We are getting one step closer to being able to easily install PlayBook applications OTA just like current BlackBerry smartphone apps. Until now RIM has forced us to load apps only through App World or by using a convoluted sideloading method which requires a PC and quite a few steps. Now Yohan aka TinyHack has managed to bypass quite a few of those steps. He has released a small program called LocalBar that lets you sideload any BAR file for an application onto your PlayBook directly from your PlayBook. The only downside is that you need to first sideload the LocalBar application but after that you can use LocalBar to simply install any app from the device storage. That means you can download or transfer BAR files over Wi-Fi and then install them using LocalBar. In other words you get a sort of OTA download in two steps.
Next time when the upgrade of this app is available, you can install the upgrade directly from PlayBook using this app.
You MUST enable development mode before installing the apps (you should have done this step when you sideload LocalBar.
You will need to grant some privileges to this app after first install.
Here is the main screen after you grant the privileges.
Swipe down from the top bezel to show the menu.
Choose “Install”. It will show the list of bar files that you have. It will automatically scan all your documents folder (including downloads folder from the browser).
Select a bar file, a confirmation dialog will appear.
Click OK to confirm. A password dialog will appear. Just ignore the user field. This is the PlayBook standard login dialog, and I haven’t explored yet how to disable the username field. And you need to press the OK button (the “Return” key doesn’t work yet).
After you fill in the password, it will start the installation. If everything is fine, then this dialog should appear.