The following is the first few sections of a chapter from The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development, plus headings for the remaining major sections, to give you an idea about the content of the chapter.


Device Catalog: BlackBerry

BlackBerry — formerly Research In Motion — has been a long-standing player in mobile devices. Their BlackBerry two-way pagers and early smartphones help set the stage for Android, iOS, and those that followed.

BlackBerry and Android have had an interesting history.

In 2011, BlackBerry leapt into the tablet arena with the Playbook, and the 2.0 version of the Playbook OS supported running carefully repackaged Android applications.

While the Playbook itself had modest success, the ability to distribute Android applications to BlackBerry devices continued with their BlackBerry 10 (BB10) platform, where they offered several phones that could run Android apps. Originally, these had to be specially packaged for BB10, and that is still a common course today. However, in concert with offering the Amazon AppStore for Android on BB10, BlackBerry made it possible to install ordinary APK files as well. Many developers have enjoyed success distributing their app through BlackBerry World (the primary distribution channel for apps to BlackBerry products) and Amazon Appstore for Android.

In 2015, BlackBerry continued their Android push with the BlackBerry Priv, a device designed from the outset to run Android. The Priv comes with a full suite of BlackBerry-related software, including the legendary BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). However, much of that software — including BBM itself — is available on the Play Store for ordinary Android devices. In general, from the standpoint of an Android app developer, the Priv is no different than an Android device from any other major manufacturer. The Priv is even part of the Google Play ecosystem and comes with the Play Store and Google Play Services.

Putting the Priv aside, though, getting your app going on BB10 is a bit more of an adventure. This chapter will describe a bit about what is involved in getting your Android app to BB10 devices.

I Thought BlackBerry Had Their Own OS?

They do.

However, current versions of that OS — this chapter was last updated when version 10.3 was the latest shipping version — contain an Android runtime environment. BlackBerry OS can run Android apps alongside apps written natively for BlackBerry OS or running on other runtimes (e.g., Adobe AIR). This gives developers a wide range of ways to get their app onto modern BlackBerry devices. However, it does mean that our apps may have somewhat less direct access to hardware, as there is another layer between us and that hardware.

What Else Is Different?

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What Are We Making?

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Getting Your Development Environment Established

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How Does Distribution Work?

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