BlackBerry announces updated Tools for Android Development 2.0.2 Beta

By Bla1ze on 7 Apr 2014 02:54 pm EDT

For BlackBerry developers, having the latest and greatest tools to make apps is important and to help keep things moving along, BlackBerry has now released their BlackBerry Tools for Android Development 2.0.2 Beta. The last update to the tools came back in October, so a new update is great to see. The list of feature additions is pretty long for this one but we’ve got them all for you past the break.

  • New GUI Shortcuts - With today’s 2.0.2 beta, we’ve added executable shortcuts for the GUI tools, which removes the need to start them from within a command-prompt or terminal instance. Just double-click the shortcut for the tool you require and you’re good to go! The 2.0.2 command-line tools for Android apps can be downloaded here and extracted anywhere on your Mac or Windows development machine. Official support for Linux is coming soon.
  • Support for Android Studio - This beta release also includes support for Google’s Android Studio IDE. Even though this IDE is in an early beta phase, we decided to release an alpha plug-in to allow Android developers to easily target BlackBerry 10 devices. The Android Studio alpha plug-in is currently being offered as an offline archive available for download here.
  • Updated Eclipse Plugin - We will continue to support the ADT plug-in for Eclipse, which has been updated to reflect the 2.0.2 update to our Android tool chain. You can download or upgrade to the newest release by checking out our Tools page.
  • Expanded Mac and Java Support - Our latest release also includes official support for Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9 as well as Java Development Kit 7.

If you're a developer and looking to give the new beta tools a go, you can head on over to the BlackBerry Developer Android page or check out BlackBerry Dev Blog post on it all.

Reader comments

BlackBerry announces updated Tools for Android Development 2.0.2 Beta


Attention folks, in the phone of the year vote at laptop magazine, the z30 is suddenly 200 hundred votes short of winning... let's show em what Blackberry's made of and vote the androids out! voting ends at 9:00am Tuesday, tomorrow!

Posted via CB10

Well I am. And while I've completely moved to Cascades, I still have an Android app I want to port. While current ADT works ok for me, a friend of mine will be glad to hear Android studio is getting support.

Out of curiosity, how does developing for BlackBerry 10 (Cascades) compare to developing for Android? Is one easier/smoother than the other?

emPowered by 

When it comes to UI, no comparison. Cascades is so easy to make design it's unbelievable. If you compare functionality, it's a bit longer story. BlackBerry has made everything async, you don't have to worry about threading on everyday basis (at least in QML), while in Android you have to take care of it all. Also parsing web content (JSON, XML) is all automated, so instead of 200 lines on android you write just 20 (if it is a simple task). However Java is easier then QT (c++) to write in, but also slower.
If you have no knowledge of mobile programming you can pick up Cascades a lot faster then Android.

Whatever you do, don't explain to non-developers what this is and what the implication for end users may be. I'm sure they would not want that information. Thanks.

Is Bla1ze a developer? If he's not it's probably hard for him to explain new Developer Tools to another non-developer.

Maybe a member can explain it better? Someone might chime in.


Great news, I'm not one for Android apps on BlackBerry but I think it's time for BlackBerry to formalize Google Store on BlackBerry for those who use it. It would help close the app gap "officially".

Posted via CB10

Ya Balsillie wanted it before he sold his shares but the cost was like 3 billion?

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

That's would never work for two have to be part of the open alliance Google program and you can only make android phones to use Google play services and two not all android apk work with have to make sure that's it repackaged and tested to work on bb10.....people have to understand blackberry is not an android phone but bb10 os based on play services will never happen so please people stop talking about it....getting tired of hearing it......

All the range is Android on a BlackBerry forum, might as well just ditch BB10, and implement an Android OS....what gives with all the Android this and that?

Isn't a BlackBerry OS and phone supposed to be something different than Android? I mean, come on. Develop things or apps which are BlackBerry specific. Get your own identity BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

OR, keep and enjoy the awesome BB10 OS, and grab some apps from android that we're missing. Win-win.

Posted via CB10

What's wrong with the best of BlackBerry with a side of Android?

If we wanted all android we'd get an android.

Thinking is obviously not your forté...

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

The problem is, it isn't "official" so no marketing, no advertising... pretty much word of mouth or on sites like CrackBerry do you learn that "yes Virginia you can install Instagram"

Never mind the whole locking of the developer access to the run-time they tried last fall. What if BlackBerry did that again?

@TightDebbie, must you throw a wet blanket on every single fire? Please get with the program. If BlackBerry does not succeed, there are no new products or legacy support and this whole forum becomes a moot reflection on 'the good old days'. Without new devices, there are no new users, and even the oldtimers eventually leave the platform or die.

