BlackBerry Z10 running Android apps

BlackBerry 10 is finally here! Personally, I've been pretty impressed with the app selection available already, but for those that just can't stand to wait for their favorite Android apps to make the sensible leap to BB10, we've got some instructions on how to cram them onto your phone on your own. 

This is done through a repackaging process similar to what BlackBerry has been offering developers directly for some time. Those that have tried doing this on the BlackBerry PlayBook will already be familiar with the tools and workflow.

If you're not a fan of this method, you can always fire up Google Chrome and sideload to your device as well.

Though developers and the more technically minded can do this with signing keys and original .APKs, this guide is for the more casual tinkerer, and will help you get Android apps onto your BlackBerry Z10 or other BB10 device. It has very little technical jargon and only requires that you have a Windows or Mac internet-connected computer, a BlackBerry 10 device, a USB cable, and some patience. The instructions in this tutorial are for a Windows-based computers. If you're on a Mac, please visit our Mac guide to sideloading Android apps onto BlackBerry 10.

Alright, let's get into it.

Getting Started

This tutorial uses the DDPB installer - however you can also try vnBB10 which is a more recent utility for BB10 and Playbook

Assuming you read some of the prerequisites for this guide, you should now have the latest version of BlackBerry 10 installed, up and running. You're going to need to download some stuff to your computer before being able to load in Android apps:

  • Download and install the Java Runtime Environment suited for your PC. - Link
  • Download and install the DDPB installer - Link
  • Download any .BAR / .ZIP files already converted - Link

Preparing Your BlackBerry 10 phone

First, you need to set up your BlackBerry 10 device for developer interactions, otherwise known as Developer Mode. In order to gain access to these settings, you can go to Settings > Security and Privacy > Development Mode.

Once Development Mode has been tapped and you enter into the settings for it -- you will need to enable it. Just tap the on / off button where you will be presented with a screen either asking you enter your password or if you do not currently have one set, it will ask you to create one. Remember this password, it is important. Now you can continue on with the rest of the process 

Installing Android Apps

With that out of the way, you can now move on to connecting your BlackBerry Z10, Q10 or other BlackBerry 10 device to your computer. When connecting it, if you have BlackBerry Link installed, it may pop up and start running (you can just close it). You can also dismiss the window on your BlackBerry 10 device letting you know you've connected to your PC.

Next up, you're going to want to open up the DDPB PC program you downloaded and installed previously. Once up and running, put in your BlackBerry's IP address where it says "IP Development Mode" (or click Scan). It will be the same for your password which you previously assigned or created on the device when enabling Development Mode. 

From there you can begin installing the previously converted files you downloaded. Clicking on the "Add" button will bring up the DDPB file picker window. Simply browse to where you stored your downloaded .BAR files and add them to the list. Once added, you can then go ahead and put a check mark in each you wish to install. When done, you can click on install and watch the magic happen.

If you see this screen, good work! Now take a look at your BlackBerry 10 device. You should find all the apps you checked off now sitting in your icon tray. If not, check your USB connection, password, and IP address. You can always check out the CrackBerry Forums for more trouble shooting steps and see what has or has not worked for others. 

Enjoy Android Apps on your BlackBerry 10 Device!

If you installed some cool apps on your BlackBerry Z10 or other BlackBerry 10 device, go check them out and share your experiences with others. If you installed a cool launcher, then by all means, fire it up; you may end up with your BlackBerry looking like it is running Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich. Either way, have fun with it but most importantly remember it is a developer build. Things may not work right at all points of time.

Need More Help? Get it in the CrackBerry Forums

If you're stuck on any of this are looking to discover the best Android apps to sideload onto your BlackBerry Z10 phone, be sure to jump into our Android Apps Sideloading forum. The CrackBerry community will get you hooked up! 

[Note: Even though we wrote up and did the pictures for this guide -- it could not have been done without the many folks in the BlackBerry PlayBook Apps and Games Forum. Without the collective efforts of the CrackBerry community, we'd stll be wondering how to install Android apps. So, kudos goes out to all of you who have helped!]