Remember the BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM’s attempt to break its way into the tablet market? That attempt was largely unsuccessful given high prices and an already saturated niche, but recent price drops have made the high-powered PlayBook one of the holiday season’s most affordable tablets.
With sturdy, powerful hardware, surprisingly good software, and a price tag as low as $119.99 for the 64 GB version, shoppers are grabbing PlayBook’s by the dozen in scenes very reminiscent of the HP TouchPad sale of a couple years ago. But, once purchase, how can you get the most out of your new PlayBook?
The answer lies in your ability to sideload apps, bypassing the sparsely populated BlackBerry App World in favor of installing PlayBook and converted Android apps directly via your PC. So just how do you go about doing this? The answer is much simpler than you may suspect, perhaps adding even more value to what is already a cash-conscious purchase!
How to Sideload PlayBook Apps
Make sure your PlayBook is updated to the latest version of its operating system; this will take place automatically when you boot it up for the first time.
Download DDPB Installer, the handy PC software we’ll be using to install apps.
Have your apps ready! Whether you’re converting Android apps yourself, installing native .bar PlayBook apps, or have downloaded pre-converted apps, have those files ready to rock.
Under the “Settings” menu, select the “Security” tab and turn “Development Mode” to “On.” Enter an easy-to-remember password; you’ll be deleting it when you’re done sideloading.
Now, click the “About” tab, then the “Network” header, and copy down your USB IPv4 address – we’ll need it shortly.
Alright, now it’s time to open the previously downloaded DDPB Installer software. Once open, enter your IPv4 address and the password you set earlier in the proper boxes, then press “Connect.”
Now, use the “Add” button to select the .bar files that you’d like to install. Check them off in the list, then click “Install” and let the software do its thing.
Now, effectively, that’s it! If you’ve chosen to install converted Android apps, you’ll need to hope for the best as many of them simply are not compatible with the PlayBook, but you’re sure to come across more than a few favorites that work like a charm, especially with the PlayBook’s reasonably powerful hardware.