There are several options to develop with Basic4android:
- Android emulator
- Connect to a real device in USB debugging mode
- Connect to a real device with B4A-Bridge. As of v1.9 B4A-Bridge supports wireless connections over the local network or Bluetooth connections.
The Android emulator is very slow compared to a real device (especially with applications installation). I recommend you to only use the emulator for working with the visual designer or for specific tests.
Usually the best option is to use USB debugging. You will need to first configure your device to support USB debugging (Settings - Development - USB debugging).
You will also need to install a windows driver specific to your device: OEM USB Drivers | Android Developers
Unfortunately not all devices support USB debugging. In that case you should use B4A-Bridge instead.
B4A-Bridge is made of two components. One component runs on the device and allows the second component which is part of the IDE to connect and communicate with the device.
The connection is done over the local network or with a Bluetooth connection.
Once connected, B4A-Bridge supports all of the IDE features which include: installing applications, viewing the logs, debugging and the visual designer (taking screenshots is not supported).
Android doesn't allow applications to quietly install other applications, therefore when you run your application using B4A-Bridge you will see a dialog asking you to approve the installation.
Getting started with B4A-Bridge
1. First you need to install B4A-Bridge on your device.
B4A-Bridge can be downloaded here: http://www.basic4ppc.com/android/files/b4a_bridge.apk
. Some browsers may treat this file as a zip file. In that case you should restore its apk extension.
B4A-Bridge is also available in Google Play and Amazon Market
. Search for: B4A Bridge.
Note that you need to allow installation of applications from "Unknown sources". This is done by choosing Settings from the Home screen - Manage Applications.
B4A-Bridge requires writable storage card. It is not possible to install applications without it.
2. Run B4A-Bridge on your device.
It will display a screen similar to:
You should now choose either Start - Wireless or Start - Bluetooth depending on the working mode.
The Make Discoverable checkbox will make your device Bluetooth discoverable for 5 minutes. This is only needed if the device and computer weren't paired before.
3. Connect the IDE to the device
Go to Tools - B4A-Bridge and choose Connect Wireless or Connect Bluetooth.
You will be asked to enter the device IP address. The IP is displayed on the device. In some cases the address displayed may be the mobile network address. In that case you can find the local wireless address in the wireless advanced settings page.
In Bluetooth mode you should first click on Find Devices. All paired devices and new devices in discoverable mode will be listed.
You should choose the correct one and press on Connect.
Assuming that the connection succeeded the dialog will be closed.
The status bar at the bottom of the screen shows the current status:
When B4A-Bridge gets connected it first checks if the designer application needs to be updated. In that case it will first install the designer application.
B4A-Bridge keeps running as a service until you press on the Stop button.
You can always reach it by opening the notifications screen:
Pressing on the notification will open the main screen.
As mentioned above, when you run an application you are required to approve the installation. You will usually see the following screens:
Note that the Bluetooth permission and Internet permission are automatically added in debug mode.
In the above dialog you should choose Open to start the application.
If you try to install an existing application signed with a different key, the install will fail (without any meaningful message). You should first uninstall the existing application. Go to the home screen - Settings - Applications - Manage applications - choose the application - Uninstall.
Once you finished developing you should press on the Stop button in order to save battery.
- Unfortunately many devices, especially older devices running Android 2.1 or 2.2 have all kinds of issues with Bluetooth connections and especially with multiple connections. All kinds of workarounds were implemented because of these issues. Still however there are devices (HTC desire for example) that do not work reliably enough.
- The Reset Bluetooth button disables and then enables the Bluetooth adapters. You should try it if there are connections problems.
- If your connection is not stable then you should avoid using the debugger or designer. Both the debugger and the designer create an additional connection.
Note that B4A-Bridge was written with Basic4android.
The source code is available here: http://www.basic4ppc.com/forum/basic...html#post45854