How to run almost any Android 2.3.3 app on BlackBerry 10 [Windows Guide]

By Bla1ze on 13 Jun 2013 02:28 am EDT
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Side loading Android apps onto BlackBerry 10 has become a pretty basic thing for folks to these days. The problem with that though for some folks is that not all apps work. Sometimes you load them up and they just crash and burn. As we already know, some of that will be addressed with the forthcoming Android 4.2 support for BlackBerry 10 but if you're looking to try and get ahead a little bit, a new method of converting Android 2.3.3 apps has been posted in the CrackBerry Forums courtesy of xsacha.

The new method, will essentially allow mostly any Android 2.3.3 app run on BlackBerry 10 even including those using native Android code. If you've already been signing and converting apps, the process is fairly straightforward however, if you're new to it all it's a bit of a task to take on. It's certainly for advanced users and it does have a few caveats, like the fact the apps you convert can only be used on your device and you'll need a Windows computer (unless you know how to change the batch script to a shell script) but if you're into such things and have a bit of patience, it's worth the time to look at. 

If you're a Mac user be sure to check out our guide here for performing the same process.

Requirements:

If you have a new Android SDK (4.2.2) copy everything from sdk\build-tools\android-4.2.2 to sdk\platform-tools first.

  • Download this package: here.
  • Edit zandroid2bb.bat and change the first line to point to where you have the Android SDK installed.
  • Put your debugtoken.bar in the same directory as the script.
  • Now just drag any Android app .apk on to zandroid2bb.bat. A .bar should be generated (otherwise check the error).

Now you can install this .bar on your device and it should just work. You can use the included zInstaller.bat or other means.

(While we'll keep updating this post with the latest files, if you're having issues double check the original post as well)

All sounds rather easy right? I've not had the chance to try it out myself as of yet, but as xsacha noted in his post, he's been making use of this method for quite some time now. Again, I want to reiterate that this covers *most* apps. There is still plenty of apps out there that this will have no effect on and they'll still not work as expected but using this method increases the chances they will work significantly. You can head on into the CrackBerry Forums and check out the post for any further details. If you give this a go, be sure to let us know how it works out for you in the comments or in the forums. Thanks, xsacha!

Tutorial: Run ANY Android 2.3.3 app on Blackberry 10

Reader comments

How to run almost any Android 2.3.3 app on BlackBerry 10 [Windows Guide]

173 Comments

benny...my sister cousin showed is a work at home job that you do on the internet. no experience needed. she showed us a paycheck for $1500. and that was just for ONE WEEK...WOW...the website is Jobk3.comMCHECK it out

Double check with them. If I recall, the new plans that have 2gb already have tether at no charge.

Posted via CB10

is there a method of clean uninstall without any files left on the device from the port?

They have been doing it since sideloading became available. I'm surprised they get away with it, but whatever.

Huh?!? The Cracker community has long been very vocal in the forums that this is for non paid apps. Hence no piracy. You can see many requests in the conversion forums that user do in conversion have denied because of paid apps. Does it happen? For sure but it is NOT promoted here.

Posted via CB10

Since this method is for making apps that only work with your debug token, you can do paid apps too.
I converted GTA3 from my Android tablet to Blackberry 10 and used it on my Q10.

they are promoting the method in which you can load apps onto your BlackBerry. i dont see how you can load it from BlackBerry link... the apps that the public gets is from other sites which is completely separate from CB and that would be piracy. Example: an emulator is just the emulator that is able to run gba games. they do not provide the games, bit you can buy or most obvious pirate the game yourself

Posted via CB10

Hi,

So what about the BlackBerry Developer??Because all people learn new developing language and now they support all android app so what to need BB developer??

Just a quick note; Apparently a PC is not required. If you change the batch script to a shell script it will work just fine.

Haven't verified for myself yet, but I did get the batch script to run in terminal.

Posted via CB10

Much simpler than what I had to go through in converting and signing bars :)

Posted via QNX 8.0.0 MSM8960_V3.2.1_F_R070_Rev:19 armle

I just want to see AutoCAD WS running on the ten. Well, preferably on the PB...

Posted via CB10 on the Zed.

