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Alec Saunders clears up the debate on the future of side-loading for the BlackBerry PlayBook

Alec Saunders
By Michelle Haag on 9 Apr 2012 11:09 pm EDT
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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

Michelle Haag Michelle Haag "@_Miche11e_ and C0001B3B5" 1191 (articles) 1683 (forum posts)

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Alec Saunders clears up the debate on the future of side-loading for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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Congratulations sir, for you've already achieved that status! Although I'm surprised your iPhone auto-correct spelled douchebag correctly.

I'll poke the bear.

The meaning of this is highly debatable in the fact that no, side-loading is not being removed for developers. However, those consumers who were upset about it may still have side-loading for them blocked as this appears to be a developer resolution, not one for consumers who took part in side-loading. Hence, it being posted on the developer blogs and not Inside BlackBerry.

Do I dare even mention the fact that they never said what sort of apps this was referring to? ie: Side-loading of PlayBook apps or Side-Loading of Android apps?

lol.

Not terribly concerned that they are preventing pirated apps but they really should have some good news with that for the consumers like negotiating for some major apps before they announced that.

My playbook is sort of sitting with the dusts now because honestly, I don't know what to do with it. There's nothing there that my phone can't do. I feel a bit awkward and redundant to use an extra tablet to do the exact things my phone is doing. Even with touchscreen and the smaller size, I do feel like it is neither as convenient as pulling out the phone and working with one hand or as efficient as just doing things on my laptop. The Playbook literally offers me no functions.

Moreover, if they didn't intent consumers to use sideloading (which is perfectly correct), then why include it in the first place?

+1000 Couldn't have said it better myself. The few apps I have that are actually useful (when they don't crash)are some free android apps that I found and side loaded. Since bridge performance is pretty poor and many apps won't work over the bridge anyway I can usually do things quicker or better with a phone or laptop. Maybe someone will port an android OS to run on my playbook and then I can actually use it.

Same here! I occasionally use it for web browsing and a few android games if they dont crash, but thats about it.

Not really sure what else to do with it.

I see im not alone!

I tend to agree with much of what you say JackKennedy, a phone is a much more useful device, everything I want to do on a mobile device I can do on my BlackBerry 9790 faster than I can do it on my PlayBook or my iPad. Tablets are generally not all that useful, but they are fun.

I have found great use for them but it is for my hobby. I like to play music and all my song sheets are on my PlayBook. If I write a song, I pick up my PlayBook. If I record a song, I pick up my iPad and use GarageBand. At our music club, there are several people with iPads and PlayBooks using them the same way I do. I prefer the PlayBook to the iPad for this task because it is easer to move files onto it and it plugs into the big-screen TV without an adapter. It also has a much more modern and useful UX if only they would allow apps to be listed and sorted instead of the gloomy icon grid.

We have two Playbooks and use them every day.

I read ebooks, watch TV and video, and browse the web from wherever. Listen to internet radio and download podcasts (for which I use the Android app available on AppWorld).

I don't find Bridge slow, but I generally have pretty good connectivity.

Don't play a lot of games, but the ones I have are pretty good.

Could I use more apps? Sure. But so far so good.

Sideloading was always only intended for developers.

I think we should be okay. He said they're just encrypting apps that aren't supposed to be side loaded for free.

So we should still be able to load free apps.

So, when will the consumer concerns be officially addressed? It seems like RIM is still slipping further behind in providing access to popular apps in APP World (not games) as well as native apps on the PB. I have side loaded Kindle because KOBO is so bad and eBay because it is no where to be found in App World. Still cant figure out why my bold can view WMV attachments and they are not supported on PB. The list goes on but it seems like no one is concerned about the shortcomings, just the few good things about the PB. There has to be a balance between the consumers and developers, both directed by RIM, in a yet to see timely manner, if this thing is ever going to make us happy.

There is a side benefit to encrypting apps. If a developer offers an upgrade, long time users can upgrade at a lower price point than re-buying the updated app. This is something missing in the Apple App Store. That is, if RiM can get this feature implemented and working, it would be something unique that would allow developers to more easily continue development and monetize upgrades.

You are digging RIM's grave. When you don't even have basic app yet you want to disable side loading.

What you can do now is shut up and do your work of bringing apps to the playbook not messing what is the only good thing with playbook.

