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Blackberry Ltd. (formerly Research In Motion) recently launched Blackberry OS 10. It is the latest and greatest iteration of the legendary smartphone platform and brings to the table features that are sure to excite consumer and enterprise customers as well as win back some of the market share it lost with the advent of the iPhone.

One such feature is the ability to run Android applications. Presently, it can run any application that runs on Android Gingerbread. However, the next version of the Blackberry 10 platform promise to have compatibility with anything that runs on Android 4.2 Jellybean.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds, either. All you need to get started is Google Chrome and ten minutes of your time.

Get Your App

Before you side load How to Manually Install or Side Load Apps on Android How to Manually Install or Side Load Apps on Android Sideloading a file onto your Android device is easy, and we can show you how to do it. Read More your device with your favorite Android app AndroLib: Android Apps Directory AndroLib: Android Apps Directory Read More , there are a few things you need to know. Firstly, you won’t be able to just drag-and-drop an APK file to your device. Unless your app has been converted to Blackberry’s ‘.BAR’ file format, you will almost certainly will have to convert it.

Unfortunately, Converting an app can be quite tricky, with the methodology of how you go about doing it varying wildly from platform to platform. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that your converted application will work.

Fortunately, the good folks at Crackberry.com have done a lot of the hard work for you and converted a great number of popular Android applications, tested them and made them available for download.

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working-apps

The range of apps on offer are significant and include the popular Opera Mini and Dolphin web browsers, as well as Google Maps, Tumblr and Instagram.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, there’s a possibility to install pirated apps on your Blackberry device. However, it’s worth noting that every piece of software available to download from Crackberry is also available for free from the Android store.

Once you’ve selected the packages you want to install and downloaded them to your computer, you can move onto the next step.

Enable Development Mode

Development Mode on Blackberry 10 allows you – the user – to bypass Blackberry App World and remotely install, remove and launch applications. It goes without saying that this feature is turned off by default for security reasons. Side-loading Android applications to your Blackberry requires that this feature is turned on. To do this, open ‘settings’, navigate to ‘Security and Privacy’ and open up ‘Development Mode’.

development-mode

From here, turn on ‘Use Development Mode’. If you haven’t already done so, you will be prompted to set up a password for your device. Make sure that you choose something memorable, as you’ll have to use it to log into your phone from now on.

You’re almost ready to move onto the next step, but first you should make sure that you are connected to a Wifi network. Failure to do so will mean that you will be unable to complete the following steps.

Install ‘PlayBook App Manager’

PlayBook App Manager is an extension for Google Chrome that allows you to install software remotely onto your Blackberry devices. Don’t be deceived by the name, it’s not just for Playbook tablets. Indeed, it supports all devices that run the latest Blackbery 10 operating system.

app-manager-chrome

Once installed, you’ll see a Blackberry icon next to your address bar. Pressing this bring you to the landing page for the Playbook App Manager. Here, you need to add the IP address of your device. Make sure that you’re not adding the development IP you saw when you activated development mode, but rather the one you see in ‘System > About > Network’.

app-manager

At the bottom of the page, you’ll see the IP address you typed in. Proceed onwards, ignoring the SSL error. Generally, SSL errors are a cause for concern. However the error you are seeing is a product of connecting to a device that insists on encrypting all traffic between your computer and the device, but doesn’t have an SSL certificate that has been vouched for by a certificate authority. Whilst you should generally be concerned about SSL errors, as they suggest serious security problems with the site you are trying to access, in this instance it’s totally normal. Press ‘okay’ and continue onwards.

Once you have bypassed the SSL error, insert the password to your mobile device. You’re almost ready to start installing Android apps on your Blackberry phone.

Installing Android Apps

So far, we’ve downloaded the application that we intend to install, ensured that it is of the appropriate filetype, put our phone into developer mode and installed Playbook App Manager. By now, you should be looking at this screen.

playbook-manager

The next and final step is to install your chosen app to your device. To do that you need to drag and drop the ‘.bar’ file into the window which contains Playbook App Manager. Upon which, it should start installing itself to your device.

copying-tumblr

You can also track the progress of the installation from within your browser.

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Once it has finished installing, open up your device. You should see it in the app menu, as well as within the Playbook App Manager window.tumblr-home

Conclusion

It remains to be seen if people will be willing to buy into the Blackberry 10 platform on the basis of being able to run Android apps. Whilst the process of installing an Android app on your Blackberry device can be a bit long winded, it’s not exactly a difficult process and there is a wealth of applications that have been converted for the Blackberry platform.

What about you? Is there an app you’d never be able to part with? Would you switch to Blackberry 10 if it was available? Let me know in the comments.

Image Credits: The blackberry Via Shutterstock

  1. Ahmad Kabir
    February 18, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I will definitely convert to Blackberry if it runs Dorland's illustrated Medical Dictionary

  2. Dink
    January 23, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    The company I work for has been converting people to Apple or Droid phones and recently stopped using the Blackberry email service. I would much rather still be using a Blackberry device, but there is no way to use the Good app. Can the Good email app be ran using the method in this article?

  3. nimish
    December 15, 2013 at 7:08 am

    I want fo buy z10 is that a good selection
    Can android apps can installed in bb 10

  4. Amir
    December 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    how do u install the app on ur mac?? the one that is supposed to be converted to .bar file

  5. cyndi
    November 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Candy crush saga please

  6. Pitt
    November 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm
  7. sunny
    October 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    can u really put android apps into the bb 10?
    please help me coz im palnning to buy z30.i just want to know if is true?thanks.

    • Matthew H
      October 24, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Hi Sunny,

      Unless I was lying throughout the entirety of this article (I wasn't), you can take it as a given that you can sideload Android apps onto your Blackberry 10 device.

      Enjoy the Z30!

      Matt

  8. ore
    October 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Vine please!

    • Matthew H
      October 24, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Vine would be nice. :)

  9. Kevin
    September 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I did this for my playbook (which links via bridge to my blackberry curve 9360). The curve is a decent telephone, and the fact that it effortlessly shares its data plan with the playbook is a huge win for me. I'm certain this is the future: a little phone that works as a phone, and a bigger tablet that uses bluetooth to exploit that data plan. Combining the two into a single big phone / tablet (phablet) doesn't make sense most of the time: the resultant device is too big for a phone, too small for a tablet.
    (An interesting alternative is a big decent sized "phablet" that can use a small bluetooth earpiece as a phone. I have an old Samsung Yepp P2 that can work as a tiny bluetooth phone, it's awesome! But in this scenario you must always lug around the phablet, which sucks, for instance, if you want to go kayaking).
    But the crux of the matter is that people have to expend effort to set up Android apps on Blackberry OS10, when it is effortless if you just had an Android OS phone or tablet, or phablet. Blackberry OS10 offers the opposite of convenience and that's why they have no sales and are subsequently falling apart.
    Face it, if Blackberry OS10 can run Android apps then by definition, it must either be another flavor of Android or darn near the same thing. In that case they may as well run Android OS and load apps natively, and effortlessly.
    At least they didn't become like Nokia and start running Windows OS.

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