Completely agree with you, I've been pestering Autodesk about this for a long time, and all I get is the usual canned statement 'at the moment we focus on bugdroid and wackpple, we continue to evaluate.....' I will try this myself. want to keep in touch to see how it goes?

Posted via CB10

If we choose not to try this out,will the upcoming 10.2 update will support all of android 4.2 apps??i would really appreciate an answer,thanks!!

Posted via CB10

Same question here. Is this the same type of improvement we'll see but without having device specific bars when 10.2 comes out?

Posted via CB10

Does that mean I can run any android 4.2.2 apk files on the Z if I install this SDK?

Posted via CB10

You should be able to with most, as soon as they are converted to *.bar. You just gotta go try :)

No, you can't just yet because the Android player is only capable running 2.3.3 apps until it's updated.

Posted via CB10

Sounds interesting except for the 30 day limit on the debug token. Taken from the BB documentation on the linked page.
<snip>
Debug tokens are valid for 30 days. When a debug token expires, the BlackBerry 10 OS or BlackBerry PlayBook OS no longer allows unsigned apps that rely on that token to run.
<snip>

If you use Momentics (Blackberry NDK), you just go to the Preferences->Signing and click 'Renew'.
Otherwise it's one line in command line.

And this is why I love CB. Thank you for the info. :^) So you would just need to renew the token every 30 days till an actual APP is updated to support the OS. Sounds like a winner to me. BUT, does the token need to be updated for EACH bar created? Actually, I am gonna ask this in the forums as well.

I confused in step:
where I must placed the debugtoken.bar??? I can't create apk2bar folder inside "extractzip/bin/"

help me please

Posted via CB10

How is this any different from using an online converter?
It won't magically fix apps which don't work using other methods, especially the ones using APIs BlackBerry has not implemented.

Yes. Most apps won't run with the normal method.
This allows you to run Android apps that are otherwise unsupported.
Anything that uses native code is now fair game.

I'm going to give it a go, but I'm still confused as, if I'm not mistaken, online converters are using the android SDK and signing the apps for us, so I don't see the difference.
Hopefully the batch script gives better results than using the GUI tools that were built for the PlayBook :)

Sure but try the newest version in my thread because it has fixed a lot of bugs :)
This allows native code to run by the way. Every other tool makes Android apps that do not allow native code. Unfortunately all the decent Android apps use native code.

Ok made the debugtoken.bar now every time i drag apk to the bar generator cmd appears and goes nothing happens?

Posted via CB10

Have you also set the Android SDK correctly?

You can run it from a command prompt (shift + right click -> open command prompt) to see the error message.

okay... i read the creation of debug token and i am confused....

can anyone provide a step by step process of doing the entire thing for newbie like me?

thank you...

This is great news! I think I'll be waiting though for the official 'easy' version, guys can somebody please try to load Hot spot Shield and let me know if that app works like this? Because I'm in the middle east.. and that vpn would pretty much save my life really.

Posted via CB10

I understood all the steps but I just don't know enough to put it all together. If there's a way you could make it simpler and have the time please do. It would be greatly appreciated, for now though I'll get back to trying :D

Via my Z10/ Channel pin: C000EE4F7

I think being able to run android apps is a plus in our blackberry 10 devices but the entire process of sideloading and the not always successful resultings are turning to be really stressing. Besides the fact that sideloading is not ORIGINAL and won't ever work properly at all integrated with the device features since the app were previously designed to perform in another OS and device. We are getting too deep into the game of sideloading and that is a calm to our need for the native apps but for real, I'd have bought an android device and I didn't and chose a BlackBerry so I beg BlackBerry to give us what we paid for

Posted via CB10

True, often the Android apps try to access sections of the Android OS that do not exist on the BB OS10.

Did this a few times don't like the results I got....patiently waiting for apps to show up in the world

Posted via CB10

My five cents: I think this kind of behavior shouldn't be encourage around BB10 users. If the users have crappy non-native Android apps, it will end up affecting their whole user experience with the phone. And make developers want to stop creating native apps

i understand pushing the envelope, but w/ the issues surrounding sideloads, why ruin a new (Z or Q) device or playbook w/ a 50/50 chance of a crappy or non-running app/game, unless you've got a device to spare??? my 2¢...

I agree, the procedure sounds 'good', but not worthwhile.
It it is better to wait for an official OS upgrade that addresses the problem of using newer apps.