THEY make the apps and submit them to appworld, NOT research in motion. Get it? Got it? Good. RIM will NOT go down just because of this step. Get over it.

Actually everything that effects the users of this platform might make RIM go down. Unfortunately their maneuver space and user patient is very thin at the moments So all moves counts!

AGREED!!!!

Its not only that they have to get developers make good apps, but they also have to get these apps in the playbooks of the users. whats the use if apps are developed but not used or downloaded??

In my country we have no access to appworld, but we are using blackberrys and me and my friends group all bought playbooks, now its useless weight if there are no apps, its because of the side-loading that we can get to use free appworld apps and make some use of this tablet, if this is blocked, our playbooks will be useless. and its not small numbers im talking about!

If RIM fails to satisfy this segment of the market, not only will they loose tablet market share, but also smartphones as its too long a wait now and still doubts about bb10 coming on time!!!

It doesn't matter whether it's RIM or appworld.

If they were able to attract developers of good apps, sideloading is not an issue at all, get it? Got it? GOOD!

Certainly, RIM will not go down JUST because of this...RIM has done its fair share in sabotaging itself in the past year.

We are not asking much. We are just asking for a tablet that actually has some sort of use to it. Without any useful apps, my Playbook does exactly the same thing as my BB, and users of any other platform WILL find it extremely lacking. RIM can't even give people who like to throw away money an excuse to buy Playbook.

Of course, many of us understand the implication and the legal issues involved, but RIM hasn't really shown us that it has done much to improve the app environment in Playbook. Blaming everything on developers is just b_ because there are so many things that RIM CAN DO and its competitors has done. Windows subsidize developers and RIM could do the same thing or at least give some sort of monetary incentives to certain major apps. Apple buys developers and RIM is sitting on a huge pile of cash, dying, and not using those money to get us some apps.

In the end of the day, you can't blame developers or users, RIM really sabotaged itself. You have a new os; you need to invest money in it--plain and simple. Giving Playbooks to developers is nowhere near a fraction of the effectiveness monetary subsidy or buying of developers. If I were a developer, I could take your Playbook and not do anything with it and it doesn't really matter.

X 100000000000

P.S. Somebody want a PB 64 gig, Good Deal ?? BTW Somebody have an Android Tab for Sale ?

Sounds Good, Be Bold :-p Speaking of Bold, while registering to crackberry there was no Bold 9790 option :-s

So sideloading is dead for the consumer! So does that mean we are going to get the apps like Kindel in appworld ? Where is the promise of the Android apps? Sideloading seems to be the only way the BlackBerry consumer gets acess to the good Android apps! Wow!

This is the best answer for what matters.
Sure, some of us may not be happy that an App is not yet available, and we'll have to pressure developers. But the alternative does not really help the BB total cause, it only helps pirates or whatever PC name that you want to use.
(not a developer, and yes I have side loaded)

Bar files are encrypted so you can't transfer and sideload them on a different device. Doesn't sound like that'll have any impact on converting apks and loading them.

Agreed and I think that was the biggest concern here. I don't know what people are so worried about.

One would think that but what is the likelihood they will get it just right to curb pirating yet not alienate consumers with a rightful desire to sideload. They were all the way to one end of the scale with everything wide open and will likely flip flop to the other extreme, bypassing the middle ground in a single update and lock down the Playbook so tight you won't even be able to squeeze anything in that doesn't come through app world or that you build for yourself.

What you are seeing here is RIM backpedaling on the possibility of alienating people wanting to write to the Playbook/BB10 platform. On Twitter, when someone replied to Saunders that if this was the deal he was out of building apps for RIM, he almost fell over himself to set up a call to talk about the developer's concerns. I doubt he offered that to consumers that complained. That paints a picture. Yes RIM needs people building apps but you cannot focus exclusively on that aspect and right now they are and will, to the detriment of their consumers.

