Why do all the Android apps not work!? Answer inside...

Why do all these Android apps that people are trying side load onto their Playbooks not work? Well, the answer is ... 1) Regardless of what you think, Android is not totally open source, and 2) the Playbook is not running Android natively, but rather in an emulator of sorts.

Hit the break to find out exactly which APIs and functions are not supported.

Below is the FULL list of limitations for the Playbook Android Player:

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Unsupported Features and APIs

The following sections outline the features that are not supported by the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps.

When you test your app's compatibility level, the tool compares the features of your app with the features outlined in the following sections and generates a warning for each unsupported feature it encounters. Warnings range from mild (level 1) to severe (level 5). Apps that receive no warnings higher than level 1 are considered compatible. Apps which receive warnings of level 2 or higher generally considered to be incompatible with the BlackBerry PlayBook.

In all cases, you should fully test your converted app on a Simulator or a BlackBerry PlayBook to make sure it is functional and usable before submitting your app to App World. Apps that fail to meet RIM's quality standards will not be permitted for sale.

Unsupported App Types

The following types of applications are not supported. Applications of these types will not be permitted for sale or distribution.

  • Widget apps
    Apps that are only meant to be widgets are not supported. Apps that include widget functionality as a secondary feature are allowed, as long as they define one launchable Activity in their manifest.
  • Apps that include no launchable Activity
  • Apps that include more than one launchable Activity
  • Apps whose minimum required Android API level is more than 10, and whose maximum supported level is less than 10

Unsupported Hardware Features

The following hardware features are not currently supported. Apps that use these features are typically incompatible. If your app uses any of these features but you feel that it should still be functional on a BlackBerry PlayBook, you should make sure to fully test the app to ensure their use does not impact the usability or core functionality of your app before submitting it to App World.

    • Telephony (including SMS and MMS)
    • Bluetooth
    • Camera
    • NFC
    • Barometer
    • Ambient light sensor
    • Proximity sensor
    • VoIP

Any of the following key configuration requirements:

    • Five-way navigation keys
    • Hardware keyboard
    • Twelve-key keyboard
    • D-pad, trackball, or wheel navigation

Unsupported Software Features

The following software features are not currently supported. Apps that use these features are typically incompatible. If your app uses any of these features but you feel that it should still be functional on a BlackBerry PlayBook, you should make sure to fully test the app to ensure their use does not impact the usability or core functionality of your app before submitting it to App World.

  • Apps that utilize native code bundled into their APK file
  • Linux virtual file systems (/proc and /sys will not be supported at the app level)
  • Add on libraries (all libraries defined by the tag in the app's manifest other than "android.test.runner" are unsupported)
  • The following Java software packages:
    • Vending (In App Payments): com.android.vending
    • Cloud To Device Messaging (Push): com.google.android.c2dm
    • Google Maps: com.google.android.maps
    • Text to Speech: com.google.tts

Unsupported Intents

The following intents are unsupported, but are caught at runtime. Applications that use these intents are typically functional on the BlackBerry PlayBook.

  • Android Marketplace intents
  • Launcher (home screen) intents

Unsupported App Permissions

A number of Android app permissions are not supported. The impact of these unsupported features varies.

Permissions which likely do not have a detrimental affect on application functionality:

  • ACCESS_SURFACE_FLINGER
  • ACCOUNT_MANAGER
  • BIND_DEVICE_ADMIN
  • BIND_INPUT_METHOD
  • BRICK
  • BROADCAST_PACKAGE_REMOVED
  • BROADCAST_SMS
  • BROADCAST_WAP_PUSH
  • CHANGE_COMPONENT_ENABLED_STATE
  • CLEAR_APP_USER_DATA
  • DEVICE_POWER
  • DIAGNOSTIC
  • FACTORY_TEST
  • FORCE_BACK
  • HARDWARE_TEST
  • INJECT_EVENTS
  • INTERNAL_SYSTEM_WINDOW
  • MANAGE_APP_TOKENS
  • READ_FRAME_BUFFER
  • READ_INPUT_STATE
  • SET_ACTIVITY_WATCHER
  • SET_ORIENTATION
  • SET_PREFERRED_APPLICATIONS
  • UPDATE_DEVICE_STATS
  • ACCESS_CHECKIN_PROPERTIES
  • BIND_APPWIDGET
  • BIND_REMOTEVIEWS
  • BIND_WALLPAPER
  • CALL_PRIVILEGED
  • CONTROL_LOCATION_UPDATES
  • DELETE_CACHE_FILES
  • DELETE_PACKAGES
  • GLOBAL_SEARCH
  • INSTALL_LOCATION_PROVIDER
  • INSTALL_PACKAGES
  • MASTER_CLEAR
  • REBOOT
  • SET_TIME
  • STATUS_BAR
  • WRITE_GSERVICES
  • WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS
  • BLUETOOTH_ADMIN
  • CHANGE_NETWORK_STATE
  • CHANGE_WIFI_STATE
  • GET_TASKS
  • KILL_BACKGROUND_PROCESSES
  • RESTART_PACKAGES
  • SET_WALLPAPER

Permissions which may have a detrimental affect on application functionality:

  • CHANGE_CONFIGURATION
  • CHANGE_WIFI_MULTICAST_STATE
  • CLEAR_APP_CACHE
  • DUMP
  • MODIFY_PHONE_STATE
  • MOUNT_FORMAT_FILESYSTEMS
  • MOUNT_UNMOUNT_FILESYSTEMS
  • PERSISTENT_ACTIVITY
  • REORDER_TASKS
  • SET_ANIMATION_SCALE
  • SET_PROCESS_LIMIT
  • SET_TIME_ZONE
  • SIGNAL_PERSISTENT_PROCESSES
  • SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW
  • WRITE_APN_SETTINGS
  • SET_WALLPAPER_HINTS

Unsupported Media APIs

The following specific methods are not supported. In most cases, these will not have a major impact, as most have default behavior or are harmlessly ignored.

