How to get Kindle, Google Maps, DropBox and other Android apps that are not available in App World onto your BlackBerry PlayBook


Get Kindle, Google Maps, DropBox and IM+ on your BlackBerry PlayBook!

Android App Player
By Adam Zeis on 22 Feb 2012 04:08 pm EST

If you're looking to get some big name apps like Kindle, Google Maps or DropBox onto your BlackBerry PlayBook after upgrading to OS 2.0 - have no fear. You now have the ability to sideload (aka load outside of BlackBerry App World) many Android apps with just a few simple steps.

All you'll need a Windows PC and your PlayBook, and by following a few simple steps which we'll go over in detail, you'll be up and running with some great apps in no time at all. You can check out a full list of working Android apps as well as download some BAR files from our thread in the forums, then head to the link below for a full tutorial on how to sideload Android apps on your BlackBerry PlayBook.

How To Sideload Android apps on PlayBook OS v2.0 for use with the Android App Player
Links to over 243 BARs for your BlackBerry PlayBook

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How to get Kindle, Google Maps, DropBox and other Android apps that are not available in App World onto your BlackBerry PlayBook


Help! I am new to this whole forum but not to blackberry as I have had one as long as I can remember. I do however have a playbook 64GB and I am so interested in using android apps along side the 2.0 os. I read so much but it is dizzying as when I look at the post they appear old in nature as they are talking about the SDK 2.0 beta. What I want to know is after i upgrade to the 2.0 os recently will I have a built in Android App player as was stated in so many on line forums? If so can someone please explain in great detail what I must do to activate this and use it? From one loyal bb user to another.

So much for accuracy in Best Buy's 2.0 add that was posted on Crackberry last week that indicated Kindle would be included.

Oh come on, the wording was "blah blah apps and access to Kindle and..." they clearly meant the cloud reader from the weaselly way they worded it.

This is a great post and it will make many happy. However, although I may side load something else, I will never buy from Kindle again.

The promised to be preloaded and then gave us the shaft.

Shaft me? Shaft you Kindle!

Kobo works great for me and I'm sticking with them. I never used Kobo before I got the Playbook but I sure do now.

Besides, who wants to buy from a company that is cheating the system by not carrying their fair tax load.

Does't matter where the company is located and or where it started. Support the best company. To me, who cares if it is Canadian, American, Japanese, British, etc... I just want the best service/product and will not support something blindly because of what landmass it is on or started on. :) don't support locally grown food either then eh? That's your right of course.
However, here no one is diving into Kobo blindly as you state it, all else being equal or near equal, if you can buy Canadian it's better for us all. Keeps GDP up, keeps taxes and profits in canada, helps to keep Canadians employed. It's all positives. Even if it's not the best product, support will keep them in business, allow them to improve and take on the bigger players.

What do you mean, better for all of us? I'm from the US! And I strongly support this Canadian company of "American" Apple and Google any day.

I also vote Nintendo (Japanese) vs Microsoft and Sony.

I also prefer to buy American when I can.

Go figure.

I would buy most locally grown food because it is fresher. That is a benefit.

I believe in buying from the best (best is of course subjective). If an American store like Future Shop (owned by Best Buy) is better than a similar Canadian store, then guess who gets my business. Americans get the rap up their for being too "patriotic", to put it nicely... well there isn't much of a difference between the two countries.

As much as I do like Canada, I will pick stores that have the best service, prices, etc... and if "all things are equal", I will chose based on connivence, history, and personal perception of the company... never based on something like it's "corporate nationality".

Edit: But we can all agree that RIM is a company that we support and that it is deserving to be supported both in Canada and internationally! :)

Agreed, I'm loving Kobo, I knew about it beforehand so I knew it was something I could trust. They do have a pretty good selection, I can find great new titles as well as the old classics. With Kobo being Toronto-based now that adds some more Canadian Pride, too bad it was bought out :(

Not carrying thier fair tax load? Well, that's arguable... They're not avoiding paying taxes, they're trying to circumvent making consumers pay sales tax, to maintain a competitive pricing edge against local, quick aquisition stores.

