Android apps porting to BlackBerry PlayBook. It's easy.

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At the begin of February 2012 I’ve tested the BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps Beta which have shown up in end of 2011 to port our Bugzi application from Android to BlackBerry platform. The guys at RIM promise it’s easy. Let’s see, is it really easy?

At first we can choose three method to port Android applications: Eclipse plug-in, Online tool, and Command-line tools. I use the Eclipse plug-in, because we are programming in eclipse so it’s a clean choice. The little changes in code to make apps compatible with BlackBerry (it has some unsupported features and APIs from android. see later) is more easier with it, and you can test, and debug the code directly with BlackBerry PlayBook simulator, or real hardware.

Easy runtime meter

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tIn this tutorial I'll show you a simple time meter example. It can be used for checking the running time of your algorithms. It's useful when you need to decide wich solution is faster/better than an other. It just a simple helper code, but if you made some changes on it, can be a part of any final project, like benchmarking or testing workarounds.

Motorola Milestone CPU Overclock

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Use at your own risk!


OMAP3 processors used by the device are available. In this example,Milestone, Milestone 2, Droid, Droid 2 Global, Droid X, A853/A854. Other devices run this processor on higher frequencies, some even run it on 1,2 ghz.

The first step root. Superoneclick, it can be done in 5 minutes. 2.2.2 is no problem with it can be given to root. Click

The second step is to install overclock milestone.
Download: Click

Open Milestone Overclock and press the Load module. Set the slider to how you want to run.I recommend the 1GHz and stable.

Multitouch and gesture detection part 1

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In this little tutorial I’m going to show you how to detect multitouch event on an Activity screen.

First of all let’s create a class next to the Main activity that called MultitouchView. It extends View:

  1. public class MultitouchView extends View {
  5.         public MultitouchView(Context context) {
  6.                 super(context);
  8.         }
  10. }

Android animation basics

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In android there are 4 basic types of animations:

  • AlphaAnimation
  • RotateAnimation
  • ScaleAnimation
  • TranslateAnimation

This animations can be highly customized and combined, for example we can set the speed, delay, acceleration, duration of animations, then group them together in an AnimationSet.

Animations can be applyed as Layout animations to ViewGroups, to be triggered when the ViewGroup is created/displayed or applied to any view and be triggered by us any time.

The animations can be definex in XMl or by code. Defining in xml is mutch more clear, but you can not set animation parameters dinamically.

The animation XML files should be created in the res/anim folder and can be accessed using the R class, like R.anim.animation_name.

An animation defined in hyperspace_jump.xml can look like this:

  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <set xmlns:android="">

Basic spinner design

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In android creating spinners - known as comboboxes or Drop-down list in other systems - is easy. However giving them a basic design is a little tricky.

In most application we dont want to add custom design to spinners, but at least we want thicker items in the list. With the default look, people will have trouble hitting the desired item.

The code, one may try at first, to fill a spinner with elements, will probably look like this:

The layout xml 'mylayout.xml':

  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  2. <LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
  3. android:orientation="vertical"
  4. android:layout_width="fill_parent"
  5. android:layout_height="fill_parent">
  7.         <Spinner android:id="@+id/myspinner"
  8.         android:layout_width="wrap_content"
  9.         android:layout_height="wrap_content" />
  11. </LinearLayout>

In the Activity oncreate method:

  1. setContentView(R.layout.mylayout);
  2. ArrayAdapter myAdapter = new ArrayAdapter(this,

Android image processing (detecting motions)

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In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to process an image and draw it's color histogram.

First you have to create a new Android project with the following parameters.
Project name: ViewfinderEE368
Check the box for Android 2.0.1
Application name: Viewfinder EE368
Package name: com.example.viewfinderee368
Check the box for Create Activity and enter: ViewfinderEE368
Min SDK Version: 6

Project development using Google Code and Subversion

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Here is a little tutorial, if you want to check "Fancy time and date picker" by tamas!

Join to Google Code project from Eclipse

• Eclipse SVN plugin: Help-> Install New Software ...
Add a link to install Subclipse:
• Installing Subclipse
• Add SVN Repository: File-> New-> Other-> SVN-> Checkout Project from SVN
• Create a new repository location
• Copy the project SVN repository access

Google Maps 5.7

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With the last Android Google maps update we are blessed with the feature to explicitely download maps for offline usage. Community have been begging for offline google maps for ages. Even if someone has mobile net subscription, coverage is never perfect and its expensive when you are abroad.

Google is a company that supports internet based services, so I am releived they are improving offline usage in multiple services. The web based Google Docs is also planned to operate offline.

So, what we got now exactly? We can download maps 10 miles around a given location. What we can not do yet, is plan routes and navigate offline inside a saved area, and the application will not return any search result when used offline. Basically we can only wiev the map parts and use them manually just like a map printed on paper. So it is not mutch compared to the possibilities, but a great beginning, we are waiting for further improwements.

The rest is presented by screenshots:

How to build with Android NDK

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The Android NDK is a companion tool to the Android SDK that lets you build performance-critical portions of your apps in native code. If you write native code, your applications are still packaged into an .apk file and they still run inside of a virtual machine on the device. The fundamental Android application model does not change.
First thing to do:
Go to and download Android NDK.
Okay, now you unzip the downloaded NDK zip to your hard disk drive.

If you are a windows user, you also have to have Cygwin, go to and download the latest version.
Install it, and run it, you should see a "linux-like" console.

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