As for the argument I read across a few articles saying that locking down the Playbook is a good thing because consumers can now rightfully go to the people creating the apps to have them port them instead of "hacking" them from Android, I call BS. Many developers, including very large ones with the backend teams to support multiple platforms will not touch RIM because their devices and audience are not consumer centric enough. Market is too small, not even worth the break even cost or small profit they could make. If RIM themselves cannot and have not yet convinced those teams/companies to port apps, how likely is it consumers will? Think apps we wanted since day one the Playbook shipped like Kindle, Skype, etc. Smaller development teams or individuals who have smaller revenue streams are more likely to port because there is the possibility of an extra revenue stream that they need to exploit. And that is why we tend to see more apps get ported that aren't the ones people are looking for. For large companies, the Playbook is an afterthought, if that. Did Rovio lauch Angry Birds Space for the Playbook from day one? Humm could it be their investment in porting their existing products fell flat?

The more I see the way Playbook development is going, the more I am disenchanted with RIM in general. Some examples: They cut out rooting instead of embracing the concept when they went to 2.0 (so much for that cool way to plug a USB stick in the Playbook and increase memory), they have kept dangling TAT demos in our faces without putting anything in our hands (short of a couple of apps) and in the near future they will likely cripple sideloading to the point it won't be usable for everyday justifiable situations (not arguing curbing pirating here).

For me the tablet is a tool for work, an entertainment center when I am travelling, a shortcut instead of pulling out my laptop for many simple tasks and a step up from a small phone screen. I definitely do not run a vanilla setup with only things found in App World. There are so many gaping holes in the current product offerings that without sideloading, this tablet does not fit the bill for me. If it did not have an awesome browser it would not make the cut.

All this might not make me sell it outright but it will make me look long and hard at continuing to invest in this product. It may just become the tablet that goes to the kids (without a linked credit card) while I go with a more mature and business/consumer minded platform and spend my money there.

Now stepping off my soap box...

Zoo

"On Twitter, when someone replied to Saunders that if this was the deal he was out of building apps for RIM, he almost fell over himself to set up a call to talk about the developer's concerns. I doubt he offered that to consumers that complained."

His job is to talk to devs, not consumers. That's what he gets paid to do, that's what he does.

I should have probably said "I doubt anyone at RIM offered to talk directly to consumers who had concerns". Who is the counterpart to making sure the consumer voice is heard equally when the time comes to handling changes like this?

Let's be realistic, by the time we heard about this on Twitter, it's a done deal, already cooked up and going through validation. If this guy is willing to listen to developer's complaints about it and maybe help alleviate concerns, who is not doing the same for the consumer side of things? Cat is out of the bag and all we hear is one sided - exactly how RIM is pointing these days - directly towards developers but not the consumers of their product.

Myself, I firmly believe that you can't live exclusively in one camp or the other and put blinders on. Ultimately this is about one product that they want people to write apps for and people to buy. You cannot make a decision for the benefit of one group and alienate the other. For the same reason it is unrealistic to say because he is paid to talk to devs he cannot address the other side of the issue, even if it is not his job. People seem unsatisfied with his answers from a consumer perspective so I'd hope he either steps up about it or gets the proper person to do so.

Zoo

You are so right about this! I agree 100% cause without the users, there is no viable platform and we wouldnt be having this discussion! And it seems devs just want to shove it down our throat and on top of all dictate their high price! I understand their concerns but both sides needs to be addressed and taken into consideration in every future decision! RIM has been blamed to never listen to their users and this is one of the time where they should!

You sound a lot like those who were trying to defend music piracy with the original Napster.

Even if an app is free, THE DEVELOPER IS NOT AUTHORIZING IT FOR USE ON THE PLAYBOOK. That is entirely within the developer's right.

What happened with the Dolphin browser is particularly interesting: when the Android player first became available in the OS2 developer preview, many users converted Dolphin and used it. Then, wonder of wonders, it appeared in App World as a result of the Handster deal. Only trouble was, Dolphin didn't actually WANT to be on the Playbook at that time, and they got their converted Android version pulled.

That story had a happy ending, because shortly afterward Dolphin produced an optimized BAR and released it themselves through App World. But the point is, even if an app WORKS as a converted APK, that doesn't mean the developer wants it on the Playbook. Converting someone else's APK to a BAR violates copyright.

A lot of people have a sense of self entitlement where they think if an app can be sideloaded then they are entitled to install it. If the developer has not ported the app then its not yours to help yourself to.

My thoughts exactly. If you want an app, appeal to the developer - maybe they will make a native app instead of a converted Android app even.

