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Future BlackBerry PlayBook updates to eliminate the ability to side load applications, but is that really such a bad thing?

PlayBook Android Apps
By Jared DiPane on 7 Apr 2012 04:55 pm EDT
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RIM plans to do away with side loading on the BlackBerry PlayBook, but that may not be such a bad thing. 

Many of you may have already caught wind that yesterday on Twitter Alec Saunder, RIM's VP of Developer Relations, advised that future updates to the BlackBerry PlayBook would remove the ability to sideload applications. Immediately this caused an uproar; people jumped on the defensive and thought this was an awful idea.

Before we get our knickers in a bunch, and deem this to be "yet another failure by RIM", let's look at the whole picture and some of the reasons behind why they may be doing this.  Then, let's look at how it actually is better, in quite a few ways, for the developers. Sure, it's not the most ideal situation, but let's hit the break together and explore a few of the reasons that RIM may be making this decision.

Preventing Piracy

One of the large obstacles that Android developers face today is that their applications are often pirated, and installing Android applications on a device is extremely easy. Once someone has the APK file for the application, which doesn't take much to get, they can easily install or distribute. Since the release of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, and the ability to convert these APK files to a BAR file (the application installer for the BlackBerry PlayBook), that means even more potential for users to do this. Within a matter of just a few minutes someone can take a developer's paid application, convert it to a file that can be sideloaded on the PlayBook, upload it to any random hosting site and make it available for just about anyone to download.

Put yourself in the developer's shoes in this situation. RIM is all about the developers right now; they have folks behind the scenes working with more large name companies than you would even believe right now. The last thing they want is for someone's paid application to become a free application on their platform and the reason behind that is obvious. Every time this happens, we most likely have one less developer who will EVER be interested in developing for the BlackBerry platform or converting their existing application. Sure, you could argue that the increase in installs would show them that we are interested in their application, but I doubt the developer would see it like this. Apparently, through discussions with developers in trying to get their application ported to the PlayBook, RIM has found out from several developers that they are not interested in doing so until the ability to sideload has been removed.

Enhancing the user experience

You would assume that having more applications available is what enhances the experience, right? Well, to some yes - but to most no. Have you ever installed an application and it didn't work? What is your first thought when that happens? It is either blamed on the device or the application.  When we create a BAR file and make it available, we are expecting the app to work on a platform that developers never intended it to work on, and we the user may still blame the developer of the app if or when it doesn't work. While many understand that converting applications will be a hit or miss thing, think about all the users who aren't active in the forums, that don't read the blogs all day long. They will stumble upon a post that shows them how to sideload on the PlayBook, see a few apps that we have recommended, and then they will start branching off into others.

The second these users hit an application that force closes, or gives any other issues or error messages, odds are that they will become annoyed at the developer. Unfortunately, this is not the developer's fault, they likely never intended for it to be on the PlayBook, and yet they are blamed. RIM wants to make sure that the experience on their platform is top notch, they don't want a user's first experience to be with an application that is not properly converted, and incorrectly loaded.

So, now that we can kind of see why RIM has made this decision, and how it can help in some ways, let's also take a look at how this can have some big negative impacts.

Beta Testing of Applications

Since OTA downloads (outside of BlackBerry App World) are not currently supported on the BlackBerry PlayBook, the only way for a developer to get their application onto the device of their testers is by having it sideloaded. Removing the ability to sideload will have a huge impact on this, as developers will not be able to distribute their applications to their test groups, causing room for lots of issues. Developers often seek out a group of people to help them find issues, test features and more, and this helps them release a market worthy application. 

Currently developers have a sandbox in BlackBerry App World in which they can add BlackBerry ID's to and basically give away their application. This allows the user to install the market version of the application at no cost to them. A system like this would be great, and what we would need but without having to force the developers to put their beta application into App World for general download as well. 

Behind the scenes RIM could always be working on some type of system which would allow developers to register devices and allow for local installs similar to Test Flight on iOS, but as of now we have no knowledge of such a thing. Sure, developers could put their applications into App World under the test center to get feedback, but that is harder to control. Alec tweeted that he thinks there is a solution for developers in the works, so here's to hoping it is ready when they remove the ability to sideload, and not after the fact.

Discuss more in the forums 

217 comments

koool1

95 percent of Android sideloads suck anyway. Who cares.

shemaree09

90% of the apps work, it's just that the Android App player is buggy and unstable. It randomly crashes all the time.

123berryaddicted

Yeah, and 90% of the Android apps people want have to be sideloaded - go figure. I know for me, the only two android apps I care about at the moment is Kindle and Kik, and both have to be sideloaded...

Bla1ze

90% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Zutuk

Including this one.

mithrazor

Statistics show 80% of statistics are inaccurate.

ice4u2

If RIM would stop bragging about it's 70K apps and start focusing on the popular apps people actually use, this wouldn't be a problem.

paolap

To answer shortly, yes, it'a BAD thing... at this point, I'm in such a pissy mood when it comes to RIM announcements, that it doesn't matter what explanation they are giving, my head functions this way:
- you take something away from my PB --> bad thing
Sorry RIM and CB, not buying your explanations...

birdman_36

I'd just like to see an update after the 2.0 upgrade. There hasn't been anything pop up since.

shemaree09

I think it's a bad thing to remove sideloading. It's not like developers have been porting their apps to Playbook, so why would they start now.

The reason most people sideload apps is because the developers won't do it.

All of the sideloaded apps converted are free anyway.

123berryaddicted

Yes I agree, and it certainly hasn't hurt Androids app count any....

jdelvalle56

The only reason I stayed faithful to blackberry was the ability to sideload siriusxm and kindle. If this goes away I go away. I love my PlayBook and all but there are not enough companies producing apps for BlackBerry. Sirius hasn't supported blackberry since the 9700. I own 5 BB7 phones and 2 playbooks. I for one could care less about games and such. But trying to explain this to wife and kids over and over is starting to take its toll on me. I hope and pray that BB knows what they are doing. I have contacted Sirius time and time again and they have no plans to support any new BB devices. I will never go to IOS but may have consider Android if this insanity doesn't stop.

jefflabonte

same here! I have been considering Android so many times! Ios haha no way I go there! I love my blackberries and I sure hhope that RIM knows what they are doing!

UberschallSamsara

Regarding "All of the sideloaded apps converted are free anyway." ...

Copyright law 101 (at least in the USA):

1. The author of a work owns the copyright, automatically, without needing to file for any protection of it.

2. Third parties can't redistribute a work without written permission from the author.

3. The above applies regardless of the asking price of the work, even if the asking price is zero.

This protects authors from completely losing control of their work, including having it altered and redistributed.

If you don't like the law, then work with your legislator to change it. There are probably other laws that protect you, and you would probably prefer that people don't randomly break them just because they feel like it.

mughni

Exactly my thoughts. But first Kevin...Please stop trying to justify RIM all the time. accept the fact that they are making a bunch of bad decisions which effects the overall user experience and that is why Rim is so beneath Apple and android.
Coming to the topic, yes people will only(mostly) sideload android apps 'cause they are not available in the appworld.a and the mere fact that a required application can be used on playbook is what makes the user to sideload it.
Secondly, think about it, if some one sideloads an android application on to playbook, it is not directly effecting the developer is it? i mean its not that he himself converted that app for playbook or made it available on Appworld.

JackKennedy

I agree and I am not completely against the idea of having a smoother user experience by preventing users using unstable apps, BUT I think RIM chose a bad strategy and a bad timing for announcing/implementing.

Users don't care about developers or other stuff; they care about the end product and its functions. The message is effectively saying RIM is taking away even more functions from the Playbook.

A wiser strategy would be to come up with a solution first, e.g., negotiating with a few major apps/developers so most (or at least some) of what users sideload would be available on the Playbook platform, BEFORE announcing this.

I don't understand why RIM consistently sabotage itself.

musical1806

"The reason most people sideload apps os because the developer wont do it"

How many of those "people" actually bothered to ask the developer in the first place.? Once it has been convert no one is going to email the developer and say - I thought you should know i have sideloaded your app on to my BB PB.

And just because something is free on one platform that doesnt give you the right to take it and use it against the devs wishes.

As long as they find a way to give access to devs, i am happy.

musical1806

"The reason most people sideload apps os because the developer wont do it"

How many of those "people" actually bothered to ask the developer in the first place.? Once it has been convert no one is going to email the developer and say - I thought you should know i have sideloaded your app on to my BB PB.

And just because something is free on one platform that doesnt give you the right to take it and use it against the devs wishes.

As long as they find a way to give access to devs, i am happy.

Apelles123

Sideloading is an act of frustration and desperation ! BlackBerry had better substantially improve App World, it's an abysmal swamp of filled with garbage second only to Apps Lib the pseudo android market for unapproved android devices. Some of these apps from Apps Lib have been directly ported over to App world. BlackBerry doesn't necessarily need big names such as Skype or Netflix but ordinary apps such as a basic photo gallery that allows the user to organize their photos in a coherent manner are absent. Apps that are able to preform basic functions often don't exist. This is an epic failure for a platform that prides itself on Enterprise functions. Many are turning away from BlackBerry and sacrificing security for apps that have ability to preform ordinary tasks. Although BlackBerry is a great platform it is soon becoming obsolete. This can change if they do something about it.

killa4luv

Some of you are delusional. You can sideload more than just android apps, u can sideload native apps, free ones, paid ones, whatever, tons of them are available if you know how to look.

Its cool to be able to do it from a users stand point, but the piracy is a legit concern, I've got tons of sideloaded apps on my PB. Games and apps from big name developers are available for sideload too. Its a problem.

If you are too selfish to see that then thats on you. Developers make apps to make money and sideloading, while a really cool feature for those of us savvy enough to do it, hurts developers, which in turn hurts the playbook. If we love our playbooks, but we have to be grownups about this.

On the other hand RIM needs to make sure that the moment the eleminate sideloading some of the major sideloaded apps are available. Kindle is a major one and pandora is as well. Ive enjoyed the magic carpet ride but I'd glady give up sideloading if it meant more apps were coming to App World, and more developers were excited to develop for the PB.

We can't have it both ways.

Concession

1. Piracy is practically non existent on the Playbook. The few PB apps that are floating around are due to RIMs incompetence. They still haven't fixed the bug that exposes the .bar files installed on the playbook during a backup. Maybe they should get rid if the one way to extract .bar files from the Playbook, instead of removing the way to load .bar files.

2. Your argument doesn't even make sense. So how are users easily branching off to other apps that don't work? The only way to do that is to start downloading RIM development tools. No normal user is going to do that.

3. So making it harder to test apps somehow is making life easier for developers...?

Sorry, but removing sideloading does nothing but annoy hardcore users and make the lives of current developers harder. It is incredibly misguided for RIM to be sinking resources into this when there are so many other features badly needed before BB10 launches.

Bla1ze

"Piracy is practically non existent on the Playbook"

I hope you didn't say that with a straight face.

Concession

There's lots of converted android apps. Those aren't Playbook apps. That has nothing to do with piracy on the playbook and is a side effect of piracy on android.

Good luck finding geereader pro, angry birds, or any non-android playbook app on the internet easily. You can't.

The few that are out there are because RIM still hasn't plugged the backup issue.

Bla1ze

Sorry, you're sadly mistaken. I won't post them for obvious reasons but they are out there. Just because you CANNOT find them, does not mean they don't exist.

Marc_Paradise

Nearly every single paid PlayBook app can be found for free at various locations. You're simply incorrect.

UberschallSamsara

Edit: I misread Marc's comment as pertaining to free Android apps being redistributed by parties other than the original author, so I retract my reply to Marc regarding copyright.

BB_Bmore

Seriously that was hilarious lol

F2

I have to agree with you.

