Category Archives: Mobile

Chrome Android installer

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I recently found a need to install, remove and update Chrome Android (specifically, the Chromium Test Shell) on my devices and emulators at fairly regular intervals.

Chrome shell logo

After a bit of Googling, I found Paul Kinlan's shell script to help automate the process. In true community developer form, he kindly put it on GitHub and asked for improvements.

So, I made a few improvements:

  • More robust installer script that checks requirements along the way (i.e., has the APK been downloaded?) and aborts if they are unmet. This also allows the script to be better-suited to automated or event-triggered environments.
  • Installer script accepts and passes on to `adb` three commonly-used command line flags:
    • -l which forward-locks the app
    • -r which reinstalls the app, keeping its data
    • -s which installs on SD card instead of internal storage
  • I also added a simple updater and deleter (the latter of which is largely unnecessary but what the heck…)

I've been using it to great effect since.

Uncaught exception: java.lang.error on BlackBerry

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I've been downloading applications for my BlackBerry as though they were going out of style. However, since my BlackBerry Bold 9700 takes almost 8 minutes to come up from a full reboot (like a battery pull, not simply from standby, which is nearly instantaneous) I don't do it very often.

Recently, after installing a number of applications, I saw an error message on boot:

Uncaught exception: java.lang.error

Where could this be coming from?

I asked Google but all he had to offer was a list of people with similar problems, caused by third-party applications, and some users offering solutions like "Wipe your blackberry and re-install each app one at a time." Well, at 8 minutes per full boot, plus 30 minutes to wipe and reinstall the OS, we're talking about an entire afternoon of mucking about with applications just to debug someone else's error.

I wanted a better solution.

The second place I went after Google was to the Crackberry Forums, where I asked directly: But from which app? "Uncaught exception: java.lang.error" Being a former Linux system administrator and a current developer, I wanted to see logs. I specifically wanted to know if there was an error console available to the (power) user which would allow me to identify the application throwing the error since the error dialogue box does not. I instantly discovered that it was LastPassBB.

For those power-users out there who would like to know, there is an error console for the BlackBerry 5.0 OS: from the home screen, type <ALT>lglg

Good luck deciphering the logs though; you might have luck if you ever had to configure manually.

For a select few non-sensitive sites, I've been trying out LastPass, a web-based password management service with a mobile companion application suite for almost every major smartphone OS, including BlackBerry. The service is free to use, though there is a premium version for 12 $ per year which will allow you to use the mobile companion application past the 2-week trial period. I submitted a bug report with detailed error logs hoping to get a response later in the week, or perhaps the following week, especially given it was a civic holiday.

I got a reply within an hour containing a custom build that solved the error. I'm not even a paying customer yet!

I think the folks at LastPass deserve big kudos for this type of customer attention. Not only is their service pretty darn great but the LastPass folks clearly attend to the needs of their customers.