RIM nearly axes Android emulator, calls Google Play "chaotic cesspool"

By on April 10, 2012, 4:00 PM

Citing piracy concerns, a RIM executive by the name of Alec Saunders suggested the company was planning to eliminate Android app side-loading from the Blackberry Playbook. However, Saunders has since withdrawn from this position, clarifying that side-loading support will actually remain in Blackberry Playbook OS and BB10. According to their developer blog, RIM will be changing how the feature works though in order to curb piracy concerns.

Side-loading, as RIM calls it, is a sanctioned method of running Android apps on your Blackberry Playbook. The feature was introduced nearly a year ago in an attempt to boost Playbook sales. In February, the feature was being peddled to developers by luring them in with a free Playbook -- an enticing reward for any developer willing to convert an Android app over to Blackberry Playbook OS.

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.

Source: devblog.blackberry.com, Alec Saunders - RIM VP of developer relations

Although Saunders seemed to clarify the situation, it appears RIM may be confused about what direction side-loading will take. The Verge received this communique which suggests pulling the plug may still be an option, despite Saunder's reassurance.

We are looking at different options including removal or evolution of our current side loading functionality. In the event that we do decide to go down that path, we will definitely work with developers to ensure we have a fully functioning way for them to test applications on hardware. However, we haven't finalized or officially announced any plans yet.

Source: theverge.com

The reason side-loading has been under fire is due to piracy concerns. In a tweet, Saunders revealed that piracy is a "huge" problem for Android and RIM doesn't want to duplicate the "chaotic cesspool" that is Google Play (formerly known as Android Market).

As a result, Saunders claims Blackberry may be moving to a more Apple-like model where AppWorld will be the only way to download apps to any Blackberry device. As a preliminary step toward that model, the next Blackberry Playbook OS release will protect apps with encryption. The encryption will ensure only the original purchaser can run the app.

User Comments: 9

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ikesmasher said:

RIM has so much room to criticize other people, right? especially since they are obviously doing so much better than google in business, right?

psycros psycros said:

I actually respect Alec Saunders..he's probably one of the few forward-thinking types at RIM (though I'm sure he has to wear the same shackles as the rest of them). But come on..Android piracy a <i>huge</i> problem? At best 15% of Android users are hacker types with the know-how to load a pirated app. Further, nearly every mainstream app is tied to an account of some kind, either from your carrier, the developer, etc. How are they getting around that fact? Most apps cost less than $5. With that being the case, is it even worth most folk's time to dig around the net trying to find the l33t mobile files? If piracy was a huge issue on Android it would be on Apple as well, because Apple <b>isn't</b> the sole source for iOS downloads. Cydia is available to anyone who roots their iPhone, a process which has become nearly as easy as sideloading Android software. No, its more likely that what Saunders is <i>really</i> worried about is Android fragmentation and <i>developer</i> piracy, aka stealing code and repackaging it. And if he's not, then it just proves that RIM is truly and utterly out of touch.

Tygerstrike said:

Rim has been suffering since their outages of 2011. I can respect RIM for its general product, but it seems as if that outage has taken away the momentum that RIM had for a few years. The Blackberry line is great for business but ppl I deal with dont like BB for their personal use. They prefer Android.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Wow love the fox news style of reporting on here as of late.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I think RIM has been going the way of AMD's Phenom and Bulldozer CPU's which is by offering very little year after year. Making BB devices cheaper helps, but that is not a replacement for evolution and innovation. BB OS7 wasn't better than 6, and 10 is taking way too long to come out. That and their handsets all look the same with that tiny widescreen with horrible graphics above a hardware keyboard. RIM had three handsets to release later this year, but now it's down to two. RIM needs something new for people to get excited about... and FAST!

Hacking, distributing, and installing Android apps is way too easy. I'll admit I have a couple on my phone. My poor excuse is that Android doesn't have an iTunes card-like system to buy apps. Instead for w/e reason the only option is by credit card. You put gift cards out there and I'll jump on those in a second and leave my hacked apps in the dust. When I had the iPhone 4, I had over 10GB of apps and games that I paid for, and on occasion I would pay an extra buck or two just to get rid of the ads in free versions, and with apps that didn't offer that option, I bought the full version. I hate Apple, but you don't get as big as they are by half assing it like Google has been. If I were to get a new phone today, it wouldn't be another Android phone that's for sure. It would be a Windows Phone.

I've said it once and I'll say it again. Google is Androids' worst enemy.

PS, has anyone else received a lot more spam since setting up their Android device with a gmail account? The amount of spam tripled to that account, and I swear it happened almost immediately after Setup.

Guest said:

Well it IS true.

I really can not fathom the love affair the world has with Crapple and that Android mess.

Then again when has good products ever become popular. It is all about perception nowadays not what IS actually good.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

RIM - We are best at being boringly out dated ..........

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I figured RIM would be after whatever moves most units, or is their business plan like that of console manufacturers, sell the unit at a loss, and make the rest of the money through software. Which is unlikely considering the costs of apps.

Guest said:

No one's mentioned the Amazon Android Marketplace. They have much higher DRM control to try and prevent this. This is why some developers will sell ad free versions in Amazon, and not in Google Play, such as Angry Birds.

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