As to the piracy argument - Has rim never heard of Torrents for Win apps? Grabbing someone else's work is no harder or easier than torrent downloads. Removing sideloading removes a valuable tool for developers and their testers.

It also makes rim the sole distributor of apps for MY Playbook. Some might not remember that Rim stonewalled 3rd party browsers and those were distributed free and had to be sideloaded. Those 3rd party browsers still offer more power and abilities than the native browser. Yes, they are now available but what other interesting or good apps has Rim stonewalled?

We know from Zinio that rim has decided certain magazine content is not available for viewing - again on the PB most people have spent their own money acquiring.

I also raised the question of why Rim does not just come up with a scheme to restrict access to the backup files (if that backup even works). Encrypt - no easy access to those bar installs. Rim is known for security - employ it here.

I'd have to agree copyright infringement is not appropriate but I really don't think piracy is what has kept Kindle (amazon), hulu, Nook, skype and others from providing apps. And when they do, there is generally no reason to pirate or sideload as those apps generally don't cost money. They provide access to content (like zinio) that costs money.

Rim appears to be trying to corner the market on sales of apps. They've modeled their behavior on Apple.

I'm sure that the issue is decided but that does not mean folks should not raise their collective voices in objection.

Crackberry can also help by discussing more of the cons of this move. Suggesting that "we hope rim does x before it implements this policy" is not a very strong argument.

And rim has done such a fine job with its existing store - map apps up the yingyang and books that should be free are posted at a profit. Yes, I see they sincerely care about what is developed for the pb.

musical1806

"They modeled their behavior on Apple" ....... How is copying the most successful App store a bad thing?

BBThemes

RIM SDK license section 7 H:
You will not knowingly develop or distribute any Application or make available any products, services or content available through any Application that infringes any RIM, RIM affiliate or third party copyrights, trademarks, industrial design rights, rights of privacy and publicity, trade secrets, patents, or other proprietary or legal rights (e.g. musical composition or performance rights, photography or image rights, logo rights, or third party data rights);

this is what users of signing keys and the conversion process sign up to. these are legally binding terms and conditions.

it doesnt take a genius to see that as soon as you convert the app you are copying someones logo and probably breaching 3rd party copyrights. so yes, it IS piracy, doesnt matter if the app is free on android or not, as your still breaking the T+C`s of RIM at the very minimum.

weihnachtshase

Android apps on Playbook most of the time fail badly. In AppWorld you can't see if one is a native one. Furthermore there is no refund for these non working apps.
Also there are so many apps missing right now and sideloading is the only chance of getting basic funtionality to my playbook.
So is sideloading a bad thing? No! Not as long as I can't trust AppWorld and not as long as there are no alternatives.
Example given: Where's an app to access samba shares (ES Explorer not available trough AppWorld)? Where are tv guides for Europe?

mitchs61

Very Good perspective...I have too side loaded apps on my playbook and as I installed each BAR file I always thought...if there is an update to this program I'm pretty sure I won't get notified or have that upgrade available. Having to get the app through app world will also bring notifications when upgrades are available

deloreancowboy

Taking away the ability to sideload apps onto the PlayBook will make RIM lose at least five customers since I'm currently saving up to buy a few 16GB PlayBooks one for each of my family. It's a shame too. *smh* Not that I would be sideloading apps onto their devices, but onto mine I would and I'll switch devices in a heartbeat if I can't update the apps I already have I'll just switch to Android. And why not just get them the same tablet I have if I'm going to switch.

00stryder

The idea is that sideloading is done (primarily) to port Android apps over to the PlayBook, and if this is the case, then it wouldn't be a bad thing if RIM eliminated sideloading... IF they are able to convince developers/companies to develop/port their own apps onto the QNX-based OS through App World. If it were the case that a significant amount of the apps people have come to expect on other platforms make their way into App World, then sideloading for this purpose would be unncecessary.

BUT, that argument completely ignores what Concession pointed out in his/her third point about making it difficult for devs to test their own apps. Sideloading is also necessary for this purpose, as well as for apps that are not found in App World (for whatever reason) like the game console emulators that are being developed by a great community of BlackBerry devs.

And if the idea is to promote safety, then RIM is only lying to themselves. The way that QNX is designed, on top of the fact that RIM themselves created the PlayBook OS environment to be one that essentially keeps the device in a sandbox, it wouldn't even matter if a user ended up installing malware on their device; it couldn't jump onto their phone or other PlayBooks automatically, unless they (the user) did it themselves.

GreenLeaf182

I really don't want RIM to get rid of this. I love having the steam app on my playbook

dadymon

Most apps converted to bar files are apps that are free! The people in the crack berry forums who do the conersions will not covert a paid app! So if a developer is serious about making their app available for the blackberry platform side loading should not be an issue. If an app that I side loaded became available in app world I would purchase it!

So, I think there needs to be a discussion about price of some of these apps in app world, when the same android app cost less!

buckwylder

___i juSt like my playbook, leaVe. It Alone - I have never sideloaded. Any app for any reason because I don't do pointleSs things. Except random periods with some oddlY placed capital letters

Peace_________________________________________________________

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

SCrid2000

As an, albiet small time, developer I absolutely feel this is an awful idea. Not only will I lose out on the ability to test my own apps without going through the difficult process of creating a debug token, I will not be able to have others test my apps at all.
If anyone thinks this will make things easier for developers to make quality apps, they're sadly mistaken.

That being said, I'm hoping RIM will have an acceptable solution.

caquito07

No side load means no improvement from OS 1 to OS 2, this is the only real thing from all that was promised for OS2.

It's true that the OS2 supports Android apps, but how many usable Android apps have been officially converted and made available in the App World?

BTW, is this update really happening?

00stryder

You were always able to sideload on the PlayBook; OS2 did not introduce this ability. Nevertheless, it would not benefit the overall appeal of the PlayBook to the general public.

playbookster

Get rid of it. Would rather have the native app anyways, and if this will entice developers to do it then so be it!

lalston393

Of course we would rather have native apps on the Playbook. The thing is developers haven't been eager to put apps on the playbook. Many of the most popular apps that IOS and Android have are non-existent in App World. Netflix, probably in the top 5 of most wanted apps, have said they're not planning on developing for the PB. I think a lot of developers are taking a wait, and see approach with RIM to see how things turn out. In their eyes, what's the point of making an app for a platform that might not be around much longer? I love my Playbook and BB, but I regard 2012 as a make or break year for RIM. Unless they blow everyone away with BB10(It's not enough to catch up with IOS or Android anymore), they are going to lose customers in droves. Restricting, for what is right now, the only way for people to get the apps they want is only going to speed up the up the process.

borceg

Great news RIM - if you continue with this nonsense you'll die sooner than expected. Embracing microsofts strategy won't help you to improve user experience.

trsbbs

Clealy a spin article on CBs part.

We can not longer depend on this website and it's writters to reflect or represent the BB user.

They print what they want and will not pi$$ off the almighty RIM.

Thor calls Kevin and now Thor has Kevin and CB in his back pocket. ought and paid for in full.

Come CB,, tell the truth and it will set you free!

Tim

Bla1ze

Yes, because writing a article that sparks conversation must always mean that.

Look at the comments. See how many people have stated they don't want RIM to lock down sideloading?

It's much easier to show a different side of the fence then it is to post, ZOMG RIM IS FAILING CONSUMERS AGAIN!!! Those types of articles are getting old and boring to read and no one who wants RIM to succeed wants to read yet another RIM is failing post.

The other side was shown and people spoke out against it. Mission successful.

TLS2000

So you're saying you wanted people to get mad that CB is spinning this really bad move to make it seem positive?

I respect CB for the most part, but there comes a time when you have to call a spade a spade. RIM keeps making bad choices. They obviously aren't talking to the people who are actually buying their products.

I bought my PlayBook on day 2 of sales. Paid $600 for it. I watched as it failed and the prices fell to stimulate sales. I watched as RIM failed to keep their promise to have features quickly. I'm still watching how RIM has failed to release BBM for it.

I got the Torch 9810 shortly after it came out. Sadly it turned out to be a VERY minor upgrade to the 9800 that I had and I quickly grew bored of it (especially after it bricked itself twice). I switched to Android in January.

I *REALLY* want to keep my faith in RIM, but I'm still not seeing anything to show that BB10 will be revolutionary. Revolutionary is what they need if they want to make a comeback. Being another also-ran isn't going to cut it this time.

raoul_duke

totally agree!
i love my bold and my playbook and i _USED_ to love visiting crackberry.com
but today will be my last visit of this ignorant fanboy kingdom.
i consider myself a bb fanboy, but i'm neither deaf nor blind (nor stupid). you need to call a spade a spade!!
i am sick of reading everyday that the stupid decisions rim makes are smart moves. i don't want them to bash rim, there are plenty of other websites for that, but it does not help to deny the truth! that's what rim has been doing for the last couple of years...

pushfan

Figures, now that I have side loaded Kindle because RIM has not provided it in app world as promised they will figure a way to block it or keep me from downloading updates. Their only reader is the native KOBO which is highly problematic, not only the app but dealing with KOBO itself. Maybe with KOBO no longer a Canadian company that loyalty will change. Also, the sideloaded eBay app works great. Why doesn't RIM spend a little money and pay a developer to produce some of these apps instead of just waiting for it to happen. They can price them to recover the cost and at the same time make some of us users happier that they bought a PB and not an Ipad. I can understand developers not wanting to spend time on the Playbook with it's future doubtful and the as thus far lack of RIM producing on their promises timely or not. The bridge is the big advantage of the Playbook but with so many wifi spots and phone hotspot capability is meaning less and less. As of now the main reason Blackberry has retained me as a customer is the email security and the ability to sync to Outlook. Granted my 9930 is a good phone but is not the only good phone. I do not need a remote or a tablet for games so I am probably not in the demographic they are after. My next tablet will be chosen on what it is really doing, not on hollow promises from a once great company.

fgoyti

Google will never make a google maps client for Playbook. For the longest time, the gmail website didnt' even work! I like my Google Maps sideloaded .... it's the only way

nothin2seehere

I don't see how the ability to install APK files on Android has negatively impacted the devs in the Android Market. How is this any different?!

I like having a few apps on my PB (mainly the Zynga ones, in fact there is nothing else) so I wouldn't be too buggered if I couldn't sideload any more, but to lose that freedom would just piss me off and probably drive me away.

north60hale

We don't need a million apps, but the basics - kindle, linkedin, wunderlist, etc - need to be available. If not, it's a big step back for the playbook.

Jayeboi

I will be extremely disappointed if this next update inhibits my access to the only two android apps that I have side loaded (Kindle & IMBd). Since the rollout of the OS2 upgrade I have been very pleased with my Playbook. As someone who purchased a 32gb Playbook when they were first released and stuck with it thru all of RIM's failed promises...I would NOT be happy if you make this move. My patience wears Very thin...take heed RIM...take heed!

playbookster

From what i understand you will still be able to keep your current sideloaded apps but will not be able to sideload any new ones.

GeneralTech

Dear Rim

You're not very good with public relations, look i don't care what you need to do to better the brand just don't leave me in the lurch, if you gonna announce your gonna take something away from me, make sure im gonna get something else in return.

Announce there will be no sideloading after you tell us were gonna get a glut of fresh native apps or skype or netflix or some shit. Realize that this sideloading is helping to keep your brand relevant and giving us bad news now, helps you none and piles on to the existing shit pile of badnews we have to endure, which makes us more pessimistic. BB users don't need unnecessary bad news, samsung galaxy s3 and iphone 5 is on their way ipad hd just came out.

Your company badly needs to whipped into shape, but in the public relations part of your business your lacking in common sense. This did not need to be said now did it? thought so.

F2

What, you don't believe more of the usual smoke emanating from rim? To quote from the article above:

"they have folks behind the scenes working with more large name companies than you would even believe right now."