Alec is doing something right and you say he isn't? Go back to your cave, please. Seems you dug your own grave. lol

Good decision.. This will only encourage developers to peacefully develop applications for the BB10. Else piracy will kill their effort. Infact in this case, developers can make more profit out of it by removing a third party like BB World. Amazon, google , Netflix , Skype have no other option but to make an application for Playbook. They might be waiting for the cascades release or may be under development as a partner. There are now 1 million playbook sold (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry_PlayBook#Reception_and_sales) by early march 2012 and it has been better sales after PB OS2.0 release... Which tablet can challenge to be better than playbook at $200 range ??

What you all seem to be missing is that developers will feel better about putting their apps in AppWorld with this encryption technique. This is MUCH more enticing to developers/sellers BY FAR! By now, everyone knows there's a nice set of 1.5 million PlayBook users thirsty for apps. They look much better with encryption set in than without, believe me. Saunders has already stated that developers won't touch the PlayBook (and therefore BB10) unless they close this up. Doing so puts PlayBook back in the game. Not doing so will kill it for sure

Judging by the complaints on here and elsewhere, most of the developers that people want to see supporting the playbook are responsible for free apps that relate to an external services rather than being paid apps anyway, so the piracy stuff is a red herring and this change will not alter that fact.

Tired of waiting for developers! This tablet is pretty useless as a tool for 99% of any business purpose I need it for. I'm tired of hanging around and waiting for the next release of this or that.

This makes sense, now my only concern is that I hope there's a way for emulator developers (or essentially any app that is not on app world), can still have these apps sideloaded by everyone.

I don't understand the encrypt part but if Kindle isn't available on Playbook, then I dont know what I am going to do with my Playbook

This is mistake on RIM side. We already lacking apps and here RIM is blocking..good for devs and from legal perspective but consumers that drives the products and devs will be loosers. How about free apps ? I do not think there are many paid apps available anyway.
If Apple can get away with ability to jailbreak, why RIM is buring his customers..

That's because Apple's security sucks compared to RIM's. Also, Apple hates that people jailbreak and attempts to stop it at every update. I jailbroke my iPhone once and I didn't like it at all.

The app encryption sounds like a good idea in theory but I wonder how the implementation of it would work and if it would affect more than just the installation of purchased apps. If it affects how the way free apps are installed and run, it'll smack of "walled garden"... :P

Since when is <50% the majority?
The poll on the front page showed 36% and obviously thats gonna be higher on a site like this. Average consumer has no clue what sideloading is. I'm glad they are doing what they need to block piracy and make the PB secure as possible. Anyways, I'm sure the diehards that really want it come become 'developers' or find some other workaround. I hope RIM makes the moves necessary to encourage native app development, which it looks like they are.

In all truth and honesty, what he said is still not clear! He just said that side loading will still be in our option but did not give us enough details to know how it will change in terms of behaviour! (will i still be able to sideload apps that are not available in app world that are essential to me? If im a developper and want to send the app to beta testers, can they load it the same way they used to? Does it encrypt only apps available in app world?) Not clear Alec... Not clear! Its obvious that you are now part of RIM! Lol (No offense but RIM has never been clear in their statements either!)

And what happens with the applications that RIM does not approve like ScummVM?, It's a perfectly legal application and it's waiting approval for months.

Also, what happens to developers that create specific applications for clients and do not want to appear publicly in the App world? (that's my case).

RIM should implement anti piracy measures, but sideloading has it's place and the developer is the one that should be able to choose how to distribute his application.

I wonder how this will affect all those existing "bootleg" .BAR files circulating out on the file sharing sites. It sounds like they plan to add a level of encryption to the .BAR format, however, what about existing packages that were compiled before the new system?

If this fix doesn't retroactively patch the hole that the "warez kiddies" have been exploiting then it will be cold consolation for developers who have already lost - and will continue to lose - revenue due to the .BAR format's open nature.

They need to lock it down in a way that penalizes those unscrupulous users who exploited the loophole in the first place.

RCK

Playbook won't survive without a solid ecosystem (i.e AppWorld). It's nonsense to write sideloading will "save" PB from anything. If PlayBook / BB10 devices can't survive with their own Apps distibution channel(S ?), they will die: sooner than later.
Remember we're talking about a few Ks of enthusiasts and tech fans that sideload apps (both native and Android BARed ones) mister Joe doesn't even know what the Desktop Software Manager is.

Keep functions/capabilities for what they are intended to do. Nice move.