Verizon has an Android , is app to control a remote helicopter that I would love to have. If someone would like to convert that app, and get it on my phone I would be more than happy to compensate you for it.

Posted via CB10

I appreciate the effort to get the 'newer' android apps to work on my my Z10.
About about half the available androids converted to bar don't work on Z10.

Now a days it is easier to use the webs sites rather than a specific app.
For example, I use the citibank website instead of a non-working on Z10 Citibank android app.
Of course, this depends upon they type of apps that you require (such as games).

All I want is Words with Friends? Is that possible without going through what seems like a complicated process? Also I have a Verizon phone so if I understand correctly, sideloading is not possible because of the outdated software that Verizon carriers have us using?

You can already have the latest version of words with friends. Download the app and convert to bar then sideloaded. Laggy as hell though.

Posted via CB10

So when is this going to be available for the people who doesnt know what your talking about for instance me? Is blackberry going to do an update dor this.

BlackBerry Z10 CB10

Thanks xsacha, tried converting my own apps in the past and failed epically (is that a word?) Will try to see if I have more success with this.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 & loving it!

This shit is crap. I can't get it and we need a video or picture tutorial to understand it. I don't have time to read back and forth like 100 times to grab just one part. Am not a full blown geek for christ sake.

Although I'm not quite as belligerent, I agree. For all of the techs out there who know this stuff inside out, you would think that one of them would be able to piece together a step by step guide without assumptions. Ugh...

Blame Blackberry. No command-line tools for Mac.
Unless you want me to write 'em from scratch like Sachup ;)

Haha I just hope they get all these missing parts together
Thats kind of you sir, But I wouldnt want you to waste your time on that
Thankyou for your help:)

Does this mean we can finally have Viber working and get about a thousand CrackBerry users calm down :) If so please someone post it asap to give it a try

Please do us a big favor and send us the .bar file, if it won't work except on your device, then as suggested a video tutorial will surely help...

Appreciate it Thanks!

There's so many of these articles on porting Android onto Blackberry, Blackberry should just go full Android and get it over with.

Well it has a better OS but with all the apps anyone could ever want (all the android apps now working with this + 4.2.2 from 10.2 beta).
The only apps not working are tied to the android system and accounts or suffering from very specific bugs that will likely be fixed soon.

cannot complete task. "you need to set the location of your SDK first". I tried in many different ways unsuccessfully. windows 7 (x64), first time working with SDK. I have been working on this for four hours. I just do not know what i am doing wrong. tnx.

Tnx XSACHA it will be until tomorrow. It is late and I am tired. Un is tal les all and installed again. Do I really need the JRE for this? Where is the updated instructions? It may be fail proof but it needs to be fool(me) proof.
Good night.

I've run an automated task to convert about 1500 APKs using this method.

About 90-95% seem to have compiled and are working of the ones tested so far.

:)

Posted via CB10

Will the outcome be the same(ability to port almost all android 4.2 apps) if I just wait for the 10.2 update?because this process is real complicated guys...lol

Posted via CB10

I used this method works awesome. Temple run, temple run 2, instagram 3.5, netflix, jetpack joyride all work. No go on bank of america or original angry birds.

Hello , the file zandroid2bb.bat, doesn't exist, the correct file is y-android2bb.bat.
regards

Square works just fine, on any of the 10.1 devices, after being converted to a bar using the old method, or this one. I've been running it for quite some time. The add-on credit card swip reader, attached to the top of the Z10 works very well, as well.

I am by no means a programmer but always thought I was decent at this sort of thing, but whilst I completely agree it's a great find, with those instructions I just can't work out how to do it. Anyone help???

Posted via CB10

could you provide a link to the apk that you used to convert please? I tried several apks, none working for me :(

ok, I got the viber 2.3.3.319 version running, but it´s buggy and collapses every now and then. did you happen to convert a higher version?

I confirm the latest version of Viber works like a charm but if you receive a BBM msg u won't hear the other just recall her/him. And solved :).

Posted via CB10

This is so awesome! Being a noob, I was surprised that even I was able to do this. Thanks dude, you have made my z10 even better!

Posted via CB10

Thank you xsacha!! I was able to convert some apks to bars but not the ones I really want/need. Anyone get Bank of America to work? Or Red laser.....key ring?

