June 2, 2013

HOW TO: Sideloading Android Apps on a Playbook Using DDPB (With Pictures)

Get Android apps on Playbook with DDPB
Are you one of the 11 million Playbook users? If you are, you have most likely discovered the disappointingly lacking Blackberry App World. While Blackberry (previously known as RIM) has provided tools for developers to convert their .apk Android apps to the Blackberry .bar file, most developers overcharge for apps they put in App World. Angry Birds Space is $2.99 CAD on the Playbook while it is free on Android.

It is really sad how the full potential of the amazing hardware on the Playbook is put to waste. Now, some really smart developers have released a tool to run Android apps on your Playbook! This process is called sideloading. While this process works with many apps, there is no guarantee that the app you want to run will work properly on the Playbook.

You will need a few things:
  • A Blackberry Playbook with the most updated OS
  • A microUSB to USB cable to connect to your computer
  • A PC (Sorry Mac users, this technique only works with Windows)
  • DDPB Apps Installer (Get it here)
  • Blackberry Desktop Manager
and finally...
  • The .apk of the app you want to install
Let's get to the installation process!
  1. The first thing you have to do is install the DDPB on your computer. Just run the .msi you downloaded.
  2. The next step would be to temporarily turn off your Playbook's WiFi.
  3. Next, swipe down from the top bezel to get into settings. In settings go to Security > Development Mode > Switch 'Use Development Mode' to ON. 
    Android apps on Playbook
    Development Mode in Settings
  4. You will need to set a password for your Playbook.
    Android apps on Playbook
    Set a password that you will remember!
    WARNING: REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORD. If you forget it, you will have to restore your Playbook!
  5. Connect your Playbook to the computer. You will need to enter the password you set. 
  6. Go here and upload your .apk and click the app icon when it appears to download the .bar file.
  7. Open DDPB on your computer.
    Android apps on Playbook
    DDPB on Windows 7
  8. On the left sidebar of DDPB, enter the IP address shown on your Playbook, and enter the password you set. After that, click 'Connect (C)'.
    Android apps on Playbook
    The IP address is shown in the development window (accessed by tapping the person with a gear).
  9. Click 'Add (A)' on the top right of the window. Locate your .bar files and click open (you can select more than one).
  10. Check the apps that you want to install and click 'Install (I)'
  11. Wait until a window pops up that says 'Done!' and you are finished!
You can find your installed apps in the app drawer (usually on the first page). Tap to check if it works. If an error appears, that means the app is not going to work on the Playbook. You can also turn your WiFi back on.

Please note that this "How To" was written for Windows 7. It should work on XP, Vista, and 8 but we have not tested it on those operating systems. Please only use this technique for getting apps that are not available on the App World. Support developers and buy their apps! With this technique, you can expand the possibilities of using your Playbook. Don't let such a great piece of hardware go to waste! If you have any questions about this, shoot us an email!.