RIM executive calls Google Play "chaotic cesspool"

RIM executive calls Google Play "chaotic cesspool"

Summary: RIM believes that developers don't want to support a platform that allows users to bypass the official app store and sideload apps.

SHARE:

Update: see below.

RIM has announced that a future BlackBerry operating system update will remove the ability to sideload apps to the BlackBerry PlayBook in order to prevent the ecosystem becoming a "chaotic cesspool" of piracy like Google Play, new name for the Android Market.

Alec Saunders, RIM vice-president of developer relations, Alec Saunders, announced the upcoming change in a series of posts on Twitter.

Sideloading apps onto the PlayBook isn't easy. Apps in APK format need to be converted into BAR format, the PlayBook has to be in 'Development Mode', and the sideloading itself requires third-party apps. There's no doubt that sideloading can be used to pirate apps, but it's not the only use for the feature.

The BlackBerry App World doesn't have anywhere near the number of apps that Google and Apple have in their app stores, and it seems that RIM believes that the reason for this is that developers don't want to support a platform that allows users to bypass the official app store and sideload apps onto BlackBerry devices.

Personally, I think that the lack of developer interest has more to do with the embryonic nature of the platform rather than sideloading.

I guess we'll have to wait and see if this is what developers want.

Update: Saunders has clarified BlackBerry's position regarding sideloading apps over on the Inside BlackBerry Developer Blog. Here are the highlights:

"Side-loading is a developer feature. It exists so that developers can load their apps onto their own devices to test. It is definitely not there for some people to side load a pirated app."

"...next release of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS, we're introducing a feature that will encrypt apps so they can only be run by the user who purchased the app."

Encrypting apps will offer more protection against piracy and is something BlackBerry could have done a long time ago. It remains to be seen if this will be enough to encourage more developers to jump aboard the PlayBook platform.

Image credit: Twitter [1], [2], [3]

Related:

Topics: Security, Apps, Google, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, BlackBerry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

8 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Ah piracy

    So [i]that's[/i] the excuse now RIM? And where did he pull the stat about 25% of Android Apps being pirated? And how many pirated apps are on Google's Play Market anyhow? Can we get Alec Saunders to come up with some proof of his claims?
    NonFanboy
  • Yes

    Yes, Google Play is a chaotic cesspool. But someyime it's fun to play in the mud! That said, I do wish Google created a curated section with apps that had been certified malware free.
    dsf3g
  • Google play

    I really dont like Google play but I dont think that removing sideloading from the playbook is the answer. The BB market is already seriously lacking in software and I havent seen any articles or heard of any developers being enraged about this feature.
    Jimster480
  • Big FAIL

    Keep failing RIM, keep failing. The worst thing you can do in a changing world is not evolve, stick to your old ways and fail.

    Maybe you can glean something from pop culture since you keep missing the reality of this world:

    "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers", and they'll go to android :)
    waziwazi
  • Duh

    The harder you make it to develop, the less development will be done by developers. Take a hint from monkey-boy Steve.

    BAR files already have to be "signed", if they are concerned about piracy they could easily track down from a pirated app who did the APK to BAR conversion.
    HackerJ
  • Marketing suicide

    Without the ability to sideload, the limited number of apps in the Blackberry app store makes the Playbook almost as useless as it was before the update to OS 2.0 - I think I'm beginning to be sorry I bought one. Under these circumstances, I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone else do so...
    FrStephenS@...
  • Break a useful feature without cutting the price substantially

    - and there's little to encourage a purchase of the product.. Please note, customers are not like: "oh, yes, here I want the broken one, and I'll pay full price for it, because it is an honor to have it at all". The removal or breakage of sideloading is a high handed accusation of theft against every customer and shows a bad attitude and wrong thinking on the part of the manufacturer. Leave this and other useful things intact on your very good product; don't go crippling and messing the Blackberry up.
    opcom
  • teem

    welll blackberry seems to be diminishing... http://clicktechdoll.blogspot.in/ chk dis blog too
    meet oza