RIM gave me earlier this year Blackberry Playbook tablet for which I have some applications.
Long since announced that a future update might run Android apps on the Playbook, which will undoubtedly open the door to a huge number of new applications that the system currently lacks.
After be begged, in mid-October Playbook OS 2.0 finally released as a beta for developers with Android compatibility expected. The initial statement was that in November the final version will be published every Playbook stable and would be updated, but sadly have postponed the launch until February, a shame because, in theory, in addition to Android, would come with a native application for email pop / imap / exchange, something that nowadays does not connect with the Blackberry smartphone. I mean, today, you can see the mail in the Playbook unless it links to a phone. All this could make a device Playbook much more competitive in the face of the Christmas season and so could sell many more PlayEpubs .
Speaking purely Android, they have really done is embed Android virtual machine that is responsible for running applications. Here you can see the "desktop" of Android running on Playbook.
The first impression after installing some applications, was tremendous because it works relatively well. I can not say it's 100% fluent or stable, but I think it is worth it alone for the opportunity to have applications that until now was not possible, as a simple SSH client.
But not everything was going to be so pretty. It can be installed directly. Apk applications have "castrated" and you have to install it as normal Playbook applications, if you try to install a. Apk tells you that it is not possible. They have created a system of repackaging of. apk s on. bar. Once in the native format and can be installed and appear both in the menu on the Playbook as in the Android application menu.
Android phones usually have three buttons that have been achieved in various ways to move them to a Playbook without physical buttons:
- The button "menu" of Android becomes the gesture "swipe down" Playbook, which is quite successful integration.
- The "back" button is created with the bottom bar that appears in the picture, is the worst managed and that involves adding the bar to the screen.
- The button "home" leading to the desktop is achieved with a wave of 45 ° from the bottom center of the screen, acceptable as you get the hang
Here it is noted that the "launcher" that comes by default the BlackBerry Runtime for Android does not allow access to the basic functions of Android (desktop, menu applications, etc.), but this can be solved by installing any application "launcher" (LauncherPro in my case) and have at our disposal an Android almost complete and, among other things, have the Android email client, but you can install any other . We can say that it is unlikely that when RIM officially launches let install other "launchers" other than your own, which will be followed as is done installing the beta.
According to the documentation, not all Android apps will work, among other features that are not available are:
- All you have to do with the phone itself, calls, SMS, MMS, obvious as it has no phone options.
- Apps That Use Their native code bundled into APK file
- Linux virtual file systems (/ proc and / sys will not be supported at the app level)
- Add on libraries (all libraries defined by the tag in the app's manifest other than "android.test.runner" are unsupported)
- The Following Java software packages:
- Vending (In App Payments): com.android.vending
- Cloud To Device Messaging (Push): com.google.android.c2dm
- Google Maps: com.google.android.maps
- Text to Speech: com.google.tts
Although they say that Google Maps does not work, I attest that it works. Just do not quite stable, although I think that's the general problem of runtime.
This means that many applications will not work because people have been charged that RIM does not install applications that can compete with them. For example, if we attempt to access the accounts menu to configure your Google account, kindly RIM indicates that you can, so that we can synchronize our data.
The new system is available, for the moment, as beta for developers. But of course, unable to install. Apks directly, we still have to test applications. This is where comes the community effect and begin to release repackaged Android applications in playbookbars.com have a complete list of applications ready to install.
It must be noted that to install the applications must be done from the development SDK or using BBHTool that makes everything much easier. As I said, I imagine it will still be the way to install many apps that RIM does not want us to settle, starting with the launcher.
My personal view. No doubt the Android compatibility opens a world of possibilities Playbook, I'm much more satisfied with it, still has shortcomings, but now least, though, the system is NOT stable in general, the runtime should be fine on Android Playbook's hardware also considering the OS is QNX , but still has some numbness that makes the gaming experience is not optimal. Angry Birds, for example, runs correctly, but fluid is not a game like this requires.
I put a lot of catches minimized to make it look that below is the Playbook, but you might think it's an Android tablet .
I, for now, not going back to OS 1.7 .