Dear Berry: Does sideloading Android apps on my BlackBerry void my warranty?

Dear Berry
By Dear Berry on 15 Feb 2013 09:29 am EST

I've had a number of users write in asking me about sideloading. While we have some great tutorials on how to load Android applications to your BlackBerry PlayBook or BlackBerry 10 phone from a Windows PC or Mac, some users were wondering not just how to do it, but also if this will void the warranty on the device. 

Dear Berry -

I picked up a new BlackBerry Z10 and I'm wanting to put on some extra apps and games. I read up on sideloading and think I get it but I want to be sure that it won't void my phone warranty? I always like to play it safe and want to make sure I'm not out of luck if I have to bring the device back to my carrier store.

Well - the short answer is no, sideloading will in no way void your warranty. The process is easy to perform and just as easily undone, so you can reverse it and have no signs of sideloading should you need to bring your device in to your carrier. All you need to do is simply wipe the OS and reset the device to its default settings, and no one will be the wiser. It's always a safe bet to make a backup before you sideload any apps - just in case.

Sideloading is a great feature of the PlayBook and BlackBerry 10 that gives you extra apps that aren't readily available in BlackBerry World. So don't hesitate to load up some apps and games because you won't have any warranty issues should the situation arise.

Have a question about BlackBerry etiquette? Need advice on how to cope with your BlackBerry addiction? Dear Berry has you covered and there's no question too big or problem too small. Submit any of your BlackBerry woes by email to or on Twitter @DearBerryCB.

Reader comments

Dear Berry: Does sideloading Android apps on my BlackBerry void my warranty?


SIdeloading and Jailbreaking are two different things...

Jailbreaking is altering the OS to allow it to do things not intended..

Sideloading is uploading an application through means other than the appstore. Blackberry has always allowed this on their devices..

Sideloading, jailbreaking, does not matter it is still YOUR PHONE and you can do whatever you want. And jail breaking is not modifying the OS to do something not intended, it's just modifying the OS to do what you want it to. Again as long as the result doesn't cause damage to the phone, you can do what you want, when you want, how you want.

I'm under the impression that jailbreaking is altering the OS while sideloading is an intended feature?
You know, like the difference between loading a pirated ROM and an honest GBA game card with Nintendo DS?

I don't think it's altering the OS per se, just changing permissions to more things. It just gives you the ability to add non-Apple approved apps, by allowing you Root/Administrator privileges. I think. :)

You could think of it this way, you could use your phone as a door stop and it might work, there are cheaper and better alternatives to do so, but it could be done. I'm pretty sure in the BB fine print that, this is not an intended purpose, but you could do it. So then you have a problem and bring it back for warranty, if you tell them you used as a door stop and there is no damage to it, does that void your warranty, I think not. Lol please don't use a nice BB10 as a doorstop but maybe you see what I mean.

Again it is YOUR PHONE, you can do what ever the hell you want with it, just be prepared if there are unintended consequences.

Also I've bricked many a phone, playing around, but always been able to recover it, so my advise is play with it and make it your own.

You don't even know what bricking means, and you are misguiding people about jailbreaking. Bricking means it is now as useful as a brick; it is permanent. If you have always been able to recover, then you have not "bricked many a phone", you have bricked exactly zero phones.

Sorry, but that's completely ignorant. Except in the cases of laws allowing jailbreaking like in the UK, jailbreaking voids your warranty simply because it's against the terms of use. If you break your agreement with BlackBerry by jailbreaking, then they don't have to honor the warranty that is part of the agreement. Simple contract law. Most countries *don't* have consumer laws that guard against this. In the US they just expired the law amendment that allowed you to unlock an on-contract phone without penalty, for example. Jailbreaking is still legal in the US but that doesn't mean it won't void your warranty.

Just goes to show you that those who respond in an authoritative, know it all tone,(I.e. eecgeek) doesn't necessarily mean they know what they're talking about. Don't get fooled.

As a mechanic I receive the same question about cars, when people want to add stuff to their cars like a different exhaust, or put a chip to give more power, but it is the same premise. IT IS YOUR CAR OR PHONE, you can do what ever you want to it. It is illegal to void someones warranty based on modifications, the consumer protection act covers you.

Now in the case of a car, the manufacturer can deny a particular claim if they have evidence that your modification caused the issue, but they actually have to prove it, not just say you modified it warranty. Same premise for phones or anything you buy. If the phone bricked while you were side loading and they could prove it or you told them what happened, they could deny that particular claim. Same thing with damage, if you dropped it and damaged it, but the phone worked ok and then months later you have an issue, they would have to prove that damage caused the issue.

I went to Google Play for the first time, I figure I'm smart enough to side load. I'm going to get some of these great Droid apps for my Z10, after looking around in the Top Paid apps for business I can only fnd only one that I would like, my Z10 came with or Blackberry world has any I would use. The one I would like is "PrintHand" print directly to wifi printer. Someone should make a list of all the "must have" Droid apps every Z10 user should have, I don't have time to look at 500,000+ garbage ones.


Side loading should only be permitted by the BB devs. No end user should be allowed to side android applications on their device especially if the application is available already on the BlackBerry World store as under the copyright laws side loading could very well fall under software piracy act.

I don't side load on any of my devices, if the app is available on BlackBerry World and I feel that I "must" have it I buy it. You should be doing the same.

If the app is already in BlackBerry World there would be no need to sideload it. Most only tend to do it when it's not an app available in BlackBerry World.

The impetus is on the side-loader to make sure they have the right to use the software. It's like when somebody puts out a box of fund-raising candy at the office. Sure, you could just take one and not put money in the envelope, but most people do the right thing and leave a dollar.

Side loading could also be a security issue depending upon how and where you get the apps from. If you download from the Android Store and convert them yourself and sideload it, then it should be as safe as any Android app. If you just download a .bar file from where ever you can find it (the ones that aren't free), who knows if it has been altered or is even legit?

There are a few reputable sites that host apps that were free to begin and that have been converted...

No, but unfortunately for those of us in the US, it is illegal for us to unlock our z10's when they become available without permission from the carrier.

It is not illegal, but as of Jan 26, 2013, you just need permission from the carrier and that can't be unreasonably withheld either. And that only applies to phone bought after that date. And this only applies in the US. Us Canadians can still do what ever we want, even Rogers is realizing this and changing their policy in a few months.

Been wondering about that with the devices people bought in Canada. Presumably if you buy a device from a Canadian carrier, you are paying the full freight and it isn't locked into any plan (otherwise you'd be paying a monthly fee for 36 months). I'd guess that if you bought a Canadian device at full price (from one of the Carriers or from BestBuy/FutureShop (if you can get them... I notice they are sold out again), you could unlock that in the US as none of the Canadian carriers would care.

You mean instead of getting official apps meant for my device, I can sideload apps that will not be the best 'version' of it (since its not meant for my phone), and since its built on an inferior version of Android (meaning, not even close to the current version)????

I can't wait!!! Oh wait..... why doesn't BB just get these developers to release true spec versions meant for BB10????

Oh wait..... why doesn't BB just get these developers to release true spec versions meant for BB10????
Are you being funny or do you really believe BB has to power to do as you are suggesting?

Don't get confused with the few mentioning "jailbreaking". It's for iphones and they're iphone users. Lol