So will this new method allow (almost) all Android Apps to work on the Q10 ?

(I presume Bla1ze was porting it to the full touch BB10 device, but I'm interested in the Q10 device!)

hi can someone help me out with this part please-- Put your debugtoken.bar in the same directory as the script.
kinda confused dont know were to put the debugtoken

it works like a charm. It's very easy to do, just read the tutorial carefully.

Posted via CB10 on my Black Zedten

"Download this package: here."
I get the following error trying to donwload this file: The file you are trying to download is no longer available.
Does somebody please have a working link for me?
Thx.

Forget what I said. I grabbed the file from the forum post.
I have to say: Man, you are brilliant! Thank you so much! Finally got Spotify up and running!
Thx! :)))

Where did you find it? I can't find a working link to it and I've gone through many pages of the forum post.

Tnx XSACHA: One more level conquered. I always knew that I had a geeky personality and technology has been appealing to me for years. I only have one more thing to do, keep playing with it until it becomes second nature to me.

Hello,

not sure if someone mentioned this before, but can Good Enterprise software work on the new 2.3.3?

Whoa! Thanks! OANDA FXTrade v3.0.2 is on Z10. Extracted its apk from a rooted Sammy Note II, converted it to bar and voila! Smooth running :-)

Quite possibly one of the most difficult things to deal with today is the debug tokens.

Debug token Installed
Valid NO

why.... oh .. why is this always the case. I have gone through 3 sets of debug tokens from blackberry, and just cannot seem to understand where i am going wrong.

I'm in the same boat with you my friend. I'm also on my third set of tokens from BB. If you find a solution, let me know.

Posted via CB10

The answer was on the last few pages of the tutorial posts. Page 55 or so they start getting into the same issues we were having. I have since solved my issue. Head on over there, the link is in the main article at the top of the page for the tutorial. Start flipping through the posts at the end

I've got my debug token to install on my device and my Q10 says invalid device. I verified that my PIN and all information were correct, what gives?

Posted via CB10

When I go to sideload the debug token...it gives this error:
882 META-INF/PBDT.SF: signature check failed (invalid signature)

Can anyone please give me some insight. I appreciate it. Thank you.

it was easy even for someone like me who didn't wanna sideload anything for fear of bricking the phone lol
Sadly, I have to report that the Dunkin Donuts app does not work.

When I first got my Z10 I found a converted Android version of SiriusXM Canada that worked perfectly and I was a happy guy. When I upgraded my phone OS to 10.1 it stopped working. It all looked good until you played a channel, then although the progress bar was moving normally, no sound at all. Nothing I tried worked. Just used this method with the latest SiriusXM Canada APK downloaded directly from the site, and it works! Much better experience than the older version I was running before. A little stuttering once in a while (rare), but otherwise it is perfect.

As a BB10 developer I took a little time to try to actually sign the BAR file, but I keep getting an error message. Anyone looking into doing this so we don't need to update the debug token every month. Not such a big deal for me since I am constantly loading tokens onto my phone to test my app, but it would be nice if nobody had to worry about it, and you could just post these to a converted APK download site.

UPDATE: Anybody else getting "-104" failures when the new bar is being uploaded to the phone? A couple that I really wanted seem to convert ok but then spit this error during the upload. The app that appears on the phone seems to run, and asks for its permissions, but then just shuts down. Tried uploading the bar again using vnBB10 but although there is no error message this time the apps still won't run.

I've seen a few people with the same problem, but I can't seem to find a solution: I've completed all the steps outlined in xsacha's tutorial, and I have been using the most recept Android pack for Windows, but even with a clean system and fresh .csj files, I still can't seem to generate a debugtoken.bar file. The .csj files register without problems and I get the confirmation emails, but it never seems to generate the debug token for me to actually use. What am I doing wrong? Any help is much appreciated!

I previously had an older version of your program and it worked. Now this more recent one I keep getting this error : Error: File does not exist or not a file or cannot read: C:\Users\Jessica\Download\APK Files\Rdio_2.5.2.bar
I got the Debug Token installed and set to go...but this error is repeated over and over again...what am I missing? I've even re-installed and got more debug tokens but again the same thing, I'm so confused!