Category Archives: Android

Why you should use the captive runtime for your Android apps

For Android apps compiled against Adobe AIR, it is best if you include the entire AIR runtime as part of your distributable .apk file. It may not be as nice from a programing standpoint, but it is far better for the end user. I have three Android apps in the Google Play store (Xploding Boxes, Runaway Trains, and Black Out), at first I relied upon users to download AIR for themselves, but have since realized that bundling the runtime gives a much better experience for Android users.

For developers the idea of having the AIR runtime as a separate installation presents a much prettier (and more loosely coupled) architecture. It allows the app to have a smaller file size, and to share the AIR platform with any other apps that need to make use of it, while also allowing the two installations to be updated individually.

However on Android (unlike the BlackBerry PlayBook and the Barnes and Noble Nook) the AIR framework is not preinstalled on the OS, so if the captive runtime is not used to bundle AIR into your .apk than when users first launch the app they are presented with a screen asking them to go download and instal Adobe AIR. This is just giving your users another chance to quit, and ignore your app, and even resulted in a poor review for one of my apps from a user who did not understand what Adobe AIR was.

Instead if you bundle AIR into your app using the captive runtime you result in a larger distributable file, but when the user goes to launch it for the first time it is guaranteed to just work.

Second anniversary of Xploding Boxes

IMG_00000064It has now been two years since Xploding Boxes was originally launched for BlackBerry phones in 2011. The app has grown much since then, and in the past year alone has added an additional 90 levels, as well as adding support for Android, Windows 8, and BlackBerry 10.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Nook, Android, and Windows 8, in which the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve. The first 25 levels are free, while the full 360 levels can be accessed by making an in-application payment and requiring no further downloads. This game is available for the BlackBerry PlayBook, most BlackBerry phones running OS 5.0 or higher, BlackBerry 10 phones, the Nook Color and Nook Tablet, most Android phones running OS 2.2 or higher, as well as Windows 8 tablets and laptops.

Links & Information

Version 4.2 of Xploding Boxes

IMG_00000064Xploding Boxes has been updated to version 4.2 across all platforms. This version adds ten new levels as well as adding sharing options to the Windows 8 and BlackBerry 10 versions of the game.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, Nook, Windows 8, and BlackBerry 10 where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while an in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while maintaining your progress from the free levels.

New in Version 4.2

IMG_00000063In addition to the ten new levels, version 4.2 of Xploding Boxes adds some sharing options and fixes some bugs. While the BlackBerry version of the game has included BBM sharing options since version 2.1 this update allows Windows 8 users to easily share their in-game progress through the share charm, and BlackBerry 10 users can share their game progress through an option on the menu.

The BlackBerry 10 version of the game also has a redesigned icon set.

Links & Information

Runaway Trains expands to 170 levels

Runaway Trains has recently been updated to version 2.3 across all platforms. The new version of the game adds 10 new levels, and also adds the use of active frames on BlackBerry 10.

Level163

About Runaway Trains

Runaway Trains is a colorful strategy game for all ages where you must route the trains to the proper station. Each level progresses in difficulty and presents an unique puzzle which you must solve by finding a way to guide the coloured trains causing a collision or running out of track.

This is done by touching the intersections to toggle the open path of the tracks. If at any time the trains crash or end up at the wrong station, you will have lost and have to try again.

Links & Information

Android app on Google Play

Black Out released for Android

device-2012-12-18-142328Black Out has been updated to version 1.4 adding support for Android and BlackBerry 10. This strategy game is played by flipping the tiles one at a time until all of the tiles are ‘blacked out’. This is trickier than it sounds because whenever you tap to flip a tile, it also flips all of the tiles surrounding it. In order to accommodate different difficulties, the game supports board sizes from 3×3 all the way up to a 10×10 grid. Versions of the game on the already supported BlackBerry PlayBook, and Barnes and Noble Nook platforms were also updated.

Links & Information

Xploding Boxes gains more levels

Xploding Boxes has been updated to version 4.1. This new version adds an additional 10 levels, bringing the total number of levels up to 350 for the full game.

New in version 4.1.0

In addition to the new levels, this version of the app also improves the smoothness of the screen transitions in the PlayBook, Nook, and Android versions of the app. Additionally, for Android users, the app no longer requires you to download and instal the AIR framework. On the Nook, the app now adds support for the newly released Nook HD models. For BlackBerry 10 DevAlpha users, the app now supports an active frame for when the app is in a minimized state.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, Nook, and Windows where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while an in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

10 more levels for Runaway Trains

Runaway Trains has been updated to version 2.2 adding an additional 10 levels to the game. Also the level selection screen on the Android and Nook versions of the app have been updated to match the look of the BlackBerry version of the game. Additionally the Android version no longer requires a separate download of the Adobe AIR framework.

About Runaway Trains

Runaway Trains is a colorful strategy game for all ages where you must route the trains to the proper station. Each level progresses in difficulty and presents an unique puzzle which you must solve by finding a way to guide the coloured trains causing a collision or running out of track.

This is done by touching the intersections to toggle the open path of the tracks. If at any time the trains crash or end up at the wrong station, you will have lost and have to try again.

Links & Information

Android app on Google Play

Xploding Boxes version 4.0 – new levels, new shapes, new devices

Xploding Boxes has been updated to version 4.0, bringing with it a collection of new features. This update comes with 20 new levels, increasing the total number of levels to 340. These new levels also support a new ‘Diamond’ shape in order to add more variety to the levels. Also the range of supported devices has expanded to include BlackBerry 10, and Windows 8 in addition to the existing support for Android, the Nook, BlackBerry phones, and the BlackBerry PlayBook.

