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Having trouble with the Android Market on the PlayBook?

BBDoodle: DingleBerry Rooting
By Joseph Holder on 7 Jan 2012 04:15 pm EST
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On January 1, we rang in the New Year by bringing you our How-to on installing the Android Market to your BlackBerry PlayBook. From the comments and Tweets, it looks like the guide was a big hit. Congratulations to the many of you who've successfully run and used the Android Market!

Not everyone has been met with success, though. In both the comments and forums, we've seen reports of the Honeycomb Launcher (or ADWLauncher as some have used) not working or hanging and of people finding the Android Market missing. Without the HCL Updater program working, users would not be able to see the Android OS running on their PlayBooks.

While this has not happened to me, it has happened to a good number of people. Thankfully, the good people of the CrackBerry Forums have come up with some potential solutions for you.

No Android Market? Reinstall the Cyanogen Google Apps

Using WinSCP to load Android files

From all accounts, upgrading to the PlayBook's OS version 2.0.0.6149 (beta) removes the Market - and possibly other apps - from your PlayBook. The simplest solution is to reinstall those files. Beginning with the step "Connecting with WinSCP," reinstall the Cyanogen Google apps to your rooted PlayBook. 

Market or Launcher Freezing?

No Android Market?

Some users report launcher apps refuse to open, crashing back to the PlayBook's home screen. Others report a Market that simply hangs with an eternal "Please Wait" message. This appears to happen most frequently with users who downgraded, either from OS 2.0.0.4869 (beta).

From the forums, CrackBerry Member JOSTNYC points us to an interesting - and surprisingly easy - way to fix this issue: use PlayBook bar files that have been extracted from the .4869 version. You'll need sys.android.bar and possibly sys.browser.bar if you're having issues with the web browser. Many users report sucess in using DDPB to sideload these files to the PlayBook.

Download sys.android.bar and sys.browser.bar

A Personal Story

I had a few troubles with rooting, ect.

When I was writing my guide, I rooted my PlayBook and went through all the steps again to make sure I understood them well enough to tell other people how to do it. I started with a clean install, wiping my PlayBook and starting over with OS 1.0.8.6067. I upgraded to 2.0.0.4869 (beta) and rooted my tablet without problems. I went ahead and updated to the latest beta, 2.0.0.6149. I installed the Cyanogen Google apps as I had done previously.

This time, however, when I went to open the Market, the app simply hung and did nothing. Delving into the settings, I went to check those for Accounts & sync. I was met with an error message that the feature was not supported on the PlayBook. From my point of view, it appears that RIM has cleverly disabled access to the Android Market by disabling the Accounts feature of the Android OS.

That's why I'm so adamant about getting the Market to work on .4869 before upgrading to .6149. And why I recommended reverting back to a stock PlayBook before attempting to root. I've run into several problems along the way to rooting and Android Market-ing my PlayBook; I'm hoping I can help others to avoid those problems.

Brannigan, Begin Again

It's from Futurama folks.  It is awesome... to the max.

If neither of these two options solves your problem, may I suggest starting over? Rooting and getting the Android Market running on the PlayBook is a "fickle beast" as one kind commenter put it. Any slight misstep along the way could spell trouble. To get things working properly, it might be best to simply begin again. These steps may seem excessive, but it is my firm belief that these are the steps necessary to give you the best chance of success at using the Android Market and getting the goodness that comes with OS 2.0.0.6149 (beta).

With a bow on top

Getting to the point where you can browse the Market is no easy feat. True, it might be easier to get those Android features by purchasing an Android tablet. But that's not the whole story. Following insanely complicated procedures to do something cool, getting a tablet to do things it's not supposed to do, using an app that's running on the Android OS that's running inside the BlackBerry PlayBook OS. For me, that's the appeal: making the PlayBook do things no other tablet can do.

Reader comments

Having trouble with the Android Market on the PlayBook?

16 Comments

"True, it might be easier to get those Android features by purchasing an Android tablet."
Thats true to the core.

Seems like too much of a pain to be honest, I'd rather just convert the APK's to BAR's at the moment.. Still waiting on a simpler solution with Dingleberry..

I had almost instant success when I did mine. My only issue is the limited number of apps that will work.

I believe you will only be able to get rimdroid apps - ie those converted to bar files. Meanwhile I am using Android Market apps and rim app world apps on my rooted playbook

whoa thanks for the mention. im flattered. its awesome having the market on the PB. that and having the blackberry bridge i wouldnt trade it for anything. it was exciting and frustrating but id do it again anytime. glad to have crackberry at my disposal!

People really need to stop wasting their time with HCL or ICSL, both aren't even official and DO NOT turn your unit into a HC or ICS based Android Install. ADW is less problematic but is still prone to issues with Android Player. Launcher Pro isn't even supported anymore, the author abandoned it.

If you want to use a Launcher specifically for the purpose of having a Launcher so you can get access to your Android apps installed from Market... Please, for the love of god, use Zeam instead.

It's stable, lightweight and will give you the least issues of all BAR converted launchers out there. And yes, the BAR is on PlayBookBars.com for those who never bothered to check to see if it was up there.

don't understand why is CB hyping Dingleberry this much, as no one really seem to care much about it anyways

Enjoyed the challenge of rooting. A little frustrating at times, but learned a lot about my tablet and the software file structure in the process. Thanks to Crackberry and the folks at Dingleberry for their detailed instructions.

Rooting was fairly straight forward. The part I got stuck on was my inability to get HCL to open under .4869. I upgraded to .6149 in an attempt to solve this, but HCL would still not open. After reading this article, I reloaded Cyanogen Google Apps and everything works!!!

Sure I could have gone out and bought an Android tablet, but I kinda like my PB and don't mind going the extra mile to personalize it and potentially make it more functional.

I find it kind of ironic, how people here were used to say, BB is secure and Playbook is the iPad killer... and now you have to jailbreak your PB to get basic apps/functionality which all other tablets offer.

I'm not gonna jailbreak my PB, but wait for the official 2.0. If it comes out by end of this year...

Woooohoooo! It works now!!!!

Thanks Joseph; I was a bit discouraged since I have been tinkering with this for a couple of days without success. I was about to wipe it out today. Now I do not have to do it. I only side-loaded the files you mentioned in your article and magically it worked.

reinstalling cyanogen apps does not solve the market issue.. my advice.. stay out of 6149 build,,

SGS2
PLAYBOOK 16GB

Succeded to root (several times) the Playbook. Succeded to see Market on my screen (several times), but did not succeed in registering an existing gmail account, nor (after a completely new installation after a factory reset) to register a complete new one.
Each time, a got a "Server error"- Retry.
By the way, the helpfunction reverts to a not existing URL.

Someone did succeed in registering a gmail-account??

I bought 2 Playbooks at christmas time. One for me and one for my wife. I went thru the rooting process maybe 5 times and had probs with each.

Then I realized that all this trouble is because RIM deliberately disabled the Android funtionality.

So I gave up and returned both units for a refund and bought Android tablets instead.

Life is so much easier now!

JR

P.S.

While I was browsing the Android tablets I could see under the displays behind glass doors there must have been 25 Blackberry Playbooks in boxes labeled with discounts as "Open Box" (returned).

It sure didn't look good for RIM.