Apr 10, 2012
Apparently beggars can be choosers. BlackBerry is going to make it a lot more difficult to take advantage of the PlayBook’s ability to run Android apps. In particular, it appears as if as of BlackBerry 10, the OS “will encrypt apps so they can only be run by the user who purchased the app.”
There appears to be a problem with sideloading and piracy. This does appear to be related to Andorid apps and their perceived quality, as Alec Saunders, RIM’s VIP of Developer Relations, tweeted recently that RIM “[didn’t] want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market” on the BlackBerry App World. As well, there’s mention that RIM “[has] seen apps from devs uploaded by others, and charged for by people who don’t own.”
This of course, seems like something RIM could easily prevent on their end. A little bit of research when checking apps they have to approve to ensure that they are from the original creator doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult. If there are issues, they should resolve them instead of approving them. On a curated market, this kind of thing falls on RIM’s shoulders.
The problem is that this might ultimately hurt users who are taking advantage of sideloading in order to try and extend their device’s capabilities, because the App World itself is not very capable. There is a severe lack of apps for the device, and while perhaps anti-piracy measures may help, it won’t solve the ultimate problem.
Ultimately, RIM is at least coming out and saying what they believe their best policies are. But trying to separate themselves from Android is a bad idea because the best thing they have going is that they can support Android apps. Plus, users have found ways to root the Playbook before, and new root techniques are in development. People will get the apps they want on the Playbook, and encryption won’t stop them.