It's something I find it hard to complain about... Though it affects me less since a lot of what I buy is tax free anyway, being military.

Thanks for the info on security. What about the need for anti-virus. To the best of my knowledge Android is the only mobile OS that is so riddled with wholes that it needs additional protection, so how does this effect my QNX device(s).

Thanks for the info on security. What about the need for anti-virus. To the best of my knowledge Android is the only mobile OS that is so riddled with wholes that it needs additional protection, so how does this effect my QNX device(s).

This is great. I don't personally have use for them, but I'm sure that there are those that do. I do welcome options though.

What I really want is silverlight compatibility. Also skype and Netflix wouldn't hurt (yes, Netflix is not the only service that uses silverlight). Everyone that I care to video chat with already has a PlayBook, but I'm the minority, so that should help catch the general publics eye.

Really enjoying this OS - eventhough they could have handled synchronization better. I'm sure that is on its way. RemoteControl/Bridge/OpenOn make this all worth it.

Hey do you think the whole netflix problem lies within silverlight, what I mean is we may be looking for the wrong .bar file, everyone is looking for the and we should probably be looking for

Awesome Job Adam !!!

So far 243 different extra apps for playbook pretty wide selection... but for some reason I see this opening a can of worms for the complainers …. My 3rd party app doesn’t work HELP!!!

This may sound silly but I'm not very technical and I'm a new PlayBook owner, is sideloading apps in this way legal (I'm in UK If that makes a difference ) and does it effect the PlayBook warranty. I'd like to try more apps but don't want to mess my PlayBook up

Side loading is a feature for developers to test their apps before they reach the app world. It's legal... if you're not using paid-for Android applications.

Side loading itself is perfectly legal and is a feature built by RIM for developer use.

The potential for being illegal is if you sideload an app you don't have a license for. Generally this would mean a paid app you didn't purchase.

Apps are sandboxed and have limited ability to hurt your system. There's two exceptions to this:

1) When you first start an app some of them will ask you for permission. Don't grant anything you're not comfortable with. If you grant an app access to your shared data it can read/modify your files. This is important for an office suite otherwise you couldn't open documents, but it could be abused by a malicious app to modify a document you didn't authorize, or even delete a file.

2) Any app that starts with sys. is allowed to make system changes. These apps can ONLY by produced by RIM, if someone else tries to make one (or even modify a RIM one) it won't install. While by themselves they're not harmful (they are from RIM), taking one from a different OS version and installing it on your PB can cause issues. Best advice is stay away, there's no good reason to do this.

Thank you! I've been answering WAY too many questions about this very thing the last two days. Hopefully this will help!

Because it takes time to approve them and get them into app world, plus some of these apps are user converted, that is the developer did not convert the .apk android file to the .bar blackberry file.

The creators of the app are responsible for whether they are available or not, not BlackBerry - bug them or wait if you wish - or just sideload! :)

The creator of the app is the only person legally allowed to submit them to App World. If they haven't been submitted you should ask the creator of the app, such as Amazon or Google why not.

1. Make sure the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) already installed on the Mac. Check in Applications / Utilities

2. Download Playbook Tools from Hatax (

3. Extract the downloaded file, put in place / folder that are easy to remember (desktop)

4. Move all the contents in folder 'lib' folder 'Playbook_Tools'

5. For convenience, place all files that end in '. Bar' in 'Playbook_Tools'

6. Open up Terminal

7. Use the command "cd" and navigate to the folder 'Playbook_Tools'
cd desktop
cd Playbook_Tools

8. Run command:

java -Xmx512M -jar "BarDeploy.jar" -installApp -device THEDEVICEIPHERE -password THEDEVICEPASSWORDHERE

Terminal will initialize the installation, and run through the progress

Thank you! I actually found a thread about it after I posted. Still having issues with authorization failing. I am going to try to play around with it today though. It has to be something small that I am not seeing.

