04-19-2014 04:40 PM
Is it even possible to add the native extensions to the AIR apps inside the apk files or is there anything BlackBerry could do to make the native extension possible inside the runtime?
In theory, yes, but you'll have to re-write your native code in Android Java. In theory you could also drop down to C/C++ via JNI, but this would add even more plumbing to an already rather kludgy solution. And this is probably all untested and unsupported.
04-21-2014 07:41 AM
04-21-2014 03:24 PM - edited 04-21-2014 03:25 PM
All this outrage seems to be a bit silly imo.
The AIR runtime has been in dissarray for over a year, the latest update took AGES to come out, and was absolutely FULL of bugs. Then Blackberry announced they would do no further updates to the runtime. AIR support was basically on life-support, with no signs of ever awakening.
Now, we get word that we can use Android Captive runtime, and that Blackberry is providing solid tooling to convert APK's to BAR.
If we look at Pros vs Cons:
* Extended lease on life. Can now use latest version of AIR, as they are released.
* Vast reduction in bugs, Input Text will no longer crash apps for example
* Improved GPU Render Mode support (total **bleep** in bb10-air-runtime)
* Ability to use Ad-SDK that were previously unavailable
* Need to convert existing apps, which takes time
* Need to remove existing BB10 API hooks
* Issues with packaging and removing "air." prefix
As long as Blackberry continues to work on the conversion tools, and makes sure that the workflow is solid and fairly frictionless, this is overall a positive development I think. At least it brings new life to the runtime and allows us to keep up with latest API's.
04-21-2014 07:24 PM - edited 04-21-2014 07:25 PM
The UI ANE works fine on Android. Except for ActionBar overflow and a few other things that can be recoded.
If they are going to drop the SDK, then they should at least open source the SDK.
Thanks for sharing and looking into this,
I do have a small number of apps that I could probably convert over if I wanted to, good to know that some UI is working and may not need recoding. If I ever change my mind on BBRY in the future, it will help me (and others) with reworking the applications.
Open source sure would have been nice
04-22-2014 02:00 AM
All this outrage seems to be a bit silly imo. [....] If we look at Pros vs Cons:
That may be because you are overlooking a lot of cons:
04-23-2014 09:06 AM
We've added an FAQ section to the End of Support notice that covers many of the questions that have been asked on this thread. Here's an inline copy from that page:
BlackBerry is focusing its efforts on its HTML5, Android runtime, and native development offerings. The latest BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps, available as part of the upcoming 10.3.0 SDK OS beta release, offers new feature support and greater compatibility, so you can easily create an Android version of your AIR app and repackage your .apk into a BlackBerry app for distribution in BlackBerry World.
We expect BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 to be commercially available toward the end of the year. BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 and above will not support the Adobe AIR runtime.
Your app will no longer function for users that are running BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 on their device, nor will they be able to download/install your app from BlackBerry World. To ensure a smooth experience for your end users, we strongly encourage you to begin exploring one of the migration options.
BlackBerry will continue accepting Adobe AIR app submissions to BlackBerry World. However, AIR apps will not be available in BlackBerry World for users running BlackBerry 10 version 10.3.1 and above. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to use this opportunity to migrate your existing AIR app using one of the available migration options.
Your Adobe AIR app will not be available in BlackBerry World for users running BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 and above. Users running BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.0 and below will still be able to purchase and/or download your app in BlackBerry World.
At this time, apps built built for the BlackBerry PlayBook OS are not affected.
If you would like to keep the Built for BlackBerry designation, we recommend migrating your app to HTML5 with the BlackBerry 10 WebWorks SDK. Unfortunately, Android apps are not accepted under the Built for BlackBerry program, so if you choose to rebuild your Adobe AIR app as an .apk file and repackage it for BlackBerry, the app will no longer be eligible for the Built for BlackBerry designation. If you have an Adobe AIR app that has achieved the Built for BlackBerry designation, we’ll be reaching out to you shortly with details about additional opportunities for direct support and assistance.
Yes. As long as your application’s “Package-Name” and the code signing keys do not change, then your application’s “Package-Id” will not change and a new BAR file can be uploaded to the vendor portal as an update to the existing application. The customer’s device will then recognize the new BAR file as an update to the existing application. Note that by default, Flash Builder automatically prefixes “air.” to an application’s package name when exporting as an Android application. Please refer to this article to learn how to export a release without the “air.” prefix.
Yes. Ratings and reviews are attached to the BlackBerry World “AppId”, so as long as your application’s “Package-Id” does not change and the BAR file is uploaded as a new release under your existing application, then your ratings and reviews will be retained.
The BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps supports in-app payments through BlackBerry World. You can add digital goods in the BlackBerry World vendor portal and then offer them for sale in your application. Learn more about support for in-app payments here.
Native code bundled within your Android application is supported on BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1 and above.
Most Android Ad SDKs should work without issues. We recommend that you repackage your application as an .apk and test it on a BlackBerry 10 device or simulator to ensure everything works as intended.
BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1 supports Android 4.2.2 within the BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps. BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3 will support Android 4.3. The Adobe AIR captive runtime is supported on Android 2.3 and above.
04-23-2014 12:03 PM - edited 04-23-2014 12:10 PM
Thanks Mark, that is better (it answers some of the core questions around HOW to convert the app to Android) - it misses a lot of the others but at least its something.
Your saying you've decided to pull support. So any application we have created that uses the BlackBerry ANE's or BFB needs to be rebuilt from scratch in another language - which is frustrating to say the least but not news for us at this point (it has been a week since you guys replied to this thread). However, because I'm dealing with hundreds of applications (also not news at this point) I'm forced to go with option B (leaving the platform) as the time to recode is greater than any possible profit (basically, I'm being kicked off the platform by you afaiac, but i digress, as again, this also isn't news - I'm not the only one and it isn't all about me).
Which means ... on my way out, I have one last question I'm hoping you can help me with. I need to direct approx 50,000 (probably more) users to someone at BlackBerry to complain about the applications becoming unavailable because that decision was made by you (not me).
Do you want me to send these to firstname.lastname@example.org or do you have a work email I can forward them to? Because I sure don't want them replying to me
04-23-2014 09:05 PM
It would be nice if Blackberry gave an official tip to the users. It would ceratainly help the users to understand those cases when the apps stop working. This is a real problem that users will face, so an official statement to help in the users transition would be nice too.
Could you please check if support for flash content in the browser will stop working? I immagine the answer will be yes, but I'd like to be sure.
04-24-2014 08:53 AM