RIM removes PlayBook’s Android app sideloading feature, to avoid “the chaotic cesspool of Android market”

by: Mike AndriciApril 9, 2012
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As we’ve previously reported here at Android Authority, Research In Motion is currently suffering a sharp decline in sale numbers, with slim (if any) chances of recovery. As if their current offerings weren’t already bested by almost any manufacturer out there, it is in this context that the Canadian company has announced that a future OS update will remove the user ability to sideload Android apps on the Blackberry PlayBook. On a slight upside though, the feature will continue to be available to app developers.

According to a recent tweet by RIM’s VP of developer relations Alec Saunders, the Canadian manufacturer was forced to take this measure in an attempt to fight the increasing Android piracy problem: “Piracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android Market” he said.

Given the fact that the sideloading feature is a major factor in the general developer dissatisfaction towards the RIM App World, many believe that removing the user ability to sideload apps is only an obvious move, given RIM’s ambitions to tend to developer needs. Indeed, if the App World should stand any chance against its major competitors (Apple’s App Market, Google Play, and the Windows Marketplace), RIM’s platform needs to be in increasingly better relations with app developers.

RIM PlayBook sideloading

On the other hand, as RIM officials have declared that the company will pay more attention in the future to the enterprise market, it only makes sense for RIM to make their platform even more secure than it already is, thus increasing their advantage in this sector.

Although removing the sideloading ability is obviously a positive step towards making the platform more appealing to developers, it is definitely also something that no PlayBook owners is going to enjoy. For many, the PlayBook’s ability to also run Android apps was a strong selling point for the RIM tablet. With this move, RIM might have won a few developers to their side, but they’ve also pushed a lot of prospective buyers away.

What do you guys think? Is this a good move from RIM? Or will it bury the company even deeper? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

  • Ray

    They’re damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

  • They should have left it alone. My PlayBook is going up on Kijiji as soon as the 2.1 update rolls around with this feature removed. I’m switching over to an Android tablet to go along with my Skyrocket.

    • Just don’t do the update. Kind of stupid of them to give us a heads up that they plan to break it with the next upgrade.

  • The company behind innovative and award winning.

  • Alex

    Dummies! All my friends with Playbooks love this feature. What a huge mistake.

  • Jerry

    I really hope rim goes under after this incident we bought the playbook because we didnt want the apple ipad but something different with the added functionality of using android apps in a sandbox thats the reason why half a million playbooks were sold last quarter ,if they really dont want any more sales of playbooks and thousands of lawsuits in their hands i would recommend them to remove sideloading but if rim wants to sell more playbooks it must fire alec saunders.

  • evenstar222

    it’s available here http://www.saletab.com

  • Tony L

    Trying to be an iPad when it is not. It does not have the market volume. It will die a horrible death if RIM removes side-loading. Unbelievable stupid decision from RIM.

  • Zombie Killer

    Wow… they’re clearly DETERMINED to fail. The ONLY redeeming feature… being removed.

  • sideload fan!!

    yap!!! it’ll b huge mistake in playbook history ^%#@%%^%$^ :

  • Scottsland

    If Alec Saunders walked by I would gladly break my playbook over his head. What a waste of time and money. They want to stay away from the cesspool that is Android Market….. Really?? Just wait until Android gets there shit together….. kiss RIM, Microsoft and Apple goodbye…. Android is the future and anyone who says otherwise is niave. They outsold Apple and RIM COMBINED last year….and the year before. RIM is steadily digging their own grave and this may just be the last straw that pushes them into it. $5 for Angry Birds on playbook….. $%^& BLOW ME RIM!!!!

  • Mike Aguayo

    I have 2.1 and have alrdy sideloaded multiple apps….

  • Dont mind the removeal of the sideloading apps; dont mind paying for apps (my iPad and iPhone can contest to that); but give me a better marletplace. Allow me to install Android apps legitimatly then. Heck, all I truly want is Kindle!

  • Namyth

    I just knew it was colossal mistake to go for a blackberry tablet; bought it when they started speaking about opening up to adroid apps. I understand this move to make the device more stable and secure, if I were at RIM i would build two versions of the OS, one open to side loading for the general public and a corporate secure platform which does not allow this feature and couples some corporate bundled apps and features, so you’re cashing in on both markets.. i would work on making the system more sync easy with peripheral systems to push it towards making it an obvious business companion choice..

  • paul

    rim sux

  • Ronk



    Lmao thanks for the news, now no 1 will update their playbook lolz

  • Jack

    Gave them a chance and they blew it – Playbook will be consigned to the gadget graveyard and I’ll invest in a decent Android tablet and then replace my Blackberry with a good Android phone.

  • Poopoo

    bury the company deeper. QNX is an awesome OS, RIM just sucks at utilizing its potential!

  • David

    They main reason I went with a Playbook is because I wanted a device with no ties to android. Android is nothing more than another Spy-Utility for it’s creator, Google. I have nothing to hide, but that is beside the point. Personal privacy is an inate right of every one. What good is it for me to safeguard my personal information if Google is stockpiling it with out my consent. Even if they have no “evil intentions” they are still a breach of security in that they are just one more “loose-end” left untied. Sure they think they are secure, but how many times have they been hacked??? And how many more times has info been leaked/stolen that we have not been aware of. Only the big news gets to be news, alot of stuff never gets heard about. Everyone knows that they have this data, and that makes them a prime target for hackers and criminals. Have we all forgotten that technically “crime” is the number one “business” in the United States. So, when I bought my playbook and then learned about the android supplement my only thought was “Please don’t let it be running by default in the background”. Personally I am glad to see this feature being eliminated. I just hope it doesn’t leave any “remnants” behind.

  • I bought a PlayBook for the ability to bridge with my bold. Also the rumors that os2 would bring android application support. So far I have been largely disappointed in my choice. Booting up takes longer than windows 95. The app store looks like a going out of business sale in its final days. The android rumor was a lie unless you want to side load (kindle works great that way), and it absolutely blows that I cannot save documents to the tablet if I open them from the phone storage chip. Having it to do over I wouldn’t have.

  • maugerville

    sure glad I read this, I was about to buy two of these.

  • Alexander Speer

    None if the guys who I spoke to at BlackBerry PlayBook Technical Support didn’t know anything about this when I asked them about it.

  • Alexander Speer

    They are not removing Android side loading. I am currently running OS 2.1.1039 and I’m still running android. If you don’t believe me, check it out on RIM’s website, under improved features for os 2.1.

  • Yeah, who would want the horror of the Android Market with hundreds of thousands of apps. I’m much more comfortable with the dozens in the Playbook store.