Did you know that you have access to other PlayBook apps (mostly Android apps) other than the ones in App World? Well, in order to get them onto your PlayBook, you will have to “side-load” them using your computer. You’ll be able to play Super Nintendo, play some Android apps, and even run the Android Honeycomb UI on your PlayBook! If you want to unlock all the possibilities of your PlayBook, I’ll guide you through the simple process of side-loading your first Android app!
What you will need:
- A Playbook running OS 2.0 or newer. (until Playbook 2.0 officially comes out, you can update your Playbook to the 2.0 beta here: https://bdsc.webapps.
- .net Framework 2.0 or above (version 2.0 available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-
- Java JRE (available for 32-bit Windows http://www.mediafire.com/?
siwn5so7n66oqi6and 64-bit Windows http://www.mediafire.com/? 4qkn7qwdho6cil9)
- USB cable
- Access to a computer running Windows
Step 1: Let’s find an app
There are tons of free Android apps that were packaged for the PlayBook at www.playbookbars.com. For this guide, I will be installing the native Android 3D gallery because it’s super-cool and works great!
You can find the native Android 3D gallery at this link: http://www.mediafire.com/?
Download it and put it on your Desktop (or wherever you like!).
Step 2: Install the App Installer
Next, you will have to install “DDPB”. Big kudos to “Keeper” for this program, which does all the hard stuff for you and the whole process SUPER easy!
You can find the program here: http://www.mediafire.com/?
Once it’s downloaded, install it on your computer. Don’t worry it’s not a virus!
Step 3: Prepare your PlayBook for side-loading
On your Playbook, swipe downwards from the top bezel, opening up the settings menu. Tap “Security” from the menu.
Then tap “Development Mode”. Switch development mode to “On”.
You’ll be prompted to enter a password. Just enter 1234, or something simple. It’s up to you! Write down your “Development address” (should be 169.254.0.1, just like mine!).
Exit the “Settings” menu by swiping upwards from the bottom bezel. “You’ll notice a weird icon near the top right of the screen that kinda looks like a person with a gear. That’s a good thing!
Step 4: Connecting the PlayBook to the computer
Plug in your Playbook using the USB cable. Blackberry Desktop Software might ask you for a password, remember it’s the simple “1234” or whatever password that we chose before.
Open up” DDPB” on your computer. It will look like this.
Type in your “Development address” on the left where it says “PlayBook IP address”, which was probably “169.254.0.1”. Then your password (“1234”) below that.
Click “Connect” and you’ll see a message saying “Connecting”.
After about 5-10 seconds, your Playbook will be connected, and its information should be present.
Step 5: Installing the app (almost there!)
In the DDPB window, click on “Add” or simply press “a” on your keyboard and you’ll see a window pop up.
Go to your desktop (or wherever you put the “Gallery3D.bar” file. Select that file and click “Open”. You’ll see the App name show up in the main window. All you have to do now is click it, and click “Install”.
You’ll the progress on the installation in a little window.
It should take about 10-30 seconds. If all goes well, the window will look like this.
Now, check your Playbook! The app will have shown up on the main screen.
You’ve successfully side-load the native Android Gallery app! Run it and marvel at the cool 3D effects it has! All your Playbook pictures should be there too! All there is to do next is to go nuts and install many other android apps! Happy side-loading!