RIM to cut off Android app sideloading for PlayBook users

RIM to cut off Android app sideloading for PlayBook users

RIM is treading a fine line with the whole sideloaded Android apps on the PlayBook tablet thing: the more apps that are available, the better for consumers.

But if sideloading also means sidestepping when it comes to costs and quality, the very developers RIM is trying to woo will be alienated. So it's decided to nip the whole thing in the bud.

RIM has decided it would rather have end users having to wait a little longer – and perhaps pay a bit more – for native versions of apps to be released than lose the support of developers altogether. In other words, sideloading is soon to be no more, set to be cut off in a future update, says Crackberry.

Whether that's a good thing or not depends largely on where you're placed in the ecosystem, of course, but RIM has had enough troubles with keeping developers interested in the past that it's the only decision that makes sense.

RIM vice-president of developer relations Alec Saunders explained the company's rationale via Twitter, also taking the opportunity to have a pop at Android.

“We’re removing sideloading for consumers,” he revealed.

“Piracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android Market.”

Cesspool or no, we're pretty sure which set of problems we'd prefer to have...

Via AllThingsD

Read more about: Blackberry PlaybookAndroid

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15 comments

Pondlife  Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:28

Certainly doesn't inspire me to join the just over a million owners, these bait and switch tactics are disappointing.
"perhaps pay a big more"
Yep a big more indeed ;) some of the prices on their market are mad, £5 for angry birds, erm no.
I don't think there's a big enough user base to gain more developers.

Jim988  Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:38

So glad i got rid of this crappy tablet.. teaches me to stick to android in the future

mrew42  Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:57

So glad I didn't actually get one. I was quite tempted when I heard about the ability to sideload Android Apps. Ended up with a similarly priced Archos running Honeycomb and I'm very happy with it.
Cesspool. Lol!!!

mrew42  Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:58

So glad I didn't actually get one. I was quite tempted when I heard about the ability to sideload Android Apps. Ended up with a similarly priced Archos running Honeycomb and I'm very happy with it.
Cesspool. Lol!!!

Pondlife  Apr. 10, 2012 at 13:07

That the one that has the ICS upgrade now or the arnova one?

mrew42  Apr. 10, 2012 at 14:13

Neither, it's a bit of a halfway house.
I found a total of £60 of HMV vouchers that I have accumulated over the past couple of years so picked up the Archos 70b Internet Tablet. I use it mainly for ePub/Kindle stuff but if copes really wwell with the HD video I throw at it and playback on my 42" plasma is judder free :)

Pondlife  Apr. 10, 2012 at 14:19

HD playback not to be sniffed at, sounds fair enough.

cicobuff  Apr. 10, 2012 at 15:22

This article has been posted 24 hours too late, and already this news is now incorrect....RIM are to keep sideloading and instead introduce new encryption to combat piracy.

http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/story/rim-backpedals-plan-block-playbook-app-sideloading/2012-04-10

jmarcelino  Apr. 10, 2012 at 16:18

cicobuff, to be fair that article doesn't seem to be as conclusive as you say, RIM is just saying "We are looking at different options including removal or evolution of our current side loading functionality."

So removal is still on the table. Not only that the other option (the "evolution") seems to also spell an end users being able to sideload everything they want. Apps would need to be signed with a special key (by the developer) in order to be sideloaded.

cicobuff  Apr. 10, 2012 at 16:59

The article states "But in an Inside BlackBerry Developer Blog entry published Tuesday morning, Saunders proclaims RIM is not eliminating sideloading on the BlackBerry PlayBook OS or the forthcoming BlackBerry 10. With its next BlackBerry PlayBook OS release, RIM will unveil a new encryption feature that limits app usage exclusively to the consumer who purchased the software."

This means exactly that sideloading is still available (at least for Android apps) and as said a new encryption to combat piracy, which obviously be there to prevent the sideloading of Bar file apps that have been purchased from the App Store (with the new encryption in place, so as far as I am aware this would not affect any apk to bar files that are signed and sideloaded as current.

There is nothing there to do with removal as you have just said, they "could" again change their mind, but currently sideloading is to remain as the article states.

Read more: RIM backpedals on plan to block PlayBook app sideloading - FierceMobileContent http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/story/rim-backpedals-plan-block-playbook-app-sideloading/2012-04-10#ixzz1reZnVOlk
Subscribe: http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/signup?sourceform=Viral-Tynt-FierceMobileContent-FierceMobileContent

jmarcelino  Apr. 10, 2012 at 17:26


There is nothing there to do with removal as you have just said, they "could" again change their mind, but currently sideloading is to remain as the article states.


Yes there is, two paragraphs down after the one you quoted:

A statement issued by RIM to The Verge indicates the company could again change its mind. "We are looking at different options including removal or evolution of our current sideloading functionality," RIM said.

The blog entry you mentioned also has RIM saying "Sideloading is a developer feature", which implies that users who are not on the developer program will probably not get access to it.

cicobuff  Apr. 10, 2012 at 17:38

As far as I am aware they are referring to encryption of apps purchased from App World to stop sideloading of those, and as that article I linked to states CURRENTLY they are not emliminating sideloading. Therefore I personally summise that apk to bar files will still be able to be signed (and it is currently very easy to get developer signing tools from Blackberry...I have them)

This makes sense, developers would like the anti piracy measures in order to persuade them to develop apps for the Blackberry store, and these would be encrypted for the individual whom has purchased the software.

So CURRENTLY this article above is old news, because CURRENTLY Blackberry do not have plans to remove the sideloading feature....regardless of them looking at different options in the future.

Pondlife  Apr. 10, 2012 at 17:51

Pfft the two main apps I see people wanting on playbook are free apps anyway. Can't see the reason they aren't on playbook is down to piracy concerns with sideloading.

cicobuff  Apr. 10, 2012 at 18:03

Can anyone tell me where I can download the Android Cesspool app ?

Pondlife  Apr. 10, 2012 at 18:51

I think they renamed it getjar

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