I can see why RIM are doing this, but at the same time worry about the future of apps on the PB, how costly is it for developers to gain access the tools and licences they need to create for the PB? Maybe some developers use the side loading system to save themselves some money?

However this loop hole has created an easy way for pirate apps to be loaded onto a PB and that does need to change IMHO.

Why is everyone blaming RIM for not having Skype, Netflix and Kindle? Skype is owned by MS - why would they support a competing platform? Netflix streaming runs on Silverlight, another MS product. See above. Lastly, Kindle is an Amazon product and they are trying to sell you a Kindle Fire or another flavor - why would they support the Playbook from which they stole the Fire's design? I'm not an apologist for RIM, but in these cases it really isn't their fault.

Because PB OS is their OS, it is RIM's responsibility to get the apps to consumers not the other way around.

Go beg them, give them money or whatever but rather then doing this they shoot themselves on the foot and sabotaging themselves by restricting what consumer can do with their puny apps.

Skype runs on dozens of non-MS platforms. They want to sell you calling minutes and advertising, not Windows PC's.

Netflix runs on dozens of non-MS platforms. They want to sell you their video streaming service, not Windows PC's.

Kindle runs on many, if not dozens, of non-Amazon platforms (including BlackBerry smartphones at one time, if not currently). They want to sell you ebooks and other media, not a Kindle Fire. In fact, I've heard they take a loss on the Fire, because they want to sell their media so badly. Wouldn't they rather have RIM take the hardware loss?

Doesn't it seem like RIM is doing something wrong?

We are not blaming RIM; we are blaming the Playbook.

The situation is this:

1.) a lot of us bought Playbook early on, and it was not what a lot of us expected lacking in so many aspects that it virtually a prototype. Normal consumers would feel cheated, hardcore BB fans would not be too happy once the excitement dropped.

2.) the price dropped like crazy, and more than anyone anticipate

3.) numerous tablets are launched as we waited for os 2

4.) os 2 is finally launched and we are all excited thinking we could finally put the Playbook into normal use now that it has the basic functions. Once the excitement has passed, we discovered it does only the basics and that's it. All other competing tablets does more than this before the original Playbook original os is launched.

Consumers do not care whether you have the functions covered through apps or native os, but we need the functions. Playbook originally marketed itself as a multimedia tablet, but now that a year has passed, what do we get? We have no content, nothing to 'multimedia' it with. Can we use it as an office equipment? Word processing on any tablet is inconvenient and formattings are always messed up. Can we use it as a communication tool? There's nothing useful on the PB that I can't do with my BB, and it has no useful IM with user base.

This is what the Playbook is. It may have the specs to do what RIM claims it is intended for but it has absolutely no content and nothing to implement the functions.

RIM can say it's not their fault, but does anyone care? It's certainly not a responsible claim either.

Soon we are going to start selling television sets with compatible no video-in and reception functions, speakers with compatible no audio-in, and cars that runs on non-existing fuel.

This is neither a "feature" nor "good news".

The way I read it, if you don't have the source code, there will be no side loading.

Since they're talking about encryption, there must be another step involved beyond signing a free .apk or .bar file. So even having the development tools, etc. probably won't do you any good without the source.

Say goodbye to all free Android apps not in AppWorld - Kindle, Pandora, Google Maps, Dropbox, etc., etc., etc.

I guess RIM decided the lack of Skype, Netflix, Draw Something, Instagram, etc. wasn't a big enough faiure. They might as well take away what little an industrious consumer can add on their own to try to make this device useful.

I'm disgusted.

What I do not understand is that a ton of Android apps work just fine when ported to the PB.
Then why on earth aren't the developers of those apps converting the apps themselves.
They could send the bar files to appworld and even add the PB as a supported device on their website. By doing this more people actually see and hear about PB support.

And this is a good cause because by actually naming the PB on popular websites with free apps... e.g. skype, IMDB, Drawsomething.... a lot of untapped consumers will see and read about it... and maybe even jump onboard of the PB ship because by then it has a good price for Tablet vs. app value. There are still a lot of people out there without a tablet and a PB is a good point to start....if only it had more App support from developers.

Once that is established, a growth of the PB user-base, developers might actually make native apps for the PB that run smoother and have more options. But the biggest problem is that the biggest app developers that have the capability to boost the PB sales are in fact doing nothing and are just waiting for the PB sales to rise.