You may be a long-time BlackBerry faithful (as am I), but if BlackBerry does not sell some serious product soon, there will be only a small focussed business arm left (best case) or no business at all (worst case). In today's market, you must have broad-based appeal to afford the development and (as we can see) advertising to get the product moving. If you don't want Android, don't install the apps. Real easy. Don't, however, flame others for having a different opinion.

For many people, the inclusion is at least a bonus and at most essential because, though the apps in BlackBerry World are excellent IMHO, not everything is there, and may not be for a long time unless (again) there is a greater appeal.

I have only a handful of excellent Android apps installed, but only for where there is no BlackBerry equivalent, e.g. I just bought a new printer last night, but there is no native wireless support, though plenty on the Android side. For the one convenience of being able to print from anywhere without my PC, I am grateful BlackBerry makes the effort they do.

So please, let's work together. If not in total agreement, at least in civil conversation about how we can help the company and the community thrive.

Posted via CB10 on Q10

Well said, I too used Android options for where native gaps exist.. For the most part those Android apps perform very well and thankfully we get the best of both worlds. As you mentioned, lots of great native apps to enjoy and when is missing, bam download the android one.

Posted via CB10 using my Zed30 check out my channel @ C00121C1B

This post should be auto-posted whenever "Android" gets mentioned @ these forums. I too grow tired of native-or-nothing whiners.


Once I saw the sales figures of BB10 devices last year, I quickly got over my native or nothing position. Although, I never really bought into the "or nothing" argument as I did side load Android apps when necessary.

Others need to realize that unless and until BB10 takes off, the app gap will only grow. BlackBerry has no choice but to support Android apps. They would have gone under by now if they didn't.

Boldly stated!

Well done.

I may add maybe its.time the community work together - end users wanting a our "made for BlackBerry BB10 experience" applicstion(s) to out their money where their mouths is!! Make a crowd source request, a joint PayPal account, a chosen 3 admits to watch and keeper of the funds to be paid for a developer, a team of developers to create and then support the app.

Free app gets more after work and annual continued funds for proper and in depth support with new features and NO ads. Paid for app gets incentive and initiative to create the apps.

BlackBerry Q10  & Full Metal CB10!

While you have some decent points, there ARE no new devices from BlackBerry itself that show any merit worth newbies or old timers drooling over. Thus, TighDebbie has a good point. At some point, other brands will catch up with what BlackBerry offers in terms of security. This has already been shown by other brands slowly getting their foot in the doors of government agencies even if they are not completely in yet. So, what will be the point of owning a BlackBerry when this fully happens? BlackBerry better come up with something truly innovative on its own that blows people's minds instead of having to rely on Android (a band-aid at the moment) to soothe the hunger of followers, or soon the it could truly be the end. That is, unless the majority of you are that easily pleased. Which honestly, wouldn't be that surprising.

Posted via CB10

More great news! Come on devs bring us the latest and greatest!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

Good thing for those who are looking for apps. To me, BB10OS with skype, BBM and hub is all I want. \=D/

Posted via CB10

What if BlackBerry created a phone that ran both Android and BB10, much like the ability to separate work and personal data.
In such a build, it would allow you to install android apps to your BlackBerry device and use them in both sides. If the app is used for android the app data stays in that area away from your work data and keeps the integrity of your device and vice-versa for the apps used on blackberry.

I love BB10, not really a fan of android, but doing this kept blackberry alive I'm for it. Isn't windows supposed to have a phone that runs 2 OSs soon?

Let's innovate and take control of the ball, I hate playing catch up.

Posted via CB10

Great, lets have another keyboard come! Lets spel frankly, bb krybord is way back from swiftkey :)
Hope more android apps will be there.

Posted via CB10

This is good keep the android ported apps coming in BlackBerry world as a temporary measure until BlackBerry 10 becomes more popular and native ones get developed.

Q10SQN100-3/, Z30, Z10, iP5, SGS3

I don't care much for Android apps. I buy a BlackBerry phone because I like how the BB10 OS works.
There are no banking apps. No problem I can achieve the same tasks via mobile sites. Until 10.2.1, I was able to load all the Android bank apps I need and honestly it is a bit more convenient. They load a bit slower than the mobile sites but that's a trade off.
I don't need Netflix so I don't understand all the fuss about not having Netflix is a show stopper for some. Until recently I want to watch Netflix and my TV does not have wifi receiver or a CAT5 connector. I was thinking of getting a USB dongle but then I remembered 10.2.1 allows me to use Android Netflix app. And In five minutes I was able to HDMI connect my Z10 to my TV and watch Netflix. So yes it's nice to have all the Native apps but until then it doesn't hurt to use some Android apps.