Edit: got it working... it was a password issue.

i side loaded the apps on my playbook but when i try to open them they just crash or wont open at all....HELP PLEASE

It is, but you have to download the SDK and do this on the command-line. The instructions are on the forum somewhere.

Used it to load Kindle and Medscape. Wish they were native.

Hey guys I purchased a used playbook but I can't find a usb cable anywhere so can someone tell me where
can I get the right usb cable I would appreciate it thank you

This could have been explained in 3 steps :

Turn on dev mode.
Get Bars, Run Program. (and c'mon, everybody has Java, we played MineCraft allright?)
Configure Program, click Install.

Someone asked about security for side loading and the answers provided where 1) that it is Blackberry and 2) that the side-loaded app is run in Android app player. Whether these answers are correct is up for debate and I am not concern if the Android app will access my PB items. What I am concern about is whether or not the BAR files can contain any malicious code that can have it called home (the original Android app may or may not have malicious is not what I am debating but the process of creating the BAR files is).

Should I be worried about providing my Amazon username/password for the Kindle app that was BAR'ed and that information is sent to the BAR's creator?

I side-loaded Kindle already and agree with you. I don't trust providing the application my credentials. Your Amazon account has payment options saved, etc.

Many if not most of these apps were converted by members of this forum. These apps have been around for a while and used extensively with the beta os 2. They is no reason to worry about security because they really isn't any way to corrupt the file during the course version process. Side load and enjoy!

This may be the single most valuable post in the history of Crackberry. Thanks...and thanks for the links. Works like a charm and I'm not particularly adept at this kind of don't be afraid to give it a shot. In fact, I'm a Mac guy and figured it out on my wife's desktop while she was at work. Also found some pics of her and some guy she has apparently been dating, but that's another story. I'm just glad I figured out how to get Kindle on my Playbook. Note that the Java Runtime Environment dealie is probably already up to date on most computers, so you might want to check before you download the install (was already updated on my wife's compy and it's 2 years old and I doubt she does a whole lot of updating of anything other than her boyfriend's photos). Oh, and I'm kidding about the bf and the photos. At least I hope so.

Wow!!! And I was sitting here feeling all sorry for you. You got me this time! lol

BTW the info was good though!

I totally agree with this post. Side loading is very straightforward and installing the apps is easy. So far I am very pleased with how apps run on the tablet.

I getting a Java error message when I try to load DDPB. I will not let me load any files. Can anyone confirm it works?

Got this error when I first tried, then read somewhere that there was a later version of DDPB (ver 1.0.8). Googled it, got a download link and everything worked like a charm after the newer version was installed.

Ack! Just side-loaded a couple after installing FIVE email accounts. I couldn't remember my PB password and it just told me it's erasing my PlayBook. About to scream. I haven't used it so long... and the old BB Bold 9700 password wasn't working. Now what? How do I get back to where I was? I'm ready to toss this out the window!

It should offer to EMAIL you a forgotten password; or reset through your registered email. Not just this nuclear option.

I have everything installed and running but i can't figure out how to get any ".bar" files downloaded. Feel like such a tool. Nothing is working.

A warning should be in this article that these apps are not all retested as stable. I've tried a couple that force closed so often as to be unusable.

Has anyone loaded android apps using a Mac without using a virtual machine i.e. Parallels. Can't get the thing to load apps after trying the steps using Playbook-Tools and Terminal....

BPotter The spreadsheet no longer lists a link for the Kindle app. Would someone please post a valid URL? Thanks...

Now at 261 apps! + or - a few that slipped through untested. Not too shabby considering we were at 243 before Megaupload was busted and lost 100 files when it went down.

Please thank the guys doing the converting, they are the ones doing all the hard work.

I am brand new to PB and wanted to sideload some apps however I couldn't find them after they were installed, I tried several times to no avail then purely by chance I turned my PB round to portrait and lo and behold I coould see them on the home screen. So I simply dragged them to the second homescreen reverted to landscape and they were there.

Anyone else seen this ??

