The days of sideloading Android apps may soon be coming to a close. We have heard some mention about this before, but nothing was confirmed. However, some recent twitter comments sprung to life by N4BB may have done just that. In a response to another twitter users question regarding the removal of sideloading RIM's VP Developer Relations Alec Saunders stated that RIM was "removing sideloading for consumers."
This may come to no surprise to some, but for many consumers the decision by RIM wont be embraced with open arms. The ability to run Android applications on the PlayBook has been a reason that many consumers purchase a PlayBook. The ability to sideload Android apps has further influenced many consumers decision to purchase the PlayBook, and may have an adverse effect on some consumers. The amount of Android apps that can be run on the PlayBook is still rather limited in quantity, but we have seen a steady growth as more developers are ported their apps over to the Playbook.
As an advocate of sideloading apps I was a little disappointed to hear this, but I understand why. The underlying reason for RIM's removal of the sideloading is to help reduce the amount of pirated apps. Piracy is something that has plagued the Android Market place for quite some time and frankly, any app market that's out there. Although sideloading apps on the PlayBook may make the PlayBook a little more appealing to some, others like developers may be wondering how soon it is before their app is pirated.
Unfortunately those that abuse sideloading and use it to load pirated apps, have been the contributing factor for this decision. It will be interesting to see how the community responds to this decision as sidelaoding has become the norm to install Android apps.