Is RIM blocking side-loading of apps on the PlayBook or not?

By , Network World |  Networking, BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM

The comments quickly spilled over into other online forums, like this one at CrackBerry.com. A range of posters, identifying themselves as developers, were in agreement with Saunders' evaluation.

"I never once heard them say that they were giving people the chance to sideload," posted Flexin. "They were offering a Android player to make it easy for dev to port over apps. They can't force people to do it. Some did it, a lot didn't. You're taking it a step farther. That's up to you but if they remove it they are not taking away anything they said they would give you. If the Android player is still there then they are still doing what they said [they would do]."

The Android player was introduced as part of PlayBook OS 2.0, released in February, intended to let PlayBook users download and run apps created for the Android OS. Within a week, RIM claimed there were "thousands" of Android apps available. RIM is in the midst of a complex transition to a new operating system, BlackBerry 10, for both the PlayBook and the next generation of BlackBerry smartphones.

On April 10, Saunders took to a RIM blog to expand on his tweets and "set the record straight." "Unfortunately, 140 characters doesn't allow for nuance," he posted. "I'd like to take this opportunity to set the record straight for our developer community."

"We're not getting rid of side-loading on the BlackBerry PlayBook OS or in BlackBerry 10," he declared, more or less directly contradicting the tweet that started the confusion. "Side-loading on our platform is changing in nature."

He stressed that side-loading is intended for software writers. "Side-loading is a developer feature. It exists so that developers can load their apps onto their own devices to test. It's there so developers can send a beta release to their testing community for review. It is definitely not there for some people to side load a pirated app," he wrote.

"What are we doing," he asked rhetorically. "Starting with our next release of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS, we're introducing a feature that will encrypt apps so they can only be run by the user who purchased the app." He didn't elaborate on the implications of such a feature.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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