BlackBerry Playbook to lose Android side-loading for fear of piracy

April 9, 2012
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Well, so much for that. Just a couple of months after formally introducing the capability to use Android apps on their BlackBerry Plabook tablet, Research In Motion has announced plans to disable the updated OS' capability to install Android apps outside of the BlackBerry App World. AllThingsD reports that the OS 2.1 update will disable the side-loading feature, though RIM is working on a solution for developers to get their apps on tablets. Their reasoning? That good old standby justification for crippling hardware and software: piracy.

"Piracy is a huge problem for Android devs," said RIM Vice President of Developer Relations via Twitter, "and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android Market." Harsh words, but strangely so coming from a company whose share in the smartphone market is inching towards single digits and whose only tablet product has been, without exaggeration, a flop. RIM was literally giving away free Playbooks to Android developers who promised to port their apps to the tablet (minus any mention of "Android", of course) just two months ago, and now they seem hesitant to let former Android users explore the full potential of the device.

The 2.1 version of the PlayBook OS doesn't currently have a set release date, so RIM's got a chance to reverse their decision if they get a sudden attack of customer empathy. Ported apps will still be available on the BlackBerry App World. We know there's a lot of developers that read Android Community. A show of hands, then: who's upset about Android piracy... so upset that they'd like all Android phones and tablets, everywhere, to lose the ability to side-load apps? We await your thoughts in the comments section.

[via Androinica]


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  • Alen_clyde

    It’s just good to know this and there is also one problem. If it has the ability to side-load apps, then it will be unfair for Android users since they bought a phone with the platform and then someone from another OS will interfere and use their apps

  • chefgon

    As an Android developer, I think they’re full of it. I don’t know what their reason is for doing this, but it isn’t piracy. Everybody knows that the real pirates will just figure out how to jailbreak and pirate anyway. Besides, Blackberry App World already famously accepted a few pirated apps into their official store, so they can’t really pretend like sideloading is the cause of all piracy.

    • Frank

      They think their OS is going to be competative to the Adroid market. I’m confident that the RIM developers are trying to hack into the Android market to make their apps better. I really don’t see that happening, ever. RIM was great when it first came out but, it seems that with the mind set of RIM, now trying to play catch up to the market, they are steadily losing ground and it’s becoming quicker and quicker that soon, they’ll be out looking for new jobs. I’m a RIM user now and well, I have to say, the Android market is looking more and more like my new home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/friendme Corey Harmon

    We bought 3 of these tablets for Christmas for our kids, under the impression that full Android Market App capability was in the near future.

    Not happy with this news at all.

    • Plazmic Flame

      Why didn’t you buy them Android tablets then??

  • WaxW

    I think its fine for RIM to remove the sideloading capability. This is a proprietary OS and locked-in system. If they want to do this to avoid piracy and secure the Playbook and their OS to maintain their reputation, then fine. I do however hope RIM will help Android app developers get their app officially on Blackberry AppWorld.

    For users who want a system that can run pirated apps perhaps a China-knock-off Android cheapo tablet would be a good choice. Or if you want open-source with more user control, then perhaps a Linux tablet would be a better. But for now, I’m quite happy with RIM’s locked down Playbook and its solid, highly functional OS

    Interesting how in this article that anger about the removal of the sideloading feature was later vented into yet another “RIM and the Playbook are doomed” article. Very emotionally-based argument and illogical.

  • Matt107

    I think they may have made the right decision for the company by doing this. It didn’t increase sales and just cannablized sales of app from it’s own store (which they get a share of). With RIM having financial problems lately they can’t afford to cannablize any source of income.

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  • Amanbassi6

    I wont be updating unless theres some new features with 2.1(eclair hehe, go android!). im not going to lost functionality on my pb for no reason

  • Jerry

     I really hope rim goes under after this incident we bought the playbook
    because we didnt want the apple ipad but something different with the
    added functionality of using android apps in a sandbox thats the reason
    why half a million playbooks were sold last quarter ,if they really dont
    want any more sales of playbooks and thousands of lawsuits in their
    hands i would recommend them to remove sideloading but if rim wants to
    sell more playbooks it must fire alec saunders.

  • Jakester99999

    +1 on the hopes that RIM goes under if this goes through.  This is ridiculous.

  • http://twitter.com/fishfarmscience salmonfarmscience

    Piracy is likely a very small problem. The average tablet user isn’t going to go to all the trouble it takes to sideload.

