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Alec Saunders Clarifies Side Loading Comment Made on Twitter

IMG_00000263_thumbThe recent tweet by Alec Saunder regarding future OS builds would block the ability to side load applications did not sit well with some of the BlackBerry PlayBook users. Yesterday Alec Saunders wrote a follow up post on the BlackBerry Dev Blog regarding the Twit that caused the debate. The post is a little vague on how developers will be able to load and test app with their testing communities but it did say that this feature was not meant for users to take 3rd party apps and load them on their PlayBook.

Here is what he posted on the BlackBerry Dev Blog:

There’s been a lot of coverage this morning about tweets I posted regarding the side-loading of apps onto the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. Unfortunately, 140 characters doesn’t allow for nuance. 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.
Side-loading on our platform is changing in nature. 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.

What are we doing?
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.

What’s next?
We’re working with you, our developer community, to ensure you can still quickly and easily test your apps on real hardware. That’s one of the reasons we’re kicking off BlackBerry 10 Jam by giving each developer attendee a prototype device to start building on. I’ll be on-hand at the show to answer your questions – look forward to seeing you there.

Let’s Jam.


Personally I do agree with most of the points he made on the fact that users can take 3rd party apps and easily load them even if the app is not paid for. A take away from this is the following point:

What are we doing?
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.

Not really sure how this will play out but it will be interesting to see the BlackBerry community finds a way around it.

Via: BlackBerry Dev Blog 

11 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Well – we have this situation (piracy) for ages on the java platform – more or less “ignored” by RIM over the past years – it was quite a surprise for me that this becomes an issue now…

    There is no need to “crypt” anything – all what’s needed it to allow developers call AppWorld and verify the purchase from time to time (that’s some infrastructure that is already present TODAY – unfortunately ONLY for In-App purchases)

    • Licensing servers have their own problems though and require network….

      If you go for too long without network on android your apps will fail the license check (ie if you are traveling, etc), or if there is an issue contacting the license server.

      I would rather have the app encrypted and not have two extra dependencies.

  2. Also, this change in direction severely penalizes users that have “legitimately” sideloaded FREEWARE apps onto their PlayBook™. I am all for developers making their Android apps available via App World, but very few have done so. Two that I currently use are Words With Friends (ad supported) and Dropbox.

    So far, RIM has unfortunately been ineffective in persuading developers to support the PlayBook™ or BlackBerry® 10. I am not only talking about the small one-man developer that submitted an app to App World in order to receive a free PlayBook™. RIM needs to quickly bring Skype (what good is a proprietary video chat?), Google, Zynga, and others aboard to have a chance of survival.

    • Theoretically even if an app is free you don’t necessarily always have the rights to do with it as you want, such as converting .apk to .bar. You aren’t actually legally able to do that even with free apps…

      So you are violating multiple terms doing that right now.

      • So much for loading an Android freeware app on an Android player, including one that is ad-based that generates revenue for the developer…

  3. 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.

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