Alec Saunders

There has been a lot of discussion lately following some tweets that Alec Saunders, RIM's VP of Developer Relations, posted regarding removal of the ability to side-load apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook. While some people were indifferent or thought it was a good idea to do away with the method, the majority of users that weighed in were not happy about the removal and in fact many were outraged. As we mentioned earlier on this afternoon's poll about side-loading and if it's removal would affect you, Alec has issued a statement regarding his tweets and the future of side-loading.

There’s been a lot of coverage this morning about tweets I posted regarding the side-loading of apps onto the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. Unfortunately, 140 characters doesn’t allow for nuance. I’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight for our developer community.

We’re not getting rid of side-loading on the BlackBerry PlayBook OS or in BlackBerry 10.

Side-loading on our platform is changing in nature. Side-loading is a developer feature. It exists so that developers can load their apps onto their own devices to test. It’s there so developers can send a beta release to their testing community for review. It is definitely not there for some people to side load a pirated app.

What are we doing?
Starting with our next release of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS, we’re introducing a feature that will encrypt apps so they can only be run by the user who purchased the app.

What’s next?
We’re working with you, our developer community, to ensure you can still quickly and easily test your apps on real hardware. That’s one of the reasons we’re kicking off BlackBerry 10 Jam by giving each developer attendee a prototype device to start building on. I’ll be on-hand at the show to answer your questions – look forward to seeing you there.

Let’s Jam.

So there you have it folks, the official word from Alec, not constrained to 140 characters and a couple of tweets. Side-loading is not being taken away, but new features are being introduced with the next PlayBook OS update to help eliminate piracy. Sounds good to me!

Source: BlackBerry DevBlog