Excellent, thanks so much. Almost every Android app i tried works perfect. Yahoo messenger, facebook, pulse, quickoffice, paper toss.!! wow playbook turned into a superbook overnight!! excellent job guys, thanks.

Sadly video chat for yahoo messenger requires a video plugin to be downloaded from the Android market. Hopefully some good souls can upload a working bar file for that too. Rest works great, even the notification behaves like native.

I thought I would wait for them to appear on App World.

For about two seconds.

Then I fired up the Playbook and installed Words With Friends, IM+ Pro (which has the same connection difficulties as the PB version so I deleted it again), Kindle and K-9 Mail for some IMAP folder love.

I used Words with Friends on the beta version of the Android Player (back when you basically installed the entire OS) and it was so slow and buggy then. Now it is flawless. Good job RIM.

And amazing job to all the forum users who are clever enough to make this all happen.

My first try in my house connected via wifi gave the same results, however I just tested it while en route to meet with a client and it worked wonderfully. While on the road I obviously has the playbook bridge to my phone.

Hope it works for you.

i run parallels XP on my MAC. But can't get the DDPB installer running. Tried all versions, but it just won't install. i installed correctly the java app.

Anyone else having the same problem ????

HELP !!!!

looking through this list of apps and I'm not seeing what the big deal is about Android Apps. Yeah, there are a half dozen which would be nice to have, but nothing make or break like everyone is on about. The Playbook is nice and getting better all the time. I guess this is just an added bonus.
Is there a list that says what out of all these are must-haves? Being in Canada, some are useless anyway.

Why are there SO many hoops needed to jump through to get a couple of apps that have been out FOREVER and available on MANY other tablets. I'm not unintelligent when it comes to computers and what not... BUT COME ON!! I just want to download a few apps that I can use on my Playbook. I'm sure I'll get scolded for speaking ill of the BB Playbook but before I bought this thing I did my research. Sadly... I skipped over the apps department. Having known what I know now... I would have went ahead, spent a little more $$ and bought the iPad2. I would NOT be having these sorts of issues with it. I WOULD return my Playbook but having ordered it through, they are extremely strict on their return policy. You open it. It's yours. FOREVER. How am I suppose to know I'll like/dislike something without trying it out?? Whatever.

Anyone interested in purchasing a Playbook?? Lol.

We Need Native Notes app and Todo app on playbook, so that we can use Groovy notes etc to sync with it. My playbook must mimic my phone with basic native apps. I am loving my Playbook 64gb, make me love it more.

This use to work for me on the old o's before the update now sideloading won't work. Do I need to reboot or something

I am still confused as a PB newbie.
I have upgraded to OS 2 (the regular 'normal' software update). Prior to the Feb 21st update, everyone was talking about the "DEVELOPER'S OS2".

1. Do I still have to "Root"/Jailbreak my PB in order to run Android Apps?

2. Do I still need to download the 'developer's OS' to do this?

Why can't Crackberry just wipe out the old threads so as not confuse those who are new to the Android issue? I've been following since December but hadn't really paid much attention to the Android issue as I thought BB would just either create a dual boot option or just have a work around to allow Android on PB without messing with the system. More and more, I am understanding why people are laughing at RIM for stringing users around. They've gotta stop doing this and just address things straight and simple. You'll win consumers right off the bat.

I have found that these instruction are perfect and work very well. Some of the links to .bar files are broken specifically at "mediafire" but the ones I have gotten all worked really fine. One comment is that when you use the DDPB installer the "IP address" of the Playbook is the one you use use not the one you see in the "development mode" field. Took me a while to figure that out. Congrats CRACKBERRY wizards. Da Bulldog, David Cecil

please can somebody help :(
i have downloaded java and ddpb
i have installed both on windows 7
but i still get an error(java)
could somebody please be so kind as to write me a step - by - step instruction guide(playbook for dummies)
i have tried and tried and failed.

dev mode is on
i know the password
i know the ip address
i have/know all that i need..........but still no joy ..........