John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

BB On Z10

In my last post I blogged about Android compatibility. It has continued to get better. Well Blackberry has released a beta version of the next release of the OS for the Z10. I found it on Crackberry thank to my Blackberry enthusiast buddy Jeff. The OS on the whole is an incremental improvement on the OS with the exception of Android where it is truly revolutionary.

In the past you had to get a hold of an Android APK (that hadn’t been ported to Blackberry App world) and then convert it to a bar, then side load it into your phone using your PC. Some of the apps I worked on would fail to side load. In this release of the OS it can directly load APKs directly on the phone itself. So I used File Expert on my Android tablet to get a hold of the APKs. These can then directly be put onto the BlackBerry. Then you can use any file explorer click on the APK and install the program. It’s a whole lot easier. Each and every one of my side load issues disappeared. So the only remaining issues are inherent compatibility issues. The number is way down. This is a HUGE step forward. The only ones that didn’t work now are:
com.alk.copilot.mapviewer_v9.4.0.308.146 (Starts and then dies says it can’t get to the net to phone home) (Starts and then crashes)
com.kebab.Llama_v1.0.121.0 (Works but can’t get the cell tower location so is mostly useless)
org.M.alcodroid_adfree_v2.13.21300 (Dies with a licensing error)
com.gameresort.stupidzombies_v1.11.0.27 (starts and then hangs)
net.defensezone2_v1.2.1.26 (starts but can’t get past the initial language screen) (starts but does not play well)

Here’s a list of all the Android marketplaces out there that you can get APKs from (in one way or another).

As an interesting side note, while you can install APKs directly on the device without side loading (and without a PC), you can’t do that with BARs. you still need a PC and side loading. Odd.

So what else is new in 10.2.1? They have increased the number of items you can have in the Quick Settings and allowed the user to control what and where they show up in the list. A nice improvement. A flashlight is now available in the quick settings menu. Nice! They have also included a nice Device monitor (that can be added to the Quick settings menu) that allows you see lots of stuff like, memory (you can see who is using memory and how much), processor (you can see who is using the processor and kill apps), battery status (including a graph of the battery status) and lastly a storage graph to see where your phone storage is being used. A nice little app.

You can now have groups of contacts that you can in turn use to send an email or text message to. To me this is more like a distribution list but maybe if they do something more with the group it will become useful.

I plugged in a uSD card formatted with ExFat and I got informed from inside Inside Storage and access that there was a Storage Device Driver that “This update will install support for USB and SDXC media cards.” I installed it twice even with reboots inbetween but it seemed like the install never worked. Sad. I miss ExFAT, it supports greater than 4G files (ie movies).

I’m sure there is more but this is what’s jumped out at me in the last couple of days.

Installing the new OS was quite simple. I downloaded the complete installer. I unzipped it, ran it and then had to power off the phone (It never did tell me I had to power it off I guessed). It simply reloaded the OS. I chose to do a full device wipe before I started since this was going to be a different way of loading my Android apps.

I can’t get over how much of an improvement this is!

Now Betas come with some instabilities. It’s somewhat expected. I’ve run into a few. Text messages have stopped sending (reset only by a reboot of the phone), ActiveSync stalling on boot and sometimes taking a while to restart after a reboot. I had the media library become so corrupted I had to security wipe the device and start again. I’ve also had issues with the music player and BeBuzz conflicting interrupting music playback.


November 18, 2013 - Posted by | Android, Blackberry 10

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