New Diamond shape

The levels added in this version (321-340) introduce a new diamond shape. Unlike the boxes (which explode out in four directions), and the triangles (which explode in only one direction), the diamonds explode into two directions. As such their effect on a level is usually somewhere between that of a box and a triangle. This additional variable results in more level variation, and will allow for more creative levels to be designed.

New device support

Xploding Boxes started out exclusive to BlackBerry phones. Then a year ago, support was added for the BlackBerry PlayBook. This was followed by support for the Barnes and Noble Nook last December, and Android devices this past summer. Now version 4.0 adds in full support for BlackBerry10, and can even be downloaded from AppWorld today for those with the BlackBerry DevAlpha. Support has also been added for tablets and computers running Windows 8, however actual availability of the game in the Windows Store is dependent upon Microsoft’s whims.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, Nook, and Windows where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while an in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

Runaway Trains adds more levels

Runaway Trains has been updated to version 2.1 in BlackBerry AppWorld, the Nook Bookstore, Google Play, and the Amazon AppStore.

This new version of Runaway Trains adds levels 141-150, and also includes a few improvements to the game’s menu.

About Runaway Trains

Runaway Trains is a colorful strategy game for all ages where you must route the trains to the proper station. Each level progresses in difficulty and presents an unique puzzle which you must solve by finding a way to guide the coloured trains causing a collision or running out of track.

This is done by touching the intersections to toggle the open path of the tracks. If at any time the trains crash or end up at the wrong station, you will have lost and have to try again.

Links & Information

Android app on Google Play

Xploding Boxes expands by another 10 levels

Xploding Boxes has been updated to version 3.5 which adds an additional 10 levels to the game. This brings the total number of levels in the game up to 320. This update is available to all versions of Xploding Boxes including BlackBerry phones, the BlackBerry PlayBook, the Barnes and Noble Nook, as well as the Google and Amazon Android stores.

As before, the first 25 levels are free, while the rest of the levels can be accessed after making a single $2.99 in-app purchase.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, and Nook, where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve.

Links & Information

Runaway Trains adds support for BlackBerry phones

The puzzle game, Runaway Trains has been updated to version 2.0. This update adds support for BlackBerry touchscreen phones running OS 6.0 or higher. Additionally ten new levels were also added, and the level selection screen received a visual make over.

After launching on the PlayBook earlier this year, Runaway Trains is now also available on BlackBerry and Android phones including the Dev Alpha. In the game, the first 25 levels are free, while you can use an in-app upgrade to get access to the rest of the levels for just $2.99 USD. If you have already purchased the upgrade on the PlayBook you will be able to get access to all of the levels for free on the phones (and vice versa). Additionally if you purchase access to all of the levels now, your purchase will also give you access to the game on BlackBerry 10 phones when the launch next year.

About Runaway Trains

Runaway Trains is a colorful strategy game for all ages where you must route the trains to the proper station. Each level progresses in difficulty and presents an unique puzzle which you must solve by finding a way to guide the coloured trains causing a collision or running out of track.

This is done by touching the intersections to toggle the open path of the tracks. If at any time the trains crash or end up at the wrong station, you will have lost and have to try again.

Links & Information

Android app on Google Play

Runaway Trains now available on the Amazon App Store

Runaway Trains has been available for Android for a while, but now it can also be downloaded from Amazon’s app store. Like the BlackBerry and Google Play versions of the app, the first 25 levels are free, while the full game can be purchased with a $2.99 in app purchase.

About Runaway Trains

Runaway Trains is a colorful strategy game for all ages where you must route the trains to the proper station. Each level progresses in difficulty and presents an unique puzzle which you must solve by finding a way to guide the coloured trains causing a collision or running out of track.

This is done by touching the intersections to toggle the open path of the tracks. If at any time the trains crash or end up at the wrong station, you will have lost and have to try again.

Links & Information

Xploding Boxes now available for Android

Xploding Boxes is now available for Android phones and tablets through the Amazon app store and Google Play. This is the same full game that is available for BlackBerry and includes the full 310 levels. You may play the first 25 levels for free, and can then use an in-app purchase in order to get access to the rest of the levels.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, and Nook, where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve. The first 25 levels are free, while the full 310 levels can be accessed by making an in-application payment and requiring no further downloads. This game is available for the PlayBook, most BlackBerry smartphones running OS 5.0 or higher, most Android devices running OS 2.2 or higher, and the Nook Color and Nook Tablet.

Links & Information

Runaway Trains gains 10 more levels

Runaway Trains has been updated in BlackBerry AppWorld, the Nook Bookstore, and on Google Play. This new version improves graphics for the Android version of the game, and adds 10 new levels, which brings the total number of levels to 130.

About Runaway Trains

Runaway Trains is a colorful strategy game for all ages where you must route the trains to the proper station. Each level progresses in difficulty and presents an unique puzzle which you must solve by finding a way to guide the coloured trains causing a collision or running out of track.

This is done by touching the intersections to toggle the open path of the tracks. If at any time the trains crash or end up at the wrong station, you will have lost and have to try again.

Links & Information

Android app on Google Play

Runaway Trains available for Android

After releasing for the PlayBook last month, Runaway Trains is now available for download on Android devices. The first 25 levels of the game are free, while you can use an in-app upgrade to get access to the rest of the levels for just $2.99 USD.

Runaway Trains is a colorful strategy game for all ages where you must route the trains to the proper station. Each level progresses in difficulty and presents an unique puzzle which you must solve by finding a way to guide the coloured trains causing a collision or running out of track.

This is done by touching the intersections to toggle the open path of the tracks. If at any time the trains crash or end up at the wrong station, you will have lost and have to try again.

Links & Information

Android app on Google Play