At some point one party has to invest to break out of this circle of death. Either RIM pays money for apps to be made or pulls in developers other wise. Or 1 or 2 developers has to grow a pair of balls and just decide to go for that bit of extra revenue stream. in the last case they better not go half way. Nobody wants to pay for apps that lack half the feature-sets that counterparts have, just so they could cut back on developing costs.

And than there is the lack of easy 2 access knowledge. RIM should publish a road-map for developers that shows how they can get from their native source code to PB OS native code.
They should not only talk about what they support and how easy it is but how developers can actually get there without rewriting everything. Of course this is easy to find out for professional coders but for the starters and doubters it would come in very handy just to see what road they should take for 'easy' access to all three mayor platforms and get the most bang out of your product.

Actually, since version 2.0, my Playbook now does LESS than it used to! I used to love it, now I don't!

Since I have the audacity to use Microsoft Outlook for my e-mail, contacts, calendar, etc. my playbook is no longer able to give me my contacts and even more importantly, my appointment calendar! Since I can use Blackberry desktop to coordinate all that with my phone still, my phone does all I need. The playbook has become redundant, and is rarely used as I no longer get my updated calendar events or contacts. Since 2.0 some movies that I put on my Playbook no longer play as well. So, I am using my old Storm 2. And, RIM, I will NOT be updating any phone until I see BB10. Then, it will be up to BB to see if I stay or go. Really, so many steps back for RIM....so little time left to do anything about it. BB10 must be strong, beautiful, secure, and feature-rich. I've been a BB user for many many years. But, I, like others, can only take this reduction of services for so long. BTW, get over the sideloading issue, which is side-tracking everyone, and get on with your life RIM. Hopefully, you will take me along for the ride. But, I'm no cheap ride...you have to offer a heck of a lot more than you are offering now, or even offered before 2.0.

So if this will help with the piracy of apps on the platform.....

Does this mean we will stop being price gouged for apps and games finally? hint hint rovio? $4.99 when i am sure its .99 on ios ;)

By purchasing their apps at this inflated price we are just showing them we are inelastic to this BS and that we will suck it no matter what they spit at us.

Lets show some elasticity and curb this price gouging nonsense!!!

RIM has stated that they have developers that will not release apps for the Playbook until side loading is prevented, or at least the piracy opened by it, is finished. I think they should have never built an Android player for the Playbook. I think that it made developers wait for the player as RIM implied it would play any Android app and so they didn't want to put the effort into native apps. Now that the player is out, over a half year after promised, and not that great and limited, we still don't have developers bringing in apps and instead have a group of people taking "free" android apps and porting them themselves, without the developers approval, for use on the Playbook via side loading. So we have RIM trying to get developers in, and some Playbook users stealing potential developer's intellectual property. Whether the app is free or not on Android, unless the app developer/owner has given you permission to port the app to a BAR then you have stolen that person/company's intellectual property from them. No gray area there at all! I have no problem with RIM making developers happy at the expense of people who have stolen intellectual property.

right! the whole premise of the Android app player in 2.0 was to be able to go into App World and download ALL these Android apps developers ported over.........but that hasnt happened!

what do they expect!? RIM completely dropped the ball.

Over a year later and there is STILL NO Twitter for Playbook.

smh, at RIM

i would have to avoid updating to the latest firmware. but do i have a choice with all the bugs of 2.0? I use sideloaded apps regularly!

I'd update if they would curb the price gouging by developers like rovio. I do not believe there is a significant amount of arbitrage for them to be charging 4.99 over the .99 iOS version.

C'mon, it's easy to understand. App world brands with your blackberry ID the bar files. If you sideload a non-branded file, I'm guessing there should be no problem if the price tag says it's free.

why are they acting like developers have been in a rush to make Playbook apps anyway.

If they haven't been doing it , they're certainly not gonna do it now.

the only real solution is to make the apps available in App World! That's it.

If you're gonna remove sideloading from consumers make the apps available so we dont have to! Its that simple!

im already over my Playbook. So glad I only paid $199 for it.

Sorry to burst your bubble Alec but taking away side-loading is not exactly the right move! Way to go alienating your already feeble Playbook user base. And before anyone starts shooting their mouth off, I'm not one for using pirated apps. I am actually all for supporting devs but one example I can give is not having the IMDB app available on appworld! I had to sideload this converted app and it's bloody free!

