The release of PlayBook 2.0 brought so many new features to the PlayBook. Perhaps one of its best features is its ability to run Android apps. This is a feature that many have been waiting a long time for. Unfortunately many of these apps have not made it into BlackBerry App World yet. This could be for many reasons, part of the issue is the amount of time it takes to get an app approved. RIM is notorious for a lengthy app approving process.
In the meantime, there is another way to get all of these nice apps on to your PlayBook. This method is called "sideloading". It requires Android apps that have been properly converted from their native .APK files to .BAR files; to be sideloaded using a third party tool.
Now before we begin please be aware that sideloading does not require a rooted device, and is generally safe for your device. Now this does not mean you throw caution into the wind and do not back up your device. As always things can go wrong and you want to make sure you can get back to where you were before.
Things you will need:
Step 1: Install DDPB Installer:
After you have downloaded DDPB Installer you need to install it. This process is easy and pretty straight forward. Double click the installer and next your way through the installation.
Step 2: Prepare Your PlayBook:
Preparing your PlayBook is really the most important part of this process. If you do not do this it will not work. Your PlayBook must be in development mode in order for the sidelaoding process to work. To do enable development mode you need to Settings---> Security ---> then Development Mode You will then see the following screen:
Tap on Development Mode and you will see the option to "Use Development Mode", and a slider right next to it to turn it off or on. Move it to the On position, and you will be presented with the following screen:
Enter a password and confirm it, you will need this later. You can confirm you have successfully enable development mode by looking at the top right section of your notification bar, and you should see an icon that looks like a person. You have successfully prepared your PlayBook for sideloading.
Step 3: Sideloading An Application:
Now that your PlayBook is prepared its time to sideload that app. Connect your PlayBook via USB to your computer, and if your PlayBook is password protected enter the password for it on the computer if prompted. Open up DDPB Installer. You will be presented with the following screen:
Next click on the "Scan" button. The program should find your PlayBook's IP address, and fill it in under that field. ( if it does not see the tips section) Enter your password in the field below it. This is the password that you created when you enabled Development Mode in step 2. Click on "Connect". After a short period of time it will connect to your PlayBook. You can verifiy that it has found your PlayBook by looking at the section to the bottom left. It will display your PIN number, and OS version.
Now, click on the button that says "Add" this will open up the browser window where you will need to browse to the converted .apk to .bar file that you downloaded. Once you select the file or files you want click on open and they will be added to the "App List On PC" section. Make sure you click the box next to the bar file you want loaded as shown in the picture below.
Next click on "Install". A new window will pop up giving you the percentage complete. After it shows complete you have successfully installed the application.
That's it, you can now sideload Android apps to your PlayBook
You may get the following message when installing DDPB Installer. If you do just click continue.
DDPB Installer does not auto detect your PlayBook. You can manually enter your IP address by entering the number found when tapping on the person icon when in development mode.
To Verify a correct install you can always enable the option to "Run On PlayBook after finish"