    The problem is App World needs to be quicker and more thorough in reviewing and approving new apps.

  • prajwal s

    ok then.i have no choice but to sell my playbook on e-bay…….
     

  • prajwal s

    alec saunders must be fired
     

  • Chas_sm

    rim needs to FUCK OFF    I want a rom on this piece of shit not this shit BB os anyways “cant load on apps because  a DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”

    its fucking dumb it is my fucking hardware let me put on the softwhere I FUCKING WANT TO 

    • Whateva

      Hum, YOU are the dumbest of the two for buying it in the first place, thinking and assuming it would let you hack the heck of it….

  • former supporter

    adding android apps made playpad almost worthwhile. This move will insure that Black Berry will continue to fail. 

  • http://www.arenasocial.com/ Android Application Developer

    Bad luck for RIM. I think android is the best thing to put in that.

  • Rob D

    Stupid is, stupid does.

  • Eric S.

    Well, I heard the Playbook could load Android apps, so I started investigating, thinking that I would buy a Playbook. But now I read this and other similar articles — and that has convinced me NOT to buy a Playbook. So… if other people are like me, RIM just let down a bunch of potential buyers, and their market share is going to continue to erode.

    Too bad, too… I read the reviews, and this thing with the ability to run Android apps would have been killer.

  • Greg Vlahos

    They can stuff the God Damn thing.  I was really interested in a Playbook for two reasons:
    1) the ability to link it to my BlackBerry – which now I WILL be dumping for another brand..
    2) the ability to download Android apps.
    Good going RIM.  You really are a bunch of dumb fucks…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001177965463 William Von Kaenel

    RIM is not getting rid of sideload capability.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.sureman Robert W Sureman

    it comes down to dollars and cents .. they are not getting the cash they what from app sales .. (overprice)  4.99 for angry birds tells you just what their looking for .. control .. in the android market there is none .. so here we go .. they will put a bullet to their collective heads first before letting someone else profit from it ..

  • Ron

    RIM suckssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wish someone would port the entire android OS to run on Playbook.
    And DUMP Blackberry OS completely!!!!!!

  • Mac

    I don’t blame them. Android is the most unstable operating system ever. Sideloading of crappy some Android apps has been blamed for causing issues with what is otherwise an excellent operating system on the Playbook. Android apps will still be available on PB, developers just have to go through the proper channels. Excellent decision by RIM.

  • Plazmic Flame

    All the people here mad because they don’t have Android on a NON-Android tablet is freaking hilarious. You should have maybe bought an Android tablet…..

  • Steve

    Most of you are pretty ignorant. I use my Playbook for at least 5 or 6 hours a day, especially at work. If you can’t figure out how to use the tool, get the fuck out of the garden. You can’t understand technology, get another device where they take “thinking” out of it and do it for you. That is the American way after all.

  • knxman

    Instead of people making all these wyse comments, why don’t they just make a web search ?!!! In just 2 steps you can convert an android apk to bar file (playbook file format) and then import it to your playbook with DDPB (a windows pc application ).
    1st. here: http://apk2bar.unker.net/
    2nd here: http://crackberry.com/tags/ddpb-installer

    • Jhiand

      not all apps from the converter site works.. I’ve tried many apps I was looking forward too, like Angry birds,Temple run, The amazing spider-man, maplestory live and many more just force closes and fails. disappointing much.

      • jhiand
      • knxman

        Hi!
        You can’t and shouldn’t convert android Angry Birds because the EDITOR is selling the application for Blackberry !!! You can’t have Google Play because Google doesn’t want to !!!
        Plain simple.

        Nevertheless until today never found an application (wich I needed ) that couldn’t be sideloaded.

  • knxman

    Instead of people making all these wyse comments, why don’t they just make a web search ?!!! In just 2 steps you can convert an android apk to bar file (playbook file format) and then import it to your playbook with DDPB (a windows pc application ).
    1st. here: http://apk2bar.unker.net/
    2nd here: http://crackberry.com/tags/ddpb-installer

  • Technera

    I think it’s time for RIM to call the PlayBook a dead device and open it up for devs like Koush so we can get an operating system/ecosystem with a reasonable amount of appear…

  • paul

    Have an ipod ,Asus transformer, and playbook,out of all of them, the playbook runs the smoothest, has less hickups,and well, is the only one out of them that can properly multitask. Just sucks that the sell em so cheap now,but like the devil asks for your socks too then you buy an app. Worst too is they get reg joes to now get them some pirated apps and sell em for sometimes 6x the Android rate. Rim research in motion is truly an awesome tech development company without the people in mind

