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Thread: DroidDia, desktop Dia, BlueStacks, and DropBox

  1. #1
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    DroidDia, desktop Dia, BlueStacks, and DropBox

    There is a really neat and simple Visio-like drawing app for Android devices called DroidDia. It can draw organizational diagrams, flowcharts, decision diagrams, etc.

    http://www.droiddia.com/what_is_it/

    So if you're someone with a vivid imagination like me who just loves to draw and who wants flowcharts to depict complicated recipes or groups of recipes being cooked at the same time,

    http://www.radiumforums.com/showthre...640#post102640

    DroidDia might be an interesting app to play around with. There is a free LITE version and a $4.68 PRO version in the Google PLAY Market. DroidDia differs from the Mindjet mindmapping software that I described in another Et Cetera thread in that you have much more freedom to position the objects in a diagram and to add interconnections. The developer promises a more extensive shape library. The developer says he is working on SVG and Visio XML export/import for DroidDia.

    There is also a reasonably powerful free, Open Source desktop drawing program called Dia. The file format of DroidDia and the desktop Dia is different so they cannot share files directly. Desktop Dia supposedly has SVG and Visio XML export/import but I have not tested it much at all.

    http://dia-installer.de/index.html.en

    or

    http://download.cnet.com/Dia/3000-2075_4-10833704.html (CNET location)


    What is really neat is BlueStacks. It is a virtual Android machine that you can run on your Windows PC. Probably good to have a fairly powerful Windows 7 machine with a good amount of memory. I have a vintage 2009 laptop running an Intel P8600 processor at 2.4 GHz with 4 Gb of RAM. When I load BlueStacks, my RAM usage jumps from 47% to 63%. By using MSCONFIG and Windows Services, I control when BlueStacks runs so it doesn't autostart when I boot (there is no built-in option to prevent it from running at Startup). With BlueStacks, you are allowed to copy applications from your phone to your PC under Bluestacks. I had no trouble moving copies of DroidDia, Dropbox, Mindjet, and File Manager to my PC and they all worked as expected under BlueStacks. It's all legally done under a license with Android using a sync between your phone and your desktop.

    http://bluestacks.com/

    Mindjet has integrated Dropbox support built in so either on my phone or in BlueStacks on my PC, I can open and close Android files and transparently use them from either location with little effort. DroidDia has no integrated support but using it's file export SEND feature, you can export a file to Dropbox from either phone or BlueStacks. If you've created a file on your phone and send it to Dropbox in the cloud, then in BlueStacks, you open Dropbox (and are accessing the cloud) and export the file from Dropbox to a BlueStacks Android location on your PC where you can open the file in your other copy of DroidDia. After editing under BlueStacks, you can just reverse the procedure to get the latest version back to your phone SD card location.

    So if you have an Android device and a Windows PC, I highly recommend trying BlueStacks. It will work with many Android apps. Other than a file sharing service like Dropbox or SkyDrive, there does not seem to be any way right now to get data out of BlueStacks to your PC or transfer data directly between phone and BlueStacks. But Dropbox works great (and I plan on giving my Android SkyDrive apps a try, too, and updating this post).

    P.S. A good review of what using BlueStacks is all about if found in the following TechWorld article:

    http://howto.techworld.com/operating...ur-windows-pc/

    Less optimistic view of BlueStacks:

    http://www.tested.com/news/feature/3...r-for-windows/


    (see next 2 posts for further info)
    Last edited by Jim Lewis; 05-12-2012 at 11:01 PM. Reason: P.S. to add good review; yet another review
    -Jim-
    ________________________________

    Use every part of the buffalo - Brad Bird

  2. #2
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    BlueStacks Update - a Device Identity Required to Use Some Licensed Apps

    Relative to previous post, I found that one of my favorite licensed, paid apps (The Ultimate To-Do List) would NOT transfer over to BlueStacks on my PC. The licensing scheme was smart enough to recognize the app was no longer on my phone but did install and run as the 14-day free trial as it would normally do before you buy the unlock key (but that was before I created a device identity for BlueStacks, see next paragraph).

    Discovered BlueStacks behaves as if it's a rooted device, which may mean a malicious app could be more dangerous under BlueStacks than it would be on your unrooted (i.e., more secure) phone. An Amazon Android store app comes pre-installed on BlueStacks and the Amazon app store apparently welcomes rooted devices with open arms. BlueStacks could not participate in the Google Market (PLAY Store) until I let BlueStacks install an XDA developers hack that gave the BlueStacks a device identity. Then after I trustingly provided my Gmail logon and password, supposedly through an https: connection direct to the Google Market, and waited about 5 minutes I was able to browse the Google Play Store wares and see all the apps I had originally purchased for my phone, etc., (but see P.S. on phone identity and problem with tablet apps).

    Here is what Google has to say about install purchased apps on multiple devices, the whole tract is available at the following Google link: https://support.google.com/googlepla...6719&ctx=topic

    Retrieving previously purchased applications
    Your application purchases are tied to your Google Account and can be installed an unlimited amount of times on any device. (emphasis mine)

    So now that I've given BlueStacks a phone "identity," it appears as a second device under My Devices in my Google Play account. With the identity, I can download both free and paid Android apps directly to my BlueStacks desktop rather than having to sync them over from my phone. I will update this post with any further bumps in the road that I encounter in trying to run all my paid apps under BlueStacks.

    Probably true of all apps transferred to your PC by BlueStacks. None of my half dozen or so custom views for The Ultimate To-Do List transferred over with the app. I had to recreate all my settings. If your favorite app allows you to export and import settings, you should have no problem.

