How to sideload Android applications to the BlackBerry Q10

By Adam Zeis on 1 May 2013 10:56 am EDT
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When it comes to apps on the BlackBerry Q10, there is a huge selection available in BlackBerry World. For those times when you can't quite find what you need however, sideloading an Android app may be the way to go.

While many users are purists and refuse to load up non-BlackBerry applications, others (like the entire CB team) know that having the option to load up Android apps is just an awesome feature that we totally take advantage of. 

Sideloading is a process by which you load up a converted Android application (in the form of a BAR file) to your BlackBerry Q10. In most cases the apps work just as they should however may be buggy or lacking some features.

While it's not the perfect solution, sideloading does give BlackBerry users a way to have even more apps available to them. There are plenty of converted apps widely available all over the place -- including the CrackBerry forums.

There are a few different ways to sideload from a Windows PC or Mac. For all of these methods you just need to know how to put your Q10 in development mode and plug it into your Windows PC or Mac. 

Windows

For Windows, you'll need to download and application such as DDPB that will act as the go-between for you and your Q10. When connected, the app will let you easily transfer any apps you want to sideload quickly and easily. 

How to sideload to your BlackBerry Q10 from Windows

Mac

For Mac it's a bit more complicated. You'll need to install a few things to get up and running, but after the initial setup it's not so bad. Sideloading through a Mac makes use of Terminal, so providing you're at least a little bit techy you should be able to run through this without a hitch.

How to sideload to your BlackBerry Q10 from a Mac

Google Chrome

The last and by far our favorite way to sideload is by use of a simple Google Chrome Extension. This method works from both Windows and Mac. The extension allows you to sideload apps to your device without the use of another app installed on you computer (aside from Google Chrome). You just connect your device, find your BAR files and let the work be done. You can even install more than one app at a time with this method. It gets two CB thumbs up.

How to sideload to your BlackBerry Q10 using Google Chrome

Reader comments

How to sideload Android applications to the BlackBerry Q10

47 Comments

Am I crazy, or did the CB team delete the coveted "first" post that was here only moments ago?

Or am I going mad?

I responded to that idiotic post, and maybe the author took umbrage and removed it themselves: maybe they won't do it again, ever. Just don't get the junior high school need to announce "first"

Wrong! The selection is actually quite small in BlackBerry World, worse than for the Z10. Most of my OS7 apps are missing.

Now, regarding sideloading, it's great that so many apps load, but the VM is quite slow and when a website exist which offers similar functionalities, it is often advised to use it because the interface is faster.

Bought Android apps won't work if they do licence checks and you often don't get notifications, especially if the app iOS not open.

Oh and I almost forgot, Android apps which require a network connection seem to drain the battery

Side loaded apps don't run that bad, my in stage am works very well for a none native app.

Posted via CB10

Man I side loaded Bing Maps and Google maps with navigation. These are extremely sophisticated apps and they work like a dream sideloaded, as do a bunch of other apps. It's a great resource and in OS 10.2 stands to get better with compatibility with the latest versions of Android.

wish someone would convert the Pogo Games Android application that you can play Poppit!, Word Whomp, Turbo21, and Sweet Tooth 2.World Class Solitaire...I have e mailed .POGO Games &
Electronic Arts Inc they have games for blackberry but don`t offer the POGO Games ....i have side loaded the Amazon kindle App on my playbook and it works fine

I "sideloaded" Skype and a number of other Android apps on my Z 10 using Google Chrome method.... Worked great... throw Google Maps on your BB 10 phone for "good measure".... The lines are really beginning to 'blur' on app availability for BB 10 phones.... for the better...

I was just thinking. It would be super smart if DDPB had built in tracking statistics of side loaded apps. Meaning every time someone sideloads an app, it is sent to a collective database. The sideload numbers could be some great leverage in encouraging developers to build native or "Official Port" BlackBerry applications. Anyone else agree?

