Developer Experience Day – Porting Android Apps to BlackBerry 10

Android Development

We’ve covered the Native, WebWorks, and AIR developer experience – and here is James with a post on Android development. – Brian Z.

Today in our Mississauga, Ontario office,  we’ve assembled various members of our BlackBerry® Runtime for Android apps team to review the end-to-end experience for our Android developers. We have people from our Waterloo office on-site, in addition to folks from Redwood City and even Prague joining via teleconference.

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What we set out to do today was remove ourselves from being employees here at Research In Motion, and just be developers. In doing so we are putting ourselves in the shoes of our developers by going through the process of repackaging our own applications for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ and BlackBerry 10 devices. Members of our tooling, documentation, development, support and management teams are all sharing ideas on where we may be able to improve our offering to make it as simple as possible to repackage your existing Android apps.

This morning we all started the day by cleaning our laptops of all our development tools. After installing the standard Android SDK tools, we built up our sample applications and existing projects, to start with a fresh Android environment that our developers would typically be coming onto our BlackBerry platform with. We then looked at our developer microsite and went through the documentation and resources that a net-new developer would be looking at to ensure that everything is in its proper place and easy to comprehend. We finished off our morning session by critiquing our online packager through each step of verifying and repackaging an APK file through various use cases. Moving onto our afternoon session now, we’ll be taking a close look at our BlackBerry plug-in for ADT through the install, setup, debugging, and deployment stages.

And here’s your chance to have your feedback hit the eyes and ears of the people who are responsible for ensuring your success as a developer. Tweet us your gripes, suggestions or comments to the @BlackBerryDev Twitter channel using the hashtag #BBDevXP and we will put it up on our white-board to address it.

About Brian Z.

Brian joined Research In Motion (RIM) in 2005 working with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who specialize in Bluetooth, GPS, multimedia, and gaming. As a senior member of the Developer Relations Team, it's Brian's mandate to not only support the application development efforts for a number of ISVs, but also to act as a voice at RIM for third party application developers. Like RIM, Brian's roots are in the enterprise world, but over the past couple of years he's quickly adapted to the consumer space, and that's where he spends most of his time today.

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