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Running Android Apps on the BlackBerry 10 Platform

Author: Ian Darwin
Published? false
FormatLanguage: WikiFormat

Problem:

Your App works fine on real Android devices, and you're ready to move it to the next easy target: the BlackBerry Android Player.

Solution:

Use the free tools that Research In Motion provides.

Discussion:

It may seem curious that Research in Motion has failed to provide a Java development environment of their own for QNX, the POSIX-compliant OS that is the only operating system choice on current BlackBerry BB10 devices. However, for people that want to use Java, they offer a reasonably complete Android emulation that runs nicely on QNX. Unlike some "sandbox" type applications, Android Apps packaged for BlackBerry are first-class applications, have access to almost all of the Android API (except for some devices that are not supported yet; this list decreases over time), and can be distributed as free or paid apps on BlackBerry App World.

The steps to move your working Android App to BlackBerry are as follows:

  1. Download the Eclipse Plugin (for free) from RIM at [1].
  2. Register for a (free) "Signing Key" from RIM - you only need the "Tablet" or "BB10" signing key - from [2]
  3. Run the Eclipse Wizard or command-line apk2bar to re-package your app.
  4. Put your BB10 device into "Development" mode
  5. Deploy the app to the BB10
  6. Enjoy!

There is also an online (web-based) packager on BlackBerry's web site [3].

This figure shows my JPSTrack GPX tracker running on a real Playbook:

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