Sideloading Android or other apps that have not yet been approved by BlackBerry App World, may seen daunting and a little scary to some. Rest assured, you do not need to know any coding, and this is not similar to rooting your PlayBook. Sideloading apps is safe, easy and most of all fun, and is not something frowned upon, because it is your PlayBook, and you may do with it as you wish.
This article will cover the easy three step process, what you need to download, preparing the PlayBook for side load, and usingan easy and small program for installing .bar files on your PlayBook.
What Is Needed for Downloading
You must first install the Java Runtime Environment on your PC, which you can get here:
Your PC may also require the .NET frameworks in order to install or run DDPB Installer, which you can get here:
You then must download the most current version of DDPB installer (v126.96.36.199), which you can get here:
Once you have downloaded all these, you may be asking yourself, “Where do I find these wonderful apps for download?” I suggest you create a folder on your PC, either labled “Android” or “Apps” or “The File of Doom”, whatever you wish.
This is one of my most favourite sites for downloading the .bar files required for download:
Save the .bar file you wish to download in that “File of Doom” folder you created.
You can also do a search across the internet for .bar files for Android sideload, but the ones on Good e-Reader are trusted, have been tested, and are very safe. They don’t mind donations either for keeping their wonderful site running.
Sometimes a larger app will be downloaded in a zip format, just change the .zip file name at the end to .bar, and you’ll be good to go. Make sure that in your computer options, you have view file extensions enabled.
Putting the PlayBook In Development Mode
Development mode on the PlayBook is for developers to sideload their apps on the PlayBook prior to submitting to BlackBerry App World, or to test updates. This is a very nice feature of RIM to include, because it means they care about their developers. What makes it nice for us, is that we are able to load converted FREE Android Apps on the PlayBook. You will NOT find any paid Android Apps available for sideload (well you shouldn’t) because that would make this whole thing illegal, and break a whole bunch of laws. A developer needs his dough, yo.
The following video (no sound) describes the simple process for putting the PlayBook in Developer Mode:
1) Goto Settings, you will need to set your PlayBook to ‘Development Mode’ under the security tab.
2) Click on ‘Use Development Mode’, change to ‘ON’. You will be prompted to enter a password.
3) Enter a password, use something simple. you can remove it later.
4) Developer Mode is now on.
5) Plug your PlayBook via USB into your computer.
You are now done with the settings on the PlayBook, and you can use the PlayBook normally in Developer Mode as you can with it off.
Using the DDPB Installer and Installing Apps
Installing .bar files on the PlayBook has never been so painless or easy using DDPB installer. The following video describes the quick and easy process assuming you are using the latest version of DDPB installer (v188.8.131.52):
1) Enter your password when connecting to your PC using the USB cable
2) Open up DDPB, and click scan (to scan your IP)
3) Enter your password (ignore mine, it’s not the same)
4) Your picker window should be clear if it’s the first time, but if you have previously sideloaded apps, they will be listed here. The nice thing about the new version of DDPB installer, is that you can uninstall the apps right from the installer if you don’t want them anymore.
5) Click Add, and find the “Folder of Doom” that you stored the downloaded .bar files in. Choose a .bar file you wish to install
6) In DDPB Installer, click the box (or boxes) of the app (or apps) you wish to install
6) Click install, grab a coffee, when you get back, it’s done.
7) Click OK
And that’s it, you will have a new icon on your PlayBook with the app you have installed, play with it as you wish.
If there are any questions, hints, or suggestions, ask in the forums, we are here to help.