    P.S. The device identity that I got in the Android Market (Google Play) is a "phone" identity so if I try to download even a free trial version of a TABLET app (Ultimate To-Do List), I'm told the tablet app is not compatible with my device and I'm not able to download it. When I use the Amazon Appstore app, I have no such problems and I was able to download and install both the trial tablet app and the unlock license for the Ultimate To-Do List tablet app. In BlueStacks, I can sync my tasks to Toodledo over the Internet and thus back and forth with the phone version of the app on my Android phone so now I have the same views of my tasks both on my phone and my PC via BlueStacks.
    Last edited by Jim Lewis; 05-12-2012 at 11:57 PM. Reason: correct typos, poor English, etc.; add P.S. to Google tablet problems
    -Jim-
    ________________________________

    Use every part of the buffalo - Brad Bird

  3. #3
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    No Calendar or Exchange Server Client in BlueStacks

    Perhaps the folks who invented BlueStacks figured if you were running Android apps in BlueStacks on your PC or Windows tablet, you wouldn't need a calendar or Exchange Server client because those services would probably be available just by switching to Microsoft Windows. A calendar and an Exchange Server client are not currently available in BlueStacks.

    However, there are some Android apps that use the Android Calendar and/or Exchange Server client. I use the Android version of Pocket Informant as well as the Ultimate To-Do List. Pocket Informant allows me to see both tasks and calendar events/appointments in the same view. And Pocket Informant marries tasks from my Office 365 web calendar with tasks from Toodledo. And I really want to use Android not Outlook on my PC to see the same view of things that I see on my handheld.

    For me, the lack of an Exchange Server client in BlueStacks is a serious shortcoming. I've posted in the BlueStacks user forum requesting that feature be added so that BlueStacks can be more than a PC platform for playing Android games. Just figured if you were considering using BlueStacks with your Android device, the lack of an Exchange Server client might be a concern for you, same as it is for me.
    -Jim-
    ________________________________

    Use every part of the buffalo - Brad Bird

  4. #4
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    Windows Backup Reports Backup Incomplete - Because BlueStacks App Library Skipped

    Another minor speed bump in using BlueStacks under Windows 7.

    Since BlueStacks uses Windows System Resources, I figured it would be better to close it out before running my weekly Windows Backup to an external hard drive. Windows Backup completed but gave me a RED warning that some files were skipped. The location was C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\L ocal\BlueStacks\Library\My Apps

    There is nothing at this location even when BlueStacks is running. I can always remove that putative Library locations from the User Library Locations to be backed in my Windows Library Settings. BlueStacks configuration somehow caused Windows to automatically add this nonexistent "Library" to my backup locations. Weird.

    Libraries are "meta" locations. Indirect references to other real physical locations. A library reference can be to an external file folder location, as on a USB drive, that may not happen to be connected when Windows Backup runs. So if you want to backup the resource, you have to make sure you're connected when Backup runs, and if you don't want to back up such a Library reference and don't want a Files Skipped warning, you have to remove the Library reference in your Backup settings.
    -Jim-
    ________________________________

    Use every part of the buffalo - Brad Bird

  5. #5
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    More Tips on Using BlueStacks (Android Virtual Machine) on Windows 7

    Interesting facts about BlueStacks and the limits of the free BETA vs what the paid PRO version will offer.

    http://programming4.us/mobile/4966.aspx

    The date of the web page is 4/25/2012. I found in my download of the BETA that there was a Google Play Market app and that trying to access the Google market through my account activated an option to run an XDA hack that gave my BlueStacks installation a Google Market "phone" identity and allowed me to access my previous free and paid installs. By going to My Devices in the Google Market I could selectively hide or reveal either my Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone or the BlueStacks "phone" - I just couldn't download tablet apps to BlueStacks since it's identified as a phone in the Google Market, not so when running the Amazon AppStore app at Amazon under my Amazon account. So I didn't need to run any hack outside of what came along with the BlueStacks install. Did not run the hack to increase virtual SD card storage space yet either.
    -Jim-
    ________________________________

    Use every part of the buffalo - Brad Bird

  6. #6
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    Thanks and A Tip of the Hat to JaniceK

    In recently reviewing my past posts, I discovered that I'd ignored and forgotten about advice JaniceK gave me a while back to try BlueStacks to emulate Android on my PC:

    http://www.radiumforums.com/showthre...253#post102253


    I finally stumbled upon BlueStacks accidentally again in an Android users forum and belatedly decided to give it a whirl.

    So thanks, Janice, for trying to interest me in BlueStacks way back when and I'm sorry I wasn't smart enough to follow your advice initially!
    -Jim-
    ________________________________

    Use every part of the buffalo - Brad Bird

  7. #7
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    question

    Hello

    Did you try to export droiddia diagram to svg an open it in dia?

    I would like to know if it is possible to work with both programs with the same file.

    Thanks in advance

  8. #8
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    DroidDia and desktop DIA Program Seem Incompatible

    Hi, forzasec

    Looks like DroidDia and the desktop Dia program are pretty incompatible. A diagram saved from DroidDia via a SendTo export to Dropbox, then opened from Dropbox on my desktop via Dia is pretty messed up. Doesn't look like DroidDia can open or import any file format but it's own and it has a new file format now with .DDIA extension.

    Update: The .SVG file problem seems to reside with the desktop Dia program. I opened an .SVG file created with DroidDia on my desktop with Internet Explorer and it looks GREAT! - just like it was created with DroidDia on my Android phone.
    Last edited by Jim Lewis; 01-04-2013 at 03:28 PM.
    -Jim-
    ________________________________

    Use every part of the buffalo - Brad Bird

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