Right. So before they deliver "more large name companies's" apps, they will remove access to even the few that make sense.

Sorely disappointed in this proposed move.

Darlaten

We've been hearing that there is always something being worked on in the background of RIM. This is usually followed by the dont worry, things will be great soon comment. Sadly, as history has shown, NONE of this is true nor has it come to pass.

tekware

Using your logic, there should be no Android apps or developers, as it is easy to side load on Android devices. In three years there are almost 500,000 apps for Android and that number is growing quickly. CrackBerry reported in February of this year that there were 60,000 apps available in App World. Why are all these developers writing apps for Android devices?

If I want a device that is ridiculously controlled by the manufacturer and only allows me to do what they want, I'll buy an Apple and deal with iTunes. I've chosen not to do that and go with BlackBerry for both my 9900 and my Playbook. If RIM wants me to take the plunge and move to Android, all they have to do is make themselves look more like Apple.

The reason people are side loading is incredibly simple. The app is not available in App World. Users want apps. They want a decent ereader, a better pdf reader, games that everyone else is playing,map programs that work, file managers that do what our's don't, and on and on. RIM in constantly touting how App World apps and BlackBerry users in general are always willing to pay more for their apps. That's not exactly true. We accept having to pay more, because not accepting would mean to do without. Having said that, we still often do without, since the app is just not available on our devices. Now we are at least able to try and get an Android app through side loading. We're well aware that it won't run as smoothly as a native app, it might not run at all, it will take longer to load, and may crash the Android player. We know all this yet we still side load. Why? We want the freakin' app! The ability to load Android apps was what prompted a great many of us to purchase a Playbook. I myself waited until I knew that OS 2 was about to become available before I purchased one. Apps are what drive a device's sales and make that device useful and worth showing off. No apps makes the device a paperweight. It's really not unlike piracy. Make the product easy to obtain and sell it an affordable price, and people will purchase it. Make it difficult or impossible to obtain, make some people wait while others don't have to (think regional copyright laws), and people will pirate. They would have purchased the product if it were available.

If RIM doesn't want people to side load apps, the solution is easy. Make the apps that people want available in App World. Then they won't have to side load and they won't side load. That doesn't mean that they still don't want the ability to side load. Testing apps, apps developed specifically for a small group of users or a single company should still be able to use side loading. It's part of the reason that they purchased the product in the first place.

Kiddo2050

Well said, and I hope Alec Sanders will come on here and answer up to these posts. Alec WHERE ARE THE APPS? WHY DO YOU THINK WE SIDE LOAD? Because developers are not putting their apps up on App World. whoever is in charge of developers relations at RIM is failing in their job! Oh that's you.

UberschallSamsara

"Using your logic, there should be no Android apps or developers, as it is easy to side load on Android devices. In three years there are almost 500,000 apps for Android and that number is growing quickly. "

There are tons of Android apps because there are tons of devices and users. This is a simple question of population size. Lots of those apps are junk, student projects, abandonware, and detritus from folks who tried the hot new thing only to find there was no return on investment.

vr666

I agree. They have an android runtime but only "officially" have crappy android apps in app world. For the free apps, this doesn't matter. But, something went wrong with my account and I am unable to buy anything from appworld. I have contacted rim and they told me there is nothing more they can do. I would have to get a separate account and separate credit card (which I do not want to do). Which means I can ONLY get the paid apps on my PlayBook by sideloading. If they prevent me from sideloading then I can no longer have any apps that require payment. Even if I want to pay for them, I can't. Dumb rim, dumb, dumb, dumb.

ryanlrobinson

As a developer, then as long as they give us a way to still test effectively on our devices, then I'm happy with this. Maybe piracy isn't a huge thing, but for a company that prides itself on security and that is trying really hard to win over developers, it just makes sense for them to limit the ability for our apps to be distributed without us seeing the profits.

As a user, I definitely sympathize with the user experience point as well. I sideloaded a couple of apps a while ago but haven't really bothered since - there aren't enough apps that I really care about which are good enough. For the most part I'm happy to let App World handle quality control instead of risking faulty apps by sideloading. With that said, RIM should seriously consider paying a hefty fee if that's what it takes to get Amazon to release a Kindle app, get a Skype app, a Netflix app, etc.

xenrobia

I have never side-loaded an App and I currently have no intention of ever doing so. For myself it's a security consideration and the fact that I have Zero tolerance for flakey applications; hell, I don't even like Apps that I've downloaded from AppWorld that have remnants of the old Android OS about them. I prefer my Apps to function as if designed for the Playbook from the ground up, but these are all my choices. Now, imagine you are the IT manager for a large corporation and you are issuing PlayBooks to employees for their mobile computing needs. Would you be happy if these employees took those PlayBooks home and started side-loading God knows what on to their tablets? Just a wee tiny bit of a security issue, don't you think? Considering that security is one of the primary reasons for RIM's success, do you honestly think they should abandon one of the core features of their devices to accommodate a few users desire for this, or that App? And please don't even try to tell me that the ability to side-load doesn't represent a potential security risk.

If you are really adamant about maintaining the ability to side-load apps for development purposes, you could pickup a new, or used 16GB Playbook (lord knows they're cheap enough) and not load the OS upgrade on to it. I think it is more then likely, however, that RIM is working on a more elegant solution for it's developer community, since it has done nothing but bend over backwards to attract as many developers as it can.

xravishx

I think you make an excellent point. I am personally a little on the fence about the side-loading apps issue. I, for one, have side-loaded a couple apps myself with full realization that the apps are going to be buggy and not work properly all the time. However, these apps consist of things I can definitely live without (Words WF and Kindle). Words I loaded because it makes it slightly easier to play in an app rather than in the browser and Kindle I haven't even touched since I loaded it (I've been using my epub reader).

I understand that side-loading make things easier for devs to distribute test apps and also understand that it also makes the Playbook more open to apps not currently offered in App World (free and, unfortunately, otherwise).

However, I also understand, especially after the previous post, that making it easy to load apps on the Playbook (or any device for that matter) presents certain security risks that could and should be deemed by a company who supposedly prides itself in device security to be a major flaw that could and definitely should be fixed. In fact, I'm not sure how they've allowed it for so long to begin with.

For RIM to remove side-loading apps as we know it would be a bit of a disappointment to me since I would have some convenience removed. However, that convenience was never a design of RIM and I had lived without side-loaded Android apps before AND if it adds more security to my device without that cost of removing features (of which side-loading really isn't one) then so be it. 2.0 brought in more apps to App World in the shape of Android apps and I'm pretty happy about that despite the bugginess of the player. So, maybe with the update they'll also iron out the player a bit more. Here's hoping. :)

Angus_CB

If users can install anything on the Business side of their Playbook the IT policy isn't set up correctly.

Shadowsong

But I think Jared left out the bit where it makes sense for RIM to ditch maintaining a bb android java runtime... That would make sense from an economical standpoint - right now it's crunch time and we can't afford to be maintaining a runtime that doesn't necessarily guarantee a solid user experience.

Kiddo2050

This would be all well and good IF RIM had all the top Apps but they don't (why oh why does RIM never want to face the facts). The three Apps I use most on my Playbook, are NYT, Financial Times and The Economist. None of those Apps are available on the Playbook. Alec Sanders you are FAILING to do your jos (especially NYT no excuses, GET THAT APP!!). I also use the Kindle App, another one RIM HAS FAILED TO GET.

If these apps ever stop working on my PB and are not available in App World, I will buy another tablet and never buy another product from RIM.

glamrlama

I Sideload because app world is not providing what I need. Torrent client; bunch of emulators; kindle; RepliGo .PDF reader just off the top of my head. This could be a deal breaker for me. When do the Win8 tablets get released again? See my tagline below. If it's not in app world and I can't Sideload a solution I will certainly be exploring another platform quickly.

/Device agnosticism or bust!

Goggleboi

I hate the patronizing tone people take when addressing how piracy is wrong. It isnt. Nipping at the moral bud of consumers beliefs that stealing is wrong. They dont care. They only care about forever controlling their precious copywriters to keep rolling in the money. I could go on and on about how piracy was around since the dawn of humans, building a culture for each generation. Only now, big companies want to hog the information to themselves by putting up copyrights that last thousands of years beyond the death of the creator.

You guys know who Walt Disney is? He made a bunch of memorable animated movies, kick starting animation to mainstream as well, because he "stole" the work from the Grimm Fairy Tales, who stole their ideas from traditional folk stories. The creativity that shaped those generations would have been lost if copy writes existed like they do today. You know, lasting way longer than intended, and pressuring governments to control the freedom of information with giant lawsuits for regular families, and punishing entire countries with stopping physical goods from entering unless they adopt American laws on cracking down on piracy.

TLDR: Companies are yanking your moral chain to get you to agree with their quest for power and control over the freedom of information.

I side load pirated apps. Money is the main reason. Why spend money on software, when it can go to more expensive hardware that I wouldn't normally be able to get?

Some apps are overpriced. IM+ is $8 on the appstore. Its free everywhere else. Its a good app, but for the price, it should at least include video/voice chat.

There should be free demos for apps. Half the reviews for every app I read for, has people posting "app sucks / doesnt work /wasnt worth the price" and want a refund. NO idea if people do get refunds, but Id like to know if an app is good enough to spend my hard earned money on before I buy.

I prefer donations with explanations of the work that went into the app than simple buy it now prices. I know of some apps that the developer put work and heart into their ap, and would like to donate what I feel is worth it for a very helpful app, and the donations go strait to them. I dont know about RIM's financial trouble, but they cant be that hard off if they gave out Playbooks like candy to whoever submitted and app. I dont need to tell you, there's a ton of crappy apps in the store that were obviously cash ins for a free tablet.

Honestly, if they disable the ability to sideload apps, I'll sell my Playbook. I dont pay for apps now, and STILl wont pay for them after they axe sideloading. With the extra cash Im saving for each app I pirate, I was planning on splurging on the keyboard dock (something I can't get by pirating). But screw any support if they go through with this.

Also, lol @ no Netflix, Kindle, Google maps, and the multitude of other apps that should be easily available right now in the app store.

mrtouchedme

This makes perfect sense....I steal things, so I can save money to purchase the things, from other vendors, that I can't easily steal! right, nice theory and morals, I'm going to start doing this every where! If it fits in my pocket it's free, so I can use my money to purchase big items that I can't walk out of any store unnoticed with...but its ok because I'm getting what I want! seems greedy and selfish, self entitlement issues maybe

Goggleboi

Like I said, rich and powerful companies have nothing to fear because they have plenty of people like you who have a redicoulsy honor code and will ride that moral chain to the bank.

For me, I'm a bit more realistic and smart about how I spend money. I am not religious, so I dont have the heavy moral chains bagging me down. Perhaps youve seen an image of how piracy is explained? Imagine I "steal" your car by making a copy of it, but its still there the next day.

Have you ever taped songs off the radio before? How about sing happy birthday to your kids? You just broke a copyright! Time Warner owns the rights to Happy Birthday, which is why whenever there's a birthday episode for a tv show, its usually some weird offshoot of the song instead of the actual lyrics/melody. Companies can and DO file lawsuits for those kinds of "crimes",, and have no moral qualms what suing a working class family for $50,000 because they downloaded 10 bucks worth of music.

Again, rich and powerful media companies have no moral qualms about suing you any tiny infringement they can think of. At the same time you think they need you to defend them from pirates. Hell, if they could, they would copyright the word "love" and charge you each time you say it.

I recommend watching the documentary: http://films.nfb.ca/rip-a-remix-manifesto/
A lobbyist in there is the one that said he wished they owned the word "love" so they could charge you even more money.

It explains how piracy has always existed and why its important to new generations of people the world over, from music to life saving drugs.