 CB10 

100% agree.
I love bb, but having the ability to control my Logitech Harmony remote from my BlackBerry because of the android port is awesome!

Posted via CB10

OK, could you elaborate on this a little more please? I have a Logitech Harmony and that sounds interesting.
How does this work?

Posted via CB10

Some of the mobile web sites are excellent, such as Uber and United Airlines. And with the ability to save an icon to appear like an app, I find them as good or better than the app.

Go to the mobile site of the company you need an app for, login, and then go to the menu ( the three dots...) and save to home screen.

You will likely be prompted to save credentials. If you say yes, then when you go into the mobile site next time from the icon, you will go right in without having to login.

Uber works great this way.

Posted via CB10

You d@mn right!
That's what I do with my banks, insurance company and employer needs, instead of a android app, an excellent Web app do the trick,

If all you want to do is run android apps and you already have 10.2.1, this doesn't help you. You can just put the apk on the microSD card, and open it, or just download the apk directly from the phone. This dev tool just helps android developers port their apps more easily to BlackBerry World.

Regarding the OP: that is great news. Continued development and access to desired android apps makes a great BlackBerry experienced even better.

Posted via CB10

This is good news and bad:

Good: updating Android tools/runtime makes for better Android experience for those who choose to port their apps that way. Hey as long as devs like Skype support BB10 even if it is only as an Android ports let's all be happy that BlackBerry is making the experience as best as possible.

Bad: As some of you may know I dev for BB10 only in Cascades (native code). Cascades devs have gotten 0 updates (or even an indication that an update may one day come) since Sept 2013. This is bad, very bad. Even though BlackBerry made awesome improvements from June 2012 (first Cascades beta) through Sept 2013 (latest Cascades update) there are still many things we can't do in Native code. And since the last two "coding updates" (Oct 2013 and today) from BlackBerry have been Android related that leaves a terrible taste in native devs' mouth. Hopefully BlackBerry has something in store for us native devs soon...


Posted via CB10

Also agree. Android support should not come at the expense of native development. It's a nice-to-have, but not essential.

Posted via CB10 on Q10

Try not to get discouraged. I think that they felt they needed to make a big leap in supporting Android apps, to help close a pretty big app gap.

Hopefully next they focus on some new native App dev changes.

Posted via CB10

To be a honnest, stopping the Cascades activities is the classical reaction of a new CEO ("do not re-invent the wheel", "we need more apps and less cost", ...) and that was something to expect. I am not sure BlackBerry needs a CEO who makes classical decisions, though...

The only hope is that they keep the base UI of Cascades (Toolbar, Pages, ...) which is so much loved by the users and officially switch to Qt5/Quick2 controls for the contents, which is great, complete and fully maintained, while the costs remain low for BlackBerry (they just need to provide custom BB10-styles).

That is exactly what Cascades already is but with Qt4.7 rather than 5. So nobody is asking that they reinvent the wheel. And not all of Qt4.7 is supported in conjunction with Cascades such as Grid {} is in Qt4.7 but not in Cascades. However aside from that there are core API that developers don't have access to such as many phone options or many triggers for headless (like date/time).

Posted via CB10

And that's likely to be the opinion of the CEO.

Cascades is Qt4.7 *core* with its own GUI layer, Location, Multimedia and Platform layers and that's exactly what seems to be unmaintained, with many open bugs and requests such as those you listed in a previous article. They almost stopped the development activities, that's a fact. Unfortunately. (Unless they are secretly working on a big update which would be a pleasant surprise.)

Using a very small subset of Cascades (Navigation Pane, Page, ToolBar, ...) which embeds Qt Quick2 Controls would make it possible to benefit from all the work which has already been done in Qt5 (including paintable items, a plug-in based MapView, graphical effects, ...), with minimal costs for BlackBerry and with regular updates, while keeping the basic stuff that makes Cascades attractive to the user.

I am using Cascades and I like it, but the Quick2 alternative is attractive and that's definifitely a much better choice, for both users and developers, than a limited implementation of the Android platform...

Well I personally love this. I dislike android it looks cheap and doesn't compare to the BlackBerry OS. I just want android APK,s to work like BlackBerry apps. Such as google voice, chrome and a few other. If this brings full notifications to APK's I'm all for it. I want google voice to run like whatsapp ( quick reply and all)

Posted Via BlackBerry Q10