Owners of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets can now root the devices in order to run Android apps and access the Android Market.
In order to get the process to work, users need to start with a rooted BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The PlayBook was first rooted in November, 2011. The how-to guide was published on Sunday on the BlackBerry enthusiast site CrackBerry.com.
As well as rooting the device, users will also need to use a few other tools, including the most recent version of Cyanogen Android apps, WinSCP FTTP client and an app called DDPB used for installing the Android Honeycomb launcher.
Once the full process has been successfully completed users should have access to the Android Market and be able to run Android apps on the device. However, the report cautioned that performance of apps on the tablet can vary. For example, some apps like Angry Birds and Skype "don't quite work" whereas apps such as Twitter and Google Plus "worked fine".
Like all unofficial modifications to smartphones and tablets, rooting the device comes at the owner's risk. However, caveats aside, in light of the recent price drop of the PlayBook in the US and UK it does provide a potentially cost-effective way of acquiring tablet hardware branded with a household name that is capable of running Android apps.
In the US, Research In Motion (RIM) has cut the cost of the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB PlayBook to $299 for each model. In the UK, RIM's site links to retailers offering the different versions for between £169 and £329.
The company announced in March last year that it was going to allow Android apps to run on the device using a special "app player". However, the company is yet to deliver on this promise, PlayBook 2.0 is now expected to arrive in February. It is currently available in developer-only beta form.