In a recent article, I discussed how I outfitted my new Vankyo MatrixPad S7 tablet with open source applications from the F-Droid repository. While I was doing that, it occurred to me that I might be able to add some applications to my two older quasi-Android devices: my Kindle Fire HDX from about 2013, and my BlackBerry Classic. Both devices run modified older versions of Android.

I found that a decent number of F-Droid applications are compatible with both my old Kindle and my BlackBerry, albeit more for the former device than the latter. Of particular note, I was able to install the free and open source Open Camera application for my BlackBerry. As regular readers of The New Leaf Journal will know, I have taken many pictures for the site with the default BlackBerry Classic camera.

The Open Camera app has a number of extra settings that I am using to ensure that photos taken with it are the highest quality it allows. I have been testing it – and Victor and I will soon work on a full comparison of the stock camera app for the BlackBerry Classic and the Open Camera app. For the comparison, I will take pictures of identical scenes using both apps, and Victor will evaluate the quality of the pictures using his retouching and analysis tools and then detail his analysis here at The New Leaf Journal. It must be said that Victor is no stranger to scientific research. Our study may be of interest to readers with far newer phones than my BlackBerry Classic, for the Open Camera app works on newer devices running un-modified versions of Android as well.

Below, you will find one of my first pictures on my BlackBerry with the fully configured Open Camera app. I took this picture of a small tree growing through rocks at Brooklyn Bridge Park, somewhat reminiscent of a brave little tree that I photographed with my BlackBerry Classic in 2018. Note the geese in the background in the belowpicture. All things considered, I will venture this is one of the better pictures that I managed to take with my BlackBerry, and Victor agreed after retouching it for publication that it came out well in terms of quality when compared to other BlackBerry pictures he has dealt with. Whether it really provides a clear improvement on the stock BlackBerry Classic camera, however, will be determined in our future tests.

Photo of a tree growing through rocks at Brooklyn Bridge Park with geese wading in water in the background - taken with BlackBerry Classic using the Open Camera app.
I took this picture with my BlackBerry Classic camera using the Open Cemra App – edited for publication by Victor V. Gurbo.