Unless you skipped over my reasons for defending piracy, and skipped strait to yelling, "THIEVES!" and choose to ignore the why part of the story. I can bring up my own story about a poor person stealing bread to feed his family, and you would be the first person to yell "Off with his hands!"

TLDR: Companies have no moral qualms about selling you overpriced digital goods, hiding away information, suing the house off of you for any infringement breaks they can think of, selling your private information to other companies, and turning the internet into a giant online store. But consumers are meant to police themselves with morals. Get real.

mrtouchedme

Yes, you're completely right....lying, cheating and stealing is realistic and smart of you! Why are you bringing religion into it? I'm not religious at all, but your self entitlement problems are very twisted if you really think you deserve anything free. Regardless of who else it hurts, as long as you can buy everything you want then you're happy and fine stealing copies of the things you can't afford! You assume a lot about me and call people names because they don't agree with you, shows your lack of maturity...which I guess is where these selfish issues spawn from! Really though, you feel such need to defend a decision you're completely comfortable with, and insist we all see and research your views with a single biased documentary you've found...yet you insult us and claim we are idiots and schmucks, while you dismiss our views as nonsense! Your comparison to a poor family is not valid, you're comparing a basic need (eating to survive, not stealing bread so he can afford a keyboard) to your selfish want of apps and material things that don't effect your survival, just you're inability to generate enough income to support your desires! I hate to inform you that regardless of the biased documentaries and the examples you use to support your theories, the world hasn't advanced and grown by giving people everything they want for free....money and people spending money are what have pushed advancements! You rationalize your behavior by criticizing companies for making money, taking money from you...but you have no problem taking money from them, seems slightly hypocritical! Since we're making assumptions, by the same examples you're trying to make, I assume you either don't work, or work for free...as making money from your hard work is against your views! Also, I assume from your examples you'd be willing to spend months, possibly years of your life creating a product...invest thousands of your own dollars to create it and manufacturer it, advertise it, ship it, and be fine if everyone in the world just walked in and made copies of it for free and used it however they wished, then let others make copies and distribute it openly around the world....as long as you retained the now worthless original copy of your hard work and investment, its acceptable that you lost all that time and money while everyone else benefits freely from your losses! You misunderstand, no where did I defend companies that are suing people or the prices they charge for media, I merely commented on your "its ok to steal so I can afford to buy everything I can't steal" idea, yet you make comments about others reading comprehension skills! Also, I would never cut anyone's hands off for stealing...

Realistic and smart is realizing that you can't afford everything and budgeting for the things you need...maybe try saving up for the things you can't afford, or putting yourself in a better position to find higher paying job opportunities that will allow your income to support your spending requirements, instead of sitting around acting like you are owed these things for free...I know in your mind this isn't a great solution, and I'm still going to be unrealistic and stupid in your mind because I can afford to buy the things I need and am capable of saving money to buy things I might want now and in the future....how horrible of me, or people in general to have the disposable income to support their purchasing needs :/

scrapmetal58

I could not agree more. That person is the reason why many developers do not want to develop for RIM (or sometimes even Android).

bob_ontario

The next time you steal an old ladies handbag, look over your shoulder. Your friendly police will be happy to argue the legality of it.

vr666

Wow, your username should be mrissues. Gee take a pill

edyb

As a developer myself, I don't agree with your morality argument concerning piracy. If everyone pirated, we would kill the very developers who are trying to make a living giving us stuff we want. Hardware is useless without good software. Developers need to be paid.

However, I do agree that they should keep the PlayBook as "open" as possible, to sideloading options or whatever. I do not like any lock-downs and this is a move to restrict options. Exactly the reason I can't stand iTunes, DRM and much of the current appstore environment for all platforms, including Google and Apple. As a developer, I am willing to tolerate some fringe piracy of my wares for the advantage of being able to experiment more with my device and leaving it more open, which includes sideloading.

Before the latest model for tablet software distribution came along, you could download from independent sites and install on your devices. That is how the PC software industry started. Now each platform OS has a centralized store... Apple iTunes, Microsoft Appstore, Google Play... even for major office apps on mainstream PC's, not just tablets.

While I see the advantages of the "appstore design" to both users and devs, we cannot close alternative methods like sideloading. We need to keep this side-door open, you might need it one day.

UberschallSamsara

So developers should just work for you for free then, and how we pay our bills is just "not your problem"? LOL. Where do I sign up to work for you for free? I can't wait to get started!

"Honestly, if they disable the ability to sideload apps, I'll sell my Playbook. "

Why wait? Just leave today. You won't be missed.

Goggleboi

I can assure you, customers will be missed if they leave.

Who wants to support a company by buying their phones, tablets, peripherals, and monthly phone services, if they are unhappy about them restricting freedom from their devices. Unless you think apps are the only thing they sell?

Ever seen a free app? How will that single guy support his family if we dont pay for his fart application?!

You seem to think everyone works like you, getting by by the skin of his teeth.

Lets see, I support the companies by buying their hardware thats worth a bit more than the applications, or I drop ship all together, and support another company's hardware.

Yes I'm a pirate. Im saving myself money. Its easy to do. I dont really care that its "morally wrong". I know there's shmoes like you with high self righteous obligations that are more than willing to pay for anything with a price sticker on it and not think twice.

I know people like you are suckers for getting hammered with the "DONT PIRATE OUR MOVIES" message aimed at you, the paying customer. The rest of us are more logical.

UberschallSamsara

Thanks for the laughs, and good luck with your belief system.

You're going to need it. :D

musical1806

If you sell your playbook then how will RIM have lost a customer..... They will just have the person who bought yours.

As for your belief system… Can I use the sam arguments when I burgle your house. Taking your stuff allows me to save money to buy nicer things...... You will retaliate saying something stupid that a long as i only copy it, it will be ok.

I take a photo and leave it for you.

mrtouchedme

No...no...no, he's not going to sell his playbook, why would he when he can spend his money to make copies of it, then give the copies away to everyone for free :/ it would actually go against all of his theories about others making money off a product they spent their own money on if he sold it, he becomes the big company he hates or the small app developer that should be giving away their product

UberschallSamsara

Welcome to the topsy turvy world of Pirate "Logic" - where up is down, black is white, and all roads of inquiry lead to "I want to get stuff for free that has not been offered to me for free, just because". :)

xravishx

What you say about piracy doesn't make much logical sense. By your logic, it would be okay if I made a copy of your house key and used your house whenever and however I wanted. Stealing is alright by your definition and by copying that key then walking into your house and eating your food that you paid for, watching your TV that you paid for, sleeping in your bed that you paid for, and so on is completely not wrong in your definition simply because you say humans have been doing it for generations and that's how we build our culture. You put hard work into that money that you made, but by your definition, stealing it would be okay. After all, stealing is just fine and dandy. It's a cultural thing.

Writing that Walt Disney in essence stole from Grimm's Fairy Tales and they stole from whomever is not exactly true. The idea and plots of each story could be arguably stolen, but stealing implies ownership and the fairy tales have no stated owner and therefore you'd be hard pressed to convince anyone that a fairy tale was actually stolen. Additionally, Disney and co. put a different kind of effort and created a different kind of experience with the ideas that they used. The brothers Grimm didn't spend years coming up with concept art, animating, creating musical scores, and recording voices to make a movie flick. They spent their time doing a different work that is inherently different than what Disney did. Their different products can't be said be stolen from one another as they are completely different barring the fact that they used the same basic idea. It's like saying that your neighbor stole the idea of loving another person from you and your spouse simply because they fell in love after you did.

Now, taking someone's hard work and putting it in your pocket as if it were your own is definitely stealing and is wrong. Developers who spend their time creating a product and then decided that they want to give you their product for a little bit of your own hard earned money is fully justified. If you want it, then buy it if you can or are willing. If not, then don't. Maybe develop your own if it suits your fancy. And, if those developers want to protect their assets so that they can keep "rolling in the money" as you say, then the more power to them. If you had assets that kept you alive as a company or individual, wouldn't you want to protect them especially if those assets continued to provide you an income with which to purchase stuff? I can predict your answer though. Your answer would be "no." That's because, according to what you wrote, stealing is not bad and therefore protecting your assets is a wasted venture. Instead, you would save that money that you earned that another person would be completely justified in stealing from you to buy something that you wouldn't be able to buy because someone else stole the money from that company that created whatever you wanted to buy so they weren't able to stock it on the shelf. That's provided that the shelf was even there for you to buy that item from since in your world it's fully possible for someone (or everyone for that matter) to simply have walked in the store and stole everything from right off the shelves including the shelves themselves.

I could go on and on about how idiocy like this has been around since the dawn of humans, building a culture of dumkopfs that haven't thought things through using actual brain cells. Only now I'm not going to because I think I've made my long winded point.

Goggleboi

Imagine I come into your house and eat a copy of your birthday cake, but the original is still there.

http://films.nfb.ca/rip-a-remix-manifesto/

This documentary explains piracy better than me.

I already stated to some other shmuck that apparently doesnt know the reply button exists, that I fully support piracy. I like free s*it.

I assure you, if I find the cure to cancer, Im going to set a patent for 25 million years (thanks disney for extending copyrights well beyond the creator's lifespan), and charge two arms, a leg, an eye, and 5 generations worth of income from your family to get that cure. Hey, companies are already doing just that. I want a piece of that sweet sweet absolute control of that money pie too.

jmarkey77

The only apps I really use anymore is the browser and my side loaded Kindle app. I'm already playing with android tablets as it is. This'll be enough to push me over the edge and ditch the playbook for maybe an nice Transformer or something.

BB_Bmore

This would work if RIM said we are proud to announce we have native apps for a-b and c and other by the way you can't sideload no more....take away sideloading without having some native apps built first and your asking for the small user base you still have to abandon you.

Stop pissing people off Rim.

BB_Bmore

*edit* funky playbook os double post.

eszklar

RIM needs to have top quality apps in App World. Side-loading is a stop gap solution at best. If RIM doesn't want to provide these apps, then unlock the bootloader and let me install Ubuntu on my 64GB PlayBook. I bought a 32GB HP TouchPad last August and while I still believe in webOS I'm happier now that it's been open sourced and being able to dual-boot into CM9 Alpha2 ICS is just fine by me. It made the TP that much more useful for me.

Piss me off RIM then I'm off to get an ASUS Transformer-esque unit or a Padfone and wait for Ubuntu-on-Android to install on said device.

artie

I never side-load and never will; so it's ok with me. Native is best; will wait patiently. Also not interested in games or foolish apps just tools.

00stryder

Again the misconception is that "sideloading" is used solely for Android apps. Though this is a useful side-effect of the process, it's not what it's necessarily for and certainly not why it was initially used (since Android wasn't supported when the PlayBook first released). Again, devs use "sideloading" to install apps on their PlayBooks without the use of App World. This includes PlayBook OS-native apps. And not just "games or foolish apps," but "tools" as well.

artie

No misconception here. I'm aware that "devs use sideloading to install apps on their PlayBooks......I was talking about myself and what I do with my PlayBook. No games and most of the apps, to me are not any good; "foolish". I use it mostly for work. I've owned Blackberry phones for many years and have been happy with them and am looking forward to BB10. The PlayBook will only get better and am sorry that sideloading may not be available for the people that use it.

shemaree09

If they are gonna eliminate sideloading then they should make the freakin apps available! Why do they think people sideload in the first place!?!?

The sideloaded apps I use the most are pandora, words/hanging/scramble with friends, Ubersocial for Android (RIM hasn't even developed a native twitter for playbook, smh), and the Kindle reader.

If they were available in App World I would get them there......but they're Not!!!!!!

eszklar

Just a quick comment about a native PB Twitter app - Blaq - $1.99. I bought this app even though I side-loaded the Android Twitter app.

shemaree09

Yeah, I have Blaq as well. It just sucks that we have to pay for a twitter app because there aren't any other options. It doesn't make sense.