  • Sane

    Andriod and iPhone users are nothing more than carrot chasers. The Blackberry Playbook is the best device out there as well as the Blackberry 9930 phone. They are for serious users that need a quality tool to get work done. The phone has the best keyboard ever developed where a person can type faster than on a full keyboard. Drop it, and it still works! The Playbook works together with the phone syncronizing everything without user interaction. And with the phone’s trackpad and keyboard acting as a remote control/mouse, you have the best of everything – all-in-one device team. While Blackberry has done a poor job of advertising their advantages, it doesn’t mean you have to follow the pack just because everone else is doing it – didn’t your parents teach you that if everone else is jumping off a bridge, doesn’t mean you have to follow. Think for yourself and like an adult, toys are for children and serious tools are for serious people. People made the mistake with Windows, the worst operating system ever developed, because people went for flash rather than substence and now the majority of the world is stuck on this unreliable platform filled with usless stuff. Perhaps it’s an American thing, we go for substanceless presidents that promise change, while having nothing to back it up. Blackberry is still a hot device overseas. Wake up America before we wind up with another Microsoft!

    • okekoke

      the blackberry playbook is a great bit of kit it does everything i ask of it and more i wouldn’t swap it for the world its great i have an android tablet as well and although its good for games and social networking it does not compare to the playbook i use the playbook at work and at home and its never let me down which is more than can be said of the android tablet which has let me down on numerous occasions.

      • mario guallpa

        I love apple and Google but since owning a PlayBook for about a month now I love rim more than ever. beautiful muti tasking amazing uncompromised Web experience with the highest HTML5 score from any other tablet and a OS in the market. Can’t wait for BB10 and yes I’ll be purchasing the new phone and upgrading my tablet to the newer PlayBook with lte and 1.5 processor. I hated RIM but honestly QNX is pretty nice!!! I’m so happy that I purchased my 64gb playBook for 200$ from office Depot. I love the PlayBook for factor and I love QNX, who cares that it doesn’t support android apps ghru slide loading. Guys ust wait for developers to port them to appear world!!! BB10 will be amazing and have killer apps that will be in the same category as Apple and Google. Windows os will probably not go that far but RIM will :) they own both the hardware and software just like apple except they run flash and support html5 more better than any other mobile in the world with true multi tasking…..

    • http://www.facebook.com/erniecastle Paul Castle

      hmmmm, Sane i really do think that you actually believe what you’re saying here.
      Let’s start by saying the Playbook IS a good device that does what it says on the tin….. To everyone out there it IS a RiM Device NOT an Android system and any support is simply an extra feature, on a Powerful system. ~right thats out of the way …Sane (or is it insane?) the BB phones were only ever developed for the business community and then adoopted by the young culture due to BBM (so many sheep) … they don’t have the ‘best keyboards ever developed’ and an average typist with a full sized keyboard will far outstrip a good typist on a BB …. there is a reason that ‘full sized’ keyboards arn’t ditched for BB sized keyboards around the world….. as for using the device as a remote/mouse…. I’ve been doing that for the last two years using my ‘android’ phone to fully control my PC remotely from anywhere via remote administration….. I even get my full PC desktop on screen and what’s on screen on my PC comes up on my device… nice ‘New’ feature you BB Boys have there…. yup people made a terrible mistake with Windows…. it would have been so much better if we all just gave Apple our money and let them tell us what we can and what we can’t use on our machines….
      Strangely enough it seams just a little egocentric of you to believe you are more wise and understand tech more than the massive majority of people around the globe. Now this reply may come across as being a little sarcastic ….. that’s only because it is…being American I thought it best to point it out to you in big clear letters….. You need to wake up….. realise that people will flock to the best machine….O/S…..or any other tech that is out there….
      Do I know what the best out there is?…yes I do,
      … the best machine is the one that does what you need it to within your budget.
      BB users like BB and will continue to use it until the last, as will Apple and Android…. they all have good points and an Adult will see that while the children argue and bicker over which is the best.. In my Opinion Android has the best O/S and Apps…. The Playbook has an amazing build quality and unbelievable price…£125 for a 64Gb Playbook is just unbelievable…..and the iPad has stunning design…. there is a machine out there for everyone, let them pick… it’s not important which machine is the most popular, but more important is that Tech carry on getting better and better… who knows where it’ll end up
      Regards Geordie