While I agree in principle that this change may attract more paid app developers to release their products in App World, if they are going to do this, RIM needs to establish some good will by getting some of the mainstream free apps that we've all been sideloading, but which the developers for one reason or another has not or could not release in App World.

I highly doubt that the threat of piracy is keeping Twitter from releasing its official app in App World, yet it's not there.

I honestly expected most of these apps to be part of the 2.0 launch (Twitter, Kindle, etc), yet here we are almost 2 months later, and still don't have these very mainstream apps. RIM may mock the Android market, but as a customer, I'd 100% prefer having their set of apps over whatever RIM has been able to get in App World to date.

If developers were staying away from Blackberry because of concerns over side-loading piracy, where were all the apps when you couldn't side-load?

If anything, the number of apps being made available has accelerated after side-loading was introduced. Undoubtedly, there is an incentive created for developers to release an app now, because if they don't consumers will still get the app, but they will be cut out. If they want to cash in they've got to have an app available on app world. Remove this incentive and we just return to the blissful pre-OS 2.0 days when developers just ignored Blackberry users (instead of getting irate and maybe doing something about it like releasing an app).

But really the whole chicken and egg question about whether Blackberry needs to court developers to get users, or users to get developers is secondary to the simple question they should be asking:

Is this device garbage?

Because that's the question everyone that buys the device or thinks about buying the device will ask themselves.

HINT: if it doesn't have all the apps I need available (through app world or side-loading) -- the device is garbage. Right now, I hate to admit it, but without the side-loaded apps I have on my playbook (otherwise unavailable), it would be garbage. When BB10 comes out, BB better make sure they ask that question.

I love Blackberry, but for my next phone and tablet, I'm definitely not going to buy garbage.

The real answer is simple. Make the device and the software compelling enough that developers create native apps for PlayBook. We're all arguing about how we get around the limitations of the PlayBook. I love mine for lots of reasons - size, integration with my phone, syncing with my work computer - but that doesn't mean it's perfect.

Get the product right and all these threads and complaints and fears go away.

So, why does everybody at RIM look like they could be Kevin's relative?

As a developer, I think having a way to encrypt files to reduce piracy is a good thing. It should help to encourage a few developers into the market. From a development standpoint, I think it would only sway those that were on the fence about developing Playbook apps. If the software company had already decided not to develop a Playbook app, for whatever reason, I doubt encryption will be enough to sway them to change their mind.

It's easy to get upset about there not being a native Kindle app when it was reported there would be one even before the Playbook was released. Will this change Amazon's mind? That is left to be seen. Other than the Skype mass-email campaign, there hasn't been any word about a Skype app... or a Netflix app (after Netflix said they weren't making one).

Maybe some of these apps that people are calling for aren't for the business market, and might have a lower priority at RIM. I do think that RIM needs to work on developer relationships and see about getting more mainstream apps available. RIM might not be making the applications, but they can be something to bring interest back to the Playbook (besides a fire sale).

Being loyal to RIM has been somewhat of a challenge as long as AppWorld remains close of to parts of the world which I live in. Being an BIS/BES user for two years now and not seeing the lights of AppWorld other then its shiny icon which of obvious reasons remains hidden. Caused me to voice my opinion on the matter abit to late but here it is.

The apps I am using are only side-loaded and they can be counted on one hand. Even Crackberries app I cant load.
If RIM reinforces its policies regarding side-loading they should take into account the fact that there are loyalists out there still in the dark without AppWorld.

Debating side-loading as an luxury or as an dev must have, I understand.

If you read this Alec Saunders please, please open AppWorld.

elxsi, Faroe Islands

I have never side-loaded an app and its not because I'm against it principally per se, its due to a lack of computer skills needed to perform such a feat and the other primary reason being that I really want to support RIM as much as I can. If they need my 4.99 for the latest Angry Birds game then they will most certainly get it.
Now, in regards to the FREE apps that just aren't available in App World here's my solution RIM: SPEND SOME F***ING MONEY!!!!! Microsoft (your real, direct competitor for 3rd place in the smartphone wars) is offering $60k to $600k to developers so they can get as many of the Top 25 Apps in their ecosystem as soon as possible! With 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS in actual, hard cash to throw around it might make some sense to attract the Top 25 App Developers with some actual, hard cash! RIM, if you guys paid the MAX of $600k PER APP for the Top 25 Apps on iTunes (or whatever iCrap's marketplace is called) it would only amount to 15 million dollars and EVERYONE WOULD SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR LACK OF APPS AND WOULD BUY YOUR PLAYBOOKS!!!!!! This is a no-brainer guys!!! Make it happen!!!
--Joz
Long Live The RIMpire!!!