Posted via CB10

Why would you want something like that? Someone stalking the operations you are doing on your phone and collecting the data.... I'd buy an android phone anytime if it wasn't because of that kinda stuff

Posted via CB10

The data wouldn't even be sent from the phone (anonymous data could be sent from DDPB for each sideload) - i'm just saying it would be interesting to see the stats on how many apps are sideloaded (overall, by everyone). It could give the doubting developer hold outs a solid idea of interest in their app that is being put onto BB devices. Some developers don't want to listen at all, but they'll likely listen to numbers if they saw them.

Same here. I wonder the 16:9 ratio will just be stretched, cutt-off, or simply crash on opening. This is the major reason i will or will not get the q10. If there won't be a way to run most sideloaded apps it looks like i'm for sure waiting for the x10, t10, or whatever the slider codenamed Milan will be.

They resize like websites do, Android offers relative layouts. It won't crash or cut-off - games may scale though.

Thank you for your answer. In the meantime I've been looking through some CB forums and ("Qurious about Q10 Sideloading" 03/06/2013) contains lots of screenshots of popular sideloaded android files and they look fine. I am starting to feel better about this. Though a z10 screen with a pull out keyboard would just be amazing. Sometimes waiting is hard:(

Is there a way to view the available apps for the Z10 or Q10 without having these devices?
I tried with my 9930 but only shows apps for that device.

hmmm can't make it offer anything but my devices - is it perhaps because I am signing in with my Blackberry ID?

EDIT TO UPDATE: Yes, yes it is.

Hey, can someone clarify for me: Is there a location where sideloaded apps are reviewed / feedback is given on the success of sideloading certain apps. I mean, there should be some internet database or tool that helps users know what works and what doesn't...

I tried chrome yesterday on my mac and the extension did not work. Kept saying Web page unavailable. I have a Z10, any tips?

Posted via CB10

It's because your phone is not in development mode, go to settings >security> development mode
And turn it on

Posted via CB10

"When it comes to apps on the BlackBerry Q10, there is a huge selection available in BlackBerry World."

No, there isn't. I love this site and these phones but statements like this are just pure dishonesty.

Anyone try loading the Amazon Kindle app? Of all the apps from my OS7 - this is the one I miss the most!

Posted via CB10

THANK YOU!!! My beloved Kindle app is back and I am one again devouring my kindle books on the go :D

Posted via CB10

I hope they have opera mobile and firefox available to sideloaded soon. Then I have three browsers! Oh and google Chrome too!

Has anyone noticed their Android apps are extremely slow to start since Z10 10.1 the update.

The first time I run an android app, it takes a long time before it starts (a blue progress bar goes across the bottom of the screen).

Other Android apps start quickly after that. It's like the first time an android app is run the phone is setting up something.

This didn't happen until after the update to 10.1 (legit, not leaked copy).

rob

to shame that i always watch this tutorial videos of these new blackberry smartphones...even i had not have a single blackberry phone...sigh...='(

I am 99% sure I'm converting to Q10 from Android and just wanted to be sure of something before I take the leap. Does sideloading cause any glitches/problems with the 10.1 software? I saw someone mentioned battery life and that I could live with, but I don't want to cause any other problems.

Pls help me, Google method isn't working, it shows error, DDPD method shows authentication error (immediately after I click on connect)

Pls someone help me, I've tried 3 different laptops, and it's d same....
What am I doing wrong

Not to sound stupid, BUT
how does 1 covert apk files to bar files?
how can I find a list of bar files?
I am looking for total connect 2.0 and can't seem to locate it.
When I go to google play to get the app I'm not allowed to download it to my computer?

I have a question, are there any security concerns when sideloading apps? My IT Manager was questioning this for an app called Concur which is not available via Z10, but is available as a sideloaded android app. My Manager is afraid it may cause a security risk for expense data? Can anyone give me some info to help relax her a bit?

For those of you that are getting the 404 error, what i did when i started having that issue was connect my blackberry through USB, re-installed the blackberry link, connected it via WiFi at that point, and in the ip address you have to remember to not put the /(enter number here) on the WiFi connection. I don't know if this will help any of you but it worked for me.