Poncherelly

I use tweedless. It's free, in app world and does the trick. Never used blaq but I see it everywhere and have been thinking about buying it... We'll see.

eszklar

Many thanks for the heads up on this!!!

xravishx

I'm not sure if your comment warrants my post, but I think a little reiteration may be useful in the long run.

In any case, RIM is not the one that creates apps like Kindle. You'll have to complain to the people that make the actual app for that. Do you really believe that RIM is just holding apps like Kindle and Pandora and others hostage? I guarantee that if the makers of Pandora developed a Playbook app it would go straight into the express lane and pop up in App World in no time. These companies simply do not want to develop for the platform or are biding their time on an uncertain investment of time and money. That's just the way things are. And, if RIM feels that killing the side-loading as we know it will bring in more developers to the table than who they might lose, then that would be a smart move on their part, wouldn't you think? If that's the case, then I fully support them because more developers means more legit apps which means more possibility for highly desired apps coming to the platform.

Angus_CB

"... if RIM feels that killing the side-loading as we know it will bring in more developers to the table than who they might lose, then that would be a smart move on their part, wouldn't you think?"

If that is actually what RIM thinks then it is time that we told them they are wrong.

You are correct, RIM does not develop apps like Kindle but it is in their best interest to promote this development. Locking the side door isn't a good way to encourage development.

BeckerSK

I would be happy to get all my Apps from Appworld and it is the better of way to go but in return BB has to bring the top Apps like Kindle, Skype, etc to Playbook. When they have 100K in apps for Playbook and the top 100 for iOS and Android then cut off the side loading. However, not till then. They will have to help finance this.

dkonigs

Side loading means that developers have a way of distributing apps that RIM does not agree with, for any reason. Many reasons may be simple business issues (e.g. alternatives to apps that RIM develops themselves), or even the desire for open beta testing.

Frankly, the "app store lock-in" (and the war on "general purpose computing" that it represents) is the #1 thing I hate about iOS.

bitek

I cannot agree more. I Sideloaded apps not available in store and I like this a lot.

grimreaper420

I need to post something that's been on my mind CrackBerry members, and guests, and please take my opinion as you wish, these are MY opinions and no one else;

1.)This article..I smell a bit of influence here, sorry guys.

2.) Attention to RIM; I am a very LOYAL BlackBerry user, and I truly understand why you wish to eliminate side loading..I guarantee you RIM you remove side loading you remove potential PlayBook owners, and maybe even current customers may switch to the "dark side" (no pun intended) as a matter of fact because of side loading many NEW BlackBerry users arrived, plus I did not have to wait for some slow poke dev to make an app for the PlayBook, and how many apps have even been converted to natively be available via App World??

Had the BlackBerry PlayBook been on schedule last year, as promised maybe RIM would not be in this position right now.

Please DO NOT remove side loading don't say I didn't warn you.

Speedo199

I really like my PlayBook 32G, good tool, better quality than the Generic Android Tablet I had before, but liked the choice of Android apps .Purchased the Playbook in 02-12 because Os2 promised & encouraged using Android apps. I will be a very unhappy customer if my ability to dnload & use Android is removed. Rim will also then loose me as a long time phone customer.

BB_Bmore

I'm not having it either Rim. I'll turn this tablet into a bedside alarm clock and move on.

Give the people what they want.
There are too many alternatives out there.
Screw me and you screw yourself.

joekdo

If the apps I needed were available natively and in App World, I would have NO need to sideload! Bloomberg? Kindle? TWITTER?!? Come on Rim, stop being stupid. If you're going to stop people from sideloading you have to have these apps! Otherwise you're taking away any advantage that there was before...

kraski

My sideloading is limited to things like Pandora and SiriusXM that I have paid online subscriptions for. Or Olive Tree's Biblereader, for which I have a lot of resources that I've paid for. These aren't getting into AppWorld. Which leaves one of two choices -- a) settle for an inferior platform, or b) [because it's made itself an inferior platform] take a loss on the tablet and my pre-ordered keyboard so I can buy something that supports what I need to do.

dfb8085

Well lets see where I start. If we can"t side load then RIM better get busy and get these dang apps in app world and free just like they are for android. We got a device and they think we don't want what other people have. A wide selection of apps. promises and promises thats all we ever get and then they take it away. oh well i don't care what happens to rim I'll just give my money to somebody else. what the heck

Imaginos

I get that this is a blackberry fan site and therefore you try to be supportive of RIM, but i expect better writing than an article that preemptively defends what is going to be an unpopular move by more or less stating that RIM is always right because Playbook users are thieves or too stupid to be trusted with our own devices.

spencerdl

Never sideloaded an Android app, and never will. There are somethings that are just wrong, and this is one of them. Not to mention, it does not agree with my PlayBook......I'd rather do with out then to have my PlayBook run "buggy" .....just sayin

my.usernamegoeshere

RIM should be focusing on getting third party apps to it's "professional" tablet.

Where's the Bloomberg app?
How come that I still can't watch video on Bloomberg's site or ESPN's?

Why I can only read my BB email using a localhost:187 workaround?

Son now instead of making life easier for the few that want to develop for the BB10 platform they want to make testing you beta apps a hassle.

Bla1ze

Redundant, I know.. but just so you know the mobile versions of BloomBerg and ESPN encode their videos in mp4 and are viewable on the PlayBook.

BBNation

RIM will be stupid to stop this, not proving enough apps and removing this capability makes it worse. Why can not rim sideload and make them availanble on appworld instead of some hockey website makes them available..

TomCanuck

Awesome. I've been waiting for RIM to clamp down and deny us apps.

crackcroak

main reason why so many are upset if sideloading is taken away is because blackberry doesnt have apps. no kindle, no netflix, no gmaps, no etc... just bec rimm has an equivalent like the kobo doesnt mean it makes sense to take away sideloading. who likes uses kobo anyway? also,
blackberry pb apps are so expensive compared to their ios or android counterparts. why would you pay for angrybirds for the pb when the android one is free?

developers just don't want to support blackberry. theres little incentive for them (mayb that's why the apps are so expensive).

if blackberry can get the devs to make blackberry versions of apps that people want then i don't mind them taking sideloading away.

rimm wants to make it a closed system like apple. piracy, usability and stability are just excuses. even apple uses the same excuses but they can afford to bec they have the developers and the apps. rimm doesnt have that on their side.

wasn't this the main reason why rimm is thinking of opening up bbm to other platforms? they cannot afford to be a "closed" system.

sklotz2000

Shame, shame, shame.....

phonegeek#AC

I won't upgrading to any new versions that block sideloading. Once this gets blocked I'll be giving up my PB because there is not nearly enough apps in appworld to be useful and RIM refuses to allow access to Google Play and allow seamless integration.

This will cause a sizable percentage of playbook users to abandon the platform for more advanced Android tablets coming to market.

PG

narci

I for one like it that sideloading will be stopped.

Yes I tried it and apps that actually work, don't really work. Like the app doesn't support the screen size, crashes, apps that call android functions that are non existant on the PB.

To Sideload, you need to turn on development mode.

How many of you who Sideload develop and how many of you are users?

SaltySnack

Don't care! I don't side load on my playbooks and I don't load leaks on my 9900! If I want something I get it from beta, wait or buy it!

Sure there are a few who know what they are doing and do these things but its my belief the every day consumer doesn't sideload apps. Working stiffs have better things to do then to install stuff that is NOT meant to be intsalled only to blame RIM or the devs when something goes wack.

I think its a very smart move. Protect the devs, get more apps which in turn will help in part to bring more customers.

Makes sense to me. Go RIM!

Goggleboi

Keep waiting for that golden apple.

edyb

RIM shouldn't touch sideloading. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Don't even know the stats on how many people even sideload but sure it's small. However it will piss off the most outspoken users like PlayBook fanboys and devs like myself.

The last thing we need is to lock down a simple but useful feature like this. Security issues are an excuse, sideloaded apps have no greater access to filesystem than Appworld downloads. And RIM unlikely to do hardcore security/privacy testing of apps in Appworld before release except for user interface, content and functionality. So saying they are doing it to protect the user from malware is lame. Also anyone who sideloads takes the risk on their own will.

So this all boils down to control over the device. I do not believe piracy is to the extent they claim either, considering most sideloads are for free android apps people have been begging for release in Appworld anyways. It will translate to lost users no matter. RIM cannot afford to piss anymore people off, including devs who I doubt have much issue with this, and devs are not losing any money or sleep from sideloading. We are talking about a miniscule tablet market share.

So how will I install debug tokens and test apps on my devices? Sideloading is how we do it, and I prefer keeping it to myself before releasing through Appworld, sandbox or not. Or if I want to release it within my organization on a limited number of devices and never have to go through RIM it is preferable. Why take away this feature? I just sign my apps and sideload on my organization's playbooks. RIM doesn't have to be involved and I don't have anyone else see my apps.

Now I will be cautious of any playbook updates. Thanks for letting me know. I would like to see how all this plays out first. RIM should learn not to say certain things. First they talk about jailbreaking, now sideloading. Yes it is obvious that official corporate stance is against it. But unofficially, just let users do what they want to their devices. RIM doesn't have to say anything here and I think they are putting their own feet in their mouth by even addressing it publicly, when it is a non-issue to most people.

F2

"And RIM unlikely to do hardcore security/privacy testing of apps in Appworld before release except for user interface, content and functionality. So saying they are doing it to protect the user from malware is lame. "

I have to agree with you. Why does Zinio need Device Identifying Information: Allows the app to access info that uniquely identifies your tablet. Ths could be used to track info about you and your usage patterns."

That is incredibly broad. Geolocate me? Are they also tracking my use of the Browser which are some of my usage pattterns. Each game I play? How many emails I send out?

Am I any more exposed when taking a chance on sideloaded apps?

Spare me their lame excuses of saving me from myself. They want more control over my pb than I have.

paolap

Oh boy does this piss me off... how much more stupidity and non-sense can I take from RIM?... Even CB is now on board with the nonsense... I'm trying to control myself and be polite, but my patience is wearing extremely thin...I'm sorry but this is retarded... I hope they step back, re-think and focus on what really matters because they'll loose a great deal of supporters here... the reasons are already explained in previous posts... I could go on for ages but I'm starting to feel is not really worth my time anyway... SOOOOO DISAPPOINTED...

OS2GUY

If the ability to sideload Android apps gets disabled by the next OS update, can't I just not go through with it? When OS2 was offered, I don't think I HAD to do it...

Of course, there might be some nice candies attached to that update!?!?

OS2GUY

F2

Well, should you have to opt for BUG fixes and disabling sideloading? BUG fixes should not come with pre-attached limitations on losing other features.

paolap

Also, CB, please set-up a survey/poll... sort of like: 'Should RIM remove the ability to side-load apps?
- Yes, because it's scaring away the developers (lol) /
- No, or else I'll move to another platform /
- Don't care, never used it
or something along those lines... I'd love to see the results...

grimreaper420

I would love to see a poll too! I'm very curious, thanx paolap!

Shall I post the results already (read all 93 posts)

"Should RIM remove the ability to side-load apps?"

Yes, because it's scaring away the developers (lol) 10%

No, or else I'll move to another platform 85%

Don't care, never used it 5%

Is that pretty good guys?

thatplaybookguy

Actually if its not an advertised feature they can do what they like to uphold the integrity of their device, on the other hand sideloading caught on pretty quick and alot of people would be left in the dark. Rim needs a better stable android platform. multi apps at once instead of the single app use atm. Also make it a non resource hog, i hate when one slows down my music.

chaddeus

I find argument about Piracy and User Experience isn't valid. Microsoft Windows will not be where they are today without Piracy. Also, the piracy issue with sideloading isn't from Blackberry but from Android Apps. They created this ability to install APK files on their Android device. If you want to stop piracy, go to Google and tell them.