P.S.-- if anyone on Team Crackberry OR RIM is looking for a writer or salesman I have 16 years sales experience and a B.A. in English and I LOVE both this site (Crackberry) and Your products (RIM) and I hate living in New Jersey so I'm more then flexible when it comes down to relocation (always wanted to move to The Great White North!)
Cheers!

I find it interesting that just months ago people were talking about how RIM needed to court developers and get more developers interested in BB/PB. Now that they are working on this and trying to go hard at obtaining developers, people STILL complain!!! Yes, RIM could pay developers for some of the top 25 apps out right now, but then what after that. The top apps always change and there is always a new best app. Many of these developers develop for iOS and Android because of the sheer number of consumers. Unfortunately, RIM does not have that luxury and have to show developers the BENEFITS of developing for BB/PB. I like the idea that RIM will be giving developers free tools to try out the BB10 platform...and allow them to try it out and develop different apps before the final product is released. I think this is a great way for developers to work out any bugs and kinks in their apps before being released to the public.

@ berryberrygood1981: (nice name btw...I had to read it twice b4 I got it...yes, I am that slow :-)

I completely agree with you that the bulk of the Top 25 would be a constantly changing list due to the next big Killer App coming out once a week. What I was referring to (and probably should have gone into more detail about) was/are the essential apps that aren't going anywhere that we, the consumer, need to get by on a day by day basis. I'm referring to apps like Skype and Kindle and Hulu and Netflix and whatever else people are bitching about not having on their PBs these days (I've got all the apps/games I can handle at this point...I think I've dropped well over $200 on apps for my PB and 9930 since I got them in November). THOSE are the ones that, if they don't want to develop for PB due to a lack of profit, RIM should be throwing money at!
--Joz
Long Live The RIMpire!!!!

lmao @ these comments.. poor guy got called a douchebag murderer of rim its a shame for pb users when the next update comes its forced on you just like the last it justs installs.. except for my pb i see no reason to ever turn it on again

I have been a faithful follower of RIM since they first introduced the BB devices years ago. I bought the Playbooks on the day it came out. Today I gave it up. I still love my BB Bold 9930 and cant wait for BB10 phones. The tablet has been a colossal waste of money. I went to the dark side, paid $499 for the new iPad and loving it. I was told at Best Buy that they would offer me $30 for my Playbook. A return on investment of negative 94%.

And to think I almost bought 2 of these things. The wife, also a bb user, wanted a tablet too when I told her I was thinking about getting one. I weighed the pros and cons of having both the same and decided she would get much more use from an Android powered device. I got her the Samsung tab 10. Bottom line, she loves hers, is tired of hearing me bitch about mine. The apps I really really use are android sideloaded anyway. What the F. Am I doing? If they take away dropbox, pandora, the only working Evernote the pb has ever seen (android) tweetdeck... The list goes on, then I should just cut my losses now. The form factor is great. Can I still get a tab 7? Shame on you RIM. I think you are beyond repairing this no matter what you do.

What happens if I've already side loaded Kindle, will the new OS make it so I can't use it anymore? If I can't, I have a paperweight for sale, cheap.

if they kill the converted apps i've already sideloaded, my playbook is no longer my traveling companion. probably move to android. i really got snookered when i bought the bs they were going to make the playbook android compatible. should have read the fine print. RIM is a case study in hubris ... you can't go from #1 to death throes in three years without some serious effort. still like my phone and playbook combo, but if they go retrogressive on sideloading by consumers i'm probably done with both.

Alec Saunders if you guys still care about the consumer market, talk to your buddies up there...this is a clear case of risk management... you guys are risking waaaaaay too much with this move... put the update on hold, get your market analysts and forecasters to double-check their numbers... this move will upset a large crowed in a catastrophic way... believe me.