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BlackBerry 10.2.1 Leak Does NOT Allow for OTA Native App Installs

OTA BAR Install

I was happy when I first learned that BlackBerry followed my suggestions in my previous rant and opened up OTA Android app installs. Sadly they did not take it all the way and tear down the BlackBerry App World wall. As you can see in the screenshots above and below BlackBerry has allowed users to install Android APK files directly from the browser or in this case the file manager. There is a converter now on the device that turns it into a BAR file. The catch is that you CANNOT use this method to install native Cascades, WebWorks, or Adobe Air BlackBerry 10 applications. Notice the missing install button below:

OTA BAR Install3 OTA BAR Install2

I can understand that BlackBerry is doing this to be able to maintain the revenue they get from BlackBerry World. On the other hand as I have detailed before BlackBerry World has been doing a huge disservice to BlackBerry 10 since the launch.

What do you think about BlackBerry possibly allowing OTA Android app installs in future official builds but blocking native OTA BlackBerry 10 app installs?

18 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Makes perfectly sense. BlackBerry is a company, not a welfare organization.

  2. If there is a website where you can upload bar files for conversion to apk files, then that problem is solved. The catch is I haven’t done my homework on that subject yet to verify.

  3. Ronen you know what I love about BerryReview you critically take a new leak and digest it and try things that others wouldn’t. It’s awesome because you dissect BlackBerry and keep holding ground to what it was — not just dismissing everything as ‘its a new OS deal with it’ , ‘be proud of you bb10-silence’ , insert other remarks here.

    Even thought that does not work it an amazing leap of faith to try it. And you represent my BlackBerry thoughts more than any other forum. C****Berry has lost its luster and I come here to know other people are still fighting for the old features back.

    To BlackBerry thanks for listening!

  4. I don’t see any good reason why someone would need to load up a native BlackBerry app (bar file) file from their phone. If anything, this would only lead to piracy of BlackBerry Apps.

    The only 2 reasons I can think of are:
    1) Developer wants to share a bar file for beta testing. (But the developer could very well just release the app as a BETA)
    2) Developer wants to test their own app. (This can be very easily done with the available developer tools already. As a developer myself, sideloading is the easiest thing for me because I’m used to sideloading my apps for testing anyways.)

    The other reason they might not be allowing the functionality is due to the fact that native apps/.bar apps have more access to the OS, so they want to ensure only official and secure apps are installed. Otherwise if users can install any apps, or apps can install other apps, that opens the door to malware and other malicious things.

    • +1

    • Hi Andrew,

      There are many good reasons why a developer or anyone else would want to share a bar file for testing. I could go through them but I will just state the obvious. Just look at the BlackBerry Beta Zone. Notice how it worked for the last year? They were forcing users to sideload NATIVE bar files up until they released an app to allow users to do it. The key is there is NO current way for developers to do this!

      In other words are you advocating that we don’t need what BlackBerry has clearly shown we need?

      On top of that limiting apps to BlackBerry World is a form of censorship. There are many apps that BlackBerry does not allow into BlackBerry World for many reasons OTHER than being malicious. For example, a developer tried creating a 3rd part app for TheChive which was rejected by BlackBerry. Same with a developer who created a third party WhatsApp client… BlackBerry does the same with any other app they disagree with.

      Do you think censorship is good?

  5. I think it’s good that BlackBerry restrict the OTA for native files, to BlackBerry World only, since there is a verification process performed by the company to secure that no bad behaving applications are allowed in the store.

    They should even be more aggressive in this process not allowing S4BB or others to muck with their apps as they do; as is also for companies that express that their products work in a way they don’t like certain antivirus apps :0)

    If they in addition allow you to hook up to Google Play; then you have the choice to download verified and non-verified apps to your device.

    And above that they provide an Android player that, by its sandbox implementation, secure that you won’t disrupt your phone totally if a bad behaving application enters your system; as can be the case for native Android devices.

    • Hi Jorgen,

      You are assuming that BlackBerry verifies bad behaving applications. They perform a few basic checks but that has not stopped misbehaving applications from making it through.

      I would gladly welcome them giving us the option to choose to install unverified apps. If someone wants to be able to do it we should not shove BlackBerry World down their throats.

  6. Sorry Ronen, gotta have to disagree with you on OTA downloads yet again. You may like it… But think about it? BB World might lose revenue as you mentioned. Also, I didn’t like the old BBOS days where there wasn’t any centralized place for all your app needs. Yes, I do support BB World being that one place. BB World is struggling as it is, and it needs to be able to provide incentives to developers. We already don’t have the marketshare, if we lose the guarantee to provide revenue for developers, then we have nothing left.

    • Hi Cheebye,

      You have to realize that BlackBerry makes very little money on BlackBerry World. It does not even make a dent in their financials. They give 99% of the money to Bongo and other processors to cover transaction costs and then they have the cost of running BlackBerry World. Couple that with the fact that BlackBerry World has been an embarrassment for years and I would rather vote to have a decentralized good system then having no choice but a bad system.

      • Well if that’s the case, I’d rather have BlackBerry open up a section of the BlackBerry Beta Zone to third party developers where we can just download from our beta zone app. At least in that sense, it’s still clean enough with the centralized stores, but kinda allows OTA some sort. Know what I’m getting at?

        • Yeah personally I think the best solution would be BlackBerry allowing devs to offer up developer builds through BlackBerry World without having to wait for the annoying review process. The thing is that will never be as fast as developers just emailing out a link to try out the software.

          For example, when a developer wants to give BerryReview or any BlackBerry site a preview of an upcoming app they have no good way to do it that does not require jumping through 20 hoops

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