Regarding user experience, my Playbook is more enjoyable with sideloaded applications like Kindle, Words with Friends etc. Yes, they may not fun perfectly but my "user experience" would be much worst without those applications. I'll most probably just return it.

Although I do understand why RIM would not want to support Sideloading, but from a user point of view, its a must UNLESS RIM is so confident that they have all the great apps available natively from AppWorld.

So let sideloading be available UNTIL more developers are keen on developing for Playbook. Meanwhile, a Playbook or tablet or any computing device without great software / applications will just end up just a piece of junk hardware.

- Charles

grimreaper420

Excellent post Charles, I agree with you, IF RIM can get all the major devs to make all those apps available in App World,then sure, this side loading issue wouldn't be an issue as it is now.

If they are to disable side loading, ok fine, BUT make sure you have all your bases covered to satisfy the PlayBook end users with want they want, and if it's a paid application, at a reasonable price so users can justify the cost.
It's crazy when a competitor has the exact same application for a different mobile platform, for free, and yet it costs BlackBerry users?
Are you joking?

The problem is do you think RIM will have all those apps available in BlackBerry App World PRIOR to disabling side loading?? I highly doubt it.

What do you think Charles?

chaddeus

I personally dont think AppWorld would have all the apps that are available on Android. Even if they would one day catch up and have those big name apps such as Skype, developers would constantly create new cool apps for Android or Apple iOS before Playbook. Even most business apps are created first on iOS or Android.

With this problem, Playbook would always be playing catch up and die-hard Playbook fans would always be complaining why certain apps isn't available on Playbook.

So I dont know how RIM would change the whole game, turning the entire situation. If I do, I would be working for RIM now :)

I do understand that at some point, RIM would disable sideloading in the name of "security" or "reliability". I really hope sideloading is available for a longggg time in the future.

I got my Playbook because its value for money and because I can sideload kindle on the Playbook.

vovadrap

Last year RIM just sucks! Playbook, smartphones, and BB10 will suck!

aha

Most of my android apps were side-loaded because they are not available in app world. They are all free ones that I found from Koz's app world. Removing the side-loading support will cripple my PB experience significantly. I don't like it.

UberschallSamsara

And does Koz have written permission from the developers of these free apps to redistribute them?

Copyright law 101 (at least in the USA):

1. The author of a work owns the copyright, automatically, without needing to file for any protection of it.

2. Third parties can't redistribute a work without written permission from the author.

3. The above applies regardless of the asking price of the work, even if the asking price is zero.

This protects authors from completely losing control of their work, including having it altered and redistributed.

If you don't like the law, then work with your legislator to change it. There are probably other laws that protect you, and you would probably prefer that people don't randomly break them just because they feel like it.

07thking

Bad idea guys, maybe you guys can secure paid apps so they won't be pirated but to block this function will be a bad idea.

xenrobia

I really don't understand you people. The ability to side-load apps was never a feature built into the PlayBook. The PlayBook was "rooted," or "jailbroken" and that, for your information, is a security breach plain and simple. Now you sit here and piss and moan and whine and carrying on like a bunch of spoilt children, insisting that the security breach is your right. On one hand you say you want the PlayBook to succeed, but on the other hand it must remain broken so you can have your precious little App. RIM has every right to close this loophole and you have no right to bitch about it like you are. So suck it up, princesses, the door is about to close and you can either deal with it, or move on. Traditional BlackBerry security will always get my vote.

paolap

You have no idea what's going on... nobody here is talking about rooted or jailbroken PBs... this is about sideloading... use your favorite search engine to find out the difference.

grimreaper420

Some people will never understand, have you read any previous posts?? then come back here, try to look at the whole picture.

Thank you.

BBNation

How come apple can get away with not fixing jailbreaking. How come piracy orgs did not ask Apple to fix jailbreakign access, Jailbreaking is what made iPhone of today..

Phil DeLong

Apple does "fix" jailbreaking. That's why every time an update comes out the dev teams have to find a new way to inject the jailbreak and it takes weeks or even months to release it. They aren't using the same jailbreak tool every time. Read up on the process.

musical1806

Excellent news.

I feel that sideloading should be a developer only tool. Once registered as a dev you get access to sideloading, end of.

I have heard all the arguments for sideloading and the main excuse is that if we side load devs will come on board… last time i looked words with friends is still not in app world....... As for Kindle, why would amazon take the time now that your giving them your money anyway. How has your selfish behaviour influenced Amazon to make an app for the general consumer?

All of you with the Kindle app email amazon and tell them how much you have spent in the last 3 months, explain that without a native app they will lose this revenue stream and then stop buying from them.

The Netflix hulu arguement… get over it, it is a US centric argument and i cant believe that people have so much spare time that they need a paid for mobile tv solution.

Sideloading is an elitist and selfish thing. It doesnt help the general consumer and the proof of that is the lack of great new native apps.

Personally i have actually been put off buying apps for fear of wasting money on an android app. I dont know of the problems are the app or the app player and i dont care they do not work properly and i wont buy one.

MoolahMitch

After reading through all comments I have to agree with yours the most.

I use side-loaded apps such as Kindle and Mint, and my experience would be reduced without them but I too am scared of downloading from App world as my experience with Android ports have been poor. RIM needs to find a way to highlight Android apps in Appworld so I know what I am getting myself into or allow a refund policy.

If Amazon or any other major developer has any thoughts about developing for the PB then they would do some research and if they find they dont have to waste any resources on developing or porting an app because its already done, then why put any effort into it.

edyb

If RIM does remove sideloading, please do not complicate things for developers. Right now I like sideloading because I can test and deploy apps locally to a few playbooks in my organization.

I hope that whatever the "new" alternative to sideloading will be, that it will be as simple or simpler. I prefer sideloading also because I don't have to upload my entire app to RIM, especially if it is a non-public intra-organizational tool anyways or just testing concepts.

However, I understand what RIM is trying to do here.

Chicken egg problem? Developers say they won't port their apps until sideloading stopped? But you stop sideloading and what if developers don't follow through on their promise?

Whatever happens, I hope it will be for the benefit of RIM and Playbook users and devs in the long term, and also improves the number of apps available. However, if sideloading turns off and still not much noticeable improvement to apps, people will be disappointed. As a developer I can still develop and test my apps, which is fine.

PunPryde

Never updating again :)

tstrike34

Here is the reason why RIM is proposing this change: trying to protect their small and ineffective Application ecosystem.

Sideloading applications impact both Android and RIM in terms of beancounting. Such beancounting affects revenue, sales, and marketing efforts: sideloaded apps = no accurate counts of which application is used the most on the Playbook.

This move is all about money. It isn't about the application or preserving the developer's profitability. Nope, its about protecting RIM's bottom line. Why do you think RIM was in a panic when the PB was jailbroken?

It is simply Thor and company trying to apply a tornique to a paper cut, to be simply frank.

accdl

Sometime I had installed some app android from appworld and it isn't run, so I prefer to install by sideload and try and if I like it, I would buy it

joaosousa

Yet another awful move. For developers this will be a big issue... and everybody knows RIM is in a position where they can afford to aggravate their abundant quality devs. Because testing in an emulator sure is the same as real hardware :\

I'd rather sideload than using App World (I would for everything if I could). App World sucks: it's slow and pooly organized (most error warning I received in the PB were from BBAW). I doesn't even make the distinction between native and Android apps (it should since the quality and performance of these negatively impact the whole PB image). And I especially hate it keeps your whole app history.

Besides some cool native app are not and will never be on BBAW:
http://forums.crackberry.com/playbook-apps-games-f243/emulators-emulator...

Plus most of the android apps I use were converted by myself or some other user (Repligo Reader. Moon+ Reader, Office Suite and a more recent Dolphin Browser).

Way to go RIM... again.

StringThing

As a frequent sideloader and tester of FREE Android apps, I think this is a bad idea. I don't say this lightly or without remorse, but if they do this I'll have to seriously consider moving my platform over to an ICS tablet.

irsan

No sideloading no playbook. If playbook has alot off app anda games like apple, maybe they can close their sideloading. Now the apps and games is more worst and RIM didnt hear any complain for it. RIM pretended to deaf

bicdic

just a hand full of M&Ms..... candy coated... this is not a good way to do business... to make developers happy.. you make consumers unhappy?... to be honest, I can give a rat's ass about the Android Apps, I with they were never even incorporated into the App World. Their apps are totally unstable... or the Android Player itself is unstable.. I find myself rebooting 90% of the time after running an Android app.

I find it hard to believe that they are doing this for piracy reasons... I believe that they are doing this because the apps in the Amazon Market are 1/3 the price of the apps in the App World--and they don't want us to buy from Amazon then side loading it onto the PB.

Set your focus on fixing the App World instead... since 2.0 release... App World is absolutely unstable... lag... freezes...closes...etc...

Please fix the hotspot login problem... so I don't have to disconnect from Blackberry Bridge every time I need to log in at a hotspot. And I can not connect to wifi at hotels..... put your focus on the consumer experience first if you still want to succeed.

market58

None of this will matter if RIM doesn't score big with BB10.....

NaijaBerry

While there are some positive points in this post, the bottom line is that this would be a big loss for RIM, especially since most of the sideloaded apps are not available for the PlayBook like Kindle. Kindle and the small PB form factor were the major deciding factor for me, no Kindle no PlayBook.

This is also coming at a time when there are rumoured 7" iPads in the works, I would painfully have to drop the PB for that smaller iPad form factor if I had to lose Kindle.

Caroser

I bought a 64GB (NO REMOVABLE BATTERY, NO SD SLOT: BAD MOVES, RIM!)
Playbook at a European price (950++++ US$!!!)(BAD MOVE, RIM!)
because I knew the power of QNX (GOOD MOVE, RIM!)...
Android player(GOOD MOVE, RIM!)
was my insurance not having, not having... NOT HAVING NATIVE APPS!(BAD MOVE, RIM!)

The power of personal computing: controlling MY device (ASUS is giving its Transformers' users root access).

Bought in July, 2011 I patiently waited until February, 2012 for OS2.0.(BAD MOVE, RIM!)

Then the Management told us ... :
not to jailbreak (gaining root access is a sin).(BAD MOVE, RIM!)
not to sideload (sideloading is a sin).(BAD MOVE, RIM!)

To control your AppWorld to make money you must have the WOW factor Apple has (and you have not: BAD MOVE, RIM!).

Enterprises will see how you manage your customers' relations (BAD MOVE, RIM!).

Once Apple and Google better their security, I'm sorry to say that RIM's top management will only manage itself (GOOD MOVE,RIM!).

"I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. In a case of uncertainty, I laugh.(Alfredo Accatino)"

P.S. Closed systems are like dictatorships: they last just a little, then they die.

Thunderbuck

"P.S. Closed systems are like dictatorships: they last just a little, then they die."

Tell that to Apple...

Caroser

Here we are speaking about the future of Personal Computing, not about one or two years (even three or four years, due to Tablet innovation) of supremacy.

History (Microsoft vs Apple) should have taught the lesson.

Now the game is Google vs Apple ...

Poncherelly

I'm not a developer but I've on several occasions taken a free Android apps, converted kt, side loaded it and tested it to make sure I'm happy with it. Once I've confirmed its functionality, I've emailed the owner the BAR file and advised them of my findings. This allows for the owner of the app to simply upload it to appear world for everyone's enjoyment. This allows owners who may not be interested in developing for the playbook to become part of the community with little effort.

My goal is obvious, to get more of the apps I want in app world so I can benefit from updates. However, if sideloading is taken away, my work stops and we need to rely on the desire of developers to develop for a platform they might have no desire to develops for.