  • AudioManager.getVibrateSetting
  • AudioManager.isBluetoothA2dpOn
  • AudioManager.isBluetoothScoOn
  • AudioManager.setBluetoothA2dpOn
  • AudioManager.setBluetoothScoOn
  • AudioManager.setRingerMode
  • AudioManager.setRouting
  • AudioManager.setVibrateSetting
  • AudioManager.shouldVibrate
  • AudioManager.startBluetoothSco
  • AudioManager.stopBluetoothSco
  • MediaPlayer.attachAuxEffect
  • MediaPlayer.setAudioStreamType
  • MediaPlayer.setAuxEffectSendLevel

Media Format Support

This section describes the media codec, container, and network protocol support provided by the Android player.

Legend:

Red Font: Android 2.3.3 formats Not supported in Tablet OS (v1.0)

Black Font: Supported in Tablet OS (v1.0)

 

 

Network Protocols

The following network protocols are supported for audio and video playback:

  • RTSP (RTP, SDP)
  • HTTP progressive streaming
  • HTTP live streaming draft protocol (Android 3.0 and above)

Note: HTTPS is not supported at this time.

Note: http progressive download is supported in TabletOS (v1.0)

Core Media Formats

The tables below describes the media format support built into the Android platform. Note that any given mobile device may provide support for additional formats or file types not listed in the table.

Audio

Format / Codec Encoder/Decoder Details Supported File Type(s) / Container Formats
AAC LC/LTP Encoder / Decoder Mono/Stereo content in any combination of standard bit rates up to 160 kbps and sampling rates from 8 to 48kHz 3GPP (.3gp), and MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4a). ADTS raw AAC (.aac, Decoderode only, ADIF not supported, Android 3.1+).
HE-AACv1 (AAC+) Decoder
HE-AACv2 (enhanced AAC+) Decoder
AMR-NB Encoder / Decoder 4.75 to 12.2 kbps sampled @ 8kHz 3GPP (.3gp)
AMR-WB Encoder / Decoder 9 rates from 6.60 kbit/s to 23.85 kbit/s sampled @ 16kHz 3GPP (.3gp)
FLAC Decoder (Android 3.1+) Mono/Stereo (no multichannel). Sample rates up to 48 kHz (but up to 44.1 kHz is recommended on devices with 44.1 kHz output, as the 48 to 44.1 kHz downsampler does not include a low-pass filter). 16-bit recommended; no dither applied for 24-bit. FLAC (.flac) only
MP3 Decoder Mono/Stereo 8-320Kbps constant (CBR) or variable bit-rate (VBR) MP3 (.mp3)
MIDI Decoder MIDI Type 0 and 1. DLS Version 1 and 2. XMF and Mobile XMF. Support for ringtone formats RTTTL/RTX, OTA, and iMelody Type 0 and 1 (.mid, .xmf, .mxmf). Also RTTTL/RTX (.rtttl, .rtx), OTA (.ota), and iMelody (.imy)
Ogg Vorbis Decoder Ogg (.ogg)
PCM/WAVE Decoder 8- and 16-bit linear PCM (rates up to limit of hardware) WAVE (.wav)

Image

Format / Codec Encoder/Decoder Details Supported File Type(s) / Container Formats
JPEG Encoder / Decoder Base+progressive JPEG (.jpg)
GIF Decoder GIF (.gif)
PNG Encoder / Decoder PNG (.png)
BMP Decoder BMP (.bmp)

Video

Format / Codec Encoder/ Decoder Details Supported File Type(s) / Container Formats
H.263 Encoder / Decoder 3GPP (.3gp) and MPEG-4 (.mp4)
H.264 AVC Encoder (Android 3.0+) / Decoder Baseline Profile (BP) 3GPP (.3gp) and MPEG-4 (.mp4). MPEG-TS (.ts, AAC audio only, not seekable, Android 3.0+)
MPEG-4 SP Decoder 3GPP (.3gp)
VP8 Decoder (Android 2.3.3+) WebM (.webm)

Video Encoding Recommendations

The table below lists examples of video Encoding profiles and parameters that the Android media framework supports for playback. In addition to these encoding parameter recommendations, a device's available video recording profiles can be used as a proxy for media playback capabilities. These profiles can be inspected using the CamcorderProfile class, which is available since API level 8.

Table 2. Examples of supported video encoding parameters.

Lower quality Higher quality
Video codec H.264 Baseline Profile H.264 Baseline Profile
Video resolution 176 x 144 px 480 x 360 px
Video frame rate 12 fps 30 fps
Video bitrate 56 Kbps 500 Kbps
Audio codec AAC-LC AAC-LC
Audio channels 1 (mono) 2 (stereo)
Audio bitrate 24 Kbps 128 Kbps

NOTE: 720p and 1080p resolutions also supported

For video content that is streamed over HTTP or RTSP, there are additional requirements:

  • For 3GPP and MPEG-4 containers, the moov atom must precede any mdat atoms.
  • For 3GPP, MPEG-4, and WebM containers, audio and video samples corresponding to the same time offset may be no more than 500 KB apart. To minimize this audio/video drift, consider interleaving audio and video in smaller chunk sizes.

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