RIM needs to use all of us as embassidor for the platform to intice them to come over.

On the flip side, with "police state" laws like ACTA, SOPA and bill C-11&30, RIM is probably trying to stay ahead of the curve so that they don't get tagged with enabling sterling / piracy / copying or what ever you want to call it.

Just thinking outside the box here, maybe RIM can bake in time limits for non app world installs. If an app is side loaded it remains on the device for 10 days (lines up with development mode), and then uninstalls itself. We could reinstall if desired also for further testing. This may allow for us to test and submit apps and may become annoying for "users" to reinstall constantly and some pirated apps may just not be reinstalled outside of app world. To me this sounds like a good compromise, at least as a first step.

Thoughts?

sexyboy31

Will.this new update bring us the apps we want. Or will it just keep us from sideloading. The apps we want kow soon will the apps be avaliable in app world will netflix hulu Skype jump on bored any time soon will I have to wait till Christmas or later to see more apps showing up.In app world will I have to pay for apps in app world that are free for Android of he'll I'm just gonna buy android tablet that seems easier sorry rim this is not innovation or productivity this is catch up this is bull and this is you guys trying to pull another stupid move

sjc1963

Doing this makes RIM look like they are assuming that we ALL are going to pirate these apps. Guilt by assumption. This is insulting. How would you like it that in order to start your car you all had to breathe into a breathizer device just because SOME may drink and drive. You'd be painted with the same brush as the guilty. Punished without due process.

Well, the manufacturer has a RIGHT to protect its product some would assert. Since money is involved it automatically supersedes your rights and freedoms.....

SatishAhlawat

I have read almost all comments on this topic. Conclusion is that:
If RIM is going to ban Sideloading then its their own loss as App World sucks
Everyone know that most of Apps in App World are too expensive while same apps are free for android or ios. And if RIM is closing Sideload then Devs will make these apps more expensive as it will be monopoly for them.
There are still many issues with PB where users compromise but still using PB just because they can sideload apps.
If there is no sideloading then sorry to say, PB is just flop.
If RIM wants to stop sideloading, first they must make App World as useful as Android Market and App Store are for android and ios users.
RIM's strategy is totally in opposite direction. They are thinking that if they will close sideloading then devs will HAVE TO upload apps to App World even for testing too but first tell me how many devs are interested in developing Apps for BB at present while they even have option for testing those apps and if its closed then how many will waste their time for it if there is no end user for their apps.
Closing Down Sideloading is like degrading OS 2.0 back to OS 1.0.8. (no apps, no users)

Secondly, about Piracy: Its in blood of technology, it can't be removed. There is piracy for everything in cyber world. If there is anything popular, it will be pirated, doesn't matter its for QNX or Android or even IOS.

Angus_CB

Preventing Piracy
This arguement doesn't hold water.
Android and Windows are the easiest platforms to find pirated apps for.
I don't see a lack of developers for either platform.
If these developers were currently developing new or converting their existing Android apps to QNX the problem wouldn't exist. People aren't sideloading Android apps because they are free, they are using them because a native version or an alternative doesn't exist. Build it and they will come.
If RIM wants to encourage development this isn't the way to do it. Apple didn't switch to hardware that would run Windows then tell their customers that the only way to install Windows apps was to buy directly from Apple. I realize this isn't the exact situation with the Playbook but I'm sure you get my point.

Enhancing the user experience
For the most part I agree with this. I develop Windows apps for work but they rely on a certain Windows environment. If I have a user that doesn't have his/her PC set up correctly they always assume there is a flaw in the app. 1/2 of the development process is writing in checks to make sure the machine is configured correctly.
I personally don't use any sideloaded apps. The results I've read from other users haven't been encouraging and, so far, there aren't any apps I want.
If there was an Android media app available that would resume a video where I left off and supported enough codecs I would be using it but I would prefer a native app.

Beta Testing of Applications
I also agree with this.
If RIM is going to block the best testing method developers have they had better come up with an alternative. Otherwise the piracy argument is even more ridiculous.

chaddeus

I hear a lot of argument regarding Piracy and that is all wrong etc. I do agree that its wrong but lets live in the Real World were are in, and not some Theory World. If you really believe that we must obey the law at all times, then I truely have respect for you. This means you NEVER copy ideas, you never pirate in your entire life, and most probably you never lie before. You are most probably lying about that you never life before OR you live a double standard life.

I feel that we copy ideas everyday. Some just copy it blindly, some copy and modify it, some would to copy multiple small ideas and create a new big idea.

Basically, what you learn so far through life, you need to cite the person who gave you the idea. So if someone says that Blackberry is an excellent phone, and you heard it, and tell someone else that Blackberry is an excellent phone, you must properly cite who gave you the idea. Otherwise, you are illegally copying the idea without citing the source.

So piracy is wrong becuase its unfair to the developers but I am sure the developers got the ideas from somewhere and they most probably fail to say where the ideas are from.

So give piracy a break.We try to minimize it but we are not perfect. We human beings even break the "Godly Law (Bible)" sometime in our life.

Darrweng

Could it be that the ability to sideload on a device could jeopardize certain security / government certifications? They focus on these certs and it is what makes them stand out. as Mighty Thor said they would re-focus on "Enterprise". Also how can RIM attract developers to build apps for them while behind their back they know users could just download it (for free) from certain sites? I am not against sideloading but for sure there is a viable reason why RIM is shutting it down. I purchased the Playbook and Bold, not because of its ability to sideload, they got me with the bridge!

misdeismo

I find it interesting that these programs that are working with just a simple conversion to bar files have not been done by the software developers themselves. It seems that with minimal tweaking and cost they could have the app up and running on the PB. I guess the cost of customer support does not justify the returns which in itself is a telling observation.

As an aside, I hate seeing commercials for mobile apps where they say "available for iphone and android", it just annoys me.

Skeevecr

This is a fairly disappointing article, piracy is basically a red herring because there will always be some piracy on all platforms and it is total userbase that will matter to developers not to mention the point that a great many of the apps being sideloaded are free service-related apps anyway. The issue of user experience would be a valid one if the alternatives were loading a buggy app or a proper official one, but the reality is that people are sideloading apps because the choice is loading a converted app or having no app at all, which is a far worse scenario,

Personally, I wouldn't mind at all if they got rid of sideloading, providing they ensured that all the important apps were present in app world before that happened.

In surveys, the top 50 apps on each mobile platform account for roughly 2/3 of of all app use, so before Rim goes ahead with this move they should have a fairly simple target of ensuring that the vast majority of the top 100 on both ios and android are available on app world and to avoid things being biased towards particularly categories they should ensure they have the top 20 from any popular category on there too.

Realistically, the criticism of a lack of apps on blackberry phones and tablets is not because app world doesn't have 500k apps, it is because blackberry lacks those apps which people consider to be crucial to have e.g. for me the kindle app is a vital one and for others it is things like skype or netflix, this is the stuff rim has to address and needs to do so before bb10 shows up.

thecsman

If RIM wants to do this, then they should take ownership of all app conversion (at least the free ones) and keep them up to date.

They are going to suck if they close side loading and also don't care about putting those apps in AppWorld ASAP for everyone to install.

Maybe they should team up with goodereader.com to get all the apps they have converted into AppWorld.

UberschallSamsara

Again, this is copyright law 101 - a third party has no right to redistribute without written permission of the author of the original work, regardless of market price (including zero) of the original work. It's not reasonable to demand that RIM flout copyright law just so folks can get the free apps they are "entitled" to.

blackberryto

What I find surprising is that people find Alec Saunders tweet surprising given that he has made the same comment about sideloading since at least January in multiple interview/articles. This has always been the intention. And the bottomline is that if RIM can not get developers interested in developing for QNX then Playbook will ultimately be a failure in any event. Short term pain for long term gain. That does not mean success is guaranteed as Thorsten Heins has expressed, but RIM has the tools and the people ( I.e. Saunders and Dodge) to make it work. Saunders other tweets suggest he is working hard to get the needed applications, so let's give him a chance to deliver. And ultimately HTML likely fills in for the 90 percent of apps that should not be native - yes, I just made up a percentage.

paolap

This takes away a clear 'real world' consumer advantage in my opinion... However I may be wrong... please CrackBerry, set-up the poll (Should RIM block side-loading? Yes/No/Don't Care... or whatever)... this stuff matters and may be key to the survival of the PlayBook...

lyledog

If I was a developer wanting to market my app I would be avoiding the platforms in which people could grab it for free.

For the few tech savvy folks who can get something for free, I think RIM is doing the best move possible. For those of us not tech savvy paying few bucks for a useful app is not a big deal. When the developers are attracted the consumers will follow. Let's not forget this is a business and RIM must make wise business moves, not move to keep a few spoiled tech brats satisfied.

For those threatening to dump Playbook due to this topic, I say see ya.

Long live Blackberry!

chaddeus

I am pretty sure that for a developer, piracy concern is at the bottom of their list. The first thing they think about it there are any interest in his/her app and how many people would have access to it.

Android and Apple iOS maybe 40 million users. Playbook 1.3m users. Assuming developing the app would be equally difficult, the developer would most probably create app for iOS and Android becuase of the large user base.

Don't forget that you can Jailbreak your iOS and install lotsss of apps. You can sideload Android and install lotsss of of apps also.

So if piracy is a major concern, why are there soo many iOS or Android apps out there?

So if you are a developer, which platform would you develop for?

vrp

@developers - Cant we not create a kindle HTML5 app using kindle cloud reader, netflix app using Netflix API's- http://developer.netflix.com/docs/read/Home and Skype using http://developer.skype.com/ . I think , legally it is fine as long as we make it free. Can we not start few open source projects for that? Starter's dilemma, suggestions needed.. Why I want to do this ??? I believe in BB10... :)

bkupris

Man this is a tricky one... I'm using a bunch of side loaded apps and unless the PB can get a fair number more of the good apps soon in App World putting an end to side loading is not going to be great.

jazson

I have never sideloaded an app but I do understand what the masses are saying. Is this a good move? I don't know.
But i'll tell you this i have painfully endured the lack of apps the Skype, netfix, words with friends (although I play this thru Facebook on my PB not app would be nice) etc etc.
The straw that almost broke the camels back was wd2go. There arehardly any usefully apps in app world!!

That being said. If RIM decides to take away side loading then they had better make sure that popular apps are available via app world. Not just a promise but the very same day the update comes out that takes away side loading.
Like I said i'm not a side loader but people need options! And I need apps!!! It urks me that my brother can access my home network from the comfort of his house via his ipad with wd2go and I can't access my home network from the comfort of my bathroom in My house via the PB!! Don't tell me about splash top. If I wanted to use my computer to watch a movie in the bathroom I would have bought a second computer for the bathroom!!
Come on RIM.......make it happen!!!

Darlaten

I'm not ready to dump the Playbook but I have decided to get a new Ipad; I'm simply tired of waiting for main-stream apps to come online. It is abundantly clear that developers and mainstream publishers, despite all of the assurances from RIM and their incessant harping of "just wait and it will come" that these developes will not give the Playbook a chance.

So what am I left with? There are just some apps that I require for my work and enterainment. So I can either buy an Ipad today and have my apps that I need today or I could stick with the Playbook and continue to live on the world of false promises and hope that things will get better.

The potential removal of the ability to sideload, as far as I'm concerned, is just another nail in the coffin for the Playbook. Another bad idea in the long history of bad ideas, poor planning and poor implementation that RIM has shown regarding the Playbook.

altawest

The business apps for Acrobat and Windows are pathetic.
However, RIM did call it a playbook and that's exactly what we got.

crackberrymoe

I think its a really good move from RIM, and besides why worrying that this is it for your favorite apps on a playbook am sure a week or so from the official update and announcement a hack will pop here or there a way to sideload your apps.

I'm a software eng. i develop apps but not for handheld only OSX and MS windows i know how hard it is i dont like to pirate but because I cant buy apps from my region i side load them even the native ones and day by day more websites that has new updated paid native apps for free pop up i counted dozens of them just now browsing and i dont think its a solvable problem its gonna stay forever piracy will never cease to exist .

The only good move RIM can make is to create the main apps them selves and put em up for free on app world

varvish51

Android apps player sucks it's so buggy and still app world don't have popular apps

varvish51

RIM is raping their consumers

Alec_Saunders

Folks - thanks for the passionate arguments and reasoning pro and con sideloading. The piracy issue is real -- we've heard consistent feedback from some of our game publishers that we need to fix it. At the same time, we also know we need to support developers with tools that make it easy for them to do their jobs. And honestly, as one commenter said, I've been talking about this for months now, so it's a bit of a surprise to me that it has attracted this much attention right now.

Give me a few days and we'll provide details on what we intend to do next, taking into account your feedback.

Best, regards.

Alec Saunders, VP Developer Relations, RIM

sjc1963

Study after study has shown that domestic piracy has next to zero affect on sales of media such as music, movies, or software. In some cases it actually helps. People want the extras that come with a "physical" copy.

Skeevecr

The piracy issue might be real for some apps and games, but it is a complete red herring for most of the apps that people are crying out for that are related to a service and free on every platform e.g. Kindle, netflix, etc with the former even being available on WP7 even.

Just as a matter of interest, how many of these games developers are releasing their products on android which obviously allows sideloading and has a vastly higher level of piracy than on the playbook?

Rather than working to block one of the ways that your paying customers can supplement the meager selection in app world, perhaps you need to concentrate on dealing with the reason why so many people feel the need to sideload converted android apps which is the absence of numerous crucial free apps that are available on every other platform.

edyb

I'm very happy to see that RIM executives like Mr. Saunders are browsing these forums and actually reading our opinions! Kudos and a big thumbs up to RIM... They are doing their best to walk a fine line between the software developers and the consumers, and juggling a number of different issues that are well beyond our simple understanding of the matter.

I am sure that in the end, RIM will come up with a solution that helps secure the platform and entices more developers, while keeping consumers happy with big-name apps that so far have been the only reason why they even feel the need to sideload.

Also, as a developer I hope that testing apps on the Playbook will continue to be an easy process without the need for sideloading, or perhaps provide only developers with the option to sideload but not the average user.

paolap

Guys, I just set-up a new poll for this.
Please vote here:
http://forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-playbook-f222/
should-rim-block-side-loading-715070/

Alec Saunders, good for you to show up. I hope you guys are working closely with all the publishers of the top 100 apps in the rival platforms, and prioritize productivity apps and not games...

Yamcha

Sorry, but that really sucks in my opinion. First of all there are tons of free apps and games that I'm sure lots of people would like to sideload since the original developers aren't porting the apps/games on the Playbook OS Platform..

Disabling the ability to sideload isn't going to get developers to start developing native apps for BlackBerry or even Porting apps/games on Playbook OS..

All It's going to do is get some of use users upset that now we cannot sideload free apps available at the Android Store..

playbookster

I haven't side loaded a single app. If that is what is preventing developers from bringing more apps to PB get rid of it NOW.

Wurstsalat

the reason why developers dont bring more apps to pb is because there is no real market, so nobody cares realy.

playbookster

yet developers will make dozens of different versions for several different android markets each with a userbase the size of playbooks? Many devs have said their apps sell at a faster pace on Playbook over android.

Wurstsalat

One of the main reasons i bought a playbook...now they want to fuck up this function?
I have never pirated any app, i only sideload free android apps, everywhere i look bar sources are checked for piracy or not, i dont know any pirated sources. I cant unterstand this move of rim.

If they realy do, byebye rim, your fault...

Jimcmf

PlayBook has so many great apps. How can I load all these in 1 shot?

Kiddo2050

I haven't had time to read every comment so sorry if someone made this point, but as far as the pirate issue is concerned the RIM solution is like taking a hammer to crack a nut.

All four of the Android Apps I have on my playbook are FREE apps that lead me to purchasing content from the App providers: New York TImes, Financial Times, the Economist and Kindle. The fact that RIM cannot get these guys to sign over apps that will bring them customers shows how truly pathetic RIM is at getting apps on App world. I mean the apps are written, they run on the Android player AND they make me pay those companies money and STILL RIM can't get the APPS .... COME ON! stoping sideloading to "protect" content is missing the point as far as I'm concerned RIM do you jon and make getting APPS your #1 priority!!!!

cputoys

More baloney from RIM. I'm about full up and will be looking for another chef. So what will we get? Another native Evernote that is plain awful and impossible to use on 2.0? The android version works wonderfully. They have not fixed the bridge messages flashing endlessly bug in over a year! (they can't). Shame on you RIM. I was holding onto hope that the qnx phones would truely be something great. The pb was destined to be the perfect companion. If they hobble either device, I'm gone.

elbo

@Alec Saunders; who gives a flying f**k about games, only a handful of commenters here reference games. People want productive apps...apps to work with, to conference with, to consume media...our game publishers are concerned about piracy...jeezus you're killing me here. Right now my financial apps, my banking apps, pdf reader, podcast player are all sideloaded for lack of decent native apps. Take these away and i got myself an expensive glass coaster. You're missing the boat!!!

irsan

Sideloading or Nosideloading...who cares if RIM still deaf for hearing complain from their customer about worst apps/games with ridiculous price compared with others.
Why they won't be developing Playbook versions? It's not only about Piracy....Try to look apple piracy..its much much more then PB, but why developers still want to develope for them?
Apple is more profitable then PB ??? Come on......
__________________

KillerHeels_UK

Well I have legal valid signing keys. So what happens to those if I can't side load in order to test?

Gabbett

Before you could side load apps, I would alternate bringing my Ipad and Playbook to work, usually Ipad for 3 days and the PB for the other two. As soon as I could side load, I stopped using my ipad altogether. If they take this functionality away from me, I will probably be forced to look for another 7" solution.

br14

As is indicated above developers need sideloading to test.

The current QNX IDE experience is great, so if they remove sideloading altogether there'll be a real problem for developers.

Nightfox111

Just like to make a few points

1. You can Pirate JAR files on BB OS, so this BAR side loading thing is BS from RIM
2. My Friend has IPAD that's Jail broke like so many others. He has hundreds of APP/Games loaded for Free and would not have bought an IPAD if he could not do (That him not me) So this argument that Piracy will hurt playbook sales is BS. Last count Apple had 550k of apps (That all can be pirated) and Piracy been around on there platform since the beginning.
3. Android full of Piracy
4. Windows 7 phones is full of Piracy

Basically any platform "ROOTED" you can pirate.

In-fact, if you can't pirate on a platform, nobody will use it and without hackers that platform will never succeed like Android and IOS. How do you think MS Windows became so popular over the years?

BTW, I not saying you should pirate software, but if you look at the software available, Windows 7 phone already has 3x the amount of available piracy over the playbook. Even WebOS has more Pirated apps... it's kinda pathic that hanker are not even bothering with QNX which is right now wide open for piracy.

This is just my view with 25 years of being in industry ... sometime you have to let your app be pirated before it get's noticed. it's a double edged sword, but that what you have to do to compete against the big boys. And no opening your software as freeware seem to not work as well and leaving it open for piracy.... go figure.

D.Vader

My loyalty to RIM has been rocky lately, that being said I am eagerly anticipating the BB10 phones. This kind of news is not what the BB user wants to hear right now. We are being told how hard at work RIM is on the BB10 and the PlayBook, but it seems they are hard at work plugging up something that has turned into a feature for the PlayBook.

If you are going to take this away RIM, you need to replace it with something better.

I can only stomach so much more bad news from the house if RIM.

bacon.jay

It all comes down to it being RIM's fault for not recruiting the necessary developers to make the platform great, and for multiple reasons...

1. RIM dropped the ball on marketing when they announced so far in advance of the release. They relied on the hype to get developers excited about the Playbook instead of giving them the tools and platform to play with before the announcement/release so that they would have time to see how powerful the Playbook really was.

2. The Double-Edged Sword: Android and Apple devs are given kickbacks to develop free apps for those ecosystems, and RIM isn't keeping up. NOBODY will pay for the same app in AppWorld that is free in the Android Marketplace or Apple's App Store. AngryBirds is a perfect example! RIM needs to convince the devs to come on board at the same price point as Android and Apple apps so the Playbook has the same apps for the same price, or people will continue sideloading apps.

If sideloading is removed without proper dev compensation, customers will leave, and RIM ultimately loses. And if sideloading is not removed, devs will abandon the platform and then RIM will lose. Either way it comes down to how RIM treats its devs.

t_hom_as

It's RIM giving the platform the ability to run Android applications that's the problem here.

To be honest, the Android player sucks that much I'm pretty reticent to use it at all - sideloaded apps or no. I only use it for the Kindle App - the whole point of buying a Playbook for me - plus one or two others rarely.

The Android player itself is a bad idea - it should be native apps or nothing. Half assed Android ports aren't going to do the job even if there are a million of them...they just make the Playbook look terrible.

Farsee50

My Playbook finally does the main useful things I want: Kindle, Economist, Guardian, Drop-box, Sky+, FT, various other new media apps in addition to native apps I loaded through App World. I am completely happy with it for the first time, have downloaded books and bought digital subscriptions and sit on trains reading what I downloaded when connected to wifi at home and work. Why? Because it became possible to side-load these apps that are not available for Playbook users otherwise. And they work.

Without these, I will abandon my Playbook even though I'm one of those suckers who spent real money to buy a 64G version before all the Christmas discounting and when it relied on that bridge to my phone to get emails etc. Yes I have an Android phone too with a lot more apps. But the reading experience for things that were once printed as newspapers and magazines is awful on a tiny screen and BRILLIANT on the Playbook.

Preserve copyright and make sure such vital apps (+Skype please) actually work and get all the updates by all means if we can then get them through App World. Side-loading is fiddly and best avoided if a simpler proper form of app loading is on offer. But please don't kill the Playbook and our much-tested BB loyalty by taking away something that we have already (finally) got!

tghasemi

when does the update come out anyway ?

grimreaper420

From what I hear, and please correct me if I'm wrong, end of April 2012 , or around the first week of May.
At the same time, who cares about this update when it's going to prevent PlayBook owners like us from side loading free apps that otherwise devs wouldn't do themselves.

RIM needs to leave the side loading issue alone and focus on more important issues.

Don't they read BlackBerry owner's feedback here or other BB sites??

Get with it RIM, and stop messing around with the side load feature, u remove it what's left to enjoy??

Maybe I should start lookin' for my future Android tablet just may be a reality very soon....
Bye.

twburger

The PlayBook is a well made and enjoyable to use tablet device. It's an excellent replacement for my notebook (now that OS 2.0 is installed). However, the PlayBook will wither and die in the next couple of years. Samsung's new offerings are just too good and iPad users too loyal and dedicated (brainwashed?). I really only use the PlayBook as a business tool for email and Web browsing, In that sense even the name PlayBook is a misstep on RIM's part. I have a tablet that has a phone built into it, the Viewpad 7, and this is the future. Although the ViewPad 7 is not a great phone or tablet (good though) it showed me that the combination is desirable and Samsung obviously did too with the new hybrids being announced. If RIM merges the BlackBerry and the Playbook and supports Android applications and continues to have the best security and infrastructure for business a real player in the future tablet phone market targeted for business can come out of the PlayBook experiment. If not, RIM will dump PlayBook, sell off QNX, and become a small, niche market phone/text messaging device vendor again